Cheryl Massaro is one of eight candidates in three races for Flagler County School Board in the Aug. 18 primary election. Massaro is running in District 5 against first-term incumbent Maria Barbosa.
The three school board elections–for District 1, 3 and 5–are non-partisan races: all registered voters in Flagler County are eligible to cast a ballot in the two races–whether registered Democratic, Republican, Independent or from a minor party.
You may cast a vote in all three races regardless of the district, the town or the subdivision you live in. The election on Aug. 18 will decide the winner in District 1 between Vincent Lyon and Jill Woolbright and in District 5, between incumbent Maria Barbosa and Massaro, because both races have just two candidates each. District 3 is a three-way race between incumbent Colleen Conklin, Paul Mucciolo and Carol Bacha, known as Mother Elizabeth. The race in this case would be decided only if a candidate wins better than 50 percent of the vote. Short of that, the top two vote-getters will go on to a run-off, to be decided in the general election on Nov. 6.
FlaglerLive submitted identical questions to the school board candidates, who replied in writing, with the understanding that some follow-up questions may be asked, and that all exchanges would be on the record. Questions appear in bold, follow-up questions, when necessary, appear in bold and italics, and may be awaiting answers. When a candidate fails to answer a question, that’s noted in red. The questions and follow-ups attempt to elicit precise answers, but the candidates don’t always comply.
School board members serve four-year terms and are paid $33,950 a year.
The Questions in Summary: Quick Links
- Purpose and vision
- District’s Covid response
- Schools’ reopening
- Successes and failures
- Half-penny surtax
- School deputies
- LGBTQ rights
- Social media
- Background check
Place and Date of Birth: September 22, 1953.
Current job: Retired Education Administrator
Net worth: $438,000
Political affiliation (keeping in mind that school board races are non-partisan):
Websites and Social Media: Massaro4Flagler.com Facebook: Facebook.com/Massaro4Flagler Twitter: Twitter.com/Massaro4Flagler
1. What is your vision for public education in Flagler County and how are you uniquely qualified to help enact it within the limitations of the job? If you’re an incumbent, how have you enacted it in your previous years? If you’re a challenger, what have you done to prepare?
My vision for Flagler County Schools is simple – make the District the best in the nation by having the highest graduation rates, promoting classroom to career programs to encourage increased participation by minority students; and by expanding community partnerships to tap into our vast, local resources. Perhaps this is a bit far reaching, but I truly believe it can be achieved. All School Board members must take the lead by building solid relationships with youth, families, educators, staff, administrators, community members and colleagues who are dedicated to achieving the common goal of helping Flagler Schools flourish. This can only be accomplished by establishing and maintaining a trusting, collaborative, and respectful environment necessary to not only meet, but surpass students’ needs.
My unique qualifications for this position include extensive experience as an educator and administrator, positions that have allowed me to experience first-hand all aspects of education. I have extended my associations by serving the State of Florida as a Department of Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group member, and chair the group’s Racial Ethnic Disparities Committee. The primary task of both groups is to report annually to the Governor on all juvenile justice issues. I also am a founding member of the Florida Youth Justice Commission, a group that is dedicated to ensuring that all youth in the juvenile justice system are treated fairly and given a voice for system improvements.
I have prepared for the School Board role by:
-Attending Flagler County School Board Meetings (in-person and virtually)
-Refreshing myself on the Flagler Schools’ Mission and Goals, the School District Budget, and the most recent Strategic Plan
-Attending an ESE Parent Advisory Council meeting
-Monthly participation at the Matanzas High School’s Advisory Council (in-person & virtually)
-Attending a Flagler Palm Coast High School Advisory Council meeting
-Participating in the Superintendent candidates’ meet & greet event
-Conducting an initial review / analysis of the FL DOE disciplinary data by race, ethnicity, and gender for Flagler schools compared to statewide data
-Conducting an initial review / analysis of the FL DOE Safety Incident Reports by frequency and type for Flagler schools compared to statewide data
-Hosting two (2) Facebook Live events to share my qualifications, but more importantly, to solicit feedback from community members, parents and other stakeholders about what school-related issues are most important to them.
