Cheryl Massaro, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview

tagsSeat For Theatre

No bull, no fluff, no stains


Cheryl Massaro was one of eight candidates in the three contests of the Flagler County School Board on August 18th. Massaro played against the first incumbent Maria Barbosa in District 5.

The three school council elections in Districts 1, 3, and 5 are non-partisan races:

Voters registered in Flagler County are eligible to vote in these two races—whether they are registered Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or minors.

You can vote in all three races, no matter where you live, town or residential area. The election on August 18 will determine the Division 1 champions between Vincent Lyon and Jill Woolbright and the current Maria between Barbosa and Massaaro, as the two races each have only two candidate. The third zone is a three-way match between the current Colleen Conklin, Paul Mucciolo and Carol Bacha, the latter known as Elizabeth Mother. In this case, the race can only be determined when the candidate's votes exceed 50%. In addition, the first two voters will enter the finals, which will be decided in the general election on November 6.

FlaglerLive submitted the same question to the candidates on the school board, and they answered in writing, but understood that some follow-up questions might be asked, and all communications will be recorded. Questions are shown in bold, follow-up questions are shown in bold and italics when necessary, and may be waiting for answers. If the candidate fails to answer the question, it is marked in red. Questions and follow-ups try to arrive at accurate answers, but candidates do not always comply.

The term of office of school board members is four years

September 22, 1953.

Retired Education Administrator

$ 438,000




My vision for Flagler County schools is simple-by having the highest graduation rate, making the area the best school in the United States, promoting classroom to professional development to encourage minority students to participate; and by expanding community cooperation Partnerships to leverage our huge local resources. Maybe it's a bit far away, but I truly believe it can be achieved. All school board members must take the lead in building strong relationships with youth, families, educators, staff, administrators, community members, and colleagues who are committed to achieving the common goal of helping Flagler School flourish. This can only be achieved by establishing and maintaining an environment of trust, cooperation, and respect necessary to not only satisfy, but exceed student needs.

My unique qualifications for this position include extensive experience as an educator and administrator, and these positions allow me to experience all aspects of education firsthand. I expanded my association by serving as a member of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice State Advisory Panel and chairing the panel’s racial differences committee. The main task of these two groups is to report to the Governor on all juvenile justice issues every year. I am also a founding member of the Florida Youth Justice Council, which is committed to ensuring fair treatment of all young people in the juvenile justice system and expressing their voices for system improvement.

I have prepared for the role of the school board in the following ways:

-Attend the Flagler County School Board meeting (face-to-face and virtual)

-Refresh the mission and goals of Flagler School, the district budget and the latest strategic plan

-Participate in ESE Parent Advisory Committee meetings

-Participate in Matanzas High School Advisory Committee (face-to-face and virtual) every month

-Attended Flagler Palm Coast High School Advisory Committee meeting

-Participate in the sheriff candidate meeting

-Compared with statewide data, a preliminary review/analysis of FL DOE subject data on the race, ethnicity and gender of Flagler School

-Compared with state-wide data, preliminary review/analysis of FL DOE security incident reports based on the frequency and type of Flagler schools

-Hold two (2) Facebook Live events to share my qualifications, but more importantly, solicit feedback from community members, parents, and other stakeholders on the most important issues of the school.

I consider myself a "walker". Although many people say they will do this, in fact I will do what I say and then do what I say. I am a well-educated professional, good at listening, and a patient leader, able and willing to listen to and learn from others. I have been and will continue to advocate

Flagler County Youth. I am very passionate about ensuring that every child has the best education and tailoring it to help children succeed after high school. Regardless of whether students choose to receive higher education or go directly to work, it is very important to prepare all students for the next step. After all, today’s children will become tomorrow’s leaders.

My biggest shortcoming is that I have little tolerance for waste, whether it is a waste of human resources, money, time, tools, leadership or youth potential. In this situation, my lack of patience led me to take action, roll up my sleeves to solve the depths of the problem, work with others to develop win-win solutions, and make things go in the right direction again.

