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Manatee County School Board elects Carpenter, Kennedy as leaders

Karen Carpenter and Charlie Kennedy are the new chairwoman and vice chairman of the board.

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  • | 7:55 a.m. November 18, 2015
  • East County
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The Manatee County School Board shuffled its leadership this week by bringing back a woman to the chairperson seat.

Karen Carpenter, who represents District 4, received a unanimous vote to take the gavel and serve as the board's chairwoman, a position she held in 2013.

She replaces previous Chairman Bob Gause, and Carpenter has been a member of the board since 2010.

"I didn't know where the nominations were going to go," Carpenter said. "There are five of us, so it was great that the vote was unanimous."

A new member who has only served on the board for one year, Charlie Kennedy will serve as her vice chairman. Kennedy represents District 2.

Kennedy nominated Carpenter for the chairwoman position and she nominated Kennedy for the vice chairman role.

Kennedy was a teacher at Manatee High School, and Carpenter has a background in banking. 

Carpenter is a long-time advocate of school board unity and working in a cohesive environment which promotes individual ideas but agreement on key issues, she said.

She hopes to continue the positive direction in which she believes the board is headed.

"Everyone on the board is doing a lot of work and doing a good job," Carpenter said. "We're all working together, and we have a wonderful superintendent and staff. But we have a lot of challenges before us, some heavy lifting with the Strategic Planning Process, Climate Survey results, financial issues before us and providing support to students who are struggling in the classroom. We all have to work together."

Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].


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