Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New school board member meets St. Petersburg NAACP

ST. PETERSBURG — There was reason to suspect the brand new School Board member's visit to the St. Petersburg NAACP Monday might turn combative.

Glenton "Glen" Gilzean didn't even live in Pinellas County until November, but got picked by Gov. Rick Scott to serve on the board that oversees more than 100,000 students.

And Monday night, the 29-year-old came to talk with about 10 NAACP leaders who admired the late Lew Williams, whom Gilzean replaced.

Former St. Petersburg NAACP President Ray Tampa asked Gilzean if he had known Williams and "whether you have any idea what his vision is?"

While Gilzean acknowledged he did not know Williams, he said he had a recent breakfast meeting with Williams' wife to discuss her late husband's vision. And he agreed to keep meeting with her, as much as once a week.

Gilzean said he had learned that when Williams dealt with School Board matters, "no matter what happened, it was always about the student first." Gilzean also said Williams believed in good preschools to get kids ready for elementary schools.

"Although I did not have a personal relationship with the gentleman," he said, "I do have a working relationship with his widow."

Gilzean's answers set some of the NAACP members at ease. Tampa, for one, said Gilzean appeared knowledgeable about education issues and "he seems open to listening."

Gilzean said he will hold office hours open to anyone who wants to discuss education issues. He wants to find ways to better coordinate preschool programs. He wants to improve student achievement. He defended his support of educational vouchers, which some in the audience questioned.

He also acknowledged being an average student himself, with a 2.9 high school GPA and a 3.0 at the University of South Florida. But, he said, he did make good choices, and said students need guidance on how to do the same.

Gilzean said he hopes young people of color will look at him and see a man who graduated from college and formed a nonprofit employing 50 people around the state. And he hopes they will realize "that they can do it too. That's the exciting part."

New school board member meets St. Petersburg NAACP 01/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cannon Fodder podcast: Sorting through the Bucs' injuries


    Greg Auman sorts through the Bucs players sidelined with injury and illness in the latest edition of our Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Kwon Alexander left the Bucs' game against the Bears with a hamstring injury. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. College football week 4: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    The Times' college football coverage team makes its picks for week 4 of the college football season:

    USF coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls face Temple in a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. KB Home cuts CEO's bonus after vulgar rant at Kathy Griffin (w/video)

    Real Estate

    NEW YORK — One of the nation's biggest homebuilders is putting its top executive on notice after a vulgar rant against comedian Kathy Griffin was caught on tape and went viral.

    Comic Kathy Griffin and KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger are neighbors. [Associated Press]
  4. Men of Vision get to work after Hurricane Irma


    Answering the call to action after the departure of Hurricane Irma, they cleaned up fallen branches in mid-Tampa neighborhoods and in Rowlett Park, where they toiled alongside Tampa city workers, and they came out in force to clean up the Hillsborough River, pulling out gas cans, trash cans, old tires and even a …

    hillsmov092217: The Men of Vision helped clean up Rowlett Park in the wake of Hurricane Irma last week. Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Public Schools.
  5. Visitors get in free Saturday at Tampa Bay History Center


    Times staff

    TAMPA — Nothing to do Saturday? Go back in history.

    Machine gun at the ready, a paratrooper of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Brigade advances cautiously  near Hue, South Vietnam on April 3, 1968.