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School Board race lures 2nd candidate
Kurt Conover hopes to replace retiring Chairwoman Marge Whaley.
By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK, Times Staff Writer
Published November 10, 2007
LAND O'LAKES - Another hopeful has pre-filed paperwork to enter the race to replace retiring School Board Chairwoman Marge Whaley.
Kurt Conover of Land O'Lakes, business development director for Regional Medical Center at Bayonet Point, joined another candidate, Wesley Chapel activist Peter Hanzel, in the hunt for the seat that represents most of central Pasco County.
"It's to make a difference," Conover, 56, said of his bid. "I've been involved in the community my whole life. I can't think of a better place to invest time, effort and talent than in our youth."
He called the school system "fine" and said he didn't expect it to need major change. But he does look forward to pursuing some key initiatives to make the good system even better.
"I am very excited about the career academies," said Conover, immediate past chairman of the local economic development commission, noting that the projects should help reduce dropout rates and provide well-trained workers to local industry and businesses.
He signaled his support for joint use of parks and other public facilities by the school district and the county government. He called for continued emphasis on healthy foods in cafeterias and increased attention to physical activity, to keep youth obesity down.
And he said he would seek ways to work cooperatively with the county government to find the best and most efficient solutions to the county's growth.
Conover attended Richey Elementary and Gulf Middle schools and is a Gulf High graduate. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida. His wife is a dance teacher in Land O'Lakes, and they have a son at Rushe Middle School and a daughter at USF.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.