Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gilzean joins crowded Pinellas District 7 school board race

Glenton Gilzean Jr. has made it official: He wants to stay.

Gov. Rick Scott's appointee to the Pinellas County School Board on Monday filed papers to join the race to fill the seat left vacant by the late Lew Williams.

Gilzean, 30, a former state Department of Education staffer, burst on the Pinellas education scene in January after news of his appointment broke.

He said he talked with his family over Easter dinner Sunday and decided to throw his hat in the race.

"I believe that if I continue to do a good job," Gilzean said Tuesday, "then the voters will keep me on board. And that's the best kind of accountability there is."

Gilzean moved to St. Petersburg from Tampa in November and changed his voter registration to Pinellas County shortly after Williams' death in December.

His presence on the board sparked skepticism among some of those involved in issues related to educating St. Petersburg's African-American youth, largely because they worried about his lack of familiarity with the district.

Gilzean comes to the position from Educate Today, a nonprofit organization he founded while attending graduate school at University of South Florida. Educate Today aims to help poor families identify educational options available to them, including whether they are well-suited to receive vouchers to attend private schools.

A former young leader in the Hillsborough County Republican scene, Gilzean joins a diverse — and crowded — field of candidates for the seat. Also running are: former St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers, 47; Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School paraprofessional Cassandra Jackson, 52; lawyer and repeat District 7 candidate Keisha Bell, 37; and USF student and recent Lakewood High graduate Corey Givens Jr., 20.

District 7 covers most of the southern tip of Pinellas County, including St. Petersburg south of 54th Avenue N, Kenneth City, Gulfport and South Pasadena. School Board members oversee a $1.3 billion budget and a K-12 school system with about 101,000 students and nearly 14,000 full-time employees.

Though board members typically serve four-year terms, this nonpartisan election will be for the remainder of Williams' term, which ends in 2014. Candidates have until noon on June 8 to qualify for the Aug. 14 primary election.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at (727) 893-8707 or

Gilzean joins crowded Pinellas District 7 school board race 04/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  2. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  3. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  4. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'


    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  5. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack


    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.