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Student candidates take to stump

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:59 PM

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The campaign for student school board representative might have been called the cleanest of all elections by the superintendent, but that doesn't mean students couldn't get a little cutthroat while vying for votes.

Despite having no official voting power on the school board, four of the five nominated candidates for the student representative spot took turns tackling questions Wednesday from their fellow elementary, middle and high school students during the student delegation ceremony at Nature Coast Technical High School.

The ceremony, set up similarly to national political party elections, had student delegates representing almost every school to meet candidates for student school board representative. In roughly two weeks, an election will take place with each student delegate voting for one of the candidates on behalf of their school.

Although the election will be for a non-voting position on the school board, students brought their concerns to the forefront by asking about each candidate's thoughts about sports and activity fees, bullying, student outreach and even updating technology for the district among other topics.

And for two seniors who admitted they weren't the best public speakers, they were immediately targeted by other high school delegates and asked how they could expect to represent students in the district if they couldn't express their views in a public forum.

But Superintendent Bryan Blavatt said the political first-timers quickly found their footing and credited them for answering tough questions concisely while remaining polite and respectful.

"That's sort of the point of the question-and-answer period is for these delegates representing the students of their school to have the opportunity to question how these candidates would best represent them," Blavatt said. "But I think everyone did great. It's hard not to sit through this and not feel positive."

The five seniors chosen by student delegates from their high school to campaign for the non-voting spot on the school board include:

However, just as with any election campaign, she had a spokesman — HHS student Matt Noto — who challenged that Rey would be the best candidate to speak out for students' needs.

All five students have roughly two weeks to visit each school and campaign before the student election on Sept. 27. The candidate who is elected would then begin sitting in on school board and other committee meetings. (352) 544-5271

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