While disappointed that I didn't receive the endorsement of the Herald, I appreciate the opportunity to address Manatee County voters.
As an educator, I've taught diverse populations and through this experience I have gained insight into "best practices." My skills and creativity translate into innovative ideas for continuing the improvements we've seen over the last 18 months.
I have run a grassroots, independent campaign that is funded and supported by family, friends and colleagues. My campaign carries on Barbara Harvey's legacy of independence and advocacy for our most precious resource, our youth.
My opponent has a long and admirable record of community service and serving youth that deserves respect. However, his belief that "teaching is not community service" is troubling for someone that wants your vote for school board. Teaching is intertwined with the idea of community.
I ask you, as the educator and coach that I am, to complete a short homework task before you vote. Please view the Bradenton Herald/METV forum and briefly review our websites to compare our platforms. My site is www.charliekennedy.org and my opponent's is http://democracy.com/voterodneyjones/.
Ask yourself: Which candidate talks about specific ideas, big and small, for the future of our schools? Which candidate acknowledges the contributions of others? Which candidate has 10 years of experience as an educator with a personal understanding of the needs of students, parents, teachers and support staff?
In the interest of transparency, I have posted every questionnaire, opinion and idea during this campaign. Voters should know where I stand, even if they disagree with me, to make an informed choice.
Voters, please complete your homework assignment and go to the polls making an informed choice, for whomever you decide is the best candidate to serve the 45,000 students and 5,500 employees of the Manatee County School District. Thank you.