Sarasota County, FL - Board of Elections

Candidate Statement

Ken Marsh

Ken Marsh, School Board Candidate – District 1

With more than 35 years of experience serving the needs of public school students, Ken Marsh understands better than any other District 1 candidate how to address complicated student needs.

For almost 20 years, Ken Marsh guided Sarasota County public school board members on things like long-range planning, evaluation, quality assurance, student services, and more. Ken also collaborated regularly with parent and community leaders and other local governments, and served as the district’s legislative liaison.

Ken’s vision for Sarasota County Schools is to build on the hard work he helped the school board achieve throughout his career. Ken will help our schools:
* Prepare all students for real-life success in and beyond the classroom.
* Save even more taxpayer dollars with even more cost-effective collaboration throughout the region.
* Stand up for more freedom from state regulations.
* Engage more parents and business leaders to actively participate in schools.
* Improve services to struggling students.
* Preserve and strengthen our district’s great tradition of arts education.

Ken’s diverse background and experience are what equip him like no other District 1 candidate to fulfill the above goals.

Before coming to the Sarasota County School District, Ken worked for the Manatee County Schools for 16 years. He started there as a school social worker, working with teachers in their classrooms and families in their homes to help struggling student succeed.

Ken also served as a mediator and a peer teacher, certified by the Florida Department of Education.

Public education is a passion for not only Ken, but for his entire family. His wife has been a public school educator for almost four decades, and Ken’s daughter and son-in-law are both teachers in Manatee County public schools.

Ken earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia. Ken completed Business Administration coursework, and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Ken fully understands public school operations and has helped our schools:
- Improve efforts to reduce dropout rates.
- Identify and fulfill needed building improvements and long-range building plans.
- Earn more than $2 million in grant funding for school choice.
- Build healthy relationships with charter schools.
- Ensure the district has the property it needs for school services.
- Acquire property for schools and support functions.
- Improve education of homeless students.

Ken gives of himself through serving the community:
• Fruitville Elementary School (current reading tutor)
• Alta Vista Elementary School (former tutor)
• Big Brothers Big Sisters at Booker High School (former mentor)
• United Way
• Children’s Services Advisory Board
• Leadership Manatee and Leadership Tampa Bay
• American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life
• Jewish Family & Children’s Services
• Temple Emanu-El
• S.C.O.P.E

Ken has led numerous local and state groups, including:
• President, Manatee Community Council for Children
• President, Florida Association of School Social Workers
• President, Florida Association of Student Services Administrators
• Chair, Leadership Manatee Alumni Association

Ken supports community organizations, including:
• Education Foundation of Sarasota County
• All Faith’s Food Bank
• Community Youth Development
• Mote Marine Laboratory

Our Students Deserve the Best – Our Students deserve Ken Marsh:

Ready from Day One
• Ken Marsh worked for 35 years to improve public schools and won’t be “learning on the job.”

Proven Eye to the Future
• School choice and charter schools came to Sarasota County under Ken Marsh’s guidance. He understands their proper role in public school education.

What Our Students, Families and Teachers Need
• As a former social worker and counselor, Ken Marsh understands how to work with teachers and families to help struggling students do better in school.

Passionate Devotion to Education
• Ken’s daughter is a schoolteacher, and his wife is a 40-year veteran of public school education. Ken is a volunteer reading tutor. Education is truly his life’s calling.

Proud Parent. Trusted Education Leader. Strategic Planner. Continue our schools’ A-rated tradition of excellence. Vote for Ken Marsh!