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HomeUncategorizedPrimary 2018: District 5 Hernando County School Board Candidates

Primary 2018: District 5 Hernando County School Board Candidates

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Susan Duval

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Susan Duval

Candidate Bio, provided by candidate:

I was born in St. Petersburg, FL, and lived in Pinellas County until 1969. During that time, I attended public schools and graduated from Boca Ciega High School, St. Petersburg Junior College, and the University of South Florida. I also attended USF in the late 70’s and early 80’s and received both a Master’s degree in School Administration and an Ed.S in Curriculum. I moved to Hernando County in 1969 and began teaching at Brooksville Junior High School. In 1980, I transitioned into administration and with the exception of three years, have worked as an administrator since that time. Schools that I have worked at include Hernando High School, Powell Middle School, Central High School and F. W. Springstead High School. All three of my adult children attended and graduated from Hernando district schools.

Being elected to the School Board in 2014 was an honor. I have worked with diligence, responsibility and integrity on behalf of all students, employees, and community.

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Q & A with Susan Duval:

What attributes are most important for school district leadership and explain your reasoning. (Example: team player, data driven, experience in the district etc)

The attributes that I believe are important for school district leadership are experience in education, analytical and collaborative leadership skills, public accountability with budgets and the expenditure of funds and integrity.

Please describe the three top issues facing the school district.

The top issues facing the the school district include ensuring that all students receive quality career and college readiness educational programs, fiscal accountability and supporting a positive and safe learning environment/culture for students and all employees.

Do you feel that next year’s budget should be increased, decreased and by how much.

If you are in favor of increasing the budget, how do you recommend paying for it?

If you are in favor of decreasing the budget, how do you pay for obligated salary increases, cost of living increases and other inflationary costs?

The tentative budget that was reviewed at the July 24th board meeting provides an overall small increase from the 17-18 budget. This budget addresses the financial obligations that the Board has as it pertains to providing appropriate levels of funding for employee salaries, student materials and supplies, capital outlay expenditures, transportation and maintenance of the schools.

Please describe up to three projects that are most important to the school district and why?

Projects that are important to the school district include meeting the newly established safe schools laws that require resource officers/trained guardians at all schools and “hardening” of schools to provide additional safety measures at each campus. Another major project that is underway and will continue for the near future, is the funding of major school facility/construction projects. These projects were approved by the voters in the recent 1/2 cent sales tax referendum. An oversight committee ensures that only projects approved by the voters are part of the expenditure of these funds. Another major project for the Board is the process by which a new Superintendent will be appointed to lead the school district.

Joe Santerelli

Joe Santerelli

Candidate Bio, provided by candidate:

Married to my wife Christy for 28 years. We have been blessed with six children, Joshua, Ariel, Caleb, Andrew, Levi and Lucas. All still living at home.
I believe in education, putting myself though college, graduating with honors from Trinity College NPR earning a BA and then attaining a Masters from SEBTS. All while raising a family. It’s not easy but it can be done. My wife has been extremely supportive. I can honestly say my teachers and professors have made a huge impact on my life. It is these type of mentor relationships that help shape us into the individuals we become.

We have been serving our county for the past 20 years. I have served as pastor of Hillside Community Baptist for the past 18 years. We have always been community oriented and have looked for opportunities to serve those who live in our community. I have been involved in many community groups including the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce, Chaplain with the Hernando County Sheriff Department, Kiwanis, Hernando Christian Ministerial Association to name a few.

I have taught in various settings, including churches, camps and a private school. I enjoy helping others gain insight and knowledge. I believe every person is designed for greatness and as educators we have the privilege and responsibility to help them in their journey. I enjoy seeing my former students and cheering them on in life.

I am a visionary leader and as such enjoy empowering others to achieve their goals. 

Q & A with Joe Santerelli:

What attributes are most important for school district leadership and explain your reasoning. (Example: team player, data driven, experience in the district etc)

We need visionary leadership that can take us into the future to guide us to reach the goals we need to achieve and to help navigate us through the challenges we will undoubtedly face. We must be proactive and not reactive as much as possible. I am a visionary leader and can help develop a healthy environment where individuals at all levels can do their very best io impact the lives of others around them.

Please describe the three top issues facing the school district.

1) Security

2) Improving our facilities internally (technology) and externally (structurally)

3) Mental illness awareness and treatment

Do you feel that next year’s budget should be increased, decreased and by how much.

We must understand that budgets grow to meet the needs of the organization. Yet we have to learn how to do more with less to offset the rising costs of inflation and to be financially responsible with the tax payers money. As I understand it we now have a healthy reserve and we need to monitor that for future expenditures as we look for ways to do more with less.

If you are in favor of increasing the budget, how do you recommend paying for it?

Once again we need to be financially conservative as we learn to do more with less. Most households understand this because they are forced to. We have to train ourselves to stay within the parameters of our budget and achieve our needs. Throwing money at problems does not make them go away, instead looking for ways to cut costs and maintain or increase service is what I would like to pursue.

If you are in favor of decreasing the budget, how do you pay for obligated salary increases, cost of living increases and other inflationary costs?

I don’t know that we can decrease the budget at this point, however we can manage what we have better and look for ways to stretch our dollars. We all know the cost of living will increase as will the cost of maintenance and upkeep of facilities and equipment. What we need to do is to listen to those who are serving in their positions and find better ways to accomplish goals based on their suggestions. In many cases they know how things could be done better. Common sense goes a long way.  

Please describe up to three projects that are most important to the school district and why?

Upkeep and future expansion of our facilities, security, and mental health awareness/treatment. These three areas have a huge impact on our budget and the safety of our children as well as all staff/personnel.

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