Two more candidates enter race for Pinellas School Board
A retired Pinellas County elementary school teacher and an adjunct St. Petersburg College professor have entered the race for the upcoming Pinellas County School Board election.
Joanne Lentino, a former Gulfport Elementary first grade teacher who turns 67 on Saturday, and Matt Stewart, a 35-year-old deputy director for Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and adjunct ethics professor at SPC, are vying for incumbent Janet Clark’s at-large District 1 seat.
Clark, who has been on the board since 2004, has not filed her paperwork for reelection yet but said the other two candidates have prompted her to file as soon as this week or next week.
"Fundraising is one of my least favorite things," she said. "I always try to put that off."
She said she is seeking a fourth term because "things are going well."
"The board is working so well together with Dr. Grego," Clark said. "I don’t see the need for a change right now."
She called the board's appointment of Grego as superintendent in 2012 as "one of the smartest moves we've made since I've been on the board." She also is proud of the district’s expansion of magnet programs and said her platform will center around students and support struggling schools.
Two other School Board races will be on the August ballot. In September, board member Ken Peluso was the first to file for reelection. He represents District 4, which covers north county areas, including Tarpon Springs, East Lake and Palm Harbor. Board member Carol Cook has also filed for to run for her fifth term serving District 5, and has drawn challengers Eliseo Santana Jr., a 57-year-old retired communications maintenance supervisor at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, and Mike Petruccelli, a 69-year-old licensed real estate and insurance broker from Indian Shores. Her district includes the central portion of the county, encompassing parts of Clearwater and Largo.