Petersburg school board elections see incumbent and new member win

Ward 5

PETERSBURG—E. Joyce Proctor beat Unique Luna for the school board seat, 510 votes (61%), to Luna’s 317 votes (38%).

“I was really excited and it made me really happy to see people I had spoken with during my solicitation coming to vote,” Proctor said.

Proctor, 77, taught in the public school system for a few years at one of the wealthiest and poorest schools in the United States and is a strong supporter of the public school system. She retired from Quaker Oats working in human resource operations, where she trained workers and leaders on the ingredients for business success, and has lived in Petersburg for nearly 20 years.

During her first year on the school board, Proctor says she will learn the ropes and study the system. Proctor says one of the biggest challenges in schools is high absenteeism and low test scores, and that’s something she wants to work with schools to improve.

“I think those two giant pieces would definitely be something we’re going to focus on in a powerful way,” Proctor said.

She says she wants to use her background in business and management to introduce mentorship to schools. She believes in providing students with an inspiring place to learn.

“Give them hope so that education becomes the vehicle through which they can get out of their current situation,” Proctor said.

Unique Luna, a patent examiner who holds a master of science degree in macromolecular science and engineering, says she will continue to support the community, schools and school board in any way she can.

“I’m thrilled for Joyce, Ward 5 and the school board,” Luna said. “Education also seems to be his passion, and I look forward to his accompaniments as a school board member. My continued goal is to be helpful and helpful to my community.”

Ward 7

Adrian Dance

Incumbent Adrian Dance beat Dr. Ronnie Watson by nearly 250 votes, 677 to 428.

“I feel good, I feel relieved,” Dance, 67, said.

It will be School Board Dance Third Quarterwhich he hopes to continue building relationships with the city and the administration.

“I hope the board can build a good relationship with the superintendent. We want to move forward with getting all the schools accredited, and we want to move forward with some of our capital improvements,” said Dancing.

One of their main capital improvement goals is to get a “country house” for Petersburg High School where sports teams can have locker rooms and meeting rooms.

Dance says he also wants to work on increasing test scores and addressing teacher and staffing shortages, as well as getting more money from the city to fund their capital improvement projects. After building a land house for PHS, Dance says they want to work on building a new elementary school in the next few years.

Watson, a former teacher and principal, says he may consider coming out of retirement to pursue other opportunities in the field.

“Adrian had a good run and I hope he and the board move our schools in a more positive direction in the future,” Watson said.

Absentee ballots are still counted. The results are not official and will be certified this week by the St. Petersburg Electoral Council.

Joyce Chu, an award-winning investigative journalist, is the social justice watchdog reporter for The Progress Index. Reach her with comments, concerns or story tips at [email protected] or on Twitter @joyce_speaks.

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