Jill Woolbright, District 1
Carol Bacha (Mother Elizabeth)
Colleen Conklin, District 3
Paul Mucciolo, District 3
Maria Barbosa, District 5
Dave Sullivan, District 3
Donald O'Brien, District 5
Bob Jones, District 5
Sims Jones (Dist. 1)
Ed Danko (Dist. 1)
Nick Klufas (Dist. 3)
Cornelia Manfre (Dist. 3)
Zack Shapiro (Dist. 3)
See The Observer's Speedy Candidate Interviews
2. Tell us who you are as a person—what human qualities and shortcomings you’ll bring to the board, what your temperament is like: if you’re an incumbent, what do you consider may have been a mistake or a misjudgment on your part in your official capacity—something you’d do over, differently–in the past four years? If you’re a challenger, apply the question to your work or civic involvement.
I consider myself a “doer.” While many individuals say they’re going to do this or that, I actually follow through with what I say, and do what I said I was going to do. I am an educated professional, good listener and a patient leader who is able and open to listening to and learning from the views of others. I have always, and will continue to, advocate for all Flagler County youth. I am extremely passionate about ensuring that each child has access to the best education possible, and one that is tailored to helping children achieve success after high school. Whether a student chooses to pursue an advanced education, or move directly into the workforce, it is important to prepare all students for the next step. After all today’s children will be tomorrow’s leaders.
My biggest shortcoming is that I have little to no tolerance for waste, whether it be a waste of human resources, funding, time, tools, leadership, or a youth’s potential. In these situations, my lack of patience causes me to take action by rolling up my sleeves to get to the bottom of the issue, collaborating with others to develop a win-win solution, and get things moving once again in the right direction.
To complete the answer, can you give us an example of a mistake or a misjudgment that stands out in your years as an educator, and how you handled the issue?
While working in my office shortly after opening the Flagler County Youth Center in 2004, I received a visit from then Superintendent Bill Delbrugge who had hired me to create and oversee the Youth Center. During the visit, the Superintendent advised me that he was approached by a group of local youth leaders who perceived my enthusiasm as being too pushy. Additionally, the group recommended that Mr. Delbrugge ask me to curb my eagerness. At first, I was a bit taken aback by the feedback; however, after further discussion and reflection, I acknowledged my misstep and agreed to follow his advice regarding the need to proceed at a slower pace and in a more inclusive manner.
As such, I reached out to community members for input about the Youth Center, which resulted in the development of critical and long-term partnerships, PAL Police Athletic League (PAL), Focus on Flagler Youth Coalition, and the Flagler County Department of Juvenile Justice Council (DJJ). These relationships have been key to supporting my continued professional growth and have led to a leadership role as Chair of the Flagler County DJJ Council, as well as Chair of the DJJ Circuit 7 Advisory Board. I firmly believe that my willingness to listen to the group’s feedback and to consider the impact of my actions on all parties has made me a better administrator, leader, and Flagler County resident.
3. Evaluate the way the district handled the Covid pandemic so far: while the order to close in-person instruction was handed down from the Department of Education, remote instruction methods were up to the districts. Did Flagler schools pass that test? Where was the execution best, where did it fail?
In my opinion, Flagler Schools passed the test. Although almost no one in the country was prepared for this pandemic, I believe that Flagler County Schools’ administrators, teachers and staff did an exceptional job transitioning from the classroom to distance learning. Once the decision was made that students were not returning to the classrooms, it was all-hands on deck. Although many teachers were prepared for online classes, others had limited experience delivering virtual learning. Offering all classroom teachers support through workshops, as well as peer-to-peer assistance from colleagues more accustomed to the virtual classroom, was crucial to the successful implementation of this tremendous undertaking.
Additionally, before any online classwork could begin, students needed to have the proper equipment. This called for the Flagler Schools Technology department to step up and be certain every student had a laptop or tablet, and just as important, home internet service. Thanks to Flagler County’s half-penny surtax, the necessary hardware was available for distribution. Providing Hotspots for internet connection was more challenging, but was also accomplished.
Earlier in the school year, recognizing a need for improved security, the Flagler County School Board approved a contract for an enhanced version of the Zoom video conferencing app to use for virtual meetings. Little did they know how valuable that contract would prove to be throughout the covid-19’s pandemic. Were all these solutions perfect? Absolutely not; however, considering the circumstances, all parties did the best they could to get the virtual classroom up and running much sooner than the surrounding school districts. We also cannot forget the contributions of parents, caregivers and older siblings who were now tasked with being their family’s onsite classroom organizer.
