Dr. John Edwards Endorses Fitzpatrick - School Board District 7 Race

Dr. John Edwards

Former Apopka High School Principal

Area Superintendent of OCPS

My friend Matt Fitzpatrick will make a great school board member! He understands students, parents, teachers and administrators having worked in OCPS at many levels- high school, middle school, district, and career and technical. More importantly he listens and understands. He is running to make a difference, he will cut his salary in half, he is running for all the right reasons. The district is bleeding, losing teachers and administrators in record numbers. I want the bleeding to stop. Matt Fitzpatrick understands what needs to be done. I wholeheartedly endorse Matt Fitzpatrick. I hope you will too!

Dr. Michael Armbruster

District 7 - Winter Garden Resident

Former Principal of West Orange HS, Ocoee HS, and University HS.

As an employee of Orange County Public Schools, it can be difficult to get engaged in school board elections for obvious reasons-you endorse one candidate and another one wins and you may find yourself in an uncomfortable position. However, in this election I have to step up and share my support for a good man – Matthew Fitzpatrick - I have had the good fortune to work with "Fitz" in a variety of roles for both of us over the past 11 years and through those experiences, such as cleaning up the Ocoee gym at 4 a.m. after a homecoming dance or dressing in tutus to support the CTE Relay for Life team, we have become close friends.

That's him and me in one photo below standing in the Splash Zone at Sea World when OCPS celebrated the winning of the Broad Prize a couple years back. Not too many others were in that area; but for us, it's where we both spend a lot of time-out there on the edge. I often tell people that while I believe he is a good man, we don't agree on everything. However, what makes him special to me is that we are able to debate and discuss and learn from each other. Whether talking about the school system, the Bible or life in general, we grow and learn from each other. He listens, seeks understanding and he shares honestly, what he believes, helping me to learn and grow as well. He is willing to look at things from another's perspective and he is always focused on trying to do the right thing in the right way by creating win-win solutions.

My support of him is not an indictment of the other four candidates in District 7, they are each viable candidates, but I know Fitz, I know his heart and I know that that heart will help drive us forward in a way that may be out there "on the edge," where it is driven, not by politics-he is anything but political-but rather by a calling to do things that are student and teacher driven.

He has a strong belief in the way things are now and a desire to change some of those things. I believe with a strong conviction that his side of the story-coming from a practicing educator in our current education environment-should be at the table and a part of the conversation to help our board make the very best decisions as we impact our children and our community's future.

So with all that being said, I am going to step back into the splash zone and endorse a candidate for Orange County School Board District 7-my district-Matthew Fitzpatrick! As you sit down to fill out your absentee ballot, or on the day you enter the polling booth, I hope you too will consider Matthew Fitzpatrick if you are in District 7, made up of northwest Orange County including north Winter Garden, where I live. If you read this far, thank you! Have a great night. Living in America-it's a beautiful thing!

Belynda Thomas-Pinkston

Former Teacher and Principal, Current Executive Director of Secondary and Post Secondary Education for the School District of Osceola County

It is with great enthusiasm, that I endorse Matthew Fitzpatrick in his bid for Orange County School Board. I've had the privilege of knowing and working with Fitz for many years. He is an educator who possesses integrity and passion. He has had many roles as an educator, and at each level has demonstrated the attributes of a servant leader. Fitz will serve as an advocate for students and teachers, and will bring practical experience and knowledge when provided with the opportunity to serve on the School Board.

Karla and Erick Garcia


Matthew Fitzpatrick has been a friend of our family for over 10 years. During those years we've come to know him as a man of character, full of integrity, eager and willing to help when a need arises…and an overall funny guy. Matt is passionate about many things, but mostly about bringing change to our educational system. That system is flawed at best. That's why we need guys like Matt fighting for what matters and fighting for teachers.

Paul Peters


A novelist once wrote, "A man’s character is most evident by how he treats those who are not in a position either to retaliate or reciprocate." Honest, fair, passionate, and ethical are some of the words I would use to describe Matthew Fitzpatrick. I had the pleasure of working for him several years back and got to see all these qualities up close. As a leader, Matt inspires and focuses those around him, not by fear or intimidation, but by opening a dialog and approaching a problem together. I believe that these qualities and his vast experience make him an excellent choice for public office. Please vote for my friend Matt on August 30th for the District 7 School Board Seat. He obviously has my highest recommendation and will work hard for the students, parents, and teachers.

Angela Sanders

Dental Hygienist, Wife of a Teacher, and parent of two former students.

I encourage everyone to research Matthew Fitzpatrick, and see how passionate he is about our children and teachers, and what he stands for concerning the future of our schools before you go to vote in the next month or so. 
Your vote for Matthew Fitzpatrick will help to ensure that our children are given the best opportunity to learn by teachers who are passionate about what they do and are more than able to do that job effectively.

Travis Thomas

School Ambassador at Hamden DuBose Academy

Lead Consultant of Paradox Culture

I will support Mr. Fitzpatrick because he is not a man of fluff, nor is he brash and forceful, he is intentionally relational. Not only does his character qualify him but he knows what he is talking about! His knowledge springs from time served, from deep passion and empathy for teachers and students. Matt understands the problems facing the Orange County School district and he is equipped with real solutions to make a change. I am supporting Matthew Fitzpatrick because he is the most qualified candidate in the race. With 23 years in education, 17 years in Orange County he has developed meaningful relationships with teachers and students, and his name proceeds him. He is relatable and reliable, his career has proved this, he has proved he is the best candidate for Orange County School Board District 7, and he has my vote. - Travis Thomas

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Political advertisement paid for and approved by Matthew J. Fitzpatrick, Non-Partisan, for Orange County School Board Chair


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