Miami-Dade school board swears in DeSantis’ appointee

MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis’s appointee for the School Board of Miami-Dade County is set to take office on Wednesday after a swear-in ceremony.

DeSantis announced his selection of Maria Bosque-Blanco, a guidance counselor at a Catholic private school with over 20 years of experience in psychology, on Tuesday. In 2021, DeSantis appointed her to the Miami Dade College District Board of Trustees and the Florida Senate confirmed it.

“She is a nationally certified school psychologist and is a member of the Southern and National Associations for College Admission Counseling,” the statement said. “Bosque-Blanco attended Miami Dade College and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in school psychology from Barry University.”

Bosque-Blanco, who will represent District 7, is replacing Lubby Navarro, the former school board vice chair, who resigned late last year after a constitutional amendment restricted elected officials from working as lobbyists. Former Gov. Rick Scott appointed Navarro in 2015. She is registered as a lobbyist for South Broward Hospital District.

DeSantis also endorsed the two recently elected members: Monica Colucci, a St. Brendan High School grad turned teacher who represents District 8, and Roberto J. Alonso, a real estate expert with experience in education technology who represents District 4. In 2020, DeSantis appointed Alonso to the Miami Dade College District Board of Trustees.

Maria Bosque-Blanco, Gov. Ron DeSantis's new appointee, joined the School Board of Miami-Dade County on Wednesday to represent District 7.

Danny Espino, a former government attorney who focused on real estate development, was also newly elected to represent District 5, which includes schools in Doral, Sweetwater, Miami Springs, and Hialeah.

The four new members join the five established school board members.

Steve Gallon III, who has a doctorate in education from Florida International University, and represents District 1, which includes schools in North Miami and Miami Gardens, where he is a member of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. His service with the board started in 2016 and his term ends in 2024.

Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, a former Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, represents District 2, which includes schools in Miami Shores, El Portal, Biscayne Park, West Little River, Gladeview, Pinewood, and Allapattah. Her service with the board started in 2010 and her term ends in 2026.

Lucia Baez-Geller, a former Miami Beach high school language arts teacher, represents District 3, which includes schools in Brickell, Miami Beach, North Bay Village, Bay Harbor Islands, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, and Aventura. Her service with the board started in 2020 and her term ends in 2024.

Tere Rojas, who has over 45 years of experience in education, represents District 6, which includes schools in South Miami, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne. Her service with the board started in 2016 and her term ends in 2026.

Luisa Santos, a former undocumented student from Colombia turned Georgetown University grad with experience in former President Barack Obama’s Department of Education, represents District 9, which includes schools in Homestead, Florida City, and Goulds. Her service with the board started in 2020 and her term ends in 2024.

For information about how to contact the school board members, visit this page.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.