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Political rookie vies for School Board

Although he's working on his master's degree in business administration, Michael Hagerman is looking to go back to public school _ as a school board member, that is.

Hagerman, 26, has filed to run for the School Board seat in District 4, the post held by Pam Coulter.

This is the first run at public office for Hagerman, who works as a support technician for Nielsen Media Research in Oldsmar. But as a newcomer he said he can bring a fresh perspective to Pasco's School Board.

"I'm into trying to mix things up and get some different ideas and faces there," he said Friday.

Hagerman has a couple areas of concern: making sure parents know how their kids are doing in school, catching the students who seem to be "falling through the cracks," and providing a more engaging program for "kids that are basically bored in school because they're not being challenged," he said.

Hagerman grew up in Clearwater, graduated from Clearwater High School and earned his associate's degree from St. Petersburg College. He also served for two years in the Army National Guard.

He and his family _ wife Erica and daughters Jade, 4, and Jasmin, 2 _ moved to Regency Park last spring.

Hagerman said he is earning a master's through a distance-learning program at the Edinburgh Business School in London.

The School Board races are nonpartisan and will appear on the Aug. 31 ballot. Board members live in the districts they represent, but they are elected countywide.

So far Hagerman, who is registered as Republican, is the only challenger to Coulter, a Democrat who said she plans to file for re-election.

_ Bridget Hall can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6244, or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6244. Her e-mail address is