Shortly after opening the Flagler County Youth Center in 2004, while working in my office, I was visited by the then Sheriff Bill Delbrugge, who hired me to create and supervise the youth center. During the visit, the superintendent of the school district told me that a group of local youth leaders approached him, and they thought my enthusiasm was too hasty. In addition, the group recommended that Mr. Delbrugge ask me to curb my desire. At first, I was a little surprised by the feedback; however, after further discussion and reflection, I admitted my mistakes and agreed to listen to his suggestions on working at a slower pace and in a more inclusive way.

Therefore, I sought advice from community members about youth centers, and thus established important long-term partnerships, the PAL Police Athletic Alliance (PAL), the Flagler Youth Federation and the Flagler County Youth Bureau Judicial Council (DJJ). These relationships are key to supporting my continued professional development and have led to a leadership role as Chairman of the Flagler County DJJ Committee and Chairman of the DJJ Tour 7 Advisory Committee. I firmly believe that I am willing to listen to the feedback from the group and consider the impact of my actions on all parties, which makes me a better administrator, leader and resident of Flagler County.

I think Flagler School passed the test. Although few people in the country are prepared for this pandemic, I believe that the administrators, teachers, and staff of Flagler County schools have done a great job in transitioning from classrooms to distance learning. Once you decide not to let the students return to the classroom, everything is on the deck. Although many teachers prepare for online courses, other teachers have limited experience in providing virtual learning. Supporting all classroom teachers through seminars and peer-to-peer help from colleagues who are more accustomed to virtual classrooms are essential to the successful implementation of this difficult task.

In addition, students need to have the appropriate equipment before starting any online classroom assignments. This requires the Flagler School’s technical department to strengthen its work and ensure that every student has a laptop or tablet computer, as well as an equally important home Internet service. Since Flagler County imposes a half-penny surcharge, the necessary hardware can be distributed. Providing hotspots for Internet connections is more challenging, but it can also be achieved.

At the beginning of the school year, recognizing the need to improve safety, the Flagler County School Board approved a contract that provides an enhanced version of the Zoom video conferencing application for video conferencing. They hardly know how valuable this contract has proven to be throughout the covid-19 pandemic. Are all these solutions perfect? Absolutely not; however, considering this situation, all parties are doing their best to make the virtual classroom up and running much earlier than the surrounding school districts. Nor can we forget the contributions of parents, caregivers and older siblings, who are now appointed as the organizers of the family's on-site classroom.

I think one disadvantage is the challenge of providing help to ESE and high-risk students who usually need additional help. Although the employees work tirelessly to provide the necessary support to each student, especially those with special needs that are most affected by daily changes, it is still a hard work for some students and employees.

Currently, COVID-19 cases continue to soar in Florida. Fortunately, Flagler County has very few people, and it is still lower than our neighboring counties. Before that, when the number of new virus cases decreased and continued to show a downward trend, I was unwilling to open a school as usual.

However, the management of Flagler School decided to fully open the school on August 24 and provide assistance to anyone who is not satisfied with the decision to evacuate their children from Flagler School and make a virtual plan in the district iFlagler To register in. School administrators and/or staff will directly contact each family to make a decision, no matter which method is chosen, students will be asked to continue to choose courses until the end of the first semester.

Flagler County Schools recently sent a survey to all student families asking them about their interest in returning their children to school. Although I don’t know the actual survey results yet, I speculate that they range from returning to school before the pandemic to continuing distance learning for the foreseeable future. Now that the actual decision has been completed, this is a situation where time can prove and determine whether the decision is correct.

As for the cancellation of courses, comprehensive education is much more than learning in the four walls of the classroom. Therefore, unless officials from the Flagler County Health Bureau deem it absolutely necessary to restrict extracurricular activities, I do not want to eliminate any extracurricular activities or incidents.

Balancing the skills of returning to school during a pandemic is tricky at best, and all measures should be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. I believe that Flagler County school administrators, in cooperation with the Flagler County Health Department, have developed a reasonable plan to deal with multiple situations, limit exposure and reduce the spread of the virus.

