Broward School Board Member To Resign





Broward School Board member Katie Leach will quit at the end of the year to move to California where her husband has taken a job.

“It absolutely breaks my heart to do this, but family has to be a priority,” Leach told exclusively.

Leach, who plans to tell the School Board later Wednesday of her resignation, will serve through the end of the year.


Katie Leach

Katie Leach



Gov. Rick Scott, who Leach talked to earlier this week, will fill her District 3 seat.

“I gave him a heads up. I’m giving him the opportunity to take some time and pick somebody,” she said.

The appointee will then have to run in next year’s election, which is sure to draw several candidates.

Although School Board races are nominally non-partisan, the party registration of the candidates is widely circulated among voters by activists and in palm cards passed at the polls.

Democrats appear to have an advantage in Leach’s Fort Lauderdale-based District 3, with roughly 69,000 Democrats, 49,000 Republicans and 38,000 independents. But the Rs have traditionally better turnout and the independents often vote for Republicans.

Leach, 41, was appointed by Scott in August, 2011 to fill the seat given up by Jennifer Gottlieb, who resigned. She won election easily in 2012.

A former Broward Republican Party executive committee member, Leach has two children in Broward public schools.

Leach and her husband Jason sold her east Fort Lauderdale house in the Bay Colony section in July for $2.259 million.

Before her appointment, she worked as an educational consultant for students with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, most recently with Nova Southeastern University.  She has a master’s degree in education.

One name already being floated as a possible appointment to fill the seat is Heather Brinkworth, a member of the city’s Education Advisory Committee.  Another is Wanda Ross, wife of former Chief Judge Dale Ross and an educator.  A third name I’ve heard is Lauren Book, the abused child advocate and daughter of lobbyist Ron Book.

Other names are sure to surface shortly.

Leach plans to send her resignation to Scott before the end of the week.


25 Responses to “Broward School Board Member To Resign”

  1. Lori Parrish says:

    Good luck to Katie and her family. Thanks for doing a great job! We will miss all of you.

  2. David Gobeo says:

    Glad to see her sticking it out

  3. Pembroke Pines Commissioner Jay Schwartz says:


    I have enjoyed the time we have spent together working on the important issues of public education.

    Wishing you and your family well.

    Thank you for your public service.

  4. Tomato Tomatoe says:

    She’s moving to The Most Progressive Democratic State of California. She’ll enjoy living there. One of the few states, that has embraced the Affordable Care Act and has implemented the program with very little problems, thanks to the Democratic Gov. Brown.

  5. Mr. Feltcher says:

    Who cares!?! She was a useless school board member. Name one good thing she did? This is great news for the children of Broward County and bad news for her fat wanna be political consultant.


    Mr. Felcher

  6. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Time for a dude on the SB

  7. Lisa Duke says:

    Katie is an outstanding leader, mom and friend. She will be missed very much.

  8. Correction says:

    Fat Consultant? Judy Stern didn’t run Leach’s campaign.

  9. Ms k says:

    Why tell the newspaper before you tell the board?

  10. Betsy Ann says:

    With her gone who will be selling common core to the republicans of Broward county? She was common cores only hope in Broward

  11. Iris says:

    The Board has no power anyway. They are led around by the nose by the administration and Runcie, who they treat like God. To replace Leach I hope the governor picks someone with balls enough to read the riot act to the staff and God Runcie.

  12. Tits McGee says:

    Abby, Osgood and Nora must be furiously passing notes.

  13. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Katie has always been willing to listen to opposing views and is an honest, ethical board member.

    I was hoping the family wouldn’t have to move to CA, and I’m sorry she’s leaving.

    Gov. Scott should consider someone who has no conflicts of interest, is an activist and can hit the ground running on ed issues.

    The board sets policies. The Sup’t. administers the policies, and is judged by how well that happens.

    The board is judged by how they stay away from the lobbyists, follow the multiple Grand Juries’ directions and observations, and how well the policies work. Or don’t.

  14. John Henry says:

    Outside that …charity they’re running Lauren Book has zero experience with our public school system. She’d be nothing more than an empty vassal for her father.

    I guess the charity is starting to pay off in the form of political patronage.

  15. Alanna Mersinger says:

    Katie will be missed. As someone who is on the other side of the aisle from Katie, i always found her willing to listen and have meaning full discussion.

