Letter: A Husband’s Perspective
Fruit Cove, FL
You can judge what a person will build in the future by looking at what they have built in the past and what they are building in the present.
For Beverly Slough, one does not have to look far to find that she is more than talk – that she has actually built something with her life.
People are thronging to St. Johns County because the schools are superior. The schools are superior because of visionary leadership. That visionary leader is Bev Slough. She has done just about as much as anyone in county history to help the county image and to prosper and cause people to want to live here.
Good schools do not just happen. In the 1990’s when our girls were in school, it came to Bev’s attention that our schools were mediocre – around 35th in the state. Her response was, “we can be better than this.” She set out on her crusade to make it happen. She could not find a “bottom-up” solution, so she ran for the school board in 2002. She won with 80% of the vote. One of the first things the new board did was hire Dr. Joe Joyner, our current Superintendent. It was Bev who read 74 applications and resumes for the position. She pulled out the 46th and declared “this is our new superintendent.” It would take a period of six years… to first crack the top 20, then the top 10, then 3rd, and then in 2008-09, St. Johns reached the pinnacle – #1. Still, there was more; #1 in 2009-10, #1 in 2010-11, #1 in 2011-12. Four straight state championships and the score keeps getting more lopsided each year. This is visionary leadership that helped our county become one of the most attractive, desirable regions in Florida. This is what Bev has built.
I could add she has been president of the United Way of St. Johns County the last two years. Past president of Florida School Board Association (2008). Past president of EPIC (drug and alcohol prevention) – and always the organization is better on the other side of her leadership than it was when she arrived. I would be remiss if I did not mention that she built a family along the way – a marriage of 37 years, the raising of two daughters who both have Masters degrees and careers; blessed with two grandchildren; and supporting her husband and a church congregation of several hundred, feeding the needy, and touching lives with compassion…
Bev is not a person who showed up in St. Johns 30 minutes ago and said “I’m here to bless you by being your representative.” She showed up 33 years ago, rolled up her sleeves, and has built something with her life right here in the soil of St. Johns County. It took blood, sweat, tears, and laughter – humility and a servant’s heart. She has deliberately taken the high road in this campaign (she has always been a high road person) by refusing to attack back when attacked unfairly and untruthfully. Her attitude is – “here is my record of service; here is who I am; and here is what I have built! If this is enough, then send me to Washington and I will keep building for Northeast Florida, District 6, and for the United States of America.”
Yes, you can know what a person will build in the future by looking at what they have built in the past. As her husband for the last 37 years, I know what you will get from Bev… I know what she will build… you can vote for anyone and get a Congressman… but if you want a Representative, then you will vote Beverly Slough on August 14 and you will never be sorry. And after all, this is the House of Representatives.