Former St. Petersburg City Council member Bill Dudley has endorsed Joanne Lentino for the Pinellas County School Board District 1 seat.
“Joanne Lentino is the only Pinellas County public school teacher running in this race with 10 years of experience teaching full time in our schools before she recently retired, “ Dudley said.
He added, “Endorsed by teachers and support professionals, Joanne will work full time for Pinellas families and represent our community well on the Pinellas County School Board as she knows firsthand the needs of our students, teachers and support professionals. Her opponent does not have a teaching certificate for Pinellas County schools and only works part time as a college professor as he is employed full-time by Hillsborough County.
“We need an experienced public school teacher on the School Board who will work full time for our students and shares our common values: supporting early childhood education, ending high stakes testing, and closing the achievement gap.”
Dudley was teacher and coach as well as a St. Petersburg City Council member. He was a candidate for the District 1 seat in the Aug. 30 primary but did not get enough votes to make the runoff. Lentino and Matt Stewart are facing each other in the Nov. 8 runoff for the seat.
“I am honored to have received the endorsement of former St. Petersburg City Council member, retired Pinellas County teacher, and coach, Bill Dudley,” Lentino said.
“Prior to serving on the St. Petersburg City Council, Bill ‘Coach’ Dudley dedicated his life to students in our Pinellas County school system for 37 years, almost all of it at Northeast High School. Bill coached wrestling, football, and cross country and taught driver’s education as well as American history and government and is beloved by the many students who were lucky enough to cross paths with him.”
Lentino is making her first run for public office. After retiring recently from her teaching job with Pinellas County Schools, she continued to teach and volunteer. She moved to Pinellas in 2003 after working for the city of Las Vegas cultural affairs division where she managed the center budget, grant proposals, full-time staff, and day-to-day operations. Joanne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Stewart is also making his first run at public office. He is a deputy director for the Hillsborough County supervisor of elections and on the adjunct faculty for St. Petersburg College, in the College of Policy, Ethics, and Legal Studies.
The District 1 seat is elected countywide. The School Board race is nonpartisan.