By Eve Rosen
After serving eight years as the District 6 representative on the Palm Beach County School Board, Marcia Andrews secured a third four-year term last month when filing closed, leaving her unopposed for the seat.
Andrews’ District 6 includes the western communities and the Glades area. After a long career with the School District of Palm Beach County, she has been a familiar face in the area since her election in 2010.
Andrews grew up in Palm Beach County and graduated from Roosevelt High School. She has been a resident of the western communities for more than 30 years.
Andrews earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Florida Atlantic University and her master’s degree in administration and supervision from Nova Southeastern University. She held many positions in the school district during her career, including as the director of the Department of Employment and Placement Services, and serving as the principal of Polo Park Middle School in Wellington.
After retiring from the school district, Andrews set her eyes on elective office, winning two contested elections. This year, however, she was returned without opposition, as were several other school board members, which is highly unusual. Andrews credits this to the strategic plan that the current school board put in place for the school district.
“We had so much involvement from the community in writing this strategic plan, I think this is what really put us on the top,” she said. “We went out into the community and found out what they would like to have happen in the next five years. We got input from all members of the community, including parents, students and elected officials, and we began to put a plan together with our long-term outcomes.”
Andrews prides herself on being actively involved with local education advisory boards and the communities of District 6, which is shown by the fact that she got input from members of the community in reference to the strategic five-year plan. She is proud that the plan is working, as evidenced by Palm Beach County being named an A-rated school district, as announced last week by the State of Florida.
Andrews has many projects that she is also proud of, including the construction underway at Wellington Landings Middle School and several other local schools, made possible by the sales surtax approved by voters in 2016.
“Wellington Landings is one of the top public schools in Palm Beach County,” Andrews said. “One of my big goals was to get a track field put in at Wellington Landings, and that has now occurred. One of the big things that the community wanted and came to me about as their school board member was getting a track field there so that the kids no longer have to run on the street to practice.”
Andrews is particularly proud that she is actively involved in the community so that she can get input directly from residents.
“We have wonderful education advisory boards in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, and we work so closely with the communities. I think that my connection with the communities and the schools and the students to make sure that their needs are met has been a really wonderful thing,” Andrews said. “I think it’s a great accomplishment to know that students and parents can call me at any time to find out information.”
Andrews is also proud of taking action to get the West Technical Educational Center in the Glades re-opened. This gives students the opportunity to go to a vocational school and then right into a career, if that is what they choose to do.
She knows that there is still work to be done in the Glades, and she is putting effort into making it a better place for children to learn.
Andrews is proud of the work that new Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy has done in his first months on the job. She is proud that he is getting involved in the community and is listening to parents and students, and then acting on what they tell him.
Andrews has several goals for her upcoming term. She hopes to see more progress being made on the five-year strategic plan.
“I would like to maintain our A rating and to make sure that our children are improving their reading at the third-grade level,” she said. “We would like to see all third graders reading, because if you get to third grade and can’t read, you are going to have a hard time.”
In addition to the goal of students increasing their reading capabilities, she wants to make sure that there are enough courses in high school for students to be prepared when they are moving into college so that they are ready for graduation, ready for college and ready for a career.
Her greatest goal is that the students feel safe and are safe on school campuses, particularly given the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Broward County. Numerous security upgrades are underway to provide all students with a safe learning environment where they can grow and flourish without danger.
Andrews believes that the future of public education in Palm Beach County is bright, and she hopes that Palm Beach County continues to improve and maintains its coveted A rating while she is a member of the school board.