Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday announced the appointment of Lee Hansen of Pensacola to the vacant District 3 seat on the Escambia County School Board.
Hansen is the first white person to represent District 3 on the school board in more than three decades. Escambia’s county commission and school board were all-white until a 1977 lawsuit ended the county’s practice of using only at-large districts, which effectively diluted the black vote. Elmer Jenkins, one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit, won the District 3 seat in 1986, and the district has been represented by a person of color ever since — until Hansen’s appointment on Friday.
The seat had been vacant since former School Board member Linda Moultrie resigned in August. Florida law gives the governor the power to fill such vacancies. Hansen will serve the remainder of Moultrie’s term, which runs through Nov. 20, 2018.
A 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Hansen is the founder of the Global Corner International Learning Center. During her service in the Navy, Hansen served as the commanding officer of Training Squadron Four and was the first woman to command an air wing in the Navy. Hansen holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Florida State University and a master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Moultrie — who stepped down to avoid losing retirement benefits under so-called “double dipping” rules — has pre-filed to run for her old seat again next year.