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Candidates for School Board, District 4 Bios & platforms

By Staff | Aug 5, 2022

Precinct List for District SCHOOL BOARD 4

Precinct List for District SCHOOL BOARD 4Cape Coral voters can cast a ballot in two of the four non-partisan Lee County School Board races in the Aug. 23 election.

The Cape is split between two districts, seats 1 and 4, depending on address, which will determine in which of the two voters may cast a ballot.

Seat 6 is at-large, meaning voters countywide may cast a ballot in a three-way race featuring Tia Collin, Jada Langford Fleming and Denise Nystrom.

The District 4 race, to be decided by voters who live in the district — which includes parts of Cape Coral, North Fort Myers and Dunbar — features four candidates, Jason “Big Mama” Jones; Debbie Jordan, the incumbent; Dan Severson and Gerri Ware.

Here is an at-a-glance look at the candidates in District 4:

Jason “Big Mama” Jones

Candidate name: Jason Big Mama Jones

Seat sought/district or at large: Lee County School Board District 4

Age: 50  

Website: www.electbigmamajones.com

Education/degrees: High School Diploma

Occupation and place of employment: I own Big Events Florida, Dr Digital Media and Design, plus I am the morning radio host for Beasley Media Group’s  b1039 fm. 

Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency: 10 years 

Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking:  

As an owner of multiple businesses in Lee County, I have to say experience in running a business successfully. I also have operated radio station clusters with budgets in the millions and was able to keep my department balanced for years. And I have superior team-building skills as I was the Director of Game Day Operations for a professional arena football team. 

Political Experience/offices held: Long-time voter, first-time candidate. 

Civic/Community involvement: It’s what I am known for giving of my time to the community. I have coached Pop Warner football. I have been able to make a difference in our community. I was honored and humbled to grant five wishes for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Using my “Big Mama” voice and tremendous reach I collected over 5,000 bikes in four years for Lee County children at Christmas. I spent weeks in parking lots collecting canned goods for St. Matthew’s House. In 2009 I collected six pallets of school supplies for local schools. But my favorite is the 50+ Birthday Parades I did for kids. 

Family: I am married to my wife Sara. We have a 11-year-old daughter named Izzy and a 4-year-old son named Finnegan. 

Why are you running?

I am running for Lee County School Board District 4 because I believe it is important to have a parent’s voice represented. I am the only candidate in this district who has children in Lee County schools. Not all current members of the school board are working in the best interest of our children, nor are they listening to parents. I knew it was time to step up and represent the interests of our children and to be a voice for parents. 

Planks of your platform:

I stand for Safe Schools, Fiscal Transparency, Better Nutritional Focus, and Back to Basics, teaching our kids reading, math, English and history.

Top three issues:

1. I think first and foremost on everyone’s mind is School Safety. There is a reason the area’s #1 Law Enforcement Officer, Sheriff Carmine Marceno endorsed me. We have worked together for years for safe kids, and safe bus stops. 

2. I am focused on improving nutrition in our schools. We must raise the standard for the meals we are serving our children. Those standards have deteriorated over the years.

3. We need more transparency in the $1.93 billion dollar budget, starting with a line-item budget. Currently, Lee County Schools cannot provide a line-item budget.  

Debbie Jordan, incumbent

Candidate name: Debbie Jordan

Seat sought/district or at large:  Lee County School Board, District 4

Age: 64

Website: www.electdebbiejordan.com

Education/degrees: Southern College- Edison Community College

Occupation and place of employment: Hospitality / Nina Rose Events and Global Market Place

Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency: 50 years

Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking:

Experience in Management, Budgeting and hire an firing of employee, knowledge to build successful teams. Have supervised numerous properties and employees at the same while keeping in budget. I have worked with the public most of my life which allows me the ability to work with others. Chair of the Lee/Charlotte Florida Restaurant and Lodging for 20 years representing local and in Tallahassee.  

Political Experience/offices held: School Board Member 3-1/2 years. Legislative Liaison for State, Federal and District School Board. 

Civic/Community involvement: Chair of the Lee County School Board, Liaison. Equity and Diversity, Finance, Value Board and the Student Advisory Committee for the School Board. Board of Directors for the Florida School Board Association, Board Member of Uncommon Friends Foundation and Horizon Council.  Guardian Ad Litem and mentorship programs for our students. 

Family: Four adult children and 16 grandchildren

Military Experience: None

Why are you running?

I am running as I have served on the board in the most difficult times (Pandemic) and have proven leadership skills. I believe there is still much work to be done for the students, families, staff, faculty, and stakeholders of Lee County. 

Planks of your platform:

Retention & Recruitment, Pathways for all students, Supporting growth. 

Top three issues:

1) Retention and Recruitment- Advocate for retention and recruitment projects and developmental opportunities for current and new employees. Also, continuously encourage accountability by the District and leadership at varies levels to support those that support our children. Making sure that ALL employees of the district are heard and feel respected in each role that makes our district great.  

