Dr. Lou Cleveland announces re-election campaign for School Board

Incumbent Dr. Lou Cleveland is announcing her candidacy for the District 2 Seat on the Washington County School Board.     

Cleveland has served on the Board since 2016. She served one year as vice-chairman and is currently finishing a fourth year as Chairman.  Cleveland is a certified Board member. 

“During my tenure on the Board, it has been a privilege to work with other Board members to oversee policy, be diligent with school finances, and set instructional goals,” Cleveland said. “I am very proud of our community’s endorsement of  the half cent sales tax. These funds provided the technology essential for offsite instruction during Covid.”

The half-cent sales tax continues to fund updated technology equipment and facilities.   

“I supported Board decisions for improving school facilities, raising school grades and student achievement, addressing school safety, providing additional Technical College programs, providing free meals to all students, and expanding VPK classes and resources,” she said. “It was gratifying to be part of an administrative team that safely provided proms and graduations for our 2021 seniors when other districts did not.” 

Cleveland earned a bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctorate degree from Florida State University.  

She was a teacher or teaching administrator for 45 years and taught mathematics at Chipley High School before becoming mathematics coordinator at Chipola Junior College.  

Cleveland created the mathematics and science tutoring lab, developed state award winning curriculum programs, and wrote grants totaling over one million dollars. She supported the arts by acting in theatre productions and singing with faculty and student groups.  

When Chipola began offering four-year degrees, Dr. Cleveland was division chairman of the area where the first four-year degree programs in mathematics and biology education were offered. When she retired as dean of teacher education, Chipola was offering eight teacher education programs. 

Cleveland has taught and/or supervised teacher candidates in K–12 classrooms throughout Chipola’s five county district.   

She was recognized with the following teaching awards: Community College Professor of the Year, Florida Two Year College Mathematics Professor of the Year, Florida Council of Teachers of  Mathematics Educator of the Year, J. R. Kirkland Teaching Award, and the American Council of College Trustees Southern Region Outstanding Faculty Award.   

Beginning with her role as Chairperson of the CLASP Statewide Committee, Cleveland has reviewed and written test items for many of Florida’s statewide mathematics and teacher education tests.  

“Teaching students, creating learning environments, and assisting students in achieving their educational goals has been my lifelong passion,” she said. “The experience that I gained as a teacher, administrator, and School Board member provides me with an understanding of the dynamics of the classroom, daily needs of school staff, and knowledge to integrate state requirements into local school programs.”

Cleveland said she is “committed to providing a safe and productive environment where students can grow both academically and as productive citizens.” 

“As administrator of Chipola’s mathematics dual enrollment program, I saw the advantages of students enrolling in college courses offered on a high school campus,” she added. “This opportunity saved tuition costs, eliminated travel costs, allowed parents to monitor grades, and permitted  students to participate in more electives and extracurricular activities.  During the 2022 – 2023 year, our District mathematics dual enrollment teacher was needed to provide additional instructional opportunities for students whose education was disrupted by Covid.”

Cleveland further said it was her “privilege to teach four dual enrollment classes at Chipley High School and two at Vernon High School.”

“This experience gave me an even deeper passion for and understanding of Washington County’s educational program,” Cleveland added. “Our District is committed to this practice and is increasing the campus course offerings next school year.”

Being a member of the School Board has been a “pleasure,” she said.   

“I would be honored to continue to use my knowledge and experience to serve students, school personnel, parents, and the community,” Cleveland said.

She  is married to Al Cleveland.  They have two children, Colby Cleveland and Emily Phillips, and three grandchildren.