Steve Lanier
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Election 2024: Lanier faces challenge for superintendent

Incumbent school superintendent, Republican Steve Lanier, 66, 126 Hickory Dip Road, Eastpoint, is facing a challenge from Democrat Jill Rudd, 52, 74 Rose Street, Sopchoppy.

The following statement has been provided by the Lanier campaign.

My name is Steve Lanier, and I am running for re-election as your Superintendent of Schools. 

Over the last four years since being elected in November 2020, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the good people of Franklin County. Our schools have improved, and it is time to continue our momentum and build on the positives that we have started. 

Are our schools better off than we were four years ago? Yes, and here are some of our first term accomplishments:

  • Achieved the highest graduation rate (83%) in our school’s history. 
  • Improved state ranking from #63 in 2019 to #59 in 2023.
  • Enhanced school and student safety by installing weapons and vape detectors.
  • Reduced students leaving Franklin County by 50% (Savings of $540,000).
  • Reduced the absentee rate from 42% to 13%. 
  • Established the first ever Navy JROTC and Cadet Core with 61 students currently enrolled. 
  • Replaced 75% of aging bus fleet with nine new buses (buses had not been ordered since 2017).
  • Replaced 16-year-old basketball, baseball, and softball scoreboards.
  • Replaced school football field house air conditioning systems. 
  • Replaced 16-year-old carpet in all classrooms and buildings.
  • Promoted student successes with daily updates on website and Superintendent Facebook page.
  • Highly involved and leading the way for teacher, law enforcement, and first responder housing on 25-acre school property in Eastpoint. 
  • Encouraged community involvement which resulted in 75 volunteers on campus.

Top rated leadership is the key to success as superintendent. I am a proven performer and have over 44 years of leadership and forward-thinking vision. I am certified in the Florida Association of District School Superintendent’s CEO Leadership Development Program.

I live in Eastpoint, and I am your hometown superintendent. No one knows the needs of our schools better than someone who grew up in Franklin County and who continues to live here and supports the community. Having attended elementary, middle, and high school in Franklin County, I am committed 100% to improving the school system where I graduated in 1976. I am proud to be from Franklin County because this is my home.

I am a proud veteran with a 27-year military career in the Air Force and Navy. After high school, and out of a sense of responsibility and the desire to serve my country, I left home in 1979 to enlist in the U. S. Air Force. While on active duty, I earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma, a Bachelor of Science degree in health care administration from Southern Illinois University, and an Associate of Arts from the University of Maryland. 

In 1985, I was commissioned as an officer in the U. S. Navy. After 27 years of service to my country having served at 15 different duty stations, I retired as a senior officer with the rank of Commander. In 2011, I returned to my roots in Franklin County because it was time to give back to my community, a place I love. 

In order to be an effective superintendent, one must be involved in the community and be willing to volunteer and give back. Here are some activities and organizations I am involved in or support: 

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Apalachee Mental Health Center and Live Oak Behavioral Health Management in Tallahassee.
  • Member, American Legion Post 106. 
  • Active in Veteran’s Reveille Organization of Franklin County.
  • Member, Rotary Club.
  • I support and contribute to non-profit organizations such as Aaron Meals, other community food banks, Tag Art, Franklin Education Foundation, Bring Me A Book Franklin, Franklin County School sports teams, and various athletic and youth organizations in Franklin County.

I am married to the former Sheila Bradberry of Tallahassee, a graduate of Florida State University and now retired after a 35-year career with the state of Florida. I have two daughters, Ashley and Kelsey, a stepson, Matt, and five grandchildren.

It would be an honor to serve our community as your Superintendent for another four years. I take pride in my profession and will continue to build community support and work with parents to ensure our students receive the best education possible. I am very transparent and have an open-door policy. I encourage open lines of communication and want the citizens of Franklin County to reach out to me with questions, concerns, or solutions. I will always return your phone calls and reply to your emails. I pledge to serve you with an uncompromising code of integrity and honesty.

I thank you for your vote and support as we continue this mission together.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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