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District retiree aims for School Board

By Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writer
Published February 21, 2008


Max E. Loden, a veteran administrator with the Pinellas school system, has entered the District 1 School Board race.

Loden retired in the summer after 35 years in which he worked as a physical education teacher, coach and district-level administrator. He spent his last 10 years as an assistant principal at Pinellas Park High, where he coordinated the criminal justice magnet program.

The School Board bid is "something that I thought about for several years as I approached retirement," said Loden, 58. "I'm just not ready to walk away from (education) ... I think I have a lot to offer."

He said the board sometimes strays from its core mission. "I'd like to see us focus on the things we do well," he said.

The District 1 seat is held by Janet Clark, who has not yet announced a bid for a second term but recently picked up candidate materials from the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Office. Jennifer Crockett, a School Board candidate in 2006, announced in early January that she would campaign for the seat.

In other races, Ken Peluso of Palm Harbor has announced his campaign to fill the District 4 seat held by veteran board member Jane Gallucci, who will not run for re-election. Carol Cook, who holds the District 5 seat, has announced she will run for a third term.

Loden was assistant principal at 16th Street Middle School, now John Hopkins Middle, and at St. Petersburg High before becoming the district's supervisor of support personnel, overseeing the hiring of bus drivers, teachers aides, office staff members and other employees.

Currently, he is the activities director at Veritas Preparatory Academy in Pinellas Park, a Christian school that offers classroom instruction two and three days a week to homeschooled students.

[Last modified February 20, 2008, 23:17:10]

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