Name and Party Affiliation (if running for a partisan office) Charlie Kennedy
Office you are seeking: School Board of Manatee County, District 2
Contact Information: Address, phone, email, and website/facebook (if any).
Background: Personal history, education, occupation, family, etc.
I grew up in Pittsburgh and, before moving here, had been coming to Bradenton since I was a teenager as a fan of the Pirates and their spring training home. I have a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh (1994) and Master’s of Education from Duquesne University (2003). I moved to Bradenton in 2004 when I started my teaching career. I have worked at YouthBuild Public Charter School in Washington, DC, the Pendleton School at IMG Academies and Manatee High School.
I am currently a high school teacher of 11th and 12th grade Social Studies (U.S. History and Economics) at Manatee High School.
I am fortunate to have my family close. My dad, Bud, is a Bradenton Beach snowbird who returns to Pittsburgh each April. My sister and her family live in Orlando. My brother, Mike, has lived in Bradenton since 1999 and resides in Bradenton with his wife and two children. My fiancé, Lisa Ramirez, joined me here in 2007 and is active in the community working for Healthy Start Coalition of Manatee County and the Florida Department of Health in Manatee.
Full biography – www.linkedin.com/in/charliekennedy
In what community organizations have you been active?
Habitat for Humanity (volunteer) and Big Brothers/Big Sisters (mentor in 2010)
Why are you running for this office, and what qualities and skills do you bring to this position?
I decided to run for school board for two reasons. First, during this time of financial rebuilding there have been, and will continue to be, hard financial decisions to be made. As a classroom teacher, I understand the needs of students and teachers. I want to be an advocate for students and teachers to make sure they are protected during the budget process. Students should be our first priority in every decision the school board makes. I want to be their voice on the school board. Second, we are, unfortunately, in a time of polarization and division in the school district and school board. I would like to join the school board to be a member who can build consensus and bring opposing factions together so we can make the best decisions for our students and schools.
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected or re-elected?
The most important issues facing the school district are: rebuilding trust between the community and school board, continuing the progress that has been made over the past 18 months to bring the district back to financial stability, and supporting students and teachers so we can continue to see the measured, educational gains that have been achieved by our students during the 2013-14 school year.