By Tiffanie Reynolds | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gov. Rick Scott’s visit and cabinet meeting at Flagler College on April 2 honored teaching efforts throughout Northeast Florida, as well as marked the upward climb in the economy.
Among those honored was Darryl White, program director of Teach for America in Jacksonville, and the Teacher of the Year of the six counties in Northeast Florida, including Jessica Geronimo from St. Johns County Transition School.
Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, also noted that 2013 is the first time in five years that Florida unemployment rate is equal to the national average. The unemployment rate has seen a steady decline in the past 28 months, with St. Johns County at an unemployment rate of only 5.6 percent. The largest growing markets are leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, construction and professional and business services.
Scott decided to hold the meeting to mark the beginning of the Viva Florida 500 celebration, highlighting the history of the state of Florida. This was also marked by a visit from Ponce de Leon, who spoke for a few minutes about the discovery of Florida and led the audience in a cheer.
St. Augustine is one of many Florida cities Scott has held his cabinet meetings. Going as far south as the Keys, he and his cabinet have marked many of their meetings with local celebrations and events.
“I think it’s important that citizens around the state know what their cabinet is doing. They see the work of the cabinet. It gives us an opportunity to highlight some of the successes,” said Scott.
Flagler College was grateful to have the governor and his cabinet in the college and St. Augustine.
“There are many places where he could have chosen to hold his monthly cabinet meeting, and it is quite an honor for him to select Flagler College as the place for the cabinet meeting. We are very excited, very thrilled and delighted with his choice,” said Flagler College President William T. Abare Jr.