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From top 50 in supermarket news to running our schools or we wonder why Florida is such a mess

Florida’s education problem number one, businessmen run our schools

This is the resume of our newest chairman of the board of education, Gary Chartrand, please notice what is missing.

Gary R. Chartrand is the Executive Chairman of Acosta. Acosta is a leading full-service sales and marketing agency, providing outsourced sales, merchandising, marketing and promotional services to manufacturers in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. The Company employs over 18,000 associates and operates 64 offices in the U.S. and Canada. . He has been the pivotal force behind quadrupling the company's geographic coverage, transforming Acosta into a leading full-service sales and marketing company in the U.S. and Canada.

Gary received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Florida in May 2001, and has been an extraordinary leader in his industry and his community. From 2003 to 2009 Mr. Chartrand has been recognized as one of the 50 most powerful leaders in the grocery industry by Supermarket News.

Mr. Chartrand also has a passion for educating the children of Duval County. In April 2007, he led a community effort to bring Teach for America to Jacksonville beginning in 2008. Teach for America promises to have an extraordinary impact on the Jacksonville community and was the second city in Florida to be chosen for their expansion. Without Mr. Chartrand’s leadership, coordination with the Superintendent of schools, and his gift of a million dollars, this program would not be a reality for Jacksonville. In June of 2009 Gary and Nancy made a pledge gift of $1Million dollars to KIPP schools of Jacksonville. The first KIPP School in Florida opened in August of 2010.

Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation; St. Vincent’s Hospital and is Chairman of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, and a director on the board of the KIPP schools in Jacksonville, FL. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the I. M. Sulzbacher Homeless Center in Jacksonville. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of the Catholic Charities, Guardian of Dreams, Catholic schools and the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Gary is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He resides in Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife, Nancy. They have two children, Jeffrey and Meredith.

Pretty impressive right? If I need to package something and ship it to a grocery store he is at the top of my very short list but did you notice what was missing? How about the word teacher or educator? I didn’t see principal or worked for this or that school district anywhere either. Friends I guarantee you he wouldn’t take a teacher's advice about how to run his packaging business so why should we listen to him when it comes to solutions about education?

Look it is good he wants to be involved, we need more people to choose to do that but put him in charge is ridiculous.

Welcome to Florida

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