So long, farewell
As voters cast ballots for new Pasco County School Board members Tuesday morning, three departing members made their parting comments during a sparsely attended board meeting.
Frank Parker, who plans to attend the Nov. 16 turnover just long enough to approve the minutes and watch the swearing in, expressed his gratitude to many who have allowed him to serve. He reminded the remaining board members to remember they work for the taxpayers, who should have a prominent place in decisions.
Kathryn Starkey, whose June resignation to run for Florida House became effective today, said she had a "great six years" on the board. She looked forward to continuing her participation in the schools in other roles, perhaps with the education foundation and the career academies advisory board. "I really really enjoyed sitting here and working on the issues," Starkey said.
Cathi Martin, the longest-serving member to retire, called her departure "bittersweet." Martin had contemplated a reelection bid but, hindered by health and related problems, and facing criticism for repeatedly missing meetings, she heeded the advice of friends and family members to end her tenure after 12 years.
"I have always kept students first, in what is best for them," Martin said. "Now it’s time to move on and bring some new blood to the board and wish them good luck."
She offered the eventual winners this advice: "Make sure your backbone is strong."
Check back later to see who will be part of the Pasco School Board's new majority.