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Pinellas school briefs: free driver's ed, School Board races, free film

Published Feb. 17, 2012

Two more join race for School Board

Two well-known names recently announced runs for School Board.

Former St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers announced that she's running for the District 7 seat previously held by the late Lew Williams and now held by Gov. Rick Scott appointee Glen Gilzean. Meanwhile, former District 7 candidate Jim Jackson announced that he's running for the District 1 seat now held by Janet Clark.

Jackson said that after consulting with community leaders, he decided to run for the District 1 seat instead of making another bid for District 7. "They said, 'Jim, you got the right heart, you're just the wrong color,' " he said. "I accept that."

Clark formally announced her candidacy on Friday. "The more the merrier," Clark said of Jackson's entry into the race." Pinellas Education Foundation board member Elliot Stern also has announced he is running for the seat.

Board member Carol Cook hasn't filed any official election paperwork yet either, but she too says she will be running this year.

Acting principals named at two schools

The School Board recently approved Solomon Lowery as Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School's acting principal and Leigh Owens to lead Bardmoor Elementary, also as acting principal. Both were recommended by superintendent John Stewart.

Lowery is an assistant principal at Boca Ciega High School and replaces Dallas Jackson, who left to become principal of a middle school in Hillsborough County. Lowery has been an assistant principal in Pinellas for five years, although this is his first year at Boca Ciega High School.

Owens has been the assistant principal at Southern Oak Elementary since 2007 and replaces Wayne Whitney, who retired.

Free documentary explores teacher pay

The Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association will show a documentary Monday that focuses on four educators who love their jobs but wonder if they can continue to afford being teachers. American Teacher, narrated by Matt Damon, is free at 6 p.m. at Clearwater High.

From the flier: "Across the nation, millions of teachers are leaving their profession because of the high demands, long hours, little support, no prestige and low morale — and low pay. In the next ten years, more than half of the current 3.2 million teachers will be eligible to retire. How will we recruit and retain new teachers if conditions and compensation are not improved?"

Times staff

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