Local News

School teacher announces candidacy for school board seat

SEBRING - Kindergarten Learning Center Exceptional Student Education teacher Jill Compton has become the sixth candidate to pre-file for the District 5 Highlands County School Board seat, vacated by Andy Tuck, who was appointed to the state board of education.

Compton, 37, has been with the Highlands County School District since 1998, also serving as a classroom teacher and speech and language pathologist.

She has two kids who go to Cracker Trail Elementary School, and her family owns Century 21 Compton Realty.

"I know the challenges of teachers and what they go through," she said. "I'm also a parent of school-age children."

Through her family's realty business, she understands the needs of taxpayers, she added.

"I'm a good listener," she said. "I'll listen to the concerns of the taxpayers."

Compton said while the Legislature sets policies for schools, a school board member can make it easier for teachers to weather the challenges in the "least restrictive way."

In the last few years, Florida teachers have had to adjust to new curriculum and evaluation standards.

"It's a good thing. We are current with the rest of the world but the constant changes can be disruptive," she said.

In February, Compton also applied to Gov. Rick Scott's office to be considered if he appointed Tuck's replacement for his unexpired term.

Since she filed with Scott's office, she decided to pre-file for the elections, as well, Wednesday.

This is the first time Compton is running for public office.

So far, the others who have filed for the seat are Clinton Culverhouse, William Hutchinson III, Trevor Murphy, Dustin Woods and William "Tres" Stephenson.

Even though the field is getting crowded, Compton said the race would have been a challenge no matter how many people ran.

"It's great that so many people are interested," she said.