Army veteran, longtime educator seeks to be superintendent of schools

Rick Myhre and family.


Change. As we prepare for the 2024 election season, an overwhelming majority of Americans want things to change for the better in our country.

Locally, as I have spoken to our students, teachers, parents, and community members, I hear the same desires. To a person, everyone has positive things to say about our Wakulla County Schools, but likewise, everyone is aware of opportunities for improvement. Wakulla County is still unique in our country in that you, the citizens, get to select our next Superintendent of Schools via an election.
I look forward to campaigning before you and laying out my credentials, and vision, so that you may compare my experiences to other candidates and make the best decision on behalf of our wonderful community.
In my opinion, this election comes down to two very important components, the direction a candidate would like to lead the district, and the experience a candidate has in leading organizations the size of our school district through change and improvement.
As for my personal beliefs, and the direction I would like to move our district, my values were instilled in me at an early age as I was born and raised in Wakulla by two remarkably successful lifelong educators, Bob and Judy Myhre in a conservative Christian home. My only sibling Katie was born with Downs Syndrome, the experience of being raised alongside her taught me I must use the blessings God has given me in the service of others.
The selfishness that seems to prevail in our current society has no place in our schools, and we must ensure that teachers are empowered to uphold good order and discipline in the learning environment otherwise all learning is disrupted due to a few out-of-control students. The establishment of parental choice pathways which may enact more stringent codes of conduct based on a heightened sense of moral behavior would undoubtedly be a positive impact on student learning and would keep teachers from leaving the field of education, and our public schools.
Additionally, my sense of fiscal conservatism will ensure we are not wasting limited funds on failed and unnecessary programs so that more funding can be utilized to improve salaries and benefits for our teachers. A full and completely transparent budgeting process must be established, and I look forward to leading that process as Superintendent.
Of course, it is easy for any candidate to expound on their beliefs, especially when most of us share these beliefs as Republicans. What I believe sets me apart from other candidates is something that cannot be manufactured overnight, and that is a successful career of increasing complex leadership experiences.
I began teaching in 2003, but soon left to enlist in the U.S. Army for five years as an Infantryman where I would deploy to both Afghanistan and Iraq as a Sniper. Upon returning to public education in 2009, I utilized the G.I. Bill to attain a Masters in Educational Leadership and began my journey as a school, district, and state level educational leader. After six years in the classroom, I then served as Dean of Students at Crawfordville Elementary, and Principal at Wakulla Middle School before being recruited by the Florida Department of Education to lead reading instruction for the entire state as the Executive Director of Just Read, Florida!.
Following four successful years at FLDOE, I felt ready to rejoin a school district to better prepare myself for a role as a Superintendent; the best way to do that is by gaining experience at the executive level as an Assistant Superintendent. In 2020, I moved our family to Vero Beach and accepted the role as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction where I was responsible for all aspects of teaching and learning for a district three times the size of Wakulla County. Refusing to make excuses for why things could not be improved during the pandemic and instead pushing forward with the implementation of necessary amendments to their style of teaching and learning moved that district from the bottom half of school districts into the top quartile in less than three years.
For every problem currently facing Wakulla County Schools, I have already been a part of solving those complex issues with success. As the campaign continues, I look forward to clearly articulating not only my recognition of the areas of concern, but also proposing workable and actionable solutions. However, my experience has shown me that the role of Superintendent is not one of autonomy; it is imperative I work seamlessly with our School Board, our teacher’s association, our parents, our community organizations, and most importantly our students to protect the components of the schools we love while working collaboratively to generate greater successes for all.
Our children deserve a leader who is ready to step in on day one, not one who will need time to learn how to do this job. One thing I can assertively promise this community is that I move at a rapid pace, and four years is a long time for me. If you bless me with the opportunity to be your next Superintendent you will undoubtedly recognize the positive differences in our schools within the first half of my term, and by the second half these changes will be an established way of work.
Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy for this critical role, and please know, your attention to this race is instrumental to the success of thousands of children in Wakulla County. For more information on my policy beliefs and resume visit God Bless.