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New school board rep ready to get to work

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

Mary Fischer, who won the remaining seat for the Lee County School Board Tuesday, promises “positive motion” on a panel that will see three new members seated.
“What I would like to do is build a collaboration with the other board members and work together to set some priorities including the search for the new superintendent and work and move the district forward and in an upward and positive motion,” Fischer said after her victory Tuesday night.
Fischer claimed 53.99 percent of the votes — 72,486 — while Arnold Gibbs received 46.01 percent, or 61,783 votes, in the District 1 runoff.
Fischer celebrated with about 65 friends and family at her Cape Coral home Tuesday night. She said she is very excited and very thankful for the votes of confidence.
She thanked her “amazing family and friends who worked so hard on this campaign and to the kids who inspired me to run.”
“This is what it is all about,” Fisher said. “Without the kids we could just lock the doors and go home.”
Once Fisher, a school counselor, is seated on the board, she said she will hit the ground running and will work hard to improve the educational experience students receive academically, socially and personally.
Gibbs, a former police chief, said he wishes Fischer and all of the board members well because he wants the best for the children.
“I’m surprised, but I think my opponent ran a good race,” Gibbs said. “I respect her and admire her for the person she is.”
He believes the seat Fischer will occupy will require a lot of strength and she will wind up being the swing vote.
“I hope she can answer to the voice of reason,” he said.
Gibbs also said that the board is going to need some serious coming together because it needs to become more stabilized for the children.
“I was talked into running because I was concerned about what I was seeing on the news,” Gibbs said. “I really wanted to make a difference. I hope things work out for our kids.”
District 4, which is the northern portion of Cape Coral and North Fort Myers, was won by Don Armstrong in the primary election. He defeated school board chairman Steven Teuber.
Tom Scott won the District 5 seat, which encompasses Lehigh Acres and East Fort Myers, in the primary. He defeated incumbent Elinor Scricca.
Long-time school superintendent James Browder resigned after the primary, leaving the new board the task of appointing a permanent replacement.