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Thoughts From The Campaign Trail

Listen to Mr. H's Veteran's Day Interview with Ryan Haczynski from Teacher Voice

 Watch Mr. H at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club School Board Forum


Qualified to Run for Office!

I'm humbled to be qualified to run for Hillsborough County School Board Member, District 6 (county-wide).

I appreciated that my family made the early morning trip downtown with me (sans my eldest who is in California for an internship). I couldn't be a candidate without your love and support!

I'm inspired by and eternally grateful for the many former students, but especially Carly and Madison, who have been working so hard on my campaign. You are difference makers and make teaching a most rewarding job!

Thank you to my fellow educators who endured a rough year with underfunding of public education by the Florida legislature, bad faith salary negotiations, unnecessary distractions and burdens in the classroom, and high cost health care benefits, yet continued their commitment to teach all students who come to school every day.

For the students and families of Hillsborough County, I promise to listen to your concerns and issues throughout this campaign and after I'm elected. I'm running for office in order to restore FAITH in the School Board, renew a FOCUS on students in the classroom, and FIX the broken programs in the school district. This is about you.

If you haven't already, like my Mr. H for School Board Facebook page, and then ask all your family and friends to do the same!

Please make sure that you are registered to vote, request to vote by mail (it's much easier!) and most importantly, vote Mr. H for School Board Member, District 6 on August 28th!


Thinking About Fathers and Families

I spent Father's Day hanging with my father and trying to get some down time (after a 5 am wake up and driving our eldest to Orlando to fly to California for a three week internship, that is).

My dad is my role model as a husband and father myself. He worked his a$$ off as a Service Manager for a car dealership to provide for our family. He kept a modest roof over our head, food on the table (always together for dinner), regular doctor and dentist visits, and my sister and I in private school for 14 years apiece (without vouchers!!). Mom stayed at home to make sure dinner was ready and homework was done, and later on volunteered as a Guardian Ad Litem. My sister and I never lacked for anything at home or school, although vacations were rare - only one big road trip when I was about 10 years old. He sacrificed for his family.

Dad's had a rough year. He battled cancer and finished chemotherapy. He lost his wife of 49 years and moved into our townhouse with my family of four. And he hasn't complained a bit. He's been my biggest fan in my campaign for School Board, always handing out my cards to random people and demanding a magnet for his car. I've had to restrict him from the sticker supply so that the windows of all the family cars aren't obscured by a Mr. H logo...

(Read the rest of this post on Facebook at


Achievement Schools: Rearranging the Deck Chairs

on the Titanic?

After reviewing this plan, I have a lot of questions.


Unfortunately, I have my school's Sports Award Ceremony tomorrow after school and will miss the School Board Meeting, so I won't be able to ask them.

This is why we need to #ElectATeacher to restore FAITH in the School Board, renew FOCUS on students in the classroom, and FIX broken programs in the school district.

Why is the plan being presented in mid-May to take effect in six weeks? There is a lot on everyone's plate at this time of year, how can the proper attention be paid to the plan? But maybe that's the point...

(Read the rest of this post on Facebook at )



Another School Shooting

My thoughts and prayers - along with yours, I suppose - go out to the students, families, teachers, and staff affected by another horrible school shooting tragedy, this time in Santa Fe, TX.

Thoughts and prayers are nowhere close to being enough, however!

I took the day off from teaching to attend today's School Safety Planning event at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club, which became horribly timely. We're doing a lot in the school district to keep our students safe, but we need to do more...

(Read the rest of this post on Facebook at )

A Corrosive Test Culture That Monetizes Our Students

So, EOC, AP, and IB test scores are out, with their corresponding state assessment level and county grade assigned. Sit down and take a deep breath because I'm going to share a dirty little secret with you!

Your awesome and amazing student who walked into the classroom to take the test is the exact same awesome and amazing student who walked out! {Or if the opposite adjectives apply to your student, okay.}

Your awesome and amazing student who was doing their thing during thesummer before you got results/grades is the same awesome and amazing student even after getting disappointing test results or grades! {See previous disclaimer...}

Looking at Facebook this morning, I see parents who are disappointed that their level 5 achieving student received a B for an exam grade. No, that makes no sense - especially when students in different classes can get the same B with a level 2 exam score, or a student who gets 12 of 48 correct on an EOC receives a level 1 from the state and a C from the county!!

Frankly, this is just a systematic ploy by special interests to monetize our children. We're told that every student needs to go to college, but many students are not prepared or not the right fit for college - yet they rack up student loan debt that is 50% bigger than the total credit card debt in America!

Students need to get good test scores to get into college, so we spend money to take the tests multiple times to get that "super score" for colleges to look at. And then parents spend more money on private tutors when scores are not high enough for the "best" college.

School districts need to show that their students are achieving on these tests, so they buy curriculum from the companies that administer the tests. The districts also pay to overtest the students - for example, the PSAT that I took once in 11th grade is now given from 8th grade on.

It's the same with FSA scores that are used to "test and punish" students, teachers, and schools, when the best overall predictor for test scores is socioeconomic status.

To use a favorite analogy, these high stakes tests are like penalty kicks in soccer. One miss, or even multiple misses (hello, Messi - for just one example), do not diminish the known talent and accomplishments of a person.

So no matter their test results, go hug your student today. Go out for ice cream, cook their favorite meal, or take them to their favorite place to eat. He or she is the same exact awesome and amazing person as they were before they took the test and the results arrived home. It's hard to grow up nowadays, so don't add anymore test stress to your student's life.

And after you do all that, vote for me in the August 28th primary! We need School Board members who will FOCUS on the students, not their test scores.


A Message from Mr. H.
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