Second candidate files for 2018 School Board election
There are two candidates in all of Pinellas County who have already filed to run for the 2018 election.
Both want to be School Board members.
District 2 at-large hopeful Jeff Larsen, former Tarpon Springs vice mayor and city commissioner and Pasco County teacher, was the first to file his paperwork before the August primary. Then, in October, a candidate filed for another seat, District 3 at-large: Nicole Carr.
Carr, 45, is a longtime Pinellas educator with a variety of experience in district and school administration, including serving as assistant principal of Lakewood Elementary in 2015. She left that post to tend to her youngest son and is currently not working in the district.
"I would like to get back into serving the district in a different way," she said.
Carr's platform centers around recruiting and retaining classroom teachers. She said she wanted to encourage a higher response rate from teachers on the district's culture surveys.
"I think it’s really important to have a culture and a climate that allows teachers to be valued," she said. "It’s difficult to say the climate of the district."
And since the district has turned to the bond market to fund capital projects (which it hasn't done in a while), Carr said she wants to keep a closer eye on where the money is going, and continue that practice to evaluate programs the district has invested in.
"I think it’s important that we have individuals working on the board who will ask difficult questions and seek to explore the data further," she said. "Sometimes we look at the data and look at the outcomes of things and draw conclusions instead of asking the question and aligning the correct data to answer the question."
Her district experience includes being a guidance counselor at Northeast High and Meadowlawn Middle, serving as a Title I program evaluator and working as the district coordinator for its assessment, accountability and research department. Outside of Pinellas, she taught developmental reading at Santa Fe Community College while working on her education doctorate at the University of Florida.
"I feel like I’ve been at all levels at a variety of roles doing a number of different functions," she said.
Carr has one child attending St. Petersburg High and a younger child who previously went to Ridgecrest Elementary and is now attending a private school.
School Board chairwoman Peggy O'Shea currently fills the District 3 seat. She said after a Tuesday board meeting that she does plan to run for a fourth term but doesn't plan to file her paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections office this early.
Times staff writer Cara Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.