The Orange County Classroom Teachers has endorsed two teachers – Karen Castor Dentel and Eric Schwalbach – in the Orange County School Board races for District 6 and District 7.

Castor Dentel is a Democratic former state representative from Maitland running for the seat opening up in District 6 because incumbent Nancy Robbinson is running for the county-wide board chair’s seat rather than re-election. She is a teacher at Riverdale Elementary School.

Schwalbach, of Winter Garden, is running for the seat opening up in District 7 because incumbent Christine Moore is running for the Orange County Commission. He is a middle-school math teacher with more than 20 years experience.

“The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association is the most influential education union in Central Florida, being the political voice for over 14,000 instructional personnel in the ninth largest school district in the country. We are proud to endorse these two candidates who are both experienced, respected, and dedicated teachers and members of OCCTA,” the union’s President Wendy Doromal stated in a news release.

“Each of these two candidates has demonstrated over and over again in their roles as educators and advocates, that they stand with public education, teachers, staff and students,” she continued. “They have been actively involved with advocating for improvements to education on both the local and state levels. They have proven that they will fight to ensure the best education for every student and will fight to improve working conditions and salaries for every dedicated OCPS employee.”

Castor Dentel faces Charlene Roberts Norato of Orlando and Patricia Fox in the August 28 election for District 6. If no one gets more than 50 percent, the top two will move on to a November showdown.

Schwalbach faces Melissa Mitchell Byrd of Apopka, Chan-Denise Raquel Budhoo of Plymouth, Todd Michael Lamphere of Ocoee, and Jeffery Lynn Richardson of Ocoee in the August 28 election for District 7.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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