Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And They're Off: RISD School Board Races

They are out of the gate. Monday was the deadline for filing to run for the Richardson ISD (RISD) school board in the May 8 election. Eight candidates filed for three positions.

After the jump, what the candidates have told us about themselves.

  • Darryl Smyers: He's an ESL facilitator with Garland ISD and an ESL adjunct professor at Richland College. He's a 2002 "Teacher of the Year." He's also a freelance writer. He's married and has two kids. He wants to use his experience in support of the students, faculty and parents of RISD. He has posted answers on his web site to questions posed by the League of Women Voters of Richardson.

  • Kris Oliver: He's a CPA and a CEO with an MBA. He has two children in RISD schools and is involved in parent organizations.

  • William Gordon: I can't find anything on the Internet about his campaign. He does have a MySpace page, but it is devoted to business, not his RISD campaign.

    Update 2010/03/25: William Gordon has withdrawn from the race. His name will still appear on the ballot but he will not campaign. He endorsed Kris Oliver.

  • Update 2010/04/28: After the deadline to get on the ballot, Elaine Johnson filed to run as a write-in candidate for Place 3.

  • Jennifer Najera Hague: She's a former RISD teacher and a parent of two.

  • Lanet Greenhaw: She's one of the incumbents. I can't find anything on the Internet about her campaign. She does have a LinkedIn page that mentions her RISD school board position and resume.

  • Raj Agarwal: He's a lawyer with an MBA who has worked in finance for big companies and volunteers with kids' programs. He's running for a more efficient RISD.

    Update 2010/03/20: Raj Agarwal has withdrawn from the race and will not appear on the May 8 ballot.

  • Raj Chari: He's a conservative Republican Protestant Christian who is active in his church, is happily married and has two great sons. (The elections for RISD trustee are non-partisan.)

  • Karen Holburn: She's one of the incumbents. She hasn't told us anything about why she's running for re-election, at least nothing I can find. She does have a web site from last year's election that tells us why we should have voted for her last time. Kind of. The links for "About Karen" and "The Issues" both lead to pages that say "Under Construction."

OK, that's about all I can find out about the campaigns from the candidates' own web sites. When the candidates don't give us much to go on, we're left with Google. I found out these other interesting tidbits from other sources found by Google.

One candidate has published a book titled "Sex Marks the Spot" that advocates having sex under the bleachers, on the front porch, "speeding through the alley," and "69 suggested locations for erotic adventure."

Another candidate has been called a "piss soaked turd loaf" by an irate music fan upset over his review of a band in The Dallas Observer.

Yet another candidate is suing the Richardson City Council over meeting procedures prior to a City Charter amendment in 2007. There's no evidence whether or not he thinks the RISD should be sued, too.

Another candidate's campaign is related to William Gordon's. Somehow. I think. At least, he told The Dallas Morning News: "Since you know William Gordon's involvement, you can ditto that for me. The reason: He always ran for the same offices, I did."

One candidate (or maybe a relative?) used Twitter to tell us that "I feel compelled to admit that I was on steroids while setting the single season points record in the Prestoncrest Roller Hockey League."

One candidate has only "1 friend" (at least that what MySpace tells us). He has a Twitter account: "Just returned from a presentation called 'How to Blog'". That was his last tweet and it was over six months ago. I guess the presentation didn't stick.

Election Day is May 8. It's going to be a short campaign. I suggest these candidates get busy shaping their public images, identifying the issues facing the RISD and laying out the details of their programs for educational excellence in the RISD. If the candidates cannot educate the voters, they do not deserve the responsibility for educating our children.


Mark Steger said...

Two more candidates have campaign web sites. William Gordon: He has been active in PTA and the RISD Parent Advisory Council and in Richardson Chamber of Commerce. Lanet Greenhaw: She is an incumbent school board trustee and feels it is 'vital that we have stable leadership' as RISD is transformed from 'great to greater.' In addition, Karen Holburn has updated her 2009 campaign web site for this year's election. She claims to have experience, commitment and leadership. The old 'Issues' page stub has been deleted.

Mark Steger said...

Reports on two candidate forums can be found here and here.