Dr. Paul Mucciolo has filed to run for the District 3 seat on the Flagler County School Board.
Mucciolo is the Emergency Department medical director for the AdventHealth Palm Coast and Palm Coast Parkway hospitals. He is also Daytona Beach International Speedway’s Emergency Care Center medical director. He also ran for the District 3 seat in 2020, receiving about 35% of the vote. Colleen Conklin won with 52%.
In announcing his candidacy, Mucciolo said in a press release, “With deep roots in our community and as a proud parent of two children currently attending Flagler Schools, I have direct insight into the challenges faced by students, parents and educators alike.”
Mucciolo is currently the only candidate for the seat. Conklin, who has been a School Board member since 2000, has said she does not plan to run again in 2024. Nicole Durenberger, who filed for the seat in September, told the Observer on Saturday, Dec. 9, that she has withdrawn her candidacy.
“My father is 92, and he has dementia. So, we don't expect for him to last through next year, and I want to make sure that I'm there whenever I need to be there for him,” she said.
In an interview with the Observer, Mucciolo said there are too many conflicting agendas on the School Board.
“There should only be one agenda,” he said. “And that's the agenda of the students. It's unfortunate that the students have become the bystander rather than making them the focus. And I’d like to make that change.”
Mucciolo said he would like to help Flagler Schools achieve an A rating again.
As a parent of a disabled student with an individualized education program, Mucciolo said he’d like to see the process made easier for parents.
Taking care of a child with an IEP is daunting. ... This process should be transparent. It should be easy. And it is anything but.”
— PAUL MUCCIOLO
“Taking care of a child with an IEP is daunting,” he said. “I would like to think that, this will be my 28th year of medical practice and I would know how to follow directions. And despite being compliant with the documentation, the requests, the meetings, it's difficult for my wife and me. And that shouldn't be. This process should be transparent. It should be easy. And it is anything but, and that is not the fault of the district; I want to make that very clear. It’s the system. So what we have to do is work with the kids within the constraints of the system.
“But I think that if the organization's already in place to help parents of children who are disabled, we can really improve that level of service in the district and remove some of the anxiety and angst of the parents and the caregivers.”
Mucciolo said his board member experience with AdventHealth, Emergency Medical Professionals and as president of the board of his homeowners association has helped prepare him to be a School Board member.
Since he last ran for School Board, he has helped the school district navigate COVID along with the Florida Department of Health-Flagler.
“That has really opened my eyes a lot,” he said.