Hillsborough County School Board members approved a new redistricting map.

At a special-called Hillsborough County School Board meeting, board members voted for a new electoral redistricting boundary map. With several different proposed maps to choose from, board members voted for ‘Map F,’ which means some residents now have a new school board member representing their interests.

Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Growth Management department reached out to Hillsborough County’s geographic information system (GIS) team to assist with providing the school board with three scenarios for the reapportionment of the five districts. “The mapping criteria we asked the county to incorporate includes community integrity (keeping communities together), population, maintaining minority demographic balance and ethnicity breakdown,” said Superintendent Addison Davis.

Florida Statute 1001.36 requires that school board member districts be as “equal in population as nearly as practicable” and may only be amended in odd-numbered years. The 2020 census data recently released indicated disproportionate growth in member districts over the past decade, thereby encouraging redistricting to achieve greater equality between districts.

The newly drawn boundaries mean that some residents who live east of U.S. Hwy. 301 and west of U.S. Hwy. 672 will be represented by school board member Stacy Hahn of District 2 instead of Melissa Snively, District 5’s school board member.

Hahn, a graduate of the University of South Florida, where she earned a Ph.D. in early childhood and special education, was elected to the school board in 2018. She was a professional educator for more than two decades, with positions including public school teacher, advocate, facilitator, professional development director, educational researcher and university professor. Hahn knows that quality public education is essential to students and communities reaching their potential.

Snively, who has represented District 5 for seven years, said redistricting was inevitable with population increases in her district.

“Although I don’t want to lose constituents to redistricting, I understand the need for reappropriation for equitability among board members,” said Snively.

Board member redistricting does not, in any way, impact school attendance zones and will not affect where a child attends school.

For more details about the approved map, visit www.hillsboroughschools.org. For more information about Hahn, contact her secretary at 272-4045. To contact Snively, call 272-4053.

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MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.