Community forum on Pinellas schools
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02/25/10 Tom Baur
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Thursday night at the Dunedin High School auditorium, Pinellas educators sought the community’s ideas and concerns to help children be most successful.

In spite of an approaching cold front that brought strong winds and rain, almost three dozen citizens turned out for Wednesday night’s forum to question the panel of Pinellas educators on the state of Pinellas County schools. The event was sponsored by the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, Pinellas Educational Support Professionals Association and the Human and Civil Rights Committee.

On the panel were retired teacher Randy Lightfoot, Teachers Union President Kim Black, School Superintendent Dr Julie Janssen, students DeJay Chapel and Ja’Mes Goins, County Commissioner and retired teacher Calvin Harris, and Largo High data tech Randy Dodds.

The first question put to the group was: What one thing are you most proud of for Pinellas County schools?

Teachers Union President Kim Black sited improved community involvement.

County Commissioner Calvin Harris noted that Pinellas County excels at preparing college bound students.

College-bound student panelist DeJay Chapel illustrated how a caring educator can make a difference in a young students life.

Dunedin High Social Studies teacher Brandt Robinson, chairman of the human and civil rights committee, asked the panel to comment on the impending federal Race to the Top legislation.

Commissioner Harris explained the principal focus of President Obama’s Race to the Top program.

The next community forum will be held in St. Petersburg at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at Gibbs High School.

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