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    Businessman runs for Pinellas County School Board

    By KELLY RYAN GILMER, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published May 22, 2002

    Moses D. Holmes Jr., a St. Petersburg businessman and retired lobbyist for the National Education Association, has filed paperwork to run for the Pinellas County School Board.

    Holmes, 66, is challenging Nancy Bostock, who is serving her first term representing District 5. District 5 covers the southeastern corner of Pinellas and is one of four board seats up for election this fall.

    Holmes said he was inspired to run because of the young people who come to work at the car wash and detailing service he owns, Holmes Paragon Services Inc. Holmes has been disappointed to see that many don't have a sense of purpose.

    "Most of them are very bright people; but for some reason or another, they haven't put their lives together," Holmes said. "If you continue to lose students like that, year after year after year, you create an underclass."

    The school district must tailor its services to meet students' individual needs so all students can achieve, he said. The district would benefit from a more diverse School Board, which has never had an elected black member, Holmes said.

    Holmes graduated from Gibbs High School, where he was on the honor roll and an accomplished athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. He thought it was important to be successful in academics and athletics, but he doesn't think young people today share his philosophy.

    "I'm going to see if I can make honor roll popular again," he said.

    Holmes has a bachelor's degree from Kentucky State University and a master's from Indiana University. For 10 years, he taught fifth and sixth grades in several school districts. He was a leader in two teachers unions before going to the NEA.

    Holmes is married with three adult children.

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