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Additional Community Leaders Back Mitch Thrower for Hillsborough County School Board District 3

We are proud to announce the following prominent leaders in Hillsborough County have endorsed Mitch Thrower for Hillsborough County School Board District 3. 

“It is my pleasure to endorse Mitch Thrower for Hillsborough County School Board. Mitch is loyal, trustworthy, collaborative, and strongly committed to Hillsborough County, which is evident by his years of volunteering and leading organizations in our community. Mitch is highly qualified and will do a great job for our district.”  

James Grant – Florida House of Representatives 



The survival of our nation and prosperity of our local community is directly impacted by the strength of our educational system. No person is better qualified to serve on the Hillsborough County School Board than Mitch Thrower. Mitch Thrower will work to make our schools bastions of learning for every child. I urge you to support Mitch so that he can support our school system and the rich diverse tapestry of Hillsborough County.”  

Mark Sharpe is a past Hillsborough County Commissioner and the current President of Tampa Innovation Partnership. 



I am proud to endorse Mitch Thrower for Hillsborough County School Board, District 3. I worked with Mitch at the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority where he serves as Senior Manager of Administration overseeing daily operations, risk management, banking, records, safety and other functions. Mitch has a collaborative leadership style which makes him very approachable and team oriented. He has a great deal of financial expertise, business experience and common sense. He is passionate about the quality of our schools and in making the community a better place. I think Mitch will be a tremendous asset to our school board.  

Andy Ross, Mayor City of Temple Terrace 



I am proud to endorse Mr. Mitch Thrower for the Hillsborough County School Board. I have known and worked with Mitch on the Hillsborough County Planning Commission, and always found him prepared, factual and ethical. Mitch focuses on community solutions and building beneficial partnerships. With his fiscal background, Mitch is the perfect person to lead the nation’s 7th largest school district in the challenging years ahead. 

Frank Chillura, Councilman for the City of Temple Terrace 


“Mitch Thrower.  On a board that constantly has accounting problems, having a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, and someone with experience in auditing, budgeting, risk management and safety will be a huge asset to the board.”

Chris Ingram, President at 411 Communications, Political Analyst Bay News 9 




“Mitch Thrower currently works for the Aviation Authority and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor.  He has a lot of experience on public boards from the County Charter Review Board to the Hillsborough County Planning Commission, where he was elected chair six times.  His leadership experience is needed on the School Board, as are his skills in understanding the budget.” 

Patrick Manteiga, Editor and Publisher of the La Gaceta Newspaper 

Prominent Local Leaders Endorse Mitch Thrower for Hillsborough County School Board District 3

We are proud to announce the following prominent leaders in Hillsborough County have endorsed Mitch Thrower for Hillsborough County School Board District 3.

Victor_Crist“These are challenging times with difficult decisions to be made. We need an intelligent, common sense leader on our school board like Mitch Thrower, who has a proven track record of getting the tough jobs done right.”

Victor Crist, Retired State Senator, representing the 12th District from 2000 to 2010 as a Republican




“Mitch would bring a solid and diverse background to our Hillsborough County School Board. His financial oversight and audit experience will go a long way to help our School Board.I have known Mitch for many years, both on a personal level and in the professional arena. I have seen the level of integrity he displays. With utmost respect, it is a pleasure to give my endorsement to his candidacy.  Please help me elect Mitch Thrower to School Board, District 3. His commitment to our County is key to a great School Board. He won’t let us down. Please add your endorsement to mine for Mitch Thrower.”


Rose V. Ferlita, former Tampa City Council Member  and a former Hillsborough County Commissioner.



Sandy-Murman2“I have been an advocate for Hillsborough County children for a long time. Having had the opportunity to serve with Mitch Thrower on the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, I have seen Mitch’s passion for our children and their education. Mitch is a natural leader whose interpersonal skills, financial expertise, and dedication to improving our schools are exactly what the Hillsborough County School Board needs.”

Sandy Murman, currently serves as a Hillsborough County Commissioner and prior to joining the County Commission, she completed eight years as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1996-2004.


“I have known Mitch Thrower and his family for many years now. I highly, enthusiastically, and proudly endorse him as candidate for School Board of Hillsborough County. He will bring amultitude of talent to the board. Both students and teachers will benefit from Mitch’s ability to solve problems. He will listen to the problems and develop strategies to solve them. Please vote Mitch Thrower for School Board.”


K.R. Lombardia, current President of Centro Asturiano de Tampa and a retired educator and baseball coach for Hillsborough County Schools.

Hillsborough County School Board District 3 Candidate Mitch Thrower Vows to Add More Fiscal Responsibility

Tampa, Fla. (July 23, 2020) – Hillsborough County School Board District 3 Candidate Mitch Thrower knows there is no substitute for experience, especially to oversee a school district that has been through a disorganized budget with a $50 million deficit and no accountability. As a CPA and Certified Internal Auditor, Thrower is the only candidate who has a strong financial background and school board auditing experience to get the district’s budget back on track. 

