The League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area held its first Thursday Nights With The League virtual form September 3 featuring a discussion with the candidates seeking election to the Pinellas County School Board for District 1 and District 7. They are:
- Stephanie Meyer, a middle school history teacher at Keswick Christian School with a sales and marketing background. Her interest areas include recruiting and retaining teachers, expanding mental health counseling for all students, protecting and expanding school choice and community engagement. Meyer was unable to attend the forum but shared a statement read by moderator and Catalyst publisher Joe Hamilton.
- Laura Hine, a local businesswoman, Navy veteran and public education advocate with an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA in finance from USF. Her priorities are equity in education, support for educators and optimization of financial resources. Hine, who was in attendance at the meeting and is vying for the District 1 seat against Meyer, shared her statement but did not participate in the question-and-answer session per the League’s rules for when only one candidate is present.
- Caprice Edmond, a Fairmount Elementary science coach and lab teacher with an extensive background in volunteering as an advocate for children. Her areas of interest include educational equity, targeted academic success initiatives, school safety and family and community engagement.
- Karl Nurse, a former City Council member and owner of Bay Tech Label in St. Petersburg who is campaigning under the slogan “better schools, better jobs.” His company adopted Melrose Elementary through the Council for Educational Change’s Executive PASS program aimed at leadership development.
During the discussion, the panelists shared their platforms on issues surrounding education in Pinellas County. Nurse and Edmond, who are competing for the District 7 seat, answered moderator questions about their skills and qualifications, the biggest educational challenges facing District 7 right now, how they would create more opportunities for students not planning to attend college, their thoughts on school choice and funding, their strategies for recruiting more minority educators and their top priorities during their first six months on the school board.
Future forums include the candidates for Pinellas County Sheriff (Sept. 10), the candidates for Pinellas County Commission (Sept. 17), the candidates for Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections (Sept. 24) and candidates for the Pinellas County Tax Collector (Oct. 1). For more information, click here.