In District 3, voters will inevitably elect a current classroom teacher from Miami Beach High School. This is because both candidates in the run off, Russ Rywell and Lucia Baez Geller are currently teachers at the same high school and interestingly have adjacent homerooms. The Miami Dade County School Board would be well served to have the perspective of a teacher.
Russ Rywell was born in Miami Beach and attended Treasure Island Elementary, Nautilus Junior High, and Miami Beach Senior School. At Beach High, Russ founded the Leo Service Club and was elected President of the Speech and Debate program. After graduating in the top 10 students of his class, he attended R.P.I. and earned a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a Master’s in Finance M.I.T.
Upon graduation, Russ worked in the Bond Portfolio Analysis Group of Salomon Brothers. He spent a decade mentoring at-risk students from Paul Robeson High School in Brooklyn. After the birth of his daughter Marley in 2001, he returned home to Miami-Dade County to raise her and give back to his community. Following his passion, Russ taught Mathematics and restarted a speech and debate program at the Ransom Everglades School. In 2011, Russ returned to his Alma Mater to revive the famous Beach High Speech and Debate program.
Lucia Baez-Geller has been a part of this community for over 30 years, working tirelessly to give its residents a better education.
For over 15 years, Lucia has dedicated her life to education by teaching thousands of students. Her advocacy efforts are far reaching beyond the classroom with her involvement with education initiatives in Miami-Dade County, Tallahassee, and Washington, DC. She was awarded the title of 2013 Political Advocate of the Year by the National Education Association.
Lucia has worked with United Teachers of Dade, Florida Education Association, the National Education Association, Educational Excellence School Advisory Council, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, Media Ambassador for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and served as the Education Chair with the League of Women Voters.
Both candidates are endorsed by the United Teachers of Dade and a wide array of community leaders. Both candidates will bring a fresh perspective and be a credit to our community.