Brushed Off By School Board, Parent Set To Win Seat


When Nora Rupert got dissed by retiring Bob Parks and other School Board members at a meeting, she decided to get even.

And boy, has she gotten even!

Her challenge to the veteran Parks chased him out of the race.  She is now set to win a seat on the School Board, the very body that refused to listen to her when she complained about the boundaries for school attendence.

Here is my take on the race and the two candidates on the November ballot in north Broward’s District 7:

(1)  Nora Rupert, the 46-year-old Coconut Creek activist who became a teacher late in life after adopting three children, one from Kids In Distress. 

(2) Travis Williamson, 29, who was an assistant student advisor to the School Board as a student at Ely High and now has a four and a two-year old headed for public school. He was born and lives in Pompano Beach.

Williamson’s camp is spreading the word that Rupert’s support is confined to the west edge of the district Coconut Creek and Margate.


Rupert handily edged out Williamson in the primary 33 to 25 percent, or more than 1,300 votes.  She won precincts in almost every part of the district, from Deerfield Beach to Margate.  Williamson was ahead only in a portion of Pompano Beach.

I’m not big on endorsements by politicians. In this race, the endorsements prove my point: Rupert has support in every corner of the district while her opponent’s endorsements are confined to east Broward.  

Williamson also has Parks’ endorsement.  I guess that means that Parks believes Williamson will continue his policies.  That’s just what we need!  

Challenging Parks

Rupert was the only candidate who had the guts to challenge Parks, a 24-year veteran of the school system with a Rolodex full of lobbyists who were backing his re-election.

She is also the only candidate who has been a teacher in the classroom.  She was in her fourth year of teaching reading at Piper High when she took a leave of absence to campaign.

She decided to run after Parks arrogantly brushed her off at a School Board meeting.

Classic Parks. Tone deaf to the public.

Nothing frustrates the public more than the imperious attitude of the School Board and the school administration. I got steady flow of complaints about the school system’s condesending treatment of parents when I was a Sun-Sentinel columnist.

Here is what I wrote in the October 6, 2001 Sun-Sentinel:

“Bob Parks has many titles — the longest-serving member of the Broward School Board, a doctor of education and a college professor.

Some in Margate say that after this week, he has one more title: a good argument for term limits.

Parks, who was first elected in 1986, lashed out at Margate residents and the city commission at the school board’s weekly meeting. He bragged that he didn’t care what people in Margate thought of him since he gets elected anyway.

The clash has been brewing for years. Many in Margate think the city has been snubbed by the school board since the 1970s. While Weston and Parkland and Coral Springs got new schools, Margate was slighted.

Rupert wasn’t at this 2001 meeting. She got similar treatment years later from the veteran School Board member and decided to do something about it.

She went out and collected over 1,300 signatures on a petition to get on the ballot.  It was an amazing feat for a political novice and was accomplished without paying collectors. 

The success of the petition drive was also another sign of the frustration with Parks and the way the School Board has been doing business.  

Rupert should be a hero to anyone ever treated with distain by the School Board and administration.  Her campaign slogan could be that line from the film “Network”: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Voters have a chose.  They can vote for someone supported by the current School Board — Williamson.  Or they can vote for someone who stood up to the School Board and represents a new path — Rupert.

If I lived in District 7, I would be voting for Rupert.

17 Responses to “Brushed Off By School Board, Parent Set To Win Seat”

  1. Parent says:

    Bob Parks got the field at Coconut Creek High named after him and scumbag Kraft voted for it. Two peas in a pod.

  2. Lpeerman33063 says:

    Good article Buddy.
    Nora is a fighter and will fight for all the schools in her district,including Margate. She has been in the Margate area this whole election. As a Margate resident I can tell you Dist 7 and Dist 4 races are important to Margate.
    Hope you do an article on Dist 4 race. Interesting stuff about the candidates there.

  3. voter says:

    Watched an interview on channel 10 with both candidates. Did williamson actually say all teachers should recieve the same salary regardless of years of service? I volunteer in my childrens

  4. voter says:

    oops hit wrong button. As i was saying I volunteer in my childrens classrooms. I have so much respect for teachers. They certainly deserve raises throughout their careers.I will be voting for Nora Rupert.

  5. Hammerhead says:

    Buddy, good story. It kind of makes me think that Parks was partly chased out of the race, but with the Rolodex you described, I don’t think he was frightened by the ghost of Nora Rupert. I think he saw another kind of ghost…the ghost of prison cells future. It sure is good to see him gone. The community and children are better for that happening.

    Either way, it makes you say hmmmmmmm

  6. Joan King says:

    Great article, Nora is awesome! You can see the same in Dist.#4 where Dave Thomas is backed by Stephanie Kraft, seems like they all want to pick their replacements and keep control! We need Jaemi Levine in Dist.#4. The BTU endorsement that never should have happened, being that he wasn’t a BTU member for 16 yrs, now lies about joining in June! We, stewards, have proof in black & white! Pres. Pat says member since Aug., also not true! Love to see pay stubs to prove if he really is a member!? Something smells fishy at BTU & Dave’s campaign too!?

