AISD on the May Ballot

Board of Trustees: Campaign anti-climax

Four seats on the AISD board of trustees will be on the May 10 ballot; as it turns out, only one of those seats will be contested.

Filing closed March 10, and only District 3 – which is being vacated by two-term incumbent and board secretary Johna Edwards – will host a real race: In the remaining three, the vote amounts to a rubber stamp for the incumbents. "In some ways, it's not surprising," said board President Mark Williams (running unopposed in District 5). In 2006, when five seats were up for re-election, only three were contested, and this year, there were almost no challenges.

Two candidates didn't file until the last day. In District 3, Chris­tine Brister said, "I was thinking, thinking, thinking," because the unpaid post is so demanding. Kendrah McDonald, who also filed on the last day, shortly thereafter withdrew her challenge to Annette LoVoi for at-large position 8 (according to an AISD press release, because of child-care issues). It's not necessarily a reflection on the willingness of parents in the district to get involved, Williams said: "A lot of people will volunteer on the bond committee or redistricting, but that's for a finite time." But being a trustee "requires someone who has a lot of time and flexibility in their schedule. It's for four years, with no pay, no staff, and it's almost every Monday night."

District 3 (North Central)

Jerry Garcia: The stay-at-home father and former employee of the Texas Comptroller's tax-policy division says he wants to give back to the district. He believes that multilingualism is a huge issue and wants to concentrate more on outreach to families where English is not the parents' first language. "With being a stay-at-home parent," he said, "I feel I will have the time and the resources to commit to this post."

Christine Brister: With three children having graduated from AISD schools and a fourth about to enter high school, Brister says she has the experience of using AISD services, as well as a long record of school volunteering. Currently a member of the Lanier Vertical Team on the District Advisory Council, Brister has served on several parent-teacher associations and the district's Facility Use and Boundary Task Force. She hopes to turn this insight into district process into a trusteeship. While she sees overcrowding and performance issues as key problems, she also wants to concentrate more attention on public performance as a part of the educational experience. "There's so many priorities, like testing," she said, "that the fine arts takes a back seat."

District 2 (Southeast): Sam Guzman (incumbent, unopposed)

District 5 (North): Mark Williams (incumbent, unopposed)

Position 8 (at-large): Annette LoVoi (incumbent, unopposed)

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