Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Education

Three more candidates join District 7 Pinellas School Board race

The race to fill Lew Williams' vacant Pinellas County School Board seat has attracted three more candidates, expanding the field to four.

Cassandra Jackson, Keisha Bell and Corey Givens Jr. have announced their intent to run for the south Pinellas seat. St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers, 47, also wants to represent District 7 and kicked off her campaign in February.

Glenton Gilzean Jr., 30, who Gov. Rick Scott appointed to fill the vacancy left by Williams' death, has not yet announced if he will run.

Though School Board terms typically last four years, the person elected to fill the remainder of Williams' term will serve until 2014. Candidates have until noon on June 8 to qualify for the Aug. 14 primary election. Here's a look at the three new candidates:

Keisha Bell

Bell, 37, is a St. Petersburg attorney who ran for the seat in 2010 against Williams and fellow challenger Jim Jackson. Bell lost in the three-person primary with 27 percent of the vote but endorsed Williams in his winning bid for the seat.

She has been involved in Pinellas Education Foundation's Florida Next Generation Learning initiative and is a board member at James B. Sanderlin Elementary's family center.

Cassandra Jackson

Jackson, 52, is a paraprofessional at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School in St. Petersburg who has twice run unsuccessfully for St. Petersburg City Council.

Jackson draws on her varied experience as a Gibbs High School parent and educational activist serving on committees such as the District Monitoring and Advisory Committee, a court-created organization charged with monitoring the district's activities regarding racial equity, and the St. Petersburg NAACP's education committee.

Corey Givens Jr.

A 2010 graduate of Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Givens said he feels uniquely qualified to tackle the weighty issues facing the district's youth, including glaring achievement disparities between black and white students.

"I feel like if anyone knows what the students of Pinellas County need, it's someone who has been there recently," said Givens, who turns 20 on Wednesday. He is pursuing at bachelor's degree in political science at the University of South Florida. While at Lakewood, he served as president of the Pinellas County Student Rights and Responsibilities committee as well as class president.

Givens said he has been active in local campaigns including those for state Rep. Darryl Rouson, Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch and former state chief financial officer Alex Sink.

Reach Rebecca Catalanello at (727) 893-8707 or [email protected]

 
Comments
Pasco SRO under investigation after video shows takedown of student

Pasco SRO under investigation after video shows takedown of student

LAND O’LAKES — An investigation continues after a video surfaced on Tuesday that shows a Sunlake High School school resource officer wrestling a female student to the ground while taking her into custody, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Offic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins is proud of his record in boosting high school graduation rates and inroads he has made in marketing the nation’s eight largest school district.His seven bosses on the School Board...
Published: 04/25/18
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions. They also said that as a result of his actions, he wil...
Updated: 3 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Battle continues over west Pasco school rezoning

Jim Stanley does not give up without a fight.The west Pasco County parent who brought down the school district’s 2017 attendance zone revisions, leading the administration to change its procedures along the way, has filed a new challenge to the syst...
Published: 04/24/18
Crews Lake eighth-grader already capable musician

Crews Lake eighth-grader already capable musician

SPRING HILL — Rose Dodd, 2 months old, couldn’t yet grasp a rattle, but there she was years ago at hand-bell choir practice at Keystone United Methodist Church in Odessa.Rose, 14, a Crews Lakes Middle School eighth-grader, is back at hand-bell practi...
Published: 04/24/18
Hillsborough: No way we can afford teacher raises this year

Hillsborough: No way we can afford teacher raises this year

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District is in bad financial shape and its reputation for sound management is perhaps undeserved, the district’s own fiscal team testified Monday in a hearing concerning teacher salaries.The district "made finan...
Published: 04/23/18

School news for April 27

School Calendar• May 17-20: High school graduations• May 25: Last day of school for studentsBriefs• School Safety Town Hall Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 2 at River Ridge Middle/High, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey and 6 to 8 p....
Published: 04/23/18
A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

The young man in a white jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled, looked past the throng of reporters pointing microphones toward his face, barely opening his mouth as he answered questions."I shot through the door," he said, looking at a female repor...
Published: 04/21/18
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18