An Air Force veteran and hospitality services executive announced Monday he is running for the District 2 seat on the Orange County School Board.

Chadwick Hardee ran unsuccessfully for the District 3 school board seat in 2014 but said he learned a lot and is ready to improve the county’s public school system. The District 2 seat is currently held by Daryl Flynn, who was elected in 2006.

“The system is not really broken, despite what people say,” Hardee said. “There are some little things I can do to make it better.”

Hardee said he wants to increase teacher salaries and protect the arts programs and make sure they’re not left behind in the push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

He said he wants to add solar panels on top of every public school in Orange County for a cost savings of $10 million a year that would be used to increase salaries and buy more school supplies.

Hardee is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He served in the Air Force for six years and is president of Hospitality Services in Orlando.

The 46-year-old is the president of the Parent Teacher Association at Northlake Park Community School, which his is oldest son, Hampton, attends. The Lake Nona resident is on the Water’s Edge Homeowner Association Board, vice chairman of the Orange County Membership and Mission Review Board, vice chair of the Orange County Republican Executive Commission, and past chairman of Orange County Watch.

“There comes a time in life where you look back on your life experiences and decide how best to utilize those experiences to benefit your community,” said Hardee, who announced his candidacy on Facebook. “For me, that time is now.”

Hardee is married to his wife, Martha, and they have three young children.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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