Saturday, November 18, 2017
Education

Pinellas school board candidates face questions at forum

RECOMMENDED READING


Two members of the Pinellas County School Board worked hard Thursday to play up their strengths and distinguish themselves from a diverse and crowded field of opponents.

In one race, it was a battle between old guard against new guard.

Board member Glenton Gilzean, a newcomer to Pinellas who was appointed to the District 7 seat by Gov. Rick Scott, played up his experience working with the state Department of Education. He said none of the other four candidates had a plan to fix schools.

Rene Flowers, a former St. Petersburg City Council member, struck back in her closing statement, noting the "depth and breadth" of her experience in the community, including her work on affordable housing.

"So Mr. Gilzean, I ask you, what you have you done?" she said.

Another opponent, Corey Givens Jr., alluded to Gilzean's endorsement from former Gov. Jeb Bush, saying Bush was responsible for most of the unfunded mandates facing the school district.

Board member Janet Clark, who's seeking a third term in District 1, a countywide seat, faced three opponents who said the slate of candidates for superintendent was inadequate and that the board needed a change.

"Change takes time, but it can happen more quickly through effective leadership and teamwork," she said.

Clark said she wouldn't know if the superintendent candidates were adequate until she had a chance to interview them.

The two-hour forum attracted about 50 people to Osceola High School in Largo. The Pinellas County Council of PTAs hosted the event, which included a series of narrative questions and a lightning round in which candidates were limited to yes or no answers.

In the lightning round, all candidates except Clark and Jim Jackson, in District 1, were opposed to longer school days. All except Flowers were in favor of abolishing early release Wednesdays.

In District 7, only Gilzean was in favor of privatizing some non-instructional district services. In District 1, only Clark was against it.

Comments

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...
Updated: 3 hours ago
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...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pasco school district proposes future changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones

Pasco school district proposes future changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones

Plans to erase the attendance boundaries for Ridgewood High School have grabbed all the attention.But the Pasco County school district also has proposed changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones for consideration this fall.They’re just ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
At St. Petersburg High, alums push to complete private funding for home field improvements

At St. Petersburg High, alums push to complete private funding for home field improvements

ST. PETERSBURG — The athletic facilities at St. Petersburg High are just like Bob Carter remembers from 50 years ago.He recalls it all fondly: The concession stands, ticket booths and bathrooms are still the same. The track is still outdated asphalt,...
Published: 11/15/17
In union push at USF, adjunct professors strive for more respect and a living wage

In union push at USF, adjunct professors strive for more respect and a living wage

TAMPA — Robert Ryan cleaned out his office in May. He knew he was dying.He had kept driving to the University of South Florida even as he lost the use of his left arm. He had kept teaching English, even as tumors ravaged his mouth so that he could ha...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Hillsborough Education Foundation, Yoobi team to surprise students

Hillsborough Education Foundation, Yoobi team to surprise students

The kids at Bing Elementary knew something special was about to happen when a six-foot white dog with a "target" over his right eye walked into the classroom.And they were right.On Tuesday (Nov. 14), volunteers and corporate supporters joined the Hil...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/16/17
New aviation programs at PHSC help propel students toward dreams

New aviation programs at PHSC help propel students toward dreams

DADE CITY — Dustin Snodgrass has a photograph of himself as a child in the pilot’s seat of a kid-size model airplane. Snodgrass, now 28, recently took a big step toward his goal of flying real aircraft with his first solo flight through a new profess...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Hillsborough teachers show up in the hundreds to clamor for promised raises

Hillsborough teachers show up in the hundreds to clamor for promised raises

TAMPA — A weeks-long salary standoff between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers hit an emotional peak Tuesday as hundreds of teachers and students turned out to ask the School Board for their promised raises."War has been declar...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Romano: Sorry teachers, you simply can’t win this one

Romano: Sorry teachers, you simply can’t win this one

When it comes to your principles, there is no shame in putting up a fight.You can fight City Hall, and you can fight the power. According to the song, you can fight the law. You can even fight the good fight, whatever that means.But you cannot fight ...
Published: 11/14/17
Hillsborough teachers plan School Board protest today as tensions heat up over pay

Hillsborough teachers plan School Board protest today as tensions heat up over pay

Today is the last time the Hillsborough County School Board will gather before the Thanksgiving break, but the usual pre-holiday vibe may be muted in a district that has fallen on anxious times.Hundreds of teachers are expected to show up in protest ...
Published: 11/14/17