Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Three new members guaranteed on Hernando School Board

In Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary election, Beth Narverud defeated Jay Rowden for the open District 3 seat, which was left vacant by retiring board member Dianne Bonfield.


In Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary election, Beth Narverud defeated Jay Rowden for the open District 3 seat, which was left vacant by retiring board member Dianne Bonfield.

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board is in for a dramatic makeover, with three new members guaranteed to come aboard after the November election.

In Tuesday's nonpartisan primary election, Beth Narverud handily defeated Jay Rowden for the open District 3 seat, which was left vacant by retiring board member Dianne Bonfield.

Incumbent John Sweeney, who became embroiled in a controversy this year involving the changing of his son's grades, was knocked out of the District 1 race with the fewest votes of the three candidates, leaving Mark Johnson and Don Whiting to duke it out in the Nov. 4 runoff.

In District 5, Susan Duval and Robert Neuhausen were the top two vote-getters, knocking out incumbent Cynthia Moore, who received the third-highest number of votes. Anna Liisa Covell came in fourth place.

The District 3 race to replace Bonfield was among the most contentious so far this election season in Hernando.

Each candidate raised more than $16,000, and money poured into the race from outside sources in the form of fliers and robocalls.

Narverud said she was excited to win her first campaign.

"It feels really awesome," she said. "I'm so excited. It's been a long road."

Narverud, the former head of the Hernando County Education Foundation, said she hopes to first work with the district's budget to get more technology into the schools.

"We want to close that achievement gap," she said. "We need to give the kids and the teachers what they need to make that happen."

She thanked Rowden for running a relatively clean race and all of the people she met while campaigning.

"Going from very little name recognition to a lot of name recognition, it's a large leap," she said.

Rowden said he was disappointed with the results.

"It is what it is, and you've got to move on," he said.

He said the loss won't stop him from advocating for the passage of the joint school district and county sales tax on the November ballot.

"I think if they get their penny sales tax, they will probably be okay," he said. "If they don't, they're in deep trouble."

In the District 1 race, Johnson pulled in the highest percentage of the vote, with Whiting coming in second. Sweeney, the incumbent, followed in third.

Sweeney could not be reached for comment.

In recent months, Sweeney has battled against allegations that he was involved in the changing of his son's English grade at Springstead High School. He has adamantly denied doing anything wrong and questioned district officials and a recently released investigation that failed to determine who leaked confidential student records.

In the crowded District 5 race, Duval, a former Springstead High School principal, pulled in the most votes, followed by Neuhausen, an active parent.

Moore, an incumbent, said she wasn't upset and pledged that the result wouldn't stop her from being involved with the schools.

"What will be will be," she said. "I'm not going to give up."

Three new members guaranteed on Hernando School Board 08/26/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick Friday night in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  2. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101