April 18, 2018

Trusted, conservative leader will continue supporting students, parents, taxpayers, teachers

Green Cove Springs, Fla. – Clay County School Board Member Ashley Gilhousen officially filed to run for a second term to continue her work improving educational choices county-wide for families and solidifying the district’s finances.

Gilhousen, a third generation Clay County resident, pledged to bring financial stability to the district while continuing to invest in the best education for Clay County children – a pledge she has more than delivered on. When Gilhousen was seeking her first term in 2014, the district’s fund balance was below the state-mandated 3 percent. Today, the balance is a far healthier 4 percent, and the district has been able to invest in children by rewarding high-performing teachers with competitive pay to retain the best and brightest educators.

Clay County high school graduation rates increased each year in Gilhousen’s first term, reaching 88 percent in 2017 – the highest in the county’s history and high enough to rank among the Top 10 in Florida.

Gilhousen, a registered nurse with three children in Clay County schools, believes parents must have public and charter school options for their children and that competition keeps schools performing at their best.

For example, Clay County opened St. Johns Classical Academy in 2017, a district-run charter school with an advanced curriculum that has as many students on the waiting list as it does in the classrooms. Clay County will open a Montessori school in 2018 and is planning a performing arts magnet to open in the coming years. The district is also expanding its career academies to make sure students are developing skills that employers are seeking.

“Every child has different needs and it’s important that, as parents, we have the opportunities to select the best school to fit our child,” Gilhousen said.

Gilhousen and her colleagues recently traveled to Tallahassee during the Florida Legislative Session to advocate for fair-share funding of the district’s aggressive plan to add more school choice options for parents.

“Everything we do is about giving our children the absolute best opportunity to succeed,” Gilhousen said. “If you are getting a better outcome for students, if they are succeeding, then it’s a benefit for our community.”

Ashley was born at Orange Park Medical Center, attended public school in Green Cove Springs and is a graduate of Charles Bennett Elementary, Green Cove Springs Middle, Clay High, University of Florida and University of North Florida. Her university degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Gilhousen’s professional career began at Wolfson Childrens’ Hospital and OP Medical Center as an RN, where she was born.

Gilhousen lives in Lake Asbury with her husband Adam, who is in the Air Force, and their three sons Aiden, Brantley and Caleb. They are active members of Hibernia Baptist Church.

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