Rachael Kopec, a homemaker and former business coordinator who said she was running for the Flagler County School Board to give a voice to children, teachers and parents, ended her run last week despite qualifying for the race by petition. “I feel very naïve for not realizing it’s such a political position,” Kopec said. “I just don’t think that being a politician ranks high on my priority list.”
Kopec said she discovered that the time commitment and the political nature of the job, including the public glare she would have been under, were not the sort of things she was ready for. “I just felt like I still need to be the best mommy that I can be,” she said. Kopec has a 4-year-old son. “I learned that I’m not a politician. I guess that’s the biggest thing. I learned that the most important thing is my family and putting God first. I want to make sure that my moral compass is pointed in that direction and focused on my family, and not waste another moment being apart from them.”
Kopec was in a four-way race for the District 5 seat being vacated by Board Chairwoman Evie Shellenberger, who decided against running for a third term. Kopec’s withdrawal leaves the race to John Fisher, a 65-year-old Knights of Columbus insurance field agent who came within four points of defeating Shellenberger four years ago in a run-off; Sarkis Peligian, a virtual unknown whose wife teaches at Wadsworth Elementary School; and Raven Sword, a lawyer with the Rice & Rose law firm who recently won the Florida Bar Pro Bono Award for the Seventh Judicial Circuit. Sword is backed by Jim Guines, a former school board member.
Kopec said she wished the remaining candidates in District 5 her best, but that she had not made up her mind regarding whom to support.