Sunday, February 25, 2018
Education

New student representative on Hernando County School Board is again from Springstead High

BROOKSVILLE — In true Florida fashion, Thursday morning's election was a squeaker.

It took three rounds of voting and about an hour and a half to winnow the field of five candidates for this year's student representative position on the Hernando County School Board.

"The student representative to the board of education for this year," said superintendent Bryan Blavatt, after a short speech, "is Sean Chapman."

Clapping filled the auditorium at Nature Coast Technical High School.

Chapman, 18, a senior at Springstead High School, pulled out the victory after two runoffs, capturing 26 of 44 student delegate votes. Nature Coast senior Matt Rhineberger, 17, was the runnerup with 18 votes.

"I guess I'll just start by saying, 'Thank you, guys,' " Chapman said, taking over the microphone after his win. "I'm definitely going to do as much as I can to help all of you as much as possible."

He pledged to devote himself to the job and to get started immediately — or at least after he finishes a couple of college essays.

"You probably will be hearing from me this week," he told the students. "I will be visiting you guys, and coordinating things, as soon as possible."

Each candidate gave a short speech before the first vote. In his, Chapman stood before the group without a piece of paper, holding the red microphone loosely in his hand.

He started with a macro perspective — something you might expect of a student who has his eye on becoming an engineer.

"Each school has their individual concerns, issues. A school can try and handle its own issues or concerns by itself, but it might not have the resources that another school might have," Chapman said. "I feel that if schools work together within this county to help each other out . . . we could get things done more effectively than before."

One area: Bullying.

Some schools, such as Parrott Middle School, have had more success in dealing with bullies than others, he said. He said he started the anti-bullying club at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics.

"If we could get clubs like that to diffuse out into other schools that might have issues with that, I feel like that would be most effective," Chapman said.

He said he wants to bring a student perspective to some of the important issues facing the school district, such as budget cuts. He said he is in a unique position to see how cuts have an impact on students.

He worries, for instance, about students, especially in the lower grades, who can't afford school-sponsored activities and sports. He wants to ensure that those students aren't denied the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities.

William Allen, 17, who worked on Chapman's campaign, lauded the newest student representative.

"I'm really happy that he's in the position to serve the students of Hernando County," Allen said. "Sean is one of the most intelligent people I know."

As a student representative, Chapman hopes to continue building on the work done by Tori Selby, who last year became the first non-voting student representative to the School Board.

One of the first things he will do, he said, is talk with Selby.

"She did a great job last year," he said.

Chapman, like Selby before him, is also a Springstead student.

Also competing in the election, in addition to Chapman and Rhineberger, were Joey Katz, 17, of Central High School, Alexandra Rey, 17, of Hernando High School and Kayla Lewis, 17, of Weeki Wachee High School.

Rey made it through the initial vote before being knocked out in the first runoff.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432.

 
Comments
Special Olympians shine at county summer games

Special Olympians shine at county summer games

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was one of those perfect days, when sunscreen and shade are in high demand, smiles are aplenty and the camaraderie on the field trumps the thrill of victory.About 600 Special Olympians and unified athletes from west Pasco schools...
Published: 02/23/18
Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

ZEPHRYHILLS — On a Thursday morning in a small warehouse off Gall Boulevard, a well-oiled machine of goodwill is cranking. At the Thomas Promise Foundation, volunteers Carlos and Robin Clothier, pack boxes of macaroni and cheese, granola bars, apple ...
Published: 02/23/18
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Published: 02/22/18
Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a dining hall at New York University advertised a special meal in honor of Black History Month. On the menu? Barbecue ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and two beverages with racist connotations: Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored...
Published: 02/22/18
Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

With high school students from Parkland in the Capitol this week advocating for gun control, the bill that would have allowed superintendents and principals to designate trained employees who can carry concealed weapons at school didn’t get heard as ...
Published: 02/22/18
How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

When students return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first time next Tuesday, they will be greeted by additional counselors and law enforcement."There will be a plethora of counselors and services at the school," Broward Schools Superintende...
Published: 02/21/18
School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears to have been in line for a sizable inheritance. He’ll never get to spend it — except perhaps on defense attorneys.The amount could be enough to compel a judge to order him to hire a private lawyer, rather ...
Published: 02/21/18
Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

DADE CITY — A Pasco High School student was taken into custody Tuesday amid accusations of threatening violence against the school. The campus was not at risk, school district officials said. But they made clear they take each threat seriously, and t...
Published: 02/21/18
‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

LITHIA — Students, faculty and staff recently scurried inside the Newsome High School gym for a morning assembly to hear a message about bullying from a man who kids once taunted.Newsome’s principal Carla Bruning invited actor Quinton Aaron, star of ...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

RIVERVIEW — Spoto High School English Department Head Adam Sherman can’t help but wonder if a program he introduced to Spartan students could have changed the trajectory of Nickolas Cruz’s life before he gunned down and killed 17 people on Valentine’...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18