Pinellas Park High teacher files for School Board election
Candidates who vie for a Pinellas County School Board seat are often former educators or retirees who want to give back to the community.
But Alex C. Powers, a 32-year-old online social studies teacher and football coach at Pinellas Park High, is 30 years younger than the average age of today's sitting school board members. A 10-year educator and father of two, he feels he has insider knowledge to be effective on the school board.
"This is not, 'I'm retired and let's find something else to do for $40,000,' in my opinion," said Powers, who lives in Seminole. "This is something that I'm passionate about that affects me in so many ways as a teacher and a parent."
Powers filed for his candidacy on Tuesday, becoming the fourth candidate to enter this increasingly competitive race for the At-Large District 1 seat in the upcoming August election. Retired elementary school teacher Joanne Lentino filed in January, followed by Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections deputy director and adjunct St. Petersburg College Professor Matt Stewart and former St. Petersburg City Council member and 37-year teacher Bill Dudley.
The seat's incumbent, Janet Clark, has yet to file for her fourth term but has said she intends to do so.
Powers said he would focus his campaign on improving morale in middle schools, reverting back to a six-period class day and adding more fundamental school options. Before his job at Pinellas Park High, he taught a range of Advanced Placement and traditional social studies courses at St. Petersburg High for seven years.
"I can't preach something to my students for seven years and not do it myself," he said.