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Hernando County School Board, District 3

School Board | District 3

This nonpartisan race features two first-time candidates vying to for the seat currently held by board member Dianne Bonfield, who is not seeking re-election. The biggest fundraisers in any of the three School Board races, both candidates bring a lot of name recognition and different beliefs about how to tackle various issues facing the district.


Beth Narverud, 50


Co-owner of Narverud Restaurant Systems

Jay Rowden, 70


Retired machinery company owner

Experience Narverud was born in New York, raised in New Jersey and has lived in Hernando County for about 27 years. She has not previously run for public office. The owner of a Domino's Pizza franchise, she is a business partner with many schools. She's a former executive director of the Hernando County Education Foundation and a member of the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties. She has served in several other roles in the community and schools. A native of Portland, Ore., Rowden is a 30-year resident of Hernando County. He is running for political office for the first time, though he has been active over the years in the Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee. He is married to current County Commissioner and former School Board member Diane Rowden. Jay Rowden has served on the PTAs at various schools and was on the first School Advisory Council at West Hernando Middle School. He was also on the Springstead High baccalaureate organizational committee.
Education High school with some years of college High school and a couple years of college
Platform Narverud wants to bring business-sensitive budgeting and practical career and technical programs to the district. She also wants to improve communication with parents and the community. Rowden wants to increase school funding by working with legislators at the state and federal levels. He said he also will work with staff to find innovative ways to get the most out of existing funds.
What are the top issues confronting the district, and how would you fix them? Budget and communication. Narverud thinks the district needs to align priorities and create a conservative-spending/expense-reduction plan. To improve communication, she would work to develop collaborative partnerships and have honest dialogue about challenges and possible solutions. The district lacks revenue, time and leadership. He believes in an intense lobbying effort, which would include a hired lobbyist. He also would have liked to have seen a 20-year sales tax, which would double the amount the district is able to bond. He doesn't think the current board has the leadership to pull this off.
Why should residents support you over your opponent? Narverud thinks there are numerous distinctions, but says one stands above all others: She is a mother of three children currently in the school system. "For me, this position is personal and important for all of our children," she said. Rowden says he has greater experience on several different levels, working with Fortune 500 companies, foreign countries and government officials at all levels. He also touts his experience taking a business from an idea to a global enterprise.
Stance on the penny sales tax? She supports the joint penny sales tax referendum for the school district and county. He supports the referendum on the combined sales tax with the county.
Evaluate the superintendent She said that's difficult to do from the outside, especially given the lack of transparency from the district and School Board. Rowden thinks the superintendent is doing an excellent job.
Assets IRA, life insurance, bank accounts, prepaid college plan, real estate, home, business investments, other investments Home, cars, household/personal goods
Liabilities Mortgages, various loans, charge accounts Mortgage, loan
Income Salaries Social Security, FRS, Delta Air Lines, salary
Personal Married with three teenage children Married with two grown children


About the job: District 3 is generally west of Brooksville and north of State Road 50. Board elections are countywide, but members must live in the district they represent. School Board terms are four years; the current annual salary is $34,426.

Hernando County School Board, District 3 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:58pm]
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