Speeches and Floor Statements

Barbara Shorter

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St. Petersburg, FL, February 19, 2016 | comments
Mr. Speaker: I rise today to honor the accomplishments of a true champion of progress during Black History Month and all year long, Barbara Shorter. Her invaluable contributions to the Tampa Bay community is an inspiration to us all. Today, I am grateful to recognize her selfless dedication and honor her valuable service to our community.
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Mr. Speaker: I rise today to honor the accomplishments of a true champion of progress during Black History Month and all year long, Barbara Shorter. Her invaluable contributions to the Tampa Bay community is an inspiration to us all. Today, I am grateful to recognize her selfless dedication and honor her valuable service to our community.

Ms. Shorter grew up in St. Petersburg, graduating from Gibbs High School. She matriculated from Florida A&M University where she then began her illustrious career as an Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the School of Agriculture and Home Economics. She dedicated the next decade to teaching before continuing her own education at Florida A&M when she received her Master’s in Guidance and Counseling. Soon after graduation she accepted a position as the Assistant Principal at Northeast High School, becoming the third African-American teacher ever assigned to an all-white high school in Pinellas County. Returning to her own Gibbs High School as Principal, she became the first female African American High School Principal in Pinellas County in 100 years. Most recently, she was an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Florida.

Ms. Shorter is a longtime leader in the African-American community. She was recognized as Tampa Bay’s Black Most Influential in 1983 as well as Pinellas County’s Educator of the Year for two straight years. Her local successes were recognized on the national level upon an invitation from Secretary of State Colin Powell to President Clinton’s Summit on Education Issues from 1997-2000.

Ms. Shorter service was not limited only to her work in the educational field. Throughout her life, she displayed a passion for civic engagement. She inspired the next generation of leaders in the African- American community by being actively involved in more than a dozen associations. Her most distinct honor was being the President of the Pinellas County High School Principals Association and the minority member for the Florida Association of School Administrators. She currently is a member of the Florida A&M University Alumni Association and has been an active member of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, having had longest active membership at 70 plus years.

Ms. Shorter was an unabashed environmentalist. Her heroic commitment to environmentalism made an unforgettable mark on the Tampa Bay community. Tampa Bay is a better and more beautiful place to live thanks to her efforts.

Ms. Shorter has selflessly dedicated her life to our community and the children of Tampa Bay. Countless students and young professionals have benefited from her immeasurable efforts and inspiring enthusiasm. Her commitment will always be remembered and appreciated. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of a grateful Tampa Bay community, I am proud to recognize Barbara Shorter for her lifelong exemplary service to the State of Florida.

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