I believe the one shortcoming was the challenge of providing assistance to ESE and at-risk students who typically require additional assistance. Although staff worked tirelessly to provide needed support to every student, especially those with special needs who are most impacted by a change in their daily routine, it remained a struggle for some students and staff.
4. How comfortable are you with a full resumption of school in the fall? As a policy maker, you’ll have to approve the district’s reopening plan. What will be your guiding principles in making that decision? What programs or activities are you willing to forfeit next year, should that become necessary, as part of the plan?
Currently, COVID-19 cases continue to soar in Florida. Fortunately, Flagler County numbers are considerably low, and have remained lower than our neighboring counties. Until that time when new virus cases are reduced and continue a downward trend, I am not be comfortable opening school as normal.
However, the Flagler Schools’ administration has decided to open school on August 24, to full capacity, and has offered anyone uncomfortable with this decision to withdraw their child from Flagler Schools and register them in iFlagler, the districts virtual program. Every family is to be contacted directly by school administrators and/or staff for their decision, and whatever the choice, students will be required to stay in their selected program until the completion of the first semester.
Flagler County Schools recently sent a survey to all student families inquiring about their interest in having their children return to school. While I am not yet aware of the actual survey results, I would speculate that they ranged from going back to school as it was prior to the pandemic, to continuing distance learning for the foreseeable future. Now that the actual decision has been finalized, this is a case where time will tell, and determine if the decision was sound.
As for eliminating programs, a well-rounded education is so much more than learning within the four walls of a classroom. As such, I would not want to eliminate any extracurricular activities or events, unless it was deemed absolutely necessary by Flagler County Health Department officials to limit virus spread.
In fairness and considering the rapidly evolving situation, you originally answered the question just as the significant surge in cases was beginning, and before the district decided to move the reopening by two weeks and offer that third option for remote learning, though the mechanics of making that work are still ongoing. Is it fair to expose teachers and staffers–let alone students–to risks of infection even when the importance of in-person education is taken into account? What’s your impression of the claim that in-person education is a case of Russian roulette at this stage?
Balancing the return to school during a pandemic is tricky at best, and every measure should be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff, and administrators. I believe that Flagler County School Administrators, working collaboratively with the Flagler County Health Department, have developed reasonable plans to address multiple scenarios, and to limit exposure and reduce the spread of the virus.
Families with any compromising health concerns can opt to utilize the iFlagler virtual platform; families with productive distant learners can participate in remote, live learning being streamed from their students’ classroom; and finally, those families who prefer in-person learning can opt to have their children attend on campus. By providing three learning options, it is expected that the number of students on campus will be reduced by approximately 40%, which should facilitate social distancing and limit the opportunity of virus spread. Once the final enrollment figures are determined, I would hope that every effort will be made to assign teachers to the learning option which best suits their skills. Additionally, teachers with compromised health and who wish to do so, should be permitted to request assignment to virtual teaching position if available.
I would hope that returning to brick and mortar learning will not result in a case of Russian Roulette, despite the litigious society in which we live. However, in these most unusual circumstances, there is no guarantee that some may not try to take advantage of the situation. The delay in the start of school and a reduction of the on-campus population, combined with training all staff on new safety procedures, and the precautions every school district department has taken to ensure cleanliness and disinfecting procedures is expected to result in a return to school unlike any previous school year.
5. Would you approve or disapprove of a school board policy requiring mask-wearing on campuses and on district properties, where students and staff gather in any group? Explain your position either way.
As part of a comprehensive plan to keep students, teachers, staff, and administrators safe from the threat of being exposed to the covid-19 virus, I would indeed approve a policy requiring the wearing of masks. I believe in the science that demonstrates that masks are beneficial in limiting the spread of contagions.
Would you allow for a different approach between elementary, middle and high schools?
I would absolutely approve of different procedural steps for the use of masks based on grade level. Middle and High school youth should be required to wear masks whenever they are unable to social distance. It should be an expectation that elementary school children wear masks as well, although realistically, kindergarten and first grade level children may struggle with this expectation. To improve compliance with mask wearing, it will be necessary for families with younger children to practice mask wearing at home, and for teachers to reinforce the need for all students, regardless of age, to wear masks while on school property.
