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Resident wants to give back to the community through school board seat

Mark Stanoch says serving on the Manatee County School Board will be an opportunity to make the district better for his grandchildren and all children.


East County's Mark Stanoch is running for the District 1 seat of the School Board of Manatee County.
East County's Mark Stanoch is running for the District 1 seat of the School Board of Manatee County.
Photo by Liz Ramos
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When East County’s Mark Stanoch learned that Nov. 7 would be observed as Victims of Communism Day in Florida, he was inspired.

The bill that created Victims of Communism Day, House Bill 395, mandates all high school students in U.S. government classes must receive at least 45 minutes of instruction on topics regarding communism and how victims under communist regimes suffered.

Stanoch said 45 minutes was not enough. He decided to start a scholarship program, Victims of Communism-Manatee, that awarded $8,000 in scholarships to Manatee County students who wrote an essay, created a display or gave an oration on the evils of communism. 

The scholarship was one way for Stanoch to give back to the community he has called home since 2008, he said. 

Stanoch wants to continue to give back to the community as well as be a part of a school system that educates two of his three grandchildren by becoming a member of the School Board of Manatee County, representing District 1. 

“I just want to make sure they’re getting the best education,” Stanoch said. “It’s not only for my grandkids’ benefit but for all kids in the county. I want to leave the school board in a little better position.”

Stanoch started becoming politically active after his disappointment in President Joe Biden winning the election in 2020. Since then, Stanoch has participated in political groups such as Manatee Patriots, Community Patriots in Hillsborough County and Defend Florida.

East County's Mark Stanoch hopes to give back to the community by serving on the School Board of Manatee County.
Photo by Liz Ramos

Besides the school board seat, Stanoch said he has no other political ambitions. He said his sole focus is on the School District of Manatee County.

If elected, Stanoch said he wants to ensure the voice of the local constituents is heard. 

“I’ve always believed local problems require local solutions,” he said. “I know that our hands are tied by statute and a lot of things are handed down by laws and legislation, but you have to hear the voice of the people.”

His primary goal is to give back to the community. He already volunteers with Anna Maria Oyster Bar’s Dive into Reading program in which he mentors kindergartners in a summer reading program. He also volunteers for Feeding Empty Little Tummies. 

Stanoch said he loves seeing the moment students finally understand a concept or lesson. 

Stanoch said in many ways, he has served as a teacher. He served as a part-time professor at Edward Williams College, which is a part of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He’s also taught statistics, technology, marketing plans and more throughout his career. 

Stanoch spent 35 years in Information Technology working for companies including Chase Econometrics, IBM and Microsoft. He also started and led his own companies. 

He said he’s learned how to look at organizations differently to see how to automate them and make them more efficient. 

“One thing I always personally maintain is no matter what I did or where I went, it was always about providing value,” Stanoch said. “That’s what I’d like to do for the school system. I’d like to try to provide value to the stakeholders, including the teachers, the kids and the taxpayers.”

Stanoch now is retired and uses his knowledge in IT to support the technological needs of various organizations. 

When he’s not participating in political groups or civic associations, Stanoch is Wargaming, a strategy game simulating armed conflict. 

Stanoch is an avid history buff and has painted 20,000 miniature soldiers of all armies so he could recreate battles. 

He’s had a love for history since he was in elementary school. He said some people have questioned why he didn’t become a history teacher or a college professor. 

“You learn a lot from history,” Stanoch said. “There’s a lot of wisdom hidden there. It is kind of true that history does repeat itself, so you can see some patterns and things that can apply toward modern times.”

 

author

Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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