Maggie Lewis-Butler, 77, is running again for the Leon County School Board.
Lewis-Butler is an alumna of Florida A&M University, and she spent her first 30 years after college teaching science. Lewis-Butler is currently vying for the same position that she has held for the past 21 years as a member of the school board representing District 3.
Lewis-Butler first ran for a seat on the Leon County School Board after she retired. She had a strong desire to continue educating children and assisting their families.
During her tenure, she was the first African American to chair the school board and she also led the effort to build the new Bond Elementary School on the city’s south side.
As vice-chair for the school board, Lewis-Butler feels like she has “upgraded District 3 by making sure that facilities were conducive for learning.”
She values safety at schools and she also wants to promote parental involvement in schools.
Lewis-Butler has stated that she wants there to be a “relationship between the administration, the teachers, and the staff to make schools welcoming. “There needs to be accessible contact persons for students and parents, and students always come first,” said Lewis-Butler.
According to Lewis-Butler, it has been approved that mental counselors will be involved in schools. “The vision is for low scoring schools to have more counselors and to be more involved with the school, the families, and the community.”
She also said, “Schools need more updated resources for teachers and students.”
Lewis-Butler believes that with more resources, students in her district will be more likely to graduate and “if they don’t go to college they can go to a trade school.”
When asked about potentially having term limits by WFSU, Lewis-Butler said that she disagreed with the notion. She said, “If you are doing a good job or if you are just learning the process, you need time to get adjusted. However, voters should make this decision, not legislators.”
WFSU also asked Lewis-Butler for her opinion about potential charter schools in her district and she said, “We voted no to charter schools being mandated, we do not want them in our district because of the funding and the resources. For low scoring schools, we put a team together, they go monthly into the school and they monitor the whole school with a weekly report and the team of experts make sure that change is taken place. It’s worked before and it’ll work again.”
Lewis-Butler strongly believes in using mental-health counselors to get schools to work with children and parents. Lewis-Butler is running against Donna Hayes-Austin, Darryl Jones, Lynn Jones and Charles Williams.
In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Lewis-Butler’s opponent Darryl Jones stated, “Lewis-Butler has done a great job on the school board, but it's time for a new voice and a fresh set of eyes.”
Lewis-Butler is the longest serving member of the Leon County School Board.