Paul Fetsko: An Educator for Education

Paul Fetsko is a life-long educator, serving the Escambia County School System for almost 40 years, most recently as District 2 School Board Member. Paul’s career culminated as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction for 12 years, with proven success increasing student achievement across the board. The experience and expertise brought to his first term as School Board Member proves he is the right candidate for the job.

Paul is a fiscal conservative and believes in local control over schools and curriculum.

Paul’s wife, Kathy, is also an educator and together they have enjoyed almost 45 years of marriage and raised 3 sons in Escambia County Schools.

As Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Paul developed a mission statement in 2008 for the division that was – and still is –

“To create a school district where:

  • Students want to attend school
  • Parents want to send their children
  • Teachers and support staff want to work
  • Community members are proud of their schools”

Together, we can achieve all of these goals!

A Message from Paul

After serving 36 years in various roles in the Escambia County School District – and now 4 more years as your current Board Member – I continue to have a passionate calling to serve the students of Escambia County as your representative on the School Board. After beginning as a teacher of deaf and hearing impaired children, my career culminated in service as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction from 2000 to 2012.

During my tenure as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, academic achievement increased every year during that time frame.

I am a US Navy veteran and native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold BA degrees from Lenore Rhyne University in English, Secondary Education, and Deaf Education. I attained an MA from Troy University in Administration and Supervision and achieved further graduate work in Curriculum from the University of West Florida. I also acquired additional course credits at other institutions, including University of West Florida.

I met my wife Kathy my first year teaching in Escambia County at West Pensacola Elementary. We will have been married 45 years in August, 2022. We are blessed with 3 sons, all of whom attended schools in District 2, where we have resided for 39 years. We are further blessed with 7 grandchildren.

I have always approached educational issues by considering what is best for students within the fiscal constraints we operate. As your continued representative on the Escambia County School Board, I will continue this practice in my daily concerns.

I would be honored to continue to have your trust and support in this campaign. Please contact me with any questions or to discuss issues you would like addressed. As always, I welcome the opportunity to meet you and receive your input.

Paul Fetsko

Experience & Accomplishments

Paul Fetsko is an educator and leader whose career spans over 40 years. The following are some of his experiences, accomplishments and achievements, most of which were not done in isolation but with the cooperation and vast skills sets of many colleagues.

While Paul was the Program Specialist for multiple special education programs district wide, the following were accomplished:

  • hiring certified sign language interpreters
  • the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program expanded Pre-K through 12th grade
  • established the infant hearing screening program with Sacred Heart Hospital for all new borns, 2 years before the state adopted this protocol
  • development of the Educational Interpreters Evaluation and credentials, which became a state wide project
  • established and hired for the school districts’ Occupational and Physical Therapy programs, which expanded to 14 full time positions
  • utilized permissive legislation to expand Pre-K services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Blind children from birth to 22 years
  • established the district’s Adapted Physical Education Program with services district wide
  • was asked to serve on the state team to develop the teacher evaluations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Certification
  • was trained and invited to serve as a FOLIO reviewer for the Department of Education accrediting process for Colleges and Universities in Florida that operate teacher training programs. This review is required every 5 years. Paul served on 36 review teams.
  • worked on the State of Florida Department of Education curriculum development for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • established the school district audiology department
  • facilitated mainstreaming and inclusion initiatives
  • served on the school health services committee for over 10 years along with local physicians, school nurses, and district specialists

Paul was asked to serve as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction first under Superintendent Jim Paul and continued under Superintendent Thomas. Paul led the largest division of the school district for 12 years.

Under Paul’s leadership, the following initiatives were accomplished during his tenure. Many are still in operation today.

  • established the adoption of a single reading program throughout the district
  • worked as part of the transition team with Superintendent Jim Paul to cut millions of dollars from existing budgets in order to secure funds for salary increases for 6 years; this raised the district’s salary rank in Florida from 65th to 38th
  • oversaw the development and establishment of West Florida High School of Advanced Technology
  • worked with our military liaison, Mrs. Carissa Bergosh, to adopt one of the first “military compacts” in Florida
  • established the “Choice Office” with direction from the Superintendent and Board to increase attendance options for students
  • over-saw the districts’ installation for fiber-optic cabling to all schools and sites
  • developed career academics for all secondary schools
  • roll out and compliance with the Florida A+ Plan for accountability and the Federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation
  • purchase and utilization of district wide computer assisted instruction programs, curriculum development and evaluation models, and academic data management applications to the teacher desk-top level
  • closure and/or consolidations of 14 schools to improve fiscal accountability and efficiency
  • construction/opening of new sites Blue Angels Elementary, Molino Park Elementary, and Global Learning Academy
  • managed multiple curriculum re-alignments in response to legislative changes, new requirements, standards adoptions, and various other unfunded mandates
  • roll out and compliance with “Race to the Top” federal legislation
  • expansion and re-location of the Brown Barge program
  • expansion of the music programs, doubled the strings program, set a band allocation fund for band needs
  • introduced the Studer principles training for use in the district
  • increased technology availability for instructional and student use
  • established the START program, a mentoring initiative for new teachers, which was a join project with the EEA
  • served on the Morning Star Development Board

First Term Report

The last four years have presented change and challenge to the Escambia County School Board. Paul’s experience and insight have been invaluable in rising to these needs. Since serving as District 2 School Board Member, Paul has:

  • helped to develop procedures and an evaluation tool for an appointed superintendent
  • attained “Certified Board Member” status via Florida School Boards Association trainings
  • assured instructional options for students during the COVID-19 shutdown
  • worked to revise the districts’ Strategic Plan process, procedures, and goals
  • encouraged new recruitment activities for teachers and support employees
  • continued the capital projects to keep District 2 facilities renewed, updated, and technologically current, including:
    • New Pleasant Grove Elementary
    • New Myrtle Grove Elementary
    • New Fine Arts Auditorium at Escambia High School

Above all, Paul has maintained conservative values and leadership in our schools at a time when this is more important than ever.

Proven leadership in education is more important than ever.

Vote to Re-elect Paul Fetsko for School Board District 2,

the proven leader our children deserve.