By: Sharon Aron Baron
After a six-way race, a former high school principal has become the newly elected commissioner for Seat 2 in Coral Springs.
With 34 percent of the vote, Shawn Cerra, now director of athletics and student activities for Broward County Public Schools, said he was both “overwhelmed and humbled” after learning he won. Forgoing a public party, he held an intimate get-together with friends, volunteers, and supporters at his home, where Vice Mayor Joy Carter and Commissioners Joshua Simmons and Larry Vignola congratulated him.
After working for 12 hours on Tuesday waving his sign on University Drive at the corners of Sample Road and Atlantic Blvd, Cerra said he felt a good vibe out there.
“I thought we did really well today and I was hoping we would be in the mix when the absentee ballots came in today.”
When absentee results were published at 7 p.m., his team felt confident after seeing they were up 400 votes, or 33 percent, right out of the gate. The closest candidate was Randal Cutter with 23 percent.
Cerra would ultimately win by 644 votes or 34 percent.
He stressed that five other candidates put themselves out there and he knew what they went through.
“I feel strongly that I want to invite the five to be a part of this seat and really help us move this city forward.”
A resident of Coral Springs for over 25 years, Cerra graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in 1989. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in social science education from the University of South Florida in Tampa, then a master’s degree in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
Beginning his career with Broward County Public Schools as a teacher, he served as an assistant principal/intern principal at Western High followed at Cypress Bay, and then was the principal of J.P. Taravella from 2002-2016. In 2016, he was promoted to serve as director of athletics and student activities for BCPS.
Both he and his wife Kerry have three children: Griffin, Kylie, and Josh, who all volunteered on his campaign.
He said he was proud to be elected and endorsed by the residents, and it was a perfect opportunity for him to meet so many people, as well as learn about the city.
One of the things Cerra said he would be striving for is building a culture within the city, which encourages more people to be involved and know their voices are being heard.
“I’m excited to get to work.”