6. Finances will be a challenge at least for the next two years as the state experiences a significant economic recession and its aftermath. Budget cuts may be necessary. What program areas, aside from instruction, would you cut, and what areas would you consider too critical?
This is an interesting question given that Governor DeSantis recently announced that he has signed a bill appropriating $500 million to increase the starting teacher salary to a minimum of $47,500, and provide additional funds to provide salary adjustments for some teachers. This is a huge action that should help in not only recruiting, but also in the retention of Flagler Schools’ educators. At this time, I am extremely interested to see how the state’s overall budget for education will be impacted by the state’s expenditure and how much of the $500 million allocation Flagler Schools will actually receive.
In the past, when tightening the district budget was necessary, it was typically accomplished by taking an approach that required each department to reduce its budget by a fixed amount or percentage. As such, no one program was affected more than another, and the impact and shared loss was felt across the board. If feasible, rather than eliminate programs, I would strongly support this approach as a fair and equitable way to address budget shortfalls. I would not support a reduction or freeze in wages for Support Staff, as they are not being paid competitively, or in accordance with their contributions to the overall success of district.
7. What are the district’s three brightest successes and the three failures that affect students most? What will be your chief priorities regarding student achievement, within the limits of the doable—that is, four years from now, what can we look back to and say: you were responsible?
- Increasing the Flagler Schools’ graduation rate
- Implementation of Distance Learning
- Working in partnership with Daytona International Speedway to create a memory of a lifetime for the Class of 2020 graduates
- School Board’s failure to approve the addition of “Gender Identity” to its policy against discrimination (#217)
- Flagler Schools’ failure to provide a safe learning environment for all children, specifically one that is free from discrimination
- Inability to adequately increase Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students’ academic growthMy number one goal would be to work with ESE families, educators, staff and students to advance all ESE academic and life skills growth and outcomes, as well as to improve test scores and better prepare these students for life outside of the classroom.
Lastly, I cannot think of a time in my professional career where I can look back and say–I was solely responsible for an outcome. However, I can recall countless instances in which I am proud to say that I partnered with colleagues and stakeholders to accomplish a common goal.
If distance learning worked so well, why would do you think is the district so leery of implementing it again on a broad scale this coming year? There seems to be little doubt that distance learning has its pitfalls, socially, intellectually and economically, when parents’ working situation is considered. “Failure to provide a safe learning environment for all children” is a serious statement that implies grave issues, but you don’t explain what you’re referring to–bullying? security? discrimination?–with some examples, and how you’d have handled the matter differently.
The district did an outstanding job transitioning to distance learning at the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, distance learning is not always the best method for educating all youth. Some students are self-motivated and disciplined enough to succeed through distance learning, while others are far less successful, and are likely better suited for in-person and / or live instruction. I firmly believe allowing families to choose the learning format that is best for their children, whether it be on-site or remote learning, is the best solution. In the event that there is a recommendation from local and state health officials to halt on-site learning, I would fully support a return to distance learning for all students, until such time as data supports reverting to the options approved for the 2020 – 2021 school year.
In my initial response to the question asking candidates to list recent district failures, I identified a failure as “the failure to provide a safe learning environment for all children, specifically one that is free from discrimination.” The basis of this statement is in reference to the School Board members’ recent vote to not include “Gender Identity” in the district’s non-discrimination policy. I believe it is the school board’s duty to protect ALL students, including LGBTQ youth, from discrimination and bullying, rather than to pick and choose which students should be protected and which should not. I strongly believe that if adding the words “Gender Identity” protects even one Flagler County school student, it is worth including these words. Additionally, I would continue to educate and reinforce the expectation that all teachers, support and administrative staff treat all children, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation with respect and dignity. I would also advocate that an individual failing to do so be held accountable for failing to meet this expectation.
8. In 2022, the district’s half-penny surtax on the sales tax expires. The district will seek to renew it. Evaluate its worth, explaining how you see where it’s paid off, how you see where it has not. Do you support its renewal? Would you alter its scope and fund different items from those funded now?
