School Board | District 4
Three candidates — Beverley Billiris, John Nygren and Ken Peluso — are vying to replace Robin Wikle. Wikle chose to step down early. District 4 includes Tarpon Springs, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Dunedin and parts of Clearwater, including Countryside and the north beaches. Cara Fitzpatrick, Times staff writer
School Board | District 2
Board member Terry Krassner is seeking a second term. She faces Chris Tauchnitz, a senior software engineer, for the seat. District 2 is at large, which means it's open to voters throughout Pinellas. Cara Fitzpatrick, Times staff writer
Terry Krassner, 62
School Board member...08/13/14 Blog
Pinellas School Board candidate Ken Peluso said last Thursday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg that he would support teaching creationism in science classes.
Peluso reversed his position the next day, saying that he was caught off guard and "gave a quick response without thinking."...08/13/14 Blog
Steve Swartzel, who retired from the Pinellas County school system a little more than a year ago, will now lobby on behalf of the School Board.
The School Board approved Tuesday a two-year contract with Swartzel Consulting. The school system will pay Swartzel $62,000 a year for representing its interests in Tallahassee.
Swartzel, who had a long career in Pinellas, performed many of the same duties when he was in the governmental services office. He earned $119,000 a year as a full-time employee. Upon his retirement in May 2013, that office was eliminated. ...08/12/14Education
Three candidates are vying to replace School Board member Robin Wikle, who announced in February that she would vacate her seat two years early.
Her decision put five of seven board seats in play this year.
Two candidates seeking to replace Wikle have name recognition. Beverley Billiris, 66, is the former mayor of Tarpon Springs, a local business owner and a recently retired teacher. Ken Peluso, 57, is the former chairman of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas and a retired chiropractor who narrowly lost to Wikle in 2008. ...08/08/14Education
Pinellas School Board candidate Ken Peluso said Friday he doesn't support teaching creationism in public schools, despite comments he made during a public forum.
He was caught off guard and gave a "quick response without thinking," he said.
During a candidate forum held by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg, Peluso was asked Thursday if he favored teaching creationism. If so, would he allow it to be taught during a science class? He said, "I think creationism and evolution should be taught side by side and I don't care what classroom."...08/08/14 Blog
Pinellas School Board candidate Ken Peluso said Friday that he doesn’t support teaching creationism in public schools, despite comments he made during a public forum.
He was caught off-guard and gave a “quick response without thinking,” he said....08/07/14Education
Pinellas School Board candidate Ken Peluso wants creationism taught in public schools.
"I think creationism and evolution should be taught side by side and I don't care what classroom," Peluso said Thursday in response to a question at a School Board candidate forum held by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg.
Candidates were asked whether they favored teaching creationism. If they did, would they allow it to be taught in a science class? ...08/07/14 Blog
Ken Peluso, a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Pinellas County School Board, said today that he favors teaching creationism in public schools.
"I think creationism and evolution should be taught side by side and I don't care what classroom," he said in response to a question at a public forum held by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg....08/06/14Education
Pinellas County School Board member Terry Krassner faces a senior software engineer in her bid for a second term. The two offer voters clear differences in philosophy and experience.
Krassner, 62, is a lifelong educator, serving 36 years in the Pinellas County School District as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Chris Tauchnitz, 46, has worked at VeriFone Inc. for 19 years, working his way up to senior software engineer....08/06/14 Blog
Lew Williams was a staunch advocate for early childhood education.
As the oldest of seven children in a single-parent household, Williams envisioned joining the U.S. Army to get a college education. After that, he planned to be a lawyer. But a high school English teacher inspired him to go into education by giving him a year's tuition and a college acceptance letter. He ended up spending four decades in education, was a Pinellas County School Board member and the owner of a daycare....08/04/14 Blog
The Pinellas County School District is losing its director of strategic communications.
Donna Winchester, who has worked for the school system since 2009, has accepted a job at the University of Florida. She will be the communications director at UF, leading the UF Rising and Preeminence media relations initiatives. Her last day with the school district is Aug. 15. ...08/02/14Education
Beverley Billiris, a candidate for the Pinellas County School Board and former mayor of Tarpon Springs, hasn't paid her property taxes.
Billiris, 66, and her husband, George, 87, owe $6,990 in unpaid taxes from 2013 on their home and commercial property, both in Tarpon Springs. The couple fell behind on their taxes, she said, because of an illness in the family. Both bills should be paid within a few months, she said....07/31/14Education
SEMINOLE — It was a polite affair.
Nine candidates for the Pinellas County School Board kept it civil Thursday at a two-hour public forum at St. Petersburg College's Seminole campus. They found a lot to agree about, though a few sharp differences emerged as well.
The most contentious of the four races was in District 6, where longtime board member Linda Lerner faces a challenge from Maureen Ahern, a 20-year journalist and the wife of state Rep. Larry Ahern. District 6 includes Seminole and Pinellas Park....07/31/14 Blog
School administrators at St. Petersburg High allowed Charlie Crist to film a campaign ad at their school in violation of School Board policy. Now the Republican Party of Florida would like superintendent Mike Grego to ask Crist to stop using the ad....