Families who have concerns about health issues can choose to use the iFlagler virtual platform. Families of distance learners with higher learning ability can participate in remote real-time learning that is streamed from student classrooms; finally, those families who prefer face-to-face learning can choose to let their children go to school. By providing three learning options, it is expected that the number of students on campus will be reduced by approximately 40%, which will promote social distancing and limit the chances of the spread of the virus. Once the final enrollment number is determined, I hope that every effort will be made to allocate the learning options that best suit their skills. In addition, teachers who are in poor health and wish to do so should be allowed to request assignments to virtual teaching positions (if any).

I hope that even though we live in a controversial society, returning to the physical learning model will not lead to the failure of Russian roulette. However, in these most unusual situations, there is no guarantee that some people might not try to take advantage of this situation. The delay in school start times and the decrease in population on campus, coupled with the training of all employees on new safety procedures, and the precautions taken by each school district department to ensure cleaning and disinfection procedures, are expected to bring them back to campus. The school is different from any previous school year.

As part of a comprehensive plan that aims to protect students, teachers, staff, and administrators from exposure to the covid-19 virus, I did approve a policy that requires masks. I believe that science can prove that masks are beneficial in limiting the spread of infectious diseases.

I will definitely approve the different procedures for using masks according to grade. Junior high and high school young people should wear masks when they are unable to socialize. Elementary school students should also be expected to wear masks, although in fact, kindergarten and first grade children may struggle with this. In order to improve compliance with wearing masks, families with young children must wear masks at home, while teachers need all students, regardless of age, to wear masks at school residences.

Given that Governor DeSantis recently announced that he has signed a $500 million bill to raise the salary of starting teachers to a minimum of $47,500 and provide more funds to adjust the salary of some teachers, this is an interesting question. This is a huge action that will not only help recruit staff, but also help retain educators at Flagler Schools. At this time, I am very interested to see how the state’s overall education budget will be affected by state expenditures and how much of the US$500 million in grants actually received by Flagler School.

In the past, when the regional budget needed to be tightened, it was usually done by adopting a method that required each department to reduce the budget by a fixed amount or a certain percentage. In this way, no program will be more affected than another program, and this impact and joint losses are fully felt. If it is feasible, rather than eliminating the plan, I will strongly support this method as a fair and just way to solve the budget shortage. I do not support lowering or freezing the salary of support staff because their salary is not high and it is not in line with their contribution to the overall success of the school district.

success case:


In the end, I can't think of a period of time in my career that I can review and talk about-I am solely responsible for the results. However, I can recall countless examples in which I am proud to say that I worked with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve a common goal.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the region did an excellent job transitioning to distance learning. Unfortunately, distance learning is not always the best way to educate all young people. Some students are self-motivated and disciplined enough to achieve success through distance learning, while others are far less successful and are therefore more suitable for on-site and/or on-site teaching. I firmly believe that letting families choose the most suitable learning method for their children, whether it is on-site learning or remote learning, is the best solution. If local and state health officials recommend that on-site learning be stopped, I will fully support all students to resume distance learning until there is data to support the resumption of options approved in 2020-2021. school year.

In my initial answer to the question asking candidates to list the most recent regional failures, I identified the failure as "failure to provide a safe learning environment for all children, especially children who are not discriminatory." The basis for this statement refers to the recent vote of the school board members that the district’s non-discrimination policy does not include “gender identity”. I believe that the school board has the responsibility to protect all students, including LGBTQ youth, from discrimination and bullying, rather than selecting which students should be protected and which should not be protected. I firmly believe that if adding the word "gender identity" can even protect a student in Flagler County, it is worth adding these words. In addition, I will continue to educate and strengthen the expectations of all teachers, support staff and administrative staff to treat all children, regardless of whether their gender identity or sexual orientation is respected and dignified. I also advocate that individuals who fail to do so will be held responsible for failing to meet this expectation.

I think the halfpenny surcharge is a "golden goose"-a continuous gift, and I believe it is essential to the continued success of Flagler School. Additional tax revenues are earmarked for capital construction projects and improving classroom technology. Many changes have taken place in education and Flagler County since voters approved the renewal of the surcharge in 2012. Who can predict the impact of the full-scale epidemic and the need to transition from traditional classroom learning to fully online teaching? Recently, the half-penny surcharge has played a key role in ensuring that every student and teacher can use laptops or tablets and hot spots for Internet connections when necessary. Without the half-cent surcharge, it would be very difficult to provide educational activities for Flagler County children after school suspension.

