Second candidate files for School Board District 2 seat

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Posted April 22, 2022 | By James Blevins
james@ocalagazette.com

Lori Conrad

Lori Conrad has filed her intent to run for the District 2 seat on the Marion County School Board in the 2022 election cycle, according to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website.

Conrad, an elementary school teacher for more than 25 years at varying grade levels and finalist for the Golden Apple award in 2014 while teaching at Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary, said that she, her husband and grown kids have been in Marion County most of their lives. 

Therefore, she feels invested in building up and improving education where she and her family call home. 

“My kids are grown, they’re getting married; you start thinking about grandkids,” Conrad said. “I want Marion County to be a place where my grandkids can go to school, and that I’m proud for them to go to school here.” 

Conrad believes one of the biggest issues facing local schools right now is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a big transition period. I know that it had a big impact on our kids [in Marion County]. They have missed so much school,” she said. “I think that we just have to persevere and make sure kids are getting to school and we’re getting attendance under control, because they really need to be there.” 

After all the years she has dedicated to teaching in Marion County, Conrad said she would feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude if elected to serve the community on the school board. 

“For the amount of time that I have been involved with education, I feel really committed to making our schools the best that I think they can be,” Conrad said. “We still have a lot of recovery to do, and there’s a lot of changes that have been made due to COVID. But I think we can continue to put our best foot forward and make sure we’re providing the services that the students need.”

“Just being a part of that puzzle would be a privilege,” she added. 

Previously, Conrad had run for the District 1 seat on the Marion County School Board in 2020 but lost to current board member Allison Campbell in a highly contested race, ending in a run-off. 

In 2022, Conrad joins Joseph Suranni in the race for the District 2 seat. According to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website, Conrad has $26,500 in total monetary contributions as of April 20, with $35.63 in expenditures and distributions.

School board races are nonpartisan and are four-year terms. Board members are elected countywide but must live in the district they represent. The job pays $39,732 plus benefits.