Meet Dr. Nancy Lawther

A passion for education is written into my DNA.

Parent, career educator, PTA leader, child advocate—I am defined by what education means to me, and what I think it has the potential to mean for all of us.

Raised in a college town in the heart of Appalachia, I am the daughter and granddaughter of educators. I am the wife of an immigrant who arrived in this country with a student visa and not much else, and who turned the blessing of his American education into an opportunity to share his knowledge of mathematics and computer science with thousands of students. And, I am proud to say, I am the mother of a son whose public school education here in Miami-Dade County gave him the tools he needed to excel in college and medical school, and who now works with stroke victims and wounded veterans to return them to active life.

I, too, used my excellent public school training as a springboard to more advanced education, and, eventually, to the decision to become a professor. After earning my doctorate in French from Yale, I taught at two different public universities and then, after moving to Miami in 1990, at Barry University and the University of Miami’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

My focus broadened abruptly one day when I turned on the Florida Channel and watched state legislators approve a bill that I knew would adversely affect public education. I immediately went to work researching state education policies, and made it my mission to inform parents, teachers, and students in the local high school PTSA about every education-related bill under consideration in Tallahassee. This activism led to a position on the Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA, to membership on the Florida PTA Legislation Committee, and eventually, to my election as President of Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA (June 2018-September 2019).

I am proud to have spoken out in Tallahassee against the arming of teachers, and in favor of increasing the accountability of private school voucher programs. I am glad to have worked on bills to alleviate the teacher shortage and to promote career and technical education. I am honored that my work in education advocacy has led to my recognition as one of the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald/Bradenton Herald’s 50 Influencers for 2019.

As a parent, career educator, and experienced advocate, I stand ready to rise to the challenge of serving as School Board Member for District 9. I have the knowledge, the skills, the heart, and the backbone to lead the fight to restore the value of public education. With your help, I will work to ensure that our children can grow, thrive, and become a source of pride for family and community.