His experience, currently as Senior Manager of Administration for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, where he has managed the Risk Management Department’s insurance and safety program with over $2 billion in property values, makes him the right person for the job. Not only does Thrower have experience maintaining accountability and fiscal responsibility with complex budgets, but he also has significant experience performing school board audits while at the State of Florida’s Office of the Auditor General. 

While most past and present school board members are teachers, Thrower grew up in a teaching household and understands the importance of education. His mother, Sandra Thrower, was an educator in Hillsborough County for over 30 years, retiring as Principal from Forrest Hills ElementaryThrower also has the ability and experience of keeping professionals in line with budgetary expenses and maintaining fiscal accountability – which is what the Hillsborough County School Board desperately needs.    

It is crucial for the school board to have a financial watchdog with accredited accounting and auditing skills. The recent news, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times, of a $50 million shortfall in the School District’s reserves is very unfortunate, especially in the eyes of taxpayers. In fact, in 2018, a halfpenny tax was passed by Hillsborough County voters to secure $1 billion in funds for the School Board over a 10-year timeframewhich was intended to fund school repairs and maintenance, such as failing air conditioners. The $50 million deficit was taxpayer dollars that had been mismanaged and could have funded critical expenses at schools. 

According to Thrower’s former colleague and CPA Stephen Zarycki, “Mitch is knowledgeable and experienced with financial internal controls, budgets, and accounting and procurement processes. His background and experience are critical to ensure the necessary resources are obtained for schools.”  

Community leader and Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce TrusteeGary Pike stated, “I served on the Hillsborough Planning Commission Board for five years with Mitch Thrower, four of which included serving on the executive committee while Mitch was Chairman. Listening, fairness, preparedness, and decision-making are important leadership qualities consistently displayed by Mitch. With actual board experience, an understanding and respect of the residents of Hillsborough, combined with his depth of knowledge, Mitch is a needed addition to the Hillsborough County School Board.”         

Every great board has members with different skills and experiences. It is important to have a mixture of educators as well as individuals with business and financial expertise overseeing the School District and the budget. I am confident that my background as an auditor and manager will help the Board work with the new Superintendent to create synergies and efficiencies within the school system,” commented Thrower.    

Mitch Thrower is running for Hillsborough County School Board District 3To learn more about his campaign, visit  www.VoteMitchThrower.com. 

Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Mitch Thrower, for Hillsborough County School Board District 3. 


La Gaceta endorses Thrower for School Board District 3

From As We Heard It, by: Patrick Manteiga July 17, 2020

There are six candidates running for School Board District 3 to replace the retiring Cindy Stuart, who is running for Clerk of the Circuit Court.

All the candidates we interviewed should be thanked for running for public office. It’s not a fun process and people can be exceptionally mean. The whole group seemed to genuinely care for our students and teachers and wanted to improve the district.

Tampa Bay Times features Q&A with Mitch Thrower; discusses most pressing issue of upcoming school year.

Mitch Thrower, candidate for Hillsborough County School District 3, was interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times on July 3. Thrower discusses what he thinks are the most pressing issues of the school district, including how to address the upcoming school year and have children safely go back to school with COVID-19, as well as accountability and fiscal management. 

Read more of Thrower’s Q&A below or in the Tampa Bay Times. 


What are the three most pressing issues for the school district, and how would you address them? 

The most pressing issue right now is how our students are going to be taught in the upcoming school year. Are they going to be physically in schools, using e-learning/virtual schools or a combination of the two? The recently completed School Reopening Survey indicated 53 percent of parents were comfortable sending students to school for the upcoming school year. We need to make sure teachers have adequate resources and training to teach virtual classes. My youngest child attends Walker Middle School and I witnessed some of the issues that occur with e-learning. We need to ensure that all students have the technology and training necessary to utilize the e-learning platform. 

The second issue, which is also a major concern to all parents that I have talked to, is what are the schools going to do about safety related to COVID-19. Schools need to ensure that they are effectively communicating their safety plans to parents. 

The third issue is accountability and fiscal management. With Hillsborough County having a $3.3 billion budget and a half-cent sales tax that is generating $138 million a year, we need to ensure that the district is spending it wisely. 


What approach is needed to improve academic performance at the district’s lowest-performing schools? Does that require additional resources? If so, where would you get them? 

Strong principals can recruit better teachers to their school, and this dramatically increases the chances of all-around success. There must be open communication with children and parents, and they need to see the connection between academic achievement and future success. We may need to consider redistributing resources to ensure that students and teachers have what they need to be successful. I also believe that partnerships with private companies, retirees and groups such as the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, where mentoring and tutoring can be provided to help improve student learning. Counseling services, free meal programs and other services can address essential needs, which might otherwise interfere with a child’s ability to learn. 


How would you improve reading scores, especially in the lower grades? 

I am a strong believer in early childhood education and have served on the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County. The Early Learning Coalition, in partnership with Hillsborough County Schools, provides Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK), an early childhood school readiness program, free of charge to families. Studies have shown that children who participate in high-quality early childhood education programs develop better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests, and have better social skills once they enter school. 

