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Sarasota Monday, May 21, 2018 2 years ago

Two more candidates going for Sarasota County School Board seat

This makes three candidates challenging Jane Goodwin for her District 5 seat.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

Two new candidates filed their intent to run for the Sarasota County School Board to challenge incumbent Jane Goodwin for her seat: Richard Linden and Justin Willis.

Richard Linden

Linden, 64, has been a teacher for 18 years and is currently a long-term substitute in chemistry at Venice High School. He cites this, and his more than 20 years of experience in healthcare management, as reasons he’d make a good board member.

He wants to run “to make sure we get the best value for the dollars that we’re spending,” he said. “To make sure that we’re spending the money in the areas that we’re going to get the biggest bang for the buck.”

Linden said his experience as a teacher gives him valuable perspective in making decisions as a board member, such as how to handle security and communications. 

Willis is a 31-year-old North Port resident with five children in the district’s public schools.

Justin Willis, center, with his family

“Being from North Port, I recognize a lot of the areas in which we fall short in education in our area, and I would really like to take a seat as North Port’s representative and get us to be a part of the conversation at the bigger table,” he said.

Willis is an adult educator, and said if elected, he would to focus on getting the board to work collectively, alleviating hunger and working with municipalities and law enforcement agencies on the issue of school security.

Linden, Willis, Pamela Gavette and Jane Goodwin are all running for the District 5 seat on the School Board.

Karen Rose is challenging Shirley Brown for her District 4 seat, and Nick Guy is challenging Bridget Ziegler in District 1.

I’m Cassidy. I cover news in Sarasota County, Siesta Key and the schools, plus community events if they involve dogs. I’m a Florida native, and University of North Florida graduate with degrees in journalism and graphic design. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 304.

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