Friday, November 24, 2017
Education

Luikart easily wins second term on Pasco School Board

RECOMMENDED READING


Pasco School Board vice chairman Steve Luikart handily won a second term on Tuesday, holding steady all evening at just over 70 percent of the vote against challenger Marc Yacht.

Luikart, a retired high school assistant principal, said he was gratified by the public belief in him.

"I will continue to be me," he said. "If I see something wrong, I will speak out about it. That's why they elected me."

He ran a low-key campaign, at one point spending a week vacationing in the Keys, returning in time to attend a School Board meeting.

He also paid little attention to the usual political rule of avoiding controversy before the balloting, as he proposed a radical overhaul of the district's student-athlete transfer policy. His recommendation would ease the restrictions on sports participation for students whose parents move into new high school zones between academic years.

He met Tuesday with superintendent Kurt Browning, who opposes his plan, to discuss the matter further. Luikart said he has no plan to back off.

Luikart's re-election bid found support among county notables including County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, real estate agent Dewey Mitchell, and state Sen. Wilton Simpson, as well as several contractors that do business with the district.

Yacht, by contrast, received few contributions and had limited public visibility beyond candidate forums. He attended few board meetings and wrote opinion pieces that ran in small publications.

Even as the campaign began, Yacht acknowledged his chances were slim and called Luikart an "excellent guy." They shared views on several issues.

Still, Yacht said, he wanted to provide an alternative to voters, saying he would offer a loud voice for better funding of public schools and other topics. Luikart praised him for running a positive campaign, and said he held Yacht in high regard.

Incumbents Allen Altman and Cynthia Armstrong also won re-election this summer, without opposition. Their names did not appear on the ballot.

Comments
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Published: 11/23/17
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17
Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

The thousands of students who signed up for Rita Osborn’s music and humanities classes at St. Petersburg Junior College knew what they had to do to pass.They could study and memorize material for tests, but they wouldn’t earn more than a C if they di...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Wiseman’s cellphone rings at least once a week, usually after 9 p.m., with a call from a desperate parent. The voice on the line is tired, defeated. Once again, their child was excluded from an after-school program or summer cam...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

Six University of South Florida professors whose research efforts span biology, engineering, chemistry and business have been selected as Fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization announced Nov. 20.Election ...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

University of Central Florida suspends sorority for hazing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A University of Central Florida sorority has been suspended after its members were accused of hazing, underage drinking and providing false information to law enforcement.The university placed Alpha Xi Delta on an interim suspens...
Published: 11/21/17
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Published: 11/19/17

Class notes

School Calendar• Nov. 27: School resumes after Thanksgiving break• Dec. 22: End of second grading quarter.• Dec. 23-Jan. 7: Winter Break.• Jan. 8: Teacher planning day. No school for students.Arts/Music/TheaterCenter for the Arts at River Ridge Middl...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team captain.Beckm...
Published: 11/22/17