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Updated: 07/11/2014 09:22:53AM

Scott appoints Compton to school board

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SEBRING — One of the candidates for the District 5 Seat on the Highlands County School Board has gotten a leg up on her competition from Tallahassee. Jill Compton became the incumbent candidate when she was appointed Friday to serve out the term of Andy Tuck who left the school board to take a post on the state Board of Education.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Compton’s appointment in a Friday press release. Compton heard the news firsthand Thursday evening. “Gov. Scott called me on my cell phone with the news,” she said. “I didn’t recognize the number and I almost didn’t answer.”

Compton said the governor quickly got to the point and offered the appointment. “I was shocked. I was humbled,” she said. “I didn’t think he (Scott) was going to make an appointment this late in the term. But obviously he did, and I’m elated.”

Scott appointed her to a term that started Friday and will last until Nov. 11.

If Compton wants to keep the job, she will have to win a five-way run for the seat with Clinton Culverhouse, Trevor Murphy, William “Pep” Hutchison and William “Tres” Stephenson.

The 38-year-old has been running on a platform of having a perspective as a parent, an educator and a businesswoman. Compton followed the petition method to qualify for the campaign. “A lot of people got out and helped me get signatures,” she said. “I appreciate all the hard work.” Needed were 621 signatures. “But we got a lot more than that. We stopped counting when we reached the number we needed, but there were a lot more.”

Compton is currently an ESE Resource teacher at the Kindergarten Learning Center. A 1994 graduate of Lake Placid High School, she is also vice president of Century 21 Compton Realty in Lake Placid. She earned her real estate license at 19 years of age and has also earned the status as Broker. She is the mother of identical twin sons.

Compton received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and her Master’s of Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida as well as a Master’s of Communication Science and Disorders from Northern Arizona University.

Correspondent Barry Foster contributed to this report.