I strongly support the renewal of the half-price sales tax because I think it is a minimally invasive way to support our local schools and limit our need to increase school taxes. If the renewal is approved in 2022, the surcharge may exist for at least 10 years. Since there may be many factors involved in the 10-year period of the surcharge, I advocate (according to the pre-established standards) to allow flexible use of this valuable source of funds.

I think it’s very important to maintain a good working relationship with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and the School Resource Representative (SRD), because in today’s environment, they are vital on the Flagler School campus. SRD not only adds a certain degree of security to each teaching building and campus, but because SRD is part of the school team, SRD has the opportunity to socially interact with students (usually their families). These interactions enable youth, families and law enforcement to establish very important and positive relationships, and in many cases, this helps reduce turbulence inside and outside the school. In some cases, if there is no pre-established relationship between the student and the SRD, the results may be quite different.

I suggest that before starting negotiations on the renewal of the SRD contract, a comprehensive assessment of the SRD responsibilities, results and actual working SRD hours should be carried out. With this information, I believe that a fair and reasonable renewal rate can be negotiated.

Flagler County SRD is a young professional who has received special training. Most SRDs choose to enter the school because they are committed to working with students. School resource officers are a selected group of law enforcement officers who are trained to work effectively in a challenging and diverse environment. The Flagler County Sheriff requested that SRD not only protect, but also interact with students, faculty and staff to build relationships that are vital to avoiding or stopping major incidents. I do not support the use of guardians or armed teachers as a means to cut costs, and I believe that our children are the safest in schools with trained law enforcement officers.

Unfortunately, in today's environment, whether in our educational environment or outside of our educational environment, I believe that enforcement on the campus of Flagler Schools is absolutely necessary. I don’t think the School Resource Representative (SRD) who provides services on the Flagler County campus has too much authority. According to Flagler School’s practice, there are some policies and procedures that require teamwork to resolve school interference. I fully support this approach. When teachers or faculty members need help with a student’s situation, the administrator (usually the student’s vice-principal/professor) and SRD jointly decide to evaluate the appropriate threat level and interventions required. I hope that SRD participation is a last resort, because once law enforcement agencies step in, they must comply with stricter regulations than education managers. I suggest that every response to a student’s destructive behavior should start with the least restrictive intervention.

The failure to add the term “gender identity” to the district’s non-discrimination policy is a missed opportunity to provide students with a higher level of protection and establishes the district’s expectation that all students are entitled to safety and without judgment Learning environment. Any decision on policy by school board members must make this a basic expectation.

In addition, what puzzles me is that in the "Equal Opportunity Employers" statement, discrimination based on "gender identity" against job seekers and Flagler County school employees is prohibited by district policy. Therefore, if protection is provided for job applicants and employees of Flagler School, it would be difficult for me to understand why such a debate should be provided for students with the same protection?

I firmly believe that the school needs to accommodate any student whose ID is different from the one on the birth certificate. What is written on paper at birth may be very different from the heart and mind of young people. School board members, administrators, educators, and staff must be educated on all LGBTQ and self-identification issues. Respect the wishes of young people and their families and help provide necessary accommodation to provide a safe and unjudged learning environment.

I have a master's degree in health education, so I firmly believe in the science and value of the Gardasil vaccine that inhibits HPV. If the problem recurs, I will vote for the addition of the HPV-suppressing Gardasil vaccine to the other vaccines already available. As long as the school district can provide students with free vaccinations, there is no justification for not providing such voluntary vaccines. In the end, the decision whether to vaccinate the child with this special vaccine will be made by each family.

Flagler School’s flagship curriculum includes twenty-one (21) unique classrooms for vocational courses in ten schools throughout the region. As the former director of the Flagler County Youth Center and George Washington Carver Community Center, I started working at Flagler School before implementing the flagship program and left as they continued to expand throughout the school district. As I watched the development of these programs, I began to notice that the number of students whose mentality to go to school changed from negative to positive was increasing. I attribute this to the fact that many of these students have obtained career opportunities that have never been explored before or even known to exist by taking flagship courses.