I consider the half-penny surtax a “Golden Goose” – a gift that keeps on giving and I believe it is crucial to Flagler Schools’ continued success. Proceeds from the surtax were earmarked to be used for capital projects and improving technology in the classroom. A lot has changed in education and Flagler County since voters approved renewal of the surtax in 2012. Who would have predicted the impact of a full-blown pandemic and the need to transition from traditional classroom learning to a totally online delivery format? Most recently, the half-penny surtax played a pivotal role in making sure that every student and teacher had access to a laptop or tablet, as well as hot spots for internet connectivity, where necessary. Without the half-penny surtax, providing educational activities for Flagler County children following school closures would have been extremely problematic.
I firmly support the renewal of the half-penny sales tax, as I believe that it is a minimally invasive way to support our local schools and limit our need to increase school taxes. If renewal is approved in 2022, the surtax will likely be in place for at least 10 years. Because so many factors can come into play over the course of surtax’s 10-year term, I would advocate to allow for flexibility in the use of this valuable funding stream, (in accordance with pre-established criteria).
9. The County Commission through the sheriff pay for roughly half the cost of sheriff’s deputies in schools but it doesn’t have to: security is a district responsibility. This year, some school board members grumbled about the cost of the contract with the sheriff and suggested alternatives could be sought. What is your opinion of the district’s relationship and contract with the sheriff’s office? In light of the Black Lives Matter movement’s directions, are you comfortable with the presence of deputies on campus? If arming staff as opposed to contracting with the sheriff is the more affordable way to go, would you?
I believe it is imperative to maintain a good working relationship with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and School Resource Deputies (SRD), as they are a vital presence at Flagler Schools campuses in today’s environment. Not only do SRDs add a degree of safety to each and every school building and campus, but, because they are part of the school team, SRDs have an opportunity to socially interact with students, and often their families. These interactions allow youth, families and law enforcement to build very important and positive relationships that on a number of occasions have been beneficial in helping to deescalate volatile situations, both in and outside of our schools. In some instances, had there not been a pre-established relationship between the student(s) and the SRD, the outcome may have been much different.
I would recommend that prior to beginning negotiations for SRD contract renewal, a comprehensive assessment of SRD duties performed, outcomes, and the number of SRD hours actually worked be conducted. With this information, I am confident that a fair and reasonable renewal rate that is satisfactory to all parties can be negotiated.
Flagler County SRDs are professionals who take specialized training to work with youth. The majority of SRDs choose to be in the schools because they are committed to working with students. School Resource Officers are a select group of law enforcement officers who are trained to effectively work in a challenging and diverse environment. The Flagler County Sheriff requires that SRDs not only protect, but also interact with students and staff to build relationships that are critical to avoiding or deterring major incidents. I do not support using guardians or arming teachers as a cost-cutting means, and I believe that our children are safest when trained law enforcement officers are in schools.
What do you make of the post-George Floyd discussions about police–not defunding police (a misnomer, especially here), but redirecting or redefining law enforcement’s role, including–in this case, especially–in schools: does law enforcement have too much authority on campus outside of major crises, too little? Who decides when an SRD intervenes in any given situation outside overt criminal acts or, obviously, cases of intrusion or active assailants?
Unfortunately, in today’s environment, both in and outside of our educational settings, l believe it is absolutely necessary to have law enforcement on Flagler Schools’ campuses. I do not believe School Resource Deputies (SRD’s) providing services on Flagler County campuses have too much authority. As is Flagler Schools’ practice, there are policies and procedures in place that call for a team approach to addressing school disruptions, and I fully support this approach. When a teacher or staff member needs assistance with a student situation, it is up to an administrator, usually an Assistant Principal / Dean of Students, along with the SRD to assess the appropriate threat level and intervention needed. It is my hope that the SRD’s involvement is used as a last resort, for once law enforcement becomes involved, they must operate under more stringent regulations than do the educational administrators. It is my recommendation that each response to a student’s disruptive behavior start with the least restrictive intervention.
10. Of course you support all rights for students. But LGBTQ rights were at issue this year, and may be at issue again during your tenure. Evaluate the way the district handled the matter of “gender identity” this year, keeping that wording out of its non-discrimination policy. Would you revisit the issue? If a student identifies differently from what’s on the student’s birth certificate, with regard to biological sex, what should the student’s school do, or not do, with regards to accommodate that identity?
Failing to add the words “Gender Identity” to the school district non-discrimination policy was a missed opportunity to provide another level of protection for students, as well as establish a Districtwide expectation that all students are entitled to a safe and judgment-free learning environment. Any decision School Board members make regarding policy must keep this as a basic expectation.
