With Kraft Out, New Candidate Jumps In


Why anybody would want to be a School Board member is beyond me. 

Yet it  didn’t take much time for someone to jump into the race for Stephanie Kraft’s school board seat.

Kraft announced she wasn’t running in 2010 this morning.  Rochelle “Shelly” Solomon Heller, a parent activist and former tennis champ, announced she was running at 3 p.m.

Heller, a lawyer, was preparing a campaign for months since it was common knowledge in School Board circles that Kraft wasn’t going to run for re-election.

Kraft had made the decision long before the news that her husband had worked for lobbyist Neil Sterling surfaced.  She told me a year ago off the record — that she wasn’t running because she wanted to move closer to her daughter, who now lives in New York City.

Of course, I have no way of knowing whether she already realized the FBI was circling her.

Here is Heller’s news release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    JANUARY 12, 2010





Rochelle Solomon Heller (“Shelly Solomon Heller) today announces that she is filing to run for the District 4 School Board seat representing the northwestern portion of Broward County.


Shelly was raised in Broward County and attended Bayview Elementary and Sunrise Middle Schools.  Shelly lives in Coral Springs and her four children are students in District 4 schools.  Shelly has been an active volunteer in the Broward County schools, having served on School Advisory Forum (SAF) and School Advisory Council (SAC) at several schools, including being the SAF Chair at Park Trails Elementary and SAF Safety Chair at Westglades Middle.  Shelly was also one of the original members of the Parkland Education Advisory Board.  Starting as a grass roots volunteer, Shelly has been involved at the local, district and county level and has served as a member of the District Advisory Council (DAC) and as a community representative to the Qualification Selection Evaluation Committee (QSEC).  She was also a core part of the Broward PTA Midnight Bus Ride to Tallahassee (“Rally to Tally) to advocate for adequate school funding.


Shelly is best known for her involvement in the District’s Anti-Bullying effort.  She started the grass-roots movement to implement an anti-bullying policy, and through her efforts, brought forth a motion for district wide and School Board approval of creating an anti-bullying policy.  She then served as Co-Chair of the district’s Anti-Bullying Task Force which authored the Broward County Anti-Bullying Policy, a model for the state.  In recognition of her work in this area, Shelly was awarded the North Area Advisory Crystal Apple Award.


 Shelly is a former professional tennis player who became one of the top 60 tennis players in the world.  She attended UCLA and played on the first team to win the AIAW (now the NCAA) National Tennis Title, and received the All American/Athlete award for two years.  Shelly graduated from UCLA Magna Cum Laude in 1987 with a BA in Political Science, and then graduated from Nova Law School Magna Cum Laude in 1991.  Shelly has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1992.



Shelly is committed to opening up communication in the system from the top down, securing adequate funding for public schools, giving teachers the opportunity to teach creatively, and continuing her work on school safety including monitoring and implementing her work on the Anti-Bullying Policy implementation.

9 Responses to “With Kraft Out, New Candidate Jumps In”

  1. You Said It says:

    Kraft is jumping ship one step ahead of the indictment. Maybe she annnounced this as part of a deal with the FBI.

  2. Chaz Stevens says:

    Just what the world needs. Another Nova law graduate.

  3. The Truth says:

    Kraft was a disappointment because she was elected as a reformer and immediately fell in with the lobbyist crowd like Neil Sterling.
    I can’t imagine that this woman will be any worse. The record isn’t good.

  4. No way says:

    No way. Kraft is going to have tons of legal trouble. She is getting out to hoepfully avoid indictment. This is SK’s hand picked successor. Her and SK have been planning this for a year. There has got to be some other decent canditates that will step forward.

  5. nottinamazesme says:

    “Shelly is committed to opening up communication in the system from the top down, securing adequate funding for public schools, giving teachers the opportunity to teach creatively, and continuing her work on school safety including monitoring and implementing her work on the Anti-Bullying Policy implementation.”
    Are you kidding me?
    What are her motives? What’s her political platform? How do we know she’s for real? What has she done other than play sports? Why the need to beat the clock? Where’s her resume? What does she know about schools in general? What does she know about teaching and learning? Who’s backing her up?
    Listen, they all go up there swearing they’ll deliver the sun, the moon, and the stars.
    Then, they develop amnesia…

  6. Two Down, More to Go says:

    That’s two down. A bunch more and that place might have some hope. I have said it before and I will say it again.

    The Broward School District needs an enima. They need to purge in very large measure and bring in fresh new blood to mix with other fresh new blood and create a new culture of performance, benevolent administration and accountability.

    Nothing short of a nearly total purge will do.

    This is a start but we have a very, very long way to go.

  7. Floridan says:

    Instead of complaining about who is running for office, why not run yourself?

  8. If So Then NO says:

    If Shelley Solomon Heller is indeed Stephanie Kraft’s hand picked successor, she will not get my vote simply for that reason.

    There is very little about how Kraft operated in office that appeals to me or to most voters. Kraft was a complete disappointment and turned out to be the exact opposite of what she said she would be when she first ran. I am one of many that voted for her and I feel cheated.

    Not again.

  9. nottinamazesme says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you. However, there are three small, yet very important issues that hold wholesome, intelligent, honest people, with integrity, know-how, scruples, virtues, and morals from running for office. First, you can’t run for office on just what I’ve mentioned. People don’t want that. In our society you need money, and lots of it because it talks, and that money gives you “importance” and popularity….something that can’t hurt on the hit parade. (Take a close look at who Broward residents vote for!) Secondly, you need to finely and for very elongated periods of times, enjoy osculating the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles from many walks of life, and without reservation. Lastly, you have to take into account that at some point, you may be faced with selling your soul to the devil. Due to these three minor obstacles, many well-qualified and people with good intentions don’t even bother to throw their names out there. They just don’t want to live with a dirty conscience because politics can be dirty business. If it wasn’t for that, many would’ve put their names out years ago, as they may have something to offer in order to make some organization and society function a bit better, but pride self-worth get in the way.