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TEACHER JOINS RACE FOR SCHOOL BOARD

His campaign will focus on safety, spending.

Sean O'Flannery, a social studies teacher and varsity volleyball coach at Lakewood High, is making a second attempt for a Pinellas School Board seat.

O'Flannery, 39, entered the race Friday, becoming the fourth candidate for the at-large District 2 seat held by veteran board member Nancy Bostock. Bostock, who is running for a County Commission seat, plans to resign her School Board seat in November.

The other candidates in the District 2 race are Countryside High teacher Chris Hardman; Nina Hayden, a public defender; and former journalist Steven D. Isbitts.

O'Flannery said he is running on a platform of making schools safe for teachers and students, and working to help the district deal with budget problems.

"We're looking at major shortfalls. The person who's going to get this job is going to have serious work to do," O'Flannery said. He is concerned that the district's fiscal woes could prompt teachers to jump to other professions.

"If we frustrate teachers and teachers start leaving education, then what are we doing to our kids?" O'Flannery asked.

O'Flannery got enough votes in the 2006 primary election to force a runoff against Peggy O'Shea for the board's District 3 seat. O'Shea won in the general election.

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