By Kimberly Hosey
If Bill Mignon, Flagler College educational intern supervisor wins the election for the district 3 seat for the St. Johns County School Board this November he plans to continue in his position at Flagler, saying that one job will compliment the other. He says he will encourage students in the school system to consider Flagler as a “viable option” for college.
“I’ve been teaching for 43 years now,” Mignon said. And he says, he has no intention of stopping now.
Mignon has been the educational intern supervisor at Flagler for the last two years.
Mignon received 46 percent of the vote in the primaries on Sept. 5, while incumbent Diane Lovell received only 35 percent of the vote. Marilyn Wiles took a mere 19 percent of votes. Mignon and Lovell will now face each other in November’s election.
Mignon says one of his main concerns this election is the large amount of population growth that schools have seen due to numerous developments being built all over the county.
“Developers have not stepped to the plate when it comes to growth in schools,” Mignon said. “The school system had a general operating budget of $194 million this year. Sixty-five percent of that came from local funding sources. That is of concern to me.”
Mignon wants developers, rather than local taxpayers, to pick up the tab for the schools that must be built due to new developments in the area.
He is also interested in creating different academies to provide students who may not be heading to college with practical skills they can use in the real world.
“A lot of them are just graduating and not being able to make a living much above minimum wage. They will never be able to buy a home,” Mignon said.
He said that even a lot of college-bound students need practical skills because they must work their way through college.
Mignon said he supports standardized testing but would like to see a change in the way Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) — a standardized test given to all tenth grade students in the state — is scored. Schools that get a low score make both students and faculty look bad, which Mignon says can hinder seniors who are applying to college.
“The test should not be used to penalize students and faculty members. There are some students who simply don’t test well,” he said.
He believes the FCAT should be used by administration to find areas that need strengthening.
After teaching at Hastings and St. Augustine High Schools for seven years, Mignon became principal of the St. Augustine Technical Center. He went on to become principal at R.B. Hunt Elementary and then Nease High School. Before coming to Flagler two years ago, Mignon spent five years as principal of Menendez High School.
Aside from teaching, he is a veteran of the Army and the Florida National Guard. He has earned many teaching awards including a place in the Principal’s Hall of Fame, the St. Johns County School Board Lifetime Achievement Award and the State of Florida Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Educational Leadership.
Mignon earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Florida.