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School Board | District 7

In a year of widespread unrest in the Middle East, east Hillsborough's Terry Kemple has grabbed headlines with his efforts to ban school visits by an Islamic advocacy group. Now he's making his second run for a School Board seat, challenging the board's longest-serving member, Carol Kurdell. Marlene Sokol, Times staff writer

Terry Kemple, 66

Management consultant
Carol Kurdell, 67

School Board member
The last time Terry Kemple ran for School Board, he did not make it to a runoff. This time, he was second among six primary election candidates with support coming largely from east Hillsborough conservatives. A proponent of fiscal oversight and parent involvement, Kemple is known lately for his efforts to ban CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations — from Hillsborough classrooms. He says the group has terrorist ties, which the organization denies. Experience Kurdell is the board's longest-serving member. She also spent years as a PTA leader, rising to the level of county council president. On the board, she has been a strong supporter of superintendent MaryEllen Elia and the Gates-funded Empowering Effective Teachers project, for which she serves as board liaison. In her primary campaign, she emphasized her experience on the board and her knowledge of education and the district.
Lakeland Regional High School, some college and Naval Academy credits EducationBachelor's degree in human growth and development, Eckerd College
Ask any teacher who feels he or she can speak without fear of retribution. One hundred percent of those I have spoken with have had negative comments. Teacher morale is in the pits! Because teachers didn't have a say in the design of the EET, it is substantially flawed. The district is midway through Empowering Effective Teachers. Is it working? EET and Principal Pipeline are forcing everyone to review and re-evaluate how they do their jobs with the goal of improving educational outcomes for our students, which is what everybody wants. We see positive progress in both programs. But it' too early to report numerical progress toward our goals and there are steps we are taking to improve.
This isn't a question of trust. The School Board needs to acknowledge that the citizens who elected them are demanding clear policies. Teachers shouldn't be forced to make decisions that can then be second-guessed by either the board or the community.Do you trust our teachers and principals to evaluate guest speakers in the schools? Yes, I never second-guess our teachers and principals. And there are procedures in place to guide them to the right resources if they need help or are uncertain about something, including the district's area supervisors.
It seems to depend on which schools and which disabilities are being discussed. For the second, the comments are generally good except that the push to become proficient should be set up to require less time.Does the district meet the needs of disabled students and English language learners?There are more than 14,000 school districts in the United States, and not one meets every need of every student 100 percent of the time. We have numerous programs and experts for our special-needs students and those less than proficient in English. Unfortunately, not every parent with a child in those categories takes advantage of them.
The board is elected to establish policy, hire the superintendent, approve the budget, and require accountability. Board members should retain a professional relationship so they respectfully but critically evaluate the superintendent's recommendations and accomplishments.How would you describe the ideal relationship between the board and superintendent?Teamwork, and all it entails. Primarily honest communication, mutual respect and everyone knowing what is expected. We are all in this together and our focus is and should be improving educational outcomes. No one person knows as much as all of us together.
House in Valrico, savings, business, spouse's businessAssetsHouse
MortgageLiabilitiesMortgage, loans
Business, spouse's business, Social SecurityIncomeSchool Board salary, Social Security
Married; five childrenPersonalMarried; one stepson Website

About the job: School Board races are nonpartisan. Terms are four years. The seven-member board generally meets every other week to set policy for the district. The job pays $40,932. District 7 is a countywide seat.

Hillsborough County School Board District 7: Terry Kemple, Carol Kurdell, nonpartisan


Hillsborough County School Board District 7: Terry Kemple, Carol Kurdell, nonpartisan 10/17/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 19, 2012 4:54pm]
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