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School Board | District 7

This seat came open unexpectedly when Lew Williams, elected in 2010, died. In January, Gov. Rick Scott appointed former state education staffer Glenton Gilzean Jr. to fill the vacancy. This race pits Gilzean, who moved to Pinellas in November, against former St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers. Cara Fitzpatrick, Times staff writer

Rene Flowers, 48

Corporate trainer

Glenton Gilzean Jr., 30

School Board member

Nonpartisan
Flowers has been an employee trainer for Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services since 2010. She has worked in customer service at Progress Energy and managed the EZride program for Neighborly Care Network. She was on the St. Petersburg City Council from 1999 to 2008 and is active on the NAACP St. Petersburg and AMIKids boards.Experience Named to the School Board in January, Gilzean directed Educate Today, a nonprofit he founded but from which he later resigned after joining the board. He worked as a regional field director for the Florida Department of Education from 2006 to 2009, and is president of consulting companies Think Group Media and Gilzean LLC.
Political science degree from Tallahassee Community College; bachelor's degree in organizational studies from Eckerd College, St. PetersburgEducationBachelor's degree in biomedical science and master's degree in entrepreneurship, both from the University of South Florida
"To assess why students are performing poorly on the FCAT and to improve passage rates. Though the FCAT is flawed, it is how students are measured and we must do better."What should be the highest priority for our new school superintendent?"The highest priority is moving low-performing schools. In some cases, changes within the administration are needed to ensure every child receives a world-class education."
"Yes. I like that 86 to 89 percent goes to teachers and the balance goes to the classroom. I supported and voted for the referendum and will do so again."Do you support renewal of a half-mill property tax for reading, art, music, technology and teacher pay?"Yes. If the half-mill fails to pass, teachers will lose about $3,000 in pay. Reducing their pay could mean losing talented teachers."
"I support expansion, but not the school-within-a-school model. New programs should open where there is need and be housed in closed schools. More flexibility should be given to good students whose parents aren't involved."Should fundamental schools be expanded? How?"Yes. But we have to make sure we have enough resources to support their expansion. Students who attend should be provided transportation. Our challenge lies in funding that to make accessible choice possible."
Focus on reading and math. Build on existing programs like Real Men Read to increase mentoring and involve parents. Recruit minority and male teachers and mentors to whom students, especially males, can relate.What should be done to increase the graduation rate for Pinellas' black students?Improve teacher quality with better professional development, do more to support site-based leadership, increase parental involvement and expand after school programs.
$198,432 from one home, and household goodsAssets$46,792 in household goods, and Think Group Media
$64,000 in a house mortgage and student loansLiabilities$31,662 in student loans
$37,670 from Gulf Coast Jewish Family ServicesIncome$69,710 from Educate Today and Gilzean Ventures LLC and his School Board salary
Divorced, three adult childrenPersonalMarried, no children
reneflowers.comWebsite glengilzean.com
rene@reneflowers.comEmailglen@glengilzean.com

About the job: District 7 covers St. Petersburg south of 54th Avenue N, Kenneth City, Gulfport and South Pasadena. School Board members oversee a $1.2 billion budget and a K-12 school system with about 101,000 students and nearly 17,000 full-time employees. The person who serves in this seat will serve the remaining two years of a four-year term and will be paid $40,457 a year.

Pinellas County School Board District 7: Glenton Gilzean Jr., Rene Flowers, nonpartisan

This seat came open unexpectedly when Lew Williams, elected in 2010, died. In January, Gov. Rick Scott appointed former state education staffer Glenton Gilzean Jr. to fill the vacancy. This race pits Gilzean, who moved to Pinellas in November, against former St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers.

Pinellas County School Board District 7: Glenton Gilzean Jr., Rene Flowers, nonpartisan 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:22pm]
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