  16. Alice in Wonderland says:

    Who said Lieberman?

  17. Notocorruption says:

    One down and eight to go.

  18. Maxine Robbins says:

    I was surprised to lee an that Ms. Book is identified as abused and I’m not sure where that even fits into this story. But good for her and all the other potential candidates, especially those who have had to overcome obstacles such as being educated in the public school system.

  19. Paulgiordano's pinocchio nose says:

    Get facts straight nora didnt write notes – get over this and actually do or say something useful for once.
    Flatchested Phil

  20. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Katie will be missed, not only on the Board, but in her community. She had a tough decision, and the Family won out. It was never about ego, or she would have said NO to California..

    Good Luck,

    your friend,


  21. EastSideSusie says:

    Convenient that she is leaving just as all Hell is about to break loose at one of her main schools.
    And the cover up (if not covered up itself) will bring some big names into the nasty situation.
    Watch for Breaking News of Sex Crmes and Felonies in the “inner circle, old boys club”….
    Think Katie will act like she was in the dark?

  22. Garl says:

    It is unfortunate that when Lauren Book’s name appears in this column it often draws a negative, or even disbelieving, comment about what was done to her as a child, or what she herself has done as an adult. According to printed reports, her abuser was ultimately sentenced to 25 years in prison, after reaching a plea bargain. The abuser has acknowledged the abuse. As for the remark by John Henry, it should be mentioned that Lauren Book has taught school, continues to work in classrooms on a regular basis and, in fact, has developed a curriculum, now in every kindergarten classroom in Florida, which helps children recognize and report dangers around them. It seems to me that for a woman who has not yet reached the age of 30 she has established an extraordinary record of accomplishment and community service. Time to knock off using her as a pinata every few months; it makes her detractors shrink by comparison.


    I agree. Lauren Book, who I never met, is a young woman who is trying to make an impact in society by doing something good. What’s wrong with that?

  23. Ron Gunzburger says:

    Sad to see Katie go, but I understand the circumstances. She is both a friend and the best school board member my district has had in modern memory.

  24. Plain Language says:

    Lauren Book is a nobody who might become somebody and if so it should happen naturally. Her father is trying to force it and honestly the task is making him work very, very hard. Everybody notices. We all understand that she had a knock and he feels very guilty about it. We get that. But it’s getting annoying now. That young lady has no business making decisions that affect others before she’s lived her own life, had her own family, made her own tough choices. It’s time they deal with their pain personally and individually. Possibly even professionally. But we, the rest of us in society, sure as hell do not deserve to become the victims of their misfortunes or dysfunctions. Time for her to get a job at the bottom like everybody else and work her way up to her potential. The best thing Ron Book can do for his daughter is get the hell out of her way and let her find her own path. Just stand beside her and offer support when she asks. Let the girl grow up.

  25. Garl says:

    From the first words, “Lauren Book is a nobody,” to the last, “let the girl grow up,” PLAIN LANGUAGE betrays his/her near total lack of knowledge regarding the path this woman and this family have traveled, to say nothing of a complete lack of understanding of what Lauren has accomplished in the six years since she established the Lauren’s Kids foundation. I will leave unmentioned the countless service and other civic awards she has earned, knowing as I do that PL will only respond that they were a “gift” and nothing more. But I will mention her annual walks across Florida, to shine light on the insidious disease of child sexual abuse which plagues this nation; the hotline overseen by the foundation, to provide aid, comfort, knowledge and direction to those who find themselves in one of the darkest places a human being can be; the public school curriculum she has developed for kindergarten children, and is now expanding to cover older children as well; the book she has written, to serve, among other things, as a clarion call for parents to be ever vigilant about those with whom their children come in contact; the in-classroom teaching which she continues to do, as a public service; and on and on and on. It is disgusting to refer to this 29 year old woman, or any 29 year old for that matter, as a nobody. It is equally disgusting to suggest, because she is not married with children, that she has made no “tough decisions” and that, therefore, she has no right to walk the path she has chosen. How in the world would you describe HER decision to spend years dealing with her own pain, before beginning her work to help heal the pain of others, to say nothing of HER decision, and the courage it took, to go public with the horror that had been done to her? Not tough? Are you kidding? She HAS found her own path, and she IS her own woman. The “girl” grew up a long, long time ago, beginning with the night the abuse began. Shame on you.