I am Shelia Arnett and I am running for School Board District 5.

I am married to former County Commissioner Earl Arnett. We have 3 children and 4 grandchildren and have lived and worked in Marion County for over 35 years.

I have been a hospice specific healthcare recruiter since 2000. Healthcare clients hire my firm from around the Country to help fill key management positions. We do market research in their area, identify their competition, and, at times, contract with these healthcare agencies to identify weaknesses in their organizations.

Earl and I have owned several businesses in Marion County. We owned a BMX bicycle shop and a baseball card store. I was the office manage for Earl’s private investigation firm for over 14 years. We owned a window tinting and sign business and I published a magazine in the Villages for 2 years.

I am currently on the board of the Marion County Homeless Council and a participant in the Public Policy Institute’s Homeless Study. I am a former board member of the Marion County Literacy Council. Earl and I are long time members of Central Christian Church in Ocala.

After spending many years with Earl working on city and county issues, I’ve come to realize my passion is serving my community. I feel I have just the right fit to help, and compliment, the current school board. After working many years in business, I see the need to unify the board in a direction that is more productive and civil to one another. As I tell the healthcare clients that hire my firm as a consultant, unity and stability are important in their companies, this is doubly true for our School Board. A corporation, and the School Board, must be moving forward in the same direction to succeed. Our children are our most precious asset and their education is of paramount importance.

As a mom and grandma, I also realize that we need stronger discipline policies in our schools. In light of the recent school shootings around the Country, we are hearing way too much how the shooter was a discipline problem, or bullied by other kids. I believe teachers should come to school and be able to teach kids who are there ready to learn. We hear so many horror stories about school threats, almost daily. I would like to see stricter changes made to school safety and bullying offenses and tighter, more effective, school discipline policies overall.

I know that many of you have already paid to raise and educate your children and now we ask you, with your tax dollars, to raise and educate our current children. I promise to be a watch dog over our tax dollars and make sure that the School Board budget, which is over $500 million, stays under tight scrutiny and make sure that every dollar is spent wisely and out of necessity.

I am Shelia Arnett and I look forward to serving on your School Board. You can follow my campaign on Facebook (Shelia Arnett for School Board, District 5), on my website www.VoteArnett, or call me at 352.209.1037 with questions or concerns.