Glenton Gilzean Jr. was considered a controversial pick when Gov. Rick Scott selected him to fill an empty seat on the Pinellas School Board last year. Many complained the governor could have chosen a more established community leader to replace the late Lew Williams.
Now, Scott has appointed Gilzean to an even higher profile position: the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees. His term was scheduled to begin Thursday and end Jan. 6, 2018, providing the Florida Senate signs off.
Scott declined to reappoint trustee Charles Langston to another term. He also passed over four other applicants. Among them: FAMU alumnus Keith Clickscales, a former ESPN executive who helped launch Vibe magazine, and attorney Daryl Parks, a former FAMU student body president who served as a trustee until Scott replaced him in 2011.
Gilzean joins a board trying to steer FAMU through troubling times. The school is still dealing with the effects of the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion and was put on a yearlong accreditation probation.
Gilzean, now 30, had lived in St. Petersburg for two months when he joined the School Board. He served without incident but was defeated by former St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers in the November election. Former Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed Gilzean in that race.
Gilzean is vice president at Step Up for Students, an organization that helps low-income students attend private schools using vouchers. He also has worked for the state Department of Education.
In 2008, he created a nonprofit, Educate Today, but said he resigned from the organization after being appointed to the Pinellas board. Gilzean earned a master's degree in entrepreneurship and a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences from the University of South Florida.