CHIPLEY - Local educator, Melissa Whitson, has formally announced her candidacy for Washington County’s Clerk of Court.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity," said Whitson. "However, I felt it was important to honor my commitment to my students before focusing on my campaign.”
Whitson goes on to say she feels leadership is her strongest asset as a candidate.
“This position will require a person who can exhibit professionalism, integrity, and key leadership skills. In the past, I have always worked diligently to strengthen school, parental, and business communication in education," said Whitson. "I feel this same skill set can aid me in creating
an even stronger working partnership between the clerk’s office and the community."
Whitson’s past leadership efforts include assisting in promoting local, state, and national projects for organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Library of Congress Veteran Historical Project, and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT).
Melissa Whitson has served more than 25 years as a teacher, accumulating numerous awards for her leadership in education. She was named Bartow High School’s Teacher of the Year (1999), Wal-Mart’s Teacher of the Year (1999), Roulhac Middle School’s Teacher of the Year (2014), and Washington County’s Teacher of the Year (2014). Additionally, as a recognized leader in education, she has served on a specialized task force this past year (ACES), allowing her direct articulation with the Commissioner of Education. Whitson says, “Before an
individual can become a leader, they must exhibit characteristics that others aim to possess. I am a person who is not afraid to speak up and lead by example. If elected, I will continue my service to the community by supplying citizens with the leadership they deserve as a liaison for the Clerk’s office.”
Born and raised in Washington County, Whitson is a 1982 graduate Vernon High School. She holds degrees from Chipola College and the University of Florida. In addition, she has completed graduate work at the University of South Florida. She currently resides in Chipley with her husband, Kent, of 25 years. The couple has two children, Karsten and Kyndall.