Further, what continues to confuse me is the fact that discrimination based on “Gender Identity” is listed as prohibited by District policy in the Equal Opportunity Employer statement for job applicants and Flagler County Schools employees. So, if protection is provided to Flagler Schools job applicants and employees, I am struggling to understand why there was such a debate about providing the same protection for students?
I firmly believe schools need to accommodate any student who identifies differently than is recorded on their birth certificate. What is written on a piece of paper at birth can greatly differ from what is in a youth’s heart, soul and mind. School Board members, administrators, educators, and staff must be educated on all LGBTQ and self-identification matters. Respecting youth and their families’ wishes, and helping to make accommodations necessary to provide a safe and judgment-free learning environment are essential.
11. Last school year the Flagler Health Department sought to add the HPV-suppressing Gardasil vaccine to the other vaccines it already provides on campus, free, on a voluntary basis. The school board split 3-2 against. How would you vote should the issue arise again and why?
Having a Master’s degree in Health Education, I firmly believe in the science and value of the HPV-suppressing Gardasil vaccination. Should the issue arise again, I would vote to approve adding the HPV-suppressing Gardasil vaccine to the other vaccines already provided. Any time a school district is in a position to offer vaccinations free of charge to students, there is no legitimate reason to not offer this voluntary vaccine. In the end, the decision about whether to have their child receive this particular vaccine is one that will be made by individual families.
The Flagler Schools Flagship program is comprised of twenty-one (21) unique Classroom to Careers curricula offered throughout the District’s ten schools. As the former Director of the Flagler County Youth Center and George Washington Carver Community Center, I started working at Flagler Schools prior to the implementation of Flagship programs, and left as they continued to expand throughout the District. As I watched these programs develop, I began to notice an increase in the number of students whose mindsets about going to school change from negative to more positive. I attributed this in large part to many of these students being exposed to career opportunities that they had not previously explored or even knew existed, through participation in Flagship programs.
I am an ardent supporter of the Flagship programs and applaud those who been instrumental in developing and refining them. Additionally, Classroom to Career curricula benefit program participants by preparing them to enter the workforce. Also, local community business partners benefit from having a supply of trained workers readily available. For students who choose this track, how much better does it get than knowing you were exposed to career options and skills training that has the potential to translate into a career in Banking, Fire Fighting, Law & Justice, Culinary Arts, Agriculture, Robotics, and the new Veterinarian Technician, to name a few.
No weaknesses? For instance, and playing devil’s advocate, might the programs have established a sense of one-upmanship between schools, particularly between the two high schools, with resources spent on the next-best flagship motivated more by competition than best practices for the district as a whole? Is there a risk of too early directing students through certain career paths?
I strongly support and encourage healthy competition between Flagler County’s two high schools, and believe this competition can only benefit the Flagler students who are involved in the district’s Flagship programs. That said, the end result of this competition must be viable and cost-effective programs that have positive outcomes for enrolled students. In the event that enrollment in a particular program repeatedly drops, an assessment of the continued offering of the program will need to be conducted.
Although some students know from an early age what they want to be when they grow up, many don’t have a clue, and that is ok. Additionally, the idea that all students should attend college following high school graduation is not realistic or a desirable goal for many students. Flagship programs are an exceptional and creative way to engage youth in education, while at the same time encouraging interested students in explore and get hands-on training in a variety of occupations. Students interested in Flagship programs should be encouraged to work with their families and guidance counselors to help them select what is best for them. I do not think and would not encourage pushing students into any program, for usually that type of action is not productive. I firmly believe that by allowing students a choice, they have the opportunity to discover something they love to do, and become productive members of their communities.
Yes, I believe individuals should be held accountable for everything they do and say as a public figure, especially when using social media platforms. Individuals who run for, and are elected to public office, have voluntarily placed themselves in the position of being subject to public scrutiny and comment. I also strongly believe that it is critical for those in public office to actively listen and be receptive to the comments of others, in order to allow themselves an opportunity to learn and evolve.
14. Have you ever been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor anywhere in Flagler, Florida or the United States (other than a speeding ticket), or faced a civil action other than a divorce, but including bankruptcies, or faced any investigative or disciplinary action through a professional board such as the bar or a medical board? If so, please explain, including cases where charges or claims did not lead to conviction or disciplinary action.