Wikle endorses Billiris to replace her on Pinellas school board
Two people are running to replace Robin Wikle, who announced in February that she'll step down from the Pinellas school board in the fall. Now, Wikle is ready to endorse one of the candidates: Beverley Billiris, the former mayor of Tarpon Springs.
"I'm congident Beverley will continue to advocate for students in Pinellas County. She brings an incredible work ethic to Pinellas County," Wikle told Gradebook, noting that Billiris is a teacher at Tarpon Springs Elementary.
"She's been in the classroom the last four years so she's been closest to the changing landscape in education the last four years," Wikle said. "I think that's important when filling my seat because at this time there's only one school board member with children in school." (That's Terry Krassner.)
Wikle, also of Tarpon Springs, said she's known Billiris for more than 20 years and worked with her when Wikle was on the parks and recreation board and Billiris, 66, was mayor.
Ken Peluso, 57, of Palm Harbor is also running for Wikle's seat.
Peluso, a recently retired chiropractor, was chairman of Pinellas' Early Learning Coalition, served on the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce's education committee, and spent time on the statewide Early Learning Advisory Council. He narrowly lost the 2008 election to Wikle.
Wikle said she's still not sure what she'll do after stepping down midway through her term.