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About Bill


William Henry (Bill) Person is a retired educator residing in Tampa, Florida.
Born in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan in 1951, Bill is an U.S. Air Force veteran serving from 1969 to 1973. His last duty station was MacDill AFB from 1971-1973 as an Avionics Weapons System Technician on the F4E fighter aircraft. Bill was awarded the United States Air Force Commendation Medal, along with the Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal for service in the Vietnam War. Honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1973, Bill attended the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa on the G.I. Bill while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. Bill's wife, Laurie J. Rodriguez, graduated from Leto High School then the University of South Florida as an exceptional education teacher. 
Her career with the school district began in 1989. Bill's daughter, Shannon N. Person, graduated from Chamberlain High School and she attended both Florida State University and the University of Central Florida.

Bill began his education career in 1976 at East Bay High School as a teacher and he retired 35 years later, 2011, as a General Director in the Division of Administration. He served as an assistant principal and principal in both middle school (Dowdell Magnet) and high school (Tampa Bay Technical Magnet). Bill was appointed Director of Pupil Administrative Services in 1997. In 1999, he authored the school district's Controlled Choice Student Assignment Plan. This plan proved critical in student assignment transition when district was declared unitary in 2001, thereby ending the 1971 Federal Court Desegregation Order.  Bill was appointed General Director of Student Planning, Placement and Support Programs in 2006. In this position he supervised the management of Charter Schools, Alternative Schools, School Choice, Student Records, Class Size Reduction Requirements, Student Attendance Zones, Magnet Schools, and Hurricane Shelter Operations, and he also served as district education liaison to MacDill Air Force Base. Upon retirement in 2011, he was appointed Chairman, Florida School Choice Parent Advisory Council under the Florida Department of Education. Bill continues to stay active in issues involving public school education. He is especially attuned to issues involving school choice, student and school equity and diversity and federal and state governmental policy and activities affecting parental access to a free, quality public school education for all children. Bill's major focus for public education in Florida is to address pressing issues involving lack of sufficient funding from Tallahassee, continued expansion of for-profit charters, full-vouchers and privatization of public education. Bill will lead the Hillsborough School Board in refocusing district priority and efforts on students, parents, employees and communities while exploring and retaining reasonable funding solutions for the current billions of dollars in district capital debt, deferred maintenance since 2008 and projected returning student growth and capital outlay needs through 2025. In the 2016 school board race for District 1, Bill received endorsements from the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Sentinel, the Hillsborough Association of Classroom Teachers, the Hillsborough School Employees Federation, and the West Coast Council of the AFL-CIO. Bill received 48.9% of the vote and missed successful election by a mere 267 votes out of over 23,000 votes cast on his first attempt to attain public office in 2016. Bill is currently a candidate for Hillsborough School Board District 6 in 2018.


Bill Person is a member of Los Caballeros del Centro Asturiano de Tampa, 
L’Unione Italiana, the Hillsborough Association of School Administrators, Sierra Club, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Hillsborough Democratic Progressive Caucus, and the League of Women Voters. He is a former member of Phi Delta Kappa and as a teacher, he was a proud member of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.


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