Florida Catholic school leader named to Romney education team

John Giotis, a Republican activist who heads a Catholic school in St. Petersburg, Fla., is among 15 people named to a new National Educators for Romney group.

The 15-member group is headed by Rod Paige, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush’s first term.

Giotis, headmaster of The School of the Immaculata, was among the social conservates in Florida who sided with Romney in the Republican primary. He is the latest Floridian to assume a high-profile position in Romney’s education circle. Jeb Bush wrote the forward to Romney’s education plan. Former Florida Board of Education Chair Phil Handy co-chairs one of his education policy advisory groups. And Julio Fuentes, president & CEO of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (as well as a Step Up For Students board member), serves on an ed policy committee.

A Romney campaign said the new group will lead efforts to support “Romney and his bold education reforms that will put students first.”

Paige said in the release: “I’ve worked with Republicans and Democrats to bring quality education to all of our children, and I can say with authority that Mitt Romney understands the reforms this country needs. For too long, we’ve watched as our most disadvantaged children have been denied the one tool they need to rise from poverty and live a successful life—a world-class education. Mitt Romney has proposed real reforms that will finally bring the change we need and that our children deserve. In Chicago, we are seeing again that entrenched special interests will oppose those efforts, but Governor Romney is a leader who can overcome that opposition. I am proud to support him in this endeavor.”

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.