2) Increasing different educational pathways for students – Looking outside of the box for ways to attract staff, faculty, and leadership to provide the very best educational services to our students – exploring industry, workforce, and higher education pathways to be successfully after high school. Continue to support our schools, so that they can connect students to timely resources.  

3)Support Growth – Advocate for resources to support the explosive growth in Lee County and the demands that come with providing quality education and access.

Dan “Doc” Severson

Candidate name: Daniel M. Severson

Seat sought: Lee County School Board District 4

Age: 67 

Website: www.danseverson.org

Education/degrees: Bachelors degree in Physics-St. Cloud State University. Designated Naval Aviator.

Occupation and place of employment: Retired

Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency: 7 years

Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking: 

Officer in Charge of VFA-305 F/A-18 Squadron United States Navy. 250 active and reserve personnel with an operating budget of approximately $27,000,000 and over $250 million in assets.

Executive Officer, Weapons Test Squadron China Lake, California. 275 active and civilian personnel. Top Secret/SBI security clearance. Budget: Classified.

Eight years as State Representative Representing over 40,000 constituents and serving on K-12 Education Committee and Higher Education committees for both Policy and Finance. Served on Public Safety finance and eight years on Transportation and various other committees.

Four years 2011-2015, CEO and Founder of Minority Liberty Alliance. A 501C4 that promoted involvement and recruitment of Minority and New Americans in the Government process advocating for conservative principals.

Political Experience/offices held:  Minnesota House of Representatives Dist. 14A 2003-2011

Civic/Community involvement:  

2002-2011 – Pilot and member of Board of Directors for Wings of Mercy. Providing free air transportation to remote medical patients needing transportation to medical facilities either in or out of state.

2008-2015 – Member of Board of directors for Place of Hope ministries. Home for single mothers, recovering addicts and the homeless.


2003-2005 Wife appointed Planning commissioner for City of Sauk Rapids.

Military Experience:

1978-2000. 22 years Naval Officer and Aviator. Top Gun Graduate, Nuclear Delivery Pilot, Graduate Strike Warfare Course, Naval Legal School and numerous other leadership schools. Awarded Top Secret security clearance. Flew over 3200 flight hours, over 320 arrested carrier landings. Aircraft flown; F/A-18 Hornet, A7 Corsair, A4 Skyhawk, T-2 Buckeye and SA227 Metro liner. Awarded Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, two Meritorious Service medals, Foreign Service medal, Expert Pistol medal and numerous unit citations. Retired at the grade of Commander/ O5.

Why are you running?

I am running for Lee County School board District 4 because we have a weak School Board with very little executive background running a $2 billion operation. The constant infighting and lack of professional decorum translates to lack of leadership for the entire organization and adversely affects morale throughout the district. The appearance to the public and the parents is dysfunction at the highest level. We need vision and proven leadership on the Board and I hope to help with that.

Planks of your platform:

Putting children first and empowering parents to direct their education.

Keeping our children safe and enacting the Guardian Program in the Lee County School System

Eliminating Critical Race Theory in our Schools curriculum and going to a Classical education model

Fiscal accountability through a full forensic audit of the system and providing line item budgeting for the board members.

Top three issues:

1. Empowering parents through educational transparency and conformity to the Parental Empowerment act passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

2. Reforming curriculum to a classical style which equips rather than indoctrinates.

3. Ensuring the safety of our children physically and emotionally. Enacting the Guardian Program and protecting them from active shooters and unauthorized exposure to Gender grooming that undermines the nuclear family culture.

Gerri Ware

Candidate name: Gerri Ware

Seat sought: Lee County School Board District 4

Age: 80


Education/degrees: Graduated from Florida A & M University, B S, Degree Nursing; MS, FIU Miami, Administration & Supervision

Occupation/place of employment:

Time in the District in which you are running/years of residency: Native Floridian

Civic/Community involvement: Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, currently serve on many organizations including CRA of Fort Myers, Progressive Women LMV; many Awards for community action

Political experience/Offices held: Never held political office, ran for school board 1982, 2018, 2022

Family: Widow, husband was a teacher; four children all graduated from local schools

Why are you running?

I am running for the same reason that I ran in 1982, 2018  and now to make a difference in the lives of ALL of our children. What motivates me to seek the District 4 seat but serving all of the citizens is my passion, my purpose in that I have a personal interest in PRESERVING and IMPROVING the quality of our school system, I believe in SYNERGISM. I am committed, educated and a strong advocator.

Planks of your platform:

The children are our most precious asset. They deserve to grow up in a world that prepares them for the challenges they will face, as global technological changes continue to change the job market leaving those who are not prepared by the wayside. Parental and community involvement are crucial to the educational. process.

Top three issues:

There are many challenges but I believe that chief among them are safety, inadequate funding and the increase in the diverse population.