DeSantis’s Broward school board appointees vote for one of their own as chair

Gov. Ron DeSantis's appointee Torey Alston is the Broward County Public School's

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After Gov. Ron DeSantis’s appointees to the Broward County School Board, were sworn into office they voted on Tuesday for one of their own to serve as the chair of the board.

Ryan Reiter, Manual Serrano, and Kevin Tynan quickly voted for Torey Alston, to serve as the board’s chair. With Daniel P. Foganholi, another DeSantis appointee, they now make up the board’s majority.

The other members who were not appointed by DeSantis — Debra Hixon, Sarah Leonardi, and Nora Rupert — voted for Lori Alhadeff, who is now the vice chair.

WATCH: 4 people get sworn in as Broward County School Board members:

Last Friday, DeSantis used his executive power to suspend four sitting school board members following recommendations of a grand jury report that accuses some school board members of incompetence and neglect of duty over the Smart Bond program -- a multi-million dollar construction project financed by Broward voters.

“I’m going to keep this brief because we have a lot of work to do and a short time to do it,” Reiter said.

Three of the four newly appointed members will only serve until November when an election decides who takes up those seats.

“Safety for our children, education achievement with real metrics. I’m looking for real and effective change,” Serrano said.

“I hope that with my new friends and colleagues, not just being sworn in today, but those who serve, that we find a way to get out of that repeat pattern of embarrassment and failure and to move forward like my other colleagues say -- to make this the best and brightest school board that we can,” Tynan added.

Four people appointed to the Broward School Board by Gov. Ron DeSantis were sworn in Tuesday.

Alston, who just left the county commission where he was also appointed by the governor, will fill the spot of Patti Good, whose term would have ended in 2024.

“With this grand jury report now available, my goal is to ensure holding all of our staff accountable, to present clear and actionable resolutions to all issues outlined in the report soon and very soon,” Alston said.

Meanwhile, a man running for the Broward School Board is using the suspension of four current members to advocate for his candidacy.

While the suspension of Broward School Board members is still fresh in the minds of Broward voters, school board candidate Allen Zeman brought supporters to claim he’s the better choice for District 8 right now.

In the primary, Zeman got close to 30 percent of the vote, which is about 1,600 votes less than Donna Korn.

Since no candidate received over 50 percent of the votes, they’re now in a runoff.

A man running for the Broward School Board is using the suspension of four current members to advocate for his candidacy.

“She’s betting on apathy and ignorance that in three months most voters will forget what she’s done,” said Zeman.

Korn is now battling a political fallout after she and three other sitting school board members were suspended by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“We need to restore local control of our school board and not have a school board controlled by Ron DeSantis,” Zeman said. “Enough is enough.”

The grand jury that issued the report was announced a year after the tragedy at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed and 17 wounded.

Watch Hatzel Vela’s Monday Report:

A man running for the Broward School Board is using the suspension of four current members to advocate for his candidacy.

The focus was school security, but that shifted to mismanagement and corruption.

The governor has not said if he plans to remove Korn if she is re-elected.

“I think the governor will stay true to what he did in the past, which was to let the voters’ voices be heard,” she said.

Korn defended her time on the school board, arguing the grand jury report is a political document with a predetermined conclusion.

“It had a focus, it had an end game and it basically got to that point,” she said.

Tynan, who will be representing Korn’s district, told Local 10 News Monday that he wants to focus on budget and construction.

“It’s a short time, but there is some very important work that needs to be done,” said Tynan. “I’m probably more interested in the financial side of the house and good governance.”

School Board Seats in Flux:

District 1

Ann Murray (Retiring in November, suspended by governor)

APPOINTED: Ryan Reiter

Candidates in November:

Marie Murray Martin

9,570 votes in Primary


Rodney “Rod” Velez

11,201 votes in Primary


District 2

Patti Good (Term up in 2024, suspended by governor)

APPOINTED: Torey Alston

**No election until 2024

District 5

Rosalind Osgood (Stepped down to run for State Senate; Won)

APPOINTED: Daniel Foganholi

Candidates in November:

Jeff Holness

11,075 votes in Primary


Ruth Carter-Lynch

8,574 votes in Primary


District 6

Laurie Rich Levinson (Retiring in November; suspended by governor)

APPOINTED: Manual “Nandy” Serrano

Candidates in November:

Steven Julian

15,230 votes in Primary


Brenda Fam

13,593 votes in Primary


District 8 (Countywide At-Large)

Donna Korn (running for re-election; suspended by governor)

APPOINTED: Kevin Tynan

Candidates in November:

Donna Korn

71,667 votes in Primary


Allen Zeman

70,061 votes in Primary


READ: Florida Department of Education letter to Superintendent Vickie Cartwright.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.