Q & A with Duval County School Board Member, District 7, Lori Hershey

Q: Do you have any news from the facilities Master Plan that the school board discussed in April?
A:  District 7 is likely to get a K-8 school between Nocatee and Atlantic Coast High School.

Last month, we thought Axson Elementary, which is currently a Montessori school in District 2, would be rebuilt near Atlantic Coast High School, but the superintendent just updated the Master Plan to allow that school to remain in District 2.

Q: What is the latest on the proposed rebuilding of Loretto Elementary School?
A: While Loretto Elementary will be rebuilt, there are plans to preserve the historic school house. The superintendent revised the proposal based on public comment and we will work to preserve the historic part of Loretto.

The board will not vote on a final plan until August and I welcome the community’s input. Please email me any thoughts and concerns.

Q: Can you please clarify how this facilities project might be funded?
A: The school board does not have the authority to raise taxes. Anything that would be an increase must be approved by the voters. The board only has the ability to ask our community if we will invest in our schools’ infrastructure. Community input is critical because it is a clear shared responsibility. Jefferson said that government works best when it is kept closest to the people. A referendum does just that and the voters’ decision stands.

Q: Do you have anything else to share with District 7?

A: Graduation is at hand and I would like to congratulate the class of 2019! Well done. I’m looking forward to your graduation ceremonies.

Also, congratulations to Twin Lakes Elementary for celebrating their 20th birthday!

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: They can email me at HersheyL@duvalschools.org or call me at (904) 316-3609.