25 Compelling Reasons to Vote Matthew J. Fitzpatrick for Orange County School Board
Fitz cares deeply for students and teachers, and is willing to step up and speak up on their behalf at a time when the fear of retaliation has never been greater.
Fitz is willing to put his position, paycheck, promotions, and pension on the line in order to say things that need to be said, to drive the discussion within our district in the direction of positive progress.
Fitz is willing to take a 50% pay cut and scramble his life in order to serve as an educationally-informed voice on the school board. He cannot work for the school board and be on the school board at the same time, so he will have to take a leave of absence from his job as an Assistant Director at Orange Technical College - Westside Campus in Winter Garden.
Fitz has dedicated his life to education...23 years total...12 years as a teacher, and 11 years as an administrator.
Fitz has worked at all types of schools, including middle school, high school, and post secondary technical college. He has worked at Title I schools and affluent schools--he understands the unique challenges and strengths of various communities and schools.
Fitz knows the District 7 Area, having worked at Apopka Memorial Middle School, Ocoee High School, Apopka High School, and the Westside Campus of Orange Technical College in Winter Garden.
Fitz cares about the safety of students, having served as Chairman of the Bully Prevention Committee at Apopka Memorial Middle School.
Fitz understands the unique challenges of Special Education students and parents--both personally and professionally. Fitz supervised the ESE department at Apopka HS when he served as an Assistant Principal there from 2010-2013.
Fitz understands the great effort that it takes to open a new school from his experience working at the new Ocoee HS when it first opened in 2005.
Fitz understands athletics and extracurricular activities from his years serving as the District Athletic Director. Fitz supervised all athletics and extracurricular activities at both the Middle School and High School levels. Fitz believes in strong extracurricular and co-curricular programs at schools.
Fitz understands the District Office. Fitz worked with every department from the 1st floor to the 9th floor...from Pupil Assignment, Human Resources, ICTS, Facility Use Management, Budget, Finance, Professional Development, Teaching and Learning, Safety, Procurement, Certification, Risk Management, Government and Planning, Labor Relations, Environmental Compliance, School Choice, ESOL, ESE, CTE, Minority Achievement, School Transformation, Parent Academy, Partners in Education, Public Relations, Legal, and the School Board. Fitz knows his way around the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center.
Fitz knows Career Technical Education. As a current Assistant Director at Orange Technical College, he has seen firsthand how career skills can transform a student's life.
Fitz understands the power of Speech and Debate to transform the lives of students and society. Fitz supervised The Debate programs for the District while he was over extracurricular activities for OCPS. Fitz saw up close how students in Debate learn valuable skills in research, critical thinking, thought organization, listening, and articulating one's ideas in a civil manner. These skills have a great impact on every future course a student takes, and ultimately open up new opportunities and change a student's life for the better.
Fitz understands graduation requirements and school course offerings from his time as the Assistant Principal of Instruction over the Apopka High School Student Services Department. Fitz has seen the terrible side effects that politics can have on schools in terms of testing and reduced course offerings in areas of high-interest for students.
Fitz understands the frustration that teachers currently feel toward the Marzano Teacher Evaluation system. Fitz has worked with teachers at several OCPS campuses, and he knows how to create a learning environment that is positive, encouraging, and inspiring. Fitz knows what it takes to attract, develop, respect and retain great teachers.
Fitz believes in Recess. Fitz finds it hard to believe that schools have kicked recess to the curb during the current test-centric era of education. Fitz believes in developing the whole child, and creating learning environments that are fun, that students look forward to being a part of on a daily basis.
Fitz believes that the best classroom management plan is a great lesson plan. Fitz will bring his passion for instructional leadership to the School Board.
Fitz believes strongly in the power of debate and discussion. Fitz believes that the great challenges that the field of education faces must be argued and wrestled through with the constant guide of what is best for students lighting the way. Fitz holds to the old saying by John Wooden, "Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who will argue with you." Fitz believes in healthy, civil, feisty debate among those who are passionate about the education of students.
Fitz isn't beholden to any group, organization, or union--they have not endorsed him, nor have they given him large sums of money. When it comes to making decisions, Fitz's decisions will be based on what is best for students, teachers, and schools, rather than businesses, builders, realtors, unions, etc.
Fitz thinks deeply and writes extensively about education. While a position on the School Board is listed as a part-time job, for Fitz, it is a full-time passion. Fitz does not see the School Board as a stepping stone to another political office.
Fitz doesn't believe in tricking people into voting for him. His views do not change according to the wind or audience. Fitz believes in giving as much information about himself as possible in order to help voters make informed decisions.
Fitz will be a strong voice for common sense in education - whether it involves shielding students from the destructive effects of excessive testing, or the confusion associated with ever-changing tests and graduation requirements, or the never ending search for bigger and better standards, or the simple opportunity for unstructured play and recess...in all of these things, Fitz will bring a voice of reason and experience to the School Board.
Fitz values friendship--even with those who disagree with him. Fitz doesn't hold grudges, is approachable, and is willing to listen and consider the ideas of others.
Fitz believes in honesty and integrity. Fitz believes in a gracious Judge that sees all and knows all, and so he strives to live by a higher standard even when no one is watching.
Fitz believes that building new schools is certainly nice, but the greater challenge is to develop the mental capacity of all students--to help all students discover, develop and move in the direction of their dreams. Fitz believes in building a learning environment that encourages creativity, curiosity, innovation, hard work, determination, positive attitude, courage, responsibility, character, and civility. Constructing new buildings is great, but building successful students should be the primary purpose of our School District and those who guide the policies and practices of all stakeholders involved.
We need individuals on the School Board that understand the teaching and learning process, who have dedicated themselves to changing lives through education. Vote Fitzpatrick for the Orange County School Board on November 8th.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Matthew J. Fitzpatrick, Non-partisan, for Orange County School Board, District 7.