  7. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I would vote for King Kong just to get Parks out of his seat…just call him glue butt, he was stuck to his seat sleeping most of the time.

  8. NoseBleedSeats says:

    I’d vote for Kraft again before I cast a vote for Jaemi Levine. Levine is as unworthy of an elected office as her MAP BFF and board member Patti Grad, the disgraced Tamarac Commissioner. At least Kraft has a brain, Levine not so much…

  9. Lpeerman33063 says:

    Wow nosebleed tell us how you really feel. Don’t sugarcoat it. Is that the name you were born with? Don’t you just love all the fake names that have come out in this election?
    Guilt by association hmmm where have I heard that before.

  10. School Board Needs Change says:

    Nora Rupert knows what it is like to teach students and has been a school activist for years. Her opponent got a sudden interest in theSchool Board when Bob Parks told him to run.
    In District 4, Jaemi Levine is crazy as a bed bug. She has no platform except vague statements. This is a person with no qualifications to be a School Board member, except she is a lunatic. Her entire platform is to stop children from being molested by Internet preditors. Read what she says!!! She would be another Phyliss Hope, hopelessly over her head.

  11. Floridan says:

    1) The treatment Rupert received from the SC may have been the deciding factor, but she had expressed a desire to run for the School Board prior to that.

    2) I believe the boundary issue regarded involved whether kids from Rupert’s neighborhood would attend the nearest middle school (Margate) or be sent to one farther away (Lyons Creek).

    3) I’m not sure how that Rupert’s win in the primary is indicative of a win in the general election. Without looking it up, I think all four candidates got no fewer than 20 percent of the vote – obviously the electorate is not of one mind.

    4) @10:34, Parks did not ask Williamson to run; he (Parks) supported Lansing in the primary election.

    This post continues a trend that is part of the problem. Instead of concentrating on the policies and solutions a candidate advocates, too much time is spent on the personal. Who cares if Rupert thinks she was not treated poorly – that is not a qualification for office.

    Whoever wins, we will have to live with hom or her for a number of years. It would be nice if we weren’t encouraged to base our vote on superficialities.

  12. Lpeerman33063 says:

    I do not know what platform you are listening to. I have heard both Jaemi’s and Dave’s. They are both the same. What are the qualifications to be a School Board member? I am pretty sure none of the past or present members had the qualifications you seem to expect. From your psychological evaluation I am assuming you are a Dr. or play one on TV.
    Nosebleedseats, one last thing. I have not seen Grad at any function nor have I seen any written endorsement by her for Jaemi or Dave. Kraft/Grad they seem to cancel each other out don’t you think. Maybe not since Grad has not had any involvement in who replaces her.

  13. Still Backwards says:

    Parent advocate? A former teacher? Give me a break. I don’t care what anybody says. We’ve still got the school board structure backwards.

    Broward need an elected superintendent and an appointed school board not the other way around. Until that happens we will continue to have mediocrity in education in this town.

    School Board Members should be selected by parents from among the PTA presidents to represent a district. They should offer the superintendent parent generated advice on education and the system. They can be the audit committee and offer check and balance. However, when it comes to taxpayer accountability for running a multi-billion operations, that needs to be placed on the shoulders of one CEO by the voters themselves. Not some silly, thrown together committee of “advocates” or such nonsense. What are you people thinking about?

    I want to elect a superintendent on the basis of her ability to graduate high schoolers, keep taxes low, provide art and music classes, not waste money. I can’t hold any one member of a committee accountable for what I want to see done. This system cheats me of the accountability we should all want and that our children need. The reason is that resents won’t demand the changes that we need to become a better, stronger community.

    Get your heads out of your butts and move this community forward.

    The problems in Broward will never get fixed until we bring in elected CEO’s and stop all this management by committee bullshit. Only through accountability will we get the results and change that we require. Even then, there will be problems. But these will be much easier to manage than the ones we have now. Grow up Broward, evolve toward better.

  14. Floridan says:

    @Still Backwards

    If you like an elected Sheriff, you’ll love an elected Superintendent.

    PTA presidents? Too often they are little Napoleons.

    The school system does not belong just to parents and students; the entire community has a stake in its success . . . and needs a say in its operation.

    The problem is that not enough voters care all that much; just look at how many turn out on election day.

  15. @9:46 says:

    What you’re saying has merit but does not get us closer to a better system. We can continue to fiddle around with these issues or get serious and fix them. Broward has outgrown management by committee. It needs CEO’s that offer single point of accountability. The Sheriff is an example of a CEO that is not fully accountable. His budget comes from the county and that is why spending at BSO is an issue. If he set his own millage rate you’d see a big difference over there. Voters don’t care because the leaders won’t lead. Why should they follow?

  16. Thunder says:

    I don’t know either candidate and don’t live in that district. The following just seemed a little irresponsible and biased:

    “Williamson also has Parks’ endorsement. I guess that means that Parks believes Williamson will continue his policies. That’s just what we need!”

  17. help me get over my ex says:

    I can say that your headline “ brushed off by school board, parent set to win seat : browardbeat…” is one of the finest, the only thing is the beginning of your content isn’t loading.