She will face District 2 incumbent Caroline Zucker
Teresa Mast of Sarasota, a small business owner and mother of two, filed paperwork on April 4, declaring her candidacy for the District 2 seat on the Sarasota County School Board.
The nonpartisan countywide election will take place on Aug. 30.
Caroline Zucker, the incumbent, has held the District 2 seat since 2006, and she previously served on the School Board from 1992 to 2000. According to financial data provided on the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections website, Zucker has raised a total of $22,240 for her campaign, with her first report dated Aug. 10, 2015.
A previous candidate for the District 2 seat, A.J. Stickley of Sarasota, withdrew from the race earlier this year.
“We live in a community that prides itself on a high quality of life and abundant educational resources,” Mast said in a news release. “However, despite our District’s ‘A’ rating [from the state],” she continued, “the student achievement gap and declining graduation rate leave much to be desired.” Mast added, “I believe that every student, regardless of his or her economic background, deserves access to a quality education.” Further, she said, “We must be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Students should be graduating in four years, and if they’re not, we need to delve deeper and find out why.”
Mast added in the release that she intends to bring a fresh set of eyes to the School Board to ensure “pragmatic and responsible management of the budget while improving the overall academic success of Sarasota County students.”
“I’ve spent the last 10 years collaborating with our community and providing assistance to neighborhoods and businesses,” continued Mast, a former Sarasota County Neighborhood Services Community Outreach leader. “I know how to listen and provide thoughtful and sustainable solutions to complicated problems.”
Mast is a native of Hastings, MI, who moved to Sarasota with her family in 1979, the release notes. She graduated from Sarasota Christian School before earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in business management from Eckerd College. After Mast served in the county’s Neighborhood Services Department, the release says, she handled business relations in the county’s Office of Business and Economic Development. She was a county employee for slightly more than 10 years.
Her LinkedIn profile says she is an owner of The Davin Group Inc. in Sarasota, a construction and consulting company that provides designs for residential and commercial sites.
Mast has been married for 31 years to Jon Mast — also a former Sarasota County employee. He is a Sarasota High School and University of South Florida graduate, the release notes. Jon Mast is CEO of the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association.
The couple has two daughters, ages 24 and 29, both graduates of the Sarasota County School District, the release says. This is the first time Teresa Mast has sought elected office.