PTA president to run for board
A substitute teacher and nonprofit director as well, McDowell joins a crowded slate of School Board candidates.
By MARY SPICUZZA
Published March 11, 2006
NEW PORT RICHEY - As Pasco's family resource specialist for the Early Steps program at All Children's Hospital, she runs support groups and workshops for the families of children with special needs.
As the executive director of Parent-to-Parent of Pasco County, she helps the nonprofit organization plan activities for special-needs children and their families.
And, in her spare time, Deborah "Susie" McDowell serves as the PTA president at Mittye P. Locke Elementary School, works as a substitute teacher, and helps her husband, Don, run his business.
That is, when she's not helping the newly formed PTA County Council in Pasco. Or raising a 10-year-old son, Kyle.
Now, the busy New Port Richey resident has decided to run for a seat on the Pasco County School Board.
McDowell, 46, has filed to run as a candidate for the School Board's District 3 seat held by Chairwoman Cathi Martin.
District 3 covers Trinity, Seven Springs and part of New Port Richey. Candidates are required to live in the districts they represent, but the nonpartisan elections are countywide.
If elected, McDowell said, she will work to increase family involvement in the district.
"I just think that in the school system, it's important to work with families as a team," she said.
She would also try to improve school safety, she said, while helping manage growth in a way that would help all students.
McDowell, a Republican, has joined a very crowded School Board race.
Martin has not yet filed but has said that she plans to seek re-election for the District 3 seat. Two teachers, Michael Siemion and Renee H. Jonas, have also filed to run in District 3.
Two candidates have filed to run for the District 5 seat held by Kathleen Wolf: former New Port Richey Mayor Frank Parker and Lance A. Shortt.
Outgoing Zephyrhills City Council President Cathi Compton and Penny for Pasco advocate Allen Altman have filed to run for the District 1 seat.
Board members are elected to four-year terms, and their current annual salary is $36,055.
Mary Spicuzza covers education in Pasco County. She can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6241 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6241. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
[Last modified March 11, 2006, 01:44:05]
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