DELAND, Fla. -- Jamie Hill Haynes Haynes is a long-time resident of DeBary and a Volusia County Schools educator with 31 years of experience providing instruction and service to the students, teachers, staff, and parents. She's also a single mom of two grown children and "Nana" to an adorable grandson.
Haynes, 52, is running in today's elections for the District 1 seat on the Volusia County School Board that encompasses DeLand, Orange City, Lake Helen, most of DeBary, and Northwest Volusia.
Opposing her is Al Bouie, whose teaching career in Volusia County schools was started in the late 1960s, before he worked his way up the ladder to an assistant principal, then as a principal and finally as a district administrator before he retired in 2008
One of them will replace the incumbent, John Hill, who was elected to the seat four years ago. While Jamie Haynes and Bouie appear to be pretty even in terms of overall experience to transition to the role of school board policy maker.
So why Haynes and not Bouie? It really just comes down to personal choices. Because Bouie has been retired now a decade, and with advancing age, Haynes, just seems to be the more practical fit moving forward. Bouie may have a slight edge in name recognition in his role as principal, but this election is not about entitlement, privilege or other perceived favoritism.
So why Jamie Haynes and not Al Bouie? It really just comes down to personal choices.
Because Bouie has been retired now a decade, and with advancing age, Haynes, just seems to be the more practical fit moving forward.
Bouie may have a slight edge in name recognition in his role as principal, but this election is not about entitlement, privilege or other perceived favoritism.
The former DeLand High School principal is very popular in West Volusia's African-American community, seen as a role model. Bouie's also dealt with adversity in his personal life.
His 12-year-old daughter, Alicyn Leigh Bouie, then a DeLand Middle School student, was killed in a November 1994 car crash.
Likewise, life has not been easy for Jamie Haynes, a single mom of two grown children, who was raped by a prowler several years back.
And while Bouie had a brush with the law, he and his then-girlfriend 10 years ago were both charged by DeLand police with battering each other with long knives during an argument, though neither was physically arrested by responding DeLand cops.
Bouie suffered moderate to serious” injuries and his then-girlfriend, "minor to moderate injuries,]" according to a police incident report. The case never went forward.
Bouie has denied being the aggressor or acting out in a violent manner in the years since that isolated incident and to her credit, Haynes has said it's not an issue that should disqualify Bouie from serving on the school board.
But like anything else in politics, Bouie's past would return to the present, when the 2007 charging affidavit, available online in archived circuit court files found its way to local media outlets, namely the Daytona Beach News-Journal and Headline Surfer. The much larger circulation daily print newspaper opted to do a story on it, quoting Bouie as saying the criminal allegation would "absolutely" hurt his campaign for the elected office,
“It’s unfortunate,” Bouie told the News-Journal. “But I think my record, in terms of my educational experience and my platform as to what I’m standing for, and my work reputation in the community of Volusia County speaks for itself.”
Headline Surfer graphic / Copies of a decade-old charging affidavit alleging a physical confrontation between Al Bouie and his then-girlfriend began circulating in the waning weeks of Bouie's campaign for a seat on the Volusia County School Board in the Nov. 6 elections.
Headline Surfer opted not to write anything about it last month but has decided to include it here in this endorsement story - not because it has any merit, but to acknowledge it was part of the general campaign though neither candidate ever publicly pointed an accusing finger at the other in stirring anything up.
While the News-Journal does not issue endorsements in elections, Headline Surfer has throughout its 10-year history.
Again, Haynes gets the endorsement because the passage of time has separated Bouie from policy decisions in educating children in a far more demanding world.