Hillsborough School Board incumbent Carol Kurdell placed first in the primary and faces the No. 2 vote-getter, Stephen Gorham, in the runoff. This race is nonpartisan and open to all voters.
Kurdell, 63, brings valuable experience at a critical time for the school system. The district is reducing transportation services to offset cuts in the budget, examining changes to school boundaries and facing new caps for enrollment in the classroom. Her four terms on the board give Kurdell the grounding to balance these demands. She is a thoughtful voice and has a history of bringing people together. Her common sense shines through in her call to increase student counseling and guidance services as the district pushes to expand advanced placement curricula. Kurdell needs to get more engaged and throw more ideas on the table, but her judgment is sound and she is clear about the role the public schools should play in society.
Gorham, 30, a telecommunications administrator, understands the issues. His energy and personal skills could warm the image of a board that often looks out of touch with parents and the public. But his reform agenda lacks specifics. He also looks overly political by criticizing the administration to the point he glosses over what the district does right.
For Hillsborough School Board District 7, the Times recommends Carol W. Kurdell.