Longtime incumbent faces newcomer for Santa Rosa County School Board District 3 seat

A longtime school board member is facing a challenger in the race for the Santa Rosa County School Board's District 3 seat as incumbent Carol Boston takes on challenger Alisabeth Janai Lancaster.

Boston is running for her third term on the school board and has held the District 3 seat for the past eight years. Boston has made school safety and the expansion of career and technical education opportunities her top priorities.

Lancaster is new to politics and was driven to seek a seat by what she sees as a lack of transparency in the district.

Meet Carol Boston: Candidate, Santa Rosa County School Board, District 3

Alisabeth Janai Lancaster did not complete the candidate Q&A

Carol Boston

Boston holds a bachelor's degree in business administration. When her husband was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a member of the U.S. Air Force, Boston worked as a sales representative for Nestle.

When she and her family later moved around the country as her husband was reassigned to different bases, Boston also worked as a sales representative and territory manager for Kimberly-Clark Corp. in both Tampa and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Carol Boston
Carol Boston

"And then, I like to tell people, as my husband deployed a lot and I managed moves by myself: I was mom, dad, CEO, CFO, chief of plans and chief of operations for the Boston family," she said.

She added: "For those people who say that you're just a stay-at-home mom, you deal with TMO (training management office) with the military, buy and sell houses, give it all a go and let me know how it works out."

Boston and her family have lived in Santa Rosa County since 1999.

"I bring knowledge, experience and a track record of positive leadership," Boston said, about her reasons for seeking reelection.

If reelected the board, Boston said her top goal would be to continue her history of advocating for improved school safety.

"Safety is always a prime goal that we continue to work on," Boston said. "Even though I think we're doing a very good job, we're going to continue to update and keep on top of keeping our students safe."

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Boston explained that another one of her top priorities on the school board would be the continued expansion of career and technical education opportunities for the county's students.

"I have worked in conjunction with our director of workforce development in making sure that we have those offerings for our children so that they can be ready to go straight into the workforce, if that's what they choose," Boston said. "I'm an advocate of making sure that our kids can meet whatever needs work for them and have a successful future. Whether that be going straight into the workforce, military or college."

She additionally hopes to advocate for the building of new schools.

"I've been a huge advocate of building schools," Boston said. "We have to work with the (Department of Education) on that."

Alisabeth Janai Lancaster

Lancaster retired from a 28-year career as a Federal Reserve law enforcement officer in 2010.

During her career, she worked in protective services and performed duties such as dignitary escorts, dignitary protection, U.S. Treasury operations and other law enforcement-related services.

Lancaster holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and law enforcement certification through the state of Colorado.

Alisabeth Janai Lancaster
Alisabeth Janai Lancaster

"I am running because I had attended a school board meeting in which the parents and the community were not being addressed with their concerns, and I did have some people ask me to run," Lancaster said. "As a voter, and not just the candidate, I had some issues with the current board members."

Lancaster said that the Santa Rosa County School Board was not nearly as transparent as it should be and that its current members have not done a good job addressing concerns held by parents in the county.

"The teachers are very reluctant to come forward and speak of their issues and concerns that they are having," she said.

While speaking last month at a political forum organized by the Gulf Coast Patriots, Lancaster made it clear that she opposes critical race theory being included in teacher's lesson plans.

"I am one of those who just believe we should teach our children, give them the skills and the tools that they need to succeed," she said.

"Their interests will take them into the realm of what they want to and toward their goals and where their dreams are," she continued. "I just do not believe we should be bombarding them with all these social transformation issues."

She also made headlines for saying at the forum that doctors who prescribe hormone blockers to children transitioning between genders should be hanged.

"These doctors that are going along with mutilating these children and prescribing hormone blockers to these kids, in my opinion, they should be hanging from the nearest tree," Lancaster said.

Lancaster declined to comment on her statement afterward, but it was largely rebuked not only by her opponent but other local politicians.

"A statement advocating a violent act such as lynching is abhorrent and alarming," Boston wrote. “It is un-American to call for the murder of Americans that disagree with us."

Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at colinwarrenhicks@pnj.com or 850-435-8680.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Santa Rosa School Board District 3: Carol Boston, Alisabeth Lancaster