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School board candidates speak at Suncoast Tiger Bay virtual forum [Video]

Jaymi Butler

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The virtual Suncoast Tiger Bay Club meeting was held Oct. 21 and featured a panel discussion with three of the four candidates for Pinellas County School Board. Appearing at the forum were:

  • Laura Hine, the executive director of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, a Navy veteran and public education advocate. Her priorities are equity in education, support for educators and optimization of financial resources.
  • 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, teacher recruitment, school safety and family and community engagement. 
  • Karl Nurse, a former City Council member and owner of Bay Tech Label in St. Petersburg. His focus areas are administrative efficiency, additional funding for early childhood education and increasing the number of counselors to help students not planning to attend college create a post-high school learning plan.

Edmond and Nurse are running against each other for District 7. Hine’s opponent for the district 1 seat, Stephanie Meyer, did not attend the event. 

After the candidates introduced themselves and shared their platforms and areas of interest, they participated in a question-and-answer session moderated by Matt Lettellier, advocacy manager at the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. They shared their thoughts on partnering with PSTA to transport high school students to school, their ideas on how to close the achievement gap between Black and white students, what they’ve learned by talking to students living in their districts and what they’ll do to ensure students have a voice in issues impacting them. Other topics of discussion included charter schools, a year-round school schedule, strategic partnerships between the school board and local businesses and civic leaders, and innovation in education. 

Suncoast Tiger Bay will host a virtual election wrap-up Thursday, Nov. 5 from noon to 1 p.m. featuring Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics and Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times. They’ll recap the 2020 election and revisit their predictions from a Tiger Bay event one year ago. The event is free of charge for Tiger Bay members and $5 for non-members, though organizers encourage donating the $25 price of the regular lunch meeting. Money raised goes to support continuing programming and support for the Young Tigers Scholarship Program. A link to the Zoom video will be sent via email the day before the event and the day of the event. To register, click here

The Florida Tiger Bay Clubs Election Series will also host a free post-election analysis event Thursday, Nov. 12 at noon. For more information on how to watch, visit Suncoast Tiger Bay’s Facebook page or website

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