Chronicle Endorsements: Austin Community College Board of Trustees
Educators, policymakers battle for four ACC Board seats
Place 4: Sean Hassan
A three-way race with a clear winner. Realtor George Robinson would add another business community voice. Former Texas Education Agency auditor Michael J. Lewis has more ACC experience, but seems a little too lock-step with the current administration. So Texas Education Partners co-founder Sean Hassan stands out from the field for his passion, insight, and commitment to practical solutions to access and enrollment issues.
Place 5: Anthony Schoggins
Three candidates, each of whom present convincing arguments. Nicole Eversmann would be ACC's first ever student trustee, while former Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce chair Thomas Miranda represents the district's growing Latino business class. However, the board is a body of nine, and former legislative staffer Anthony Schoggins would help them navigate the murky world of state and federal policy. We endorse him for his innovative solutions to questions of enrollment, staff retention, and funding.
Place 6: Nora de Hoyos Comstock
A muddied race since current incumbent Guadalupe "Lupe" Sosa announced her retirement, then jumped ship to the Place 9 race, having already made it clear that she favored Las Comadres Para Las Americas founder Nora de Hoyos Comstock as her successor. However, that doesn't undercut Comstock's strengths as a candidate, as an advocate for Latinas, and for community outreach, which is vital for ACC. We endorse her over real estate broker Douglas Gibbins.
Place 9: Julie Ann Nitsch
An unexpected race added to the ballot due to the departure of veteran trustee Allen Kaplan. Neither Sosa (who jumped into this race late) nor "prayer on campus" evangelist Jeremy Story seem like viable successors. However, both former Cedar Park mayor pro tem Mitch Fuller and ACC staffer and student Julie Ann Nitsch present strong options. Both have admirable insights into what ACC needs; Fuller from the broader, districtwide approach, Nitsch from the students' viewpoint. We wish the two weren't running against each other, but for her strong progressive credentials, we back Nitsch.