Education

Second challenger files for Chairman Bob Gause's Manatee County School Board seat

BRADENTON -- Another candidate has filed to run for the Manatee County School Board District 1 seat held by Chairman Bob Gause.

Xtavia Bailey filed Friday. She joins Edward Viltz, who works at charter school Team Success, as contenders for the seat.

Bailey, a 36-year-old Palmetto resident and 1997 Manatee High School graduate, said she was inspired to run after volunteer experiences inside Manatee County classrooms.

"I'm running on the belief that we can connect the community to rebuild the system," Bailey said Friday.

Bailey is involved with Take Stock in Children, a nonprofit that mentors and provides scholarships for low-income and at-risk children, and the national Amer-I-Can anti-gang program created by NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown in 1988, which places at-risk middle-school students for one period of the school day with a life-skills facilitator.

She is married to Edward Bailey, a member of the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota Board. They have two children.

Bailey said her community ties make her the best choice for the school board seat.

"I know my community," she said. "I take great pride in serving our community."

Viltz is a 25-year veteran of international and national groups including IBM and the Public Interest Registry. He served on numerous university boards, including Fielding Graduate University.

Viltz also helped craft a plan helping the Team Success school performance go from an "F" to an "A" from 2010 to 2013.

Two District 1 seats are up for election in 2016 of three school board spots being contested.

The District 3 seat held by Dave Miner is also scheduled for election.

The public will likely elect someone to fill the rest of the four-year term for the vacant District 5 seat previously held by the late Mary Cantrell.

Cantrell died in office in July during a term set to run until 2018. The governor will appoint a placeholder until the 2016 election.

No one has formally filed to run for the District 5 seat, although nearly two dozen candidates have applied to the state to finish Cantrell's term.

The District 1 seat covers the northern part of the county, excluding downtown Palmetto, extending to the eastern border.

The District 3 seat covers west Manatee, including Anna Maria Island.

The District 5 seat covers Lakewood Ranch and the eastern part of the county south of State Road 64.

Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.

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