I am an ardent supporter of flagship projects and I would like to express my appreciation to those who have played a role in developing and improving these projects. In addition, the "From Career to Classroom" course has greatly benefited the trainees, who can be employed. Similarly, business partners in local communities can also obtain a large number of well-trained workers. For students who choose this course, it is much better than knowing that you have received career options and skills training, which may be transformed into banking, fire protection, law and justice, culinary arts, agriculture, and robotics. There are new veterinary technicians, just to name a few.

I strongly support and encourage healthy competition between the two middle schools in Flagler County, and believe that this competition will only benefit Flagler students participating in the flagship program in the region. That is to say, the final result of this competition must be a feasible and cost-effective plan that has a positive impact on the students in school. If the number of enrollees for a particular course drops repeatedly, the continued offering of that course needs to be evaluated.

Although some students know what they want to be when they grow up, many people don't have any clues, it doesn't matter. In addition, for all students, the idea that all students should go to college after graduating from high school is not realistic, nor is it an ideal goal. The flagship program is a special and innovative way to engage young people in education, while encouraging interested students to explore and obtain practical training in various occupations. Students who are interested in flagship courses should be encouraged to work with their family members and guidance counselors to help them choose the best for them. I don't think and will not encourage students to take any courses, because usually this kind of action is ineffective. I firmly believe that by letting students choose, they will have the opportunity to discover what they like to do and become productive members of the community.

Yes, I think individuals should be responsible for everything they do and speak as a public figure, especially when using social media platforms. Individuals who are elected and elected to public office voluntarily place themselves in a position to be subject to public supervision and comment. I also firmly believe that it is important for public officials to actively listen to and accept the opinions of others in order to give themselves a chance to learn and develop.


Excellent, thoughtful and comprehensive answer.

A mark of a leader and a mark of character strength is the ability to admit his mistakes and work hard to correct them.

Cheryl is not a bullshit. What you see is what you get. She has extensive experience in teaching and administrative management. She has been active in the youth community.

I want to add that when Cheryl Massaro mentioned her certificate, she did not mention the fact that her certificate is legal and verifiable. This is something Maria Barbosa cannot claim.

Good luck Miss Arrow, this is from Susan, Lisa from New Jersey, go and cheer for them

Hope I live in her area so that I can vote for her. She will become an asset of the board of directors. Only through a thoughtful analysis of these issues can prove that her talent and knowledge make her surpass the incumbent. And it may also show the ability to examine one's own self on the threshold of the school council, and to consider issues based on facts and science rather than opinions, which seems to be a characteristic of some members' contemporary decision-making. Ms. Massaro, go there and see!

Candidates for the school council come from their districts, but all of them are general elections: as long as you are a registered voter in Flagler County, you do not need to vote in any candidate's district.

Cheryl Massaro's answer is clear and thoughtful. When I saw Barbosa's answer, it said she did not answer the question. Why is that? ? Perhaps it was because in an interview with Flagler Live in 2016, it was determined that many of her answers were determined stolen. (See FlaglerLive, August 14, 2016) and the degree/certificate she touted is from an unaccredited school and a non-existent license.

"Maria Barbosa was sworn in on November 22 and became a new member of the Flagler County School Board. He stated in an advertisement that she obtained a "clinical counselor license" and was able to treat depression , Anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health, Barbosa does not hold a state-recognized license for such services" (see Palm Coast Observer, November 2016)

Why do we want a liar and a faker, and their main function on the school board is to act as the second vote or appearance of Janet McDonald?

We have an excellent opportunity to select a hardworking and experienced person to join the school board. I urge the residents of Flagler County to vote for Cheryl Massaro. Early voting will start this week!

I thank her for the follow-up on how to deal with question 2. She did not make mistakes or challenges, but showed what she had learned. I really appreciate this candidate’s experience, her dedication and her thoughtful response.

For Bethechange, you don't have to live in her area to vote for Ms. Massaro, so go out there and do something good.

I met Cheryl, talked to her, and I firmly supported her. She will become an excellent school board member.

Yes, she will become an asset of the school board.

Jim Lavern Guinness

Cheryl Massaro has been our child's wealth for many years! She is invaluable in his position. She has my ticket!

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