Laura Hine was elected to the Pinellas County School Board in November 2020 and currently serves as Chairperson.
A native Floridian, Laura attended K-12 public schools, graduating from Chamberlain High School. Laura’s mother was a public school teacher and their Girl Scout leader; Laura’s father served in the Army during Vietnam, had a career in insurance and was their Little League coach. They raised Laura with a strong sense of citizenship, duty and community service.
These values propelled her into service. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997, Laura served in the Navy for six years as a surface warfare officer, completing two deployments to the Middle East, participating in national tasking related to Afghanistan as well as coalition work with the United Nations in East Timor. Laura graduated from the Army Airborne school in Ft. Benning, Georgia; was one of the first two women integrating a U.S. warship; and at 23 years old, qualified Officer of the Deck (OOD) of a $1B warship.
Upon her return home to Florida in 2003, Laura joined the construction industry, earning her commercial general contractors license, U.S. Green Building Council LEED AP designation and working on a number of design-build projects with The Beck Group, including the Southwest Airlines terminal at Tampa International Airport. In 2015, Laura was asked by Tom James of Raymond James Financial to serve as the project director for the development of The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art and associated real estate in downtown St. Petersburg. In 2019, Tom asked Laura to serve as the museum’s Executive Director, which she did until stepping down in 2023 to spend her full-time in public education.
Laura earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and International Business from USF St. Petersburg. She is married to Hank Hine, who serves as the Executive Director of The Dali Museum; together they have two young children, two grown children and one grandchild. As their younger children came of age for school, Laura came alive to the import of strong public education as vital to our communities and to our democracy. In 2015, Laura co-founded the non-profit Friends of North Shore Elementary, then engaged in leadership through PTA all the time gathering families and asking the teachers and leaders, what can we do for you? Laura’s passion for exceptional education for all students grew and fueled her to ask the community to serve on the school board in 2020.
Laura currently serves as Chair of the Pinellas County School Board, Chair of the Pinellas County Health and Human Services Leadership Board, member of the District Safety and Security Committee and member of the City of St. Petersburg Future of Work Task Force. Laura also serves as Secretary of John Hopkins Middle School PTSA, as a lay reader at their church, St. Thomas Episcopal, and recently as the assistant coach of the boy's volleyball team at John Hopkins Middle School. Like her parents, Laura has always volunteered in the community: child life services at John Hopkins All Children's Hospital, Exalted Warrior Foundation for wounded veterans, several boards, including Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Studio @620, and coaching Little League for several years, just to name a few.
Laura believes that strong public education is vital to our communities, vital to our democracy, and that education can be and must be exceptional for all students.