99¢ for the first month
99¢ for the first month

Terry Mears for Holmes County Superintendent of Schools

Staff Writer
Washington County News
Washington County News

I would like to take a couple of minutes and provide you with some personal background, past accomplishments and insight for the future in preparing our precious children to assume their roles in leading our community and nation.

I am a 1973 graduate of Holmes County High School. I am a combat Army veteran. I began my military career by enlisting in the Florida Army National Guard in 1972 as an infantryman and was assigned to the Bonifay Unit of the 124th Infantry. After a year of service, I enlisted in the Active Army, where I served more than 21 years before retiring as a Sergeant Major.

During my service, my Senior Leadership assignments included drill sergeant, senior enlisted training advisor to the Illinois National Guard, first sergeant for lead element during the ground attack in Desert Storm, and education and training advisor (superintendent) for 21 states and the Military District of Washington, D.C.

I have the distinct honor of being a Distinguished Honor Graduate from both the Advanced Non-commissioned Officer Course and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.

Some of my notable military and civilian awards are the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Presidential Valorous Unit Award for Heroism, the Bronze Star medal, and the Liberation of Kuwait Medal. I am an inductee of the Royal Order of Saint Maurice and have the distinct honor of being awarded the Association of the United State Army (AUSA) General Paul D. Adams Award for service. I am also the recipient of the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

In addition to my military service, I had the distinct honor of teaching in the public sector at both the elementary and high school levels, and served as an assistant professor at the University of South Florida. By the wish of the citizens of this county, I am currently serving as Superintendent of Holmes District Schools. I am also the recipient of the Florida’s Superintendent Certification.

During my tenure as Superintendent, the following have occurred;

1.No spending deficit since taking office (did not occur 5 years straight before assuming office).

2.Improved graduation rate each year in office (2018-2019 graduation rate (85.5) was record highest in the history of Holmes District Schools). 2019-2020 is currently projected to break the current record.

3.Improved FSA scores. Accountability across the district. (Redirected teaching the concept not the test).

4.All principals and assistant principals certified in Ed Leadership and passed FELE.

5.Fair and Equitable Treatment for Students, Facility and Staff regardless of political connection.

6.Developed, implemented and personally funded a Teacher of the Year program.

7.Developed and personally funded a School Related Employee of the Year program.

The above list is a snapshot of the “PROGRESS Not POLITICS” culture that is sweeping the district that focuses on putting the Students First and Always.

I make no excuses or apologies for my core values listed below. These values are the keystone that have held my life together in my most difficult trials. I feel a renewed focus is needed more today than ever before, to promote Americanism.

1)Be true to yourself.

2)Honor your faith, flag, family and your community.

3)Never lose your moral compass.

I am actively involved in my Church (Bethlehem United Methodist Church), I am a member of several community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Bonifay Kiwanis Club, Holmes County Republican Executive Committee. Most recently, I was appointed the State Committeeman from Holmes County to the Republican Party of Florida for the upcoming term.

Some of my past community service positions are past president of Mainstreet (Zephyrhills), President-Elect of Daybreak Rotary, Vice-President of the Suncoast (Tampa) Chapter of AUSA and the President of the Big-Bend (Tallahassee) and Emerald Coast (Ft. Walton Beach) Chapters of AUSA.

I feel my leadership skills have been proven from the” battlefield to the schoolhouse”. This is evidenced by my military career, teaching experience and most recently validated by my leadership team during two major hurricanes, the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas that led to the revamping of school safety protocol, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your vote for me is a vote for our children and grandchildren. YOUR CHOICE DETERMINES THEIR FUTURE.

A Personal Note: Thank you for allowing me to serve our community as Superintendent. We have made improvements in numerous areas. The two most prevalent are in the areas of finance and academic achievement. Our Graduation Rate is ranked fourth out of the entire Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) as opposed to second from the bottom. However, we are not done! I humbly ask for your vote and support during the upcoming election in August and together we can continue to focus on PROGRESS not POLITICS!

God Bless You and May God Continue to Bless the United States of America!