In addition to early learning programs, I believe we need to ensure that teachers are trained in literacy development and provided the tools to enhance literacy skills and that schools utilize small group instruction. I also believe in parental involvement and providing volunteer opportunities to read to children in the classroom. 


What is the appropriate role for charter schools in Hillsborough?  

I am a staunch supporter of the public schools and I am in favor of quality educational options for all students. I believe that charter schools fill a need in our school system and provide our students with more options. I think the Hillsborough County school system should try to partner and work with charter schools, especially when it comes to where they are located. There are areas in our community where our current public schools are over-capacity or other needs exist and charter schools could possibly satisfy those needs. 


How would you address the racial and ethnic disparities in student discipline and academic achievement?  

We need to ensure that schools are communicating with parents especially when it comes to issues that a school might be having with their child. Teachers and administrators need to be fair and firm when addressing disciplinary issues. Students need to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Teachers should receive diversity, inclusion, and discipline training. 

We also need to ensure that all school resource officers are properly trained, engaged in the school and known by the students. School resource officers should know how to deal with the students so that their handling of disciplinary issues such as minor non-violent infractions do not escalate into violent criminal incidents. 

I am also a big fan of partnerships with groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. They have the Bigs in Schools Program, which I believe is an excellent way to provide mentors to students. 

I would want to see the budget detail by school and the amount allocated per student at each school. For those schools that are receiving less than or more than the other schools I want to know why. 


Does Hillsborough need to consolidate some campuses and facilities, and if so, where and how would you go about it?  

Given the current situation with COVID-19, we need to finalize our plans for how we are going to teach students for the upcoming school year. We need to determine what our schools will look like and make informed decisions based on short-term and long-term needs. Once we know what student learning will look like, we can decide whether the consolidation of campuses and facilities is necessary. After the situation is assessed, we can determine how to effectively deploy resources to ensure student success. 


District 3 Candidate, Mitch Thrower’s Fundraising Shows Strong Momentum behind his School Board Candidacy

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2020

Tampa, FL — In the few weeks since he announced his run for the District 3 Hillsborough County School Board seat, Mitch Thrower has received nearly $38,000 in contributions from over 50 supporters fromDistrict 3 and throughout the County.

“I am humbled by this outpouring of community support,” commented Thrower.  “I don’t take their confidence lightly, and I am committed to putting in the time and the shoe leather to win on August 18th.”

Mitch Thrower is a Certified Public Accountant and a senior manager with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.  In addition, Thrower has been active in the local community for more than 20 years, currently serving in leadership roles as Chair of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission and Vice Chair of the Hillsborough County Charter Review Board. Thrower’s interest and concern in children’s education and community leadership comes naturally to him as his mother was an educator and principal at Forest Hills Elementary, and he attended public schools in District 3. 

To learn more about Mitch Thrower and his vision for local education, visit www.VoteMitchThrower.com

Lagaceta newspaper announces Mitch Thrower’s candidacy

This week, Mitch Thrower tossed his hat into the ring. … Thrower is the chairman of Plan Hillsborough and has served as chairman of the Hillsborough County Charter Review Board and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Citizen’s Advisory Committee. He works for Tampa International Airport as the Deputy Director of Administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor and Florida Certified Records Manager. … Thrower should be a formidable candidate and will likely be a strong fundraiser.  LEARN MORE >>

Mitch Thrower Announces His Candidacy for the 2020 School Board Elections

Tampa, FL Release April 21, 2020

For Immediate Release

Mitch Thrower proudly announces his candidacy for the 2020 Hillsborough County School Board election for District 3. As a fifth-generation resident of Hillsborough County, Thrower has been actively involved in the community volunteering with public schools, youth organizations and neighborhood groups. He has also served as chairman of several Hillsborough County government appointed boards including the Board of County Commissioner’s Citizen Advisory Committee, Hillsborough County Charter Review Board and Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. He also served as Treasurer on the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, President of the Carrollwood Elementary Dad’s Club, Co-Chair of the School Advisory Council, and Cubmaster for Pack 217.

Growing up in North Hillsborough County, Thrower attended public schools graduating from Chamberlain High School in 1986. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Management degree from Tulane University and an MBA from Florida State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor. He started his professional career at the State of Florida Auditor General’s Office conducting school board audits which included Hillsborough County. He then worked for a private accounting firm before joining Hillsborough County Aviation Authority in 1998. In addition to auditing and finance, he has extensive experience with budgeting, risk management and safety.

Thrower is running for School Board to promote his vision “Better Schools for a Brighter Future”. With Hillsborough County being the 8th largest school district in the U.S. with a budget of $3.3 billion, 24,000  employees and over 200,000 students,  it is imperative that the school system runs efficiently. His three campaign promises are:   1) High Quality Education for All Students 2) Safe and Secure School Environment and 3) Accountability and Fiscal Management of Funds.

Thrower lives in Carrollwood with his wife Brenda and youngest son Jason, a student at Walker Middle. Their two older children are in college, Mitchell at Florida State University and Alexandra at University of Florida.


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