When residents vote for who they want to see become superintendent of Pasco County Schools, they’ll see a line on the ballot where they can write in the name of a candidate.
Kathy "Kat" Lambert, 61, wants people to know they can write her name “Kat” on that line.
Lambert, of Dade City, is running for superintendent as a write-in candidate this year. She’s competing against Kurt Browning, former secretary of state for Florida.
She doesn’t have big money backing her. Nor does she have big names supporting her.
“What I do have is the chutzpah!” she said.
Lambert is a former substitute teacher in Pasco County. She also used to teach English in Pasco schools to students who don’t speak it as their primary language. In addition, she taught in a Hernando County high school.
“I understand what teachers are going through,” she said. “It’s just an all-consuming job. Your time is not your own."
This would be the highest political position she’s sought to gain. She’s run for Dade City Commission in the past.
Lambert calls herself a “protest candidate.”
“I view my candidacy as my best chance to say what has to be said,” she said.
Lambert has concerns about the transparency of a Browning administration.
“He’s keeping his plans a secret,” she said.
She also has concerns about district finances. She said she would look at closing some old school campuses. She made special note of Moore Mickens Education Center in Dade City.
The district could instead take advantage of technology and Internet learning programs and set up class in rented office space with computer stations.
Lambert also wants the district to invest more in solar power.
She thinks she can be an open leader. She also thinks there would be fewer lawsuits against the district if she were superintendent.
Lambert acknowledges she has a hard campaign. She has no intention of dropping out of the race. She wants to give people a choice of who they can vote for as superintendent.
“Anybody who has doubts about what’s coming can just write my name on the line,” she said.