Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Two vie to replace Pasco teachers union president

LAND O'LAKES — Two Land O'Lakes High School teachers will vie to replace Lynne Webb as United School Employees of Pasco president.

Kenny Blankenship, who left the classroom about two years ago to become USEP vice president for teachers, and Pat Connolly, who serves on the union's negotiating team, both met the Thursday deadline to file their candidacies for the top job. Webb announced earlier in December she will not seek re-election to the post she has held for 15 years.

Blankenship, 54, began working as a social studies teacher in the district in 1996. Connolly, 58, has been a math teacher in the district since 1989.

Both men have been regular speakers before the School Board, challenging the district on such matters as employee pay, policy revisions and other matters. They have not yet scheduled any debates or forums to share their views on the issues facing employees, which will include teacher evaluation revisions, performance pay and workload concerns.

The only other contested USEP leadership seat is for vice president for school-related personnel. Incumbent Gay Kennedy, a bus driver, will face a challenge from William Hull, a paraprofessional at the Marchman Technical Education Center.

Gulf Highlands Elementary music teacher Lee Kulikauskas was the sole candidate to file for vice president-teachers, and Cheryl Vinson, a language arts teacher at Anclote High, faced no opposition to be secretary-treasurer.

Voting is set to take place February 27 through March 13.

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