Voters in the Northwest School District will be electing board members May 10 for three seats from among a pool of 10 candidates.
School board Secretary Devonna Holland, 51, is running for another term in Place 5.
She said she is “committed to being part of a team that provides all Northwest ISD students with a premier education." Holland said. "As a school board member for six years, and as a parent, I strive to be instrumental in promoting our district’s continuous improvement plan." Holland is a Rhome resident and works as a banking center manager.
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Her challenger is Jerry Burkett, 38, an educator from north Fort Worth. Burkett commends the district’s leadership in recent years. He said he believes his experience can be an asset to the district because, "strong leadership is required to continue to guide this district.” He touted his background and understanding of school operations, campus administration, parental engagement, community partnerships, education policy and school finance.
The crowded field of six candidates in Place 6 is all vying for an opening created when former board member Kerry Jones resigned in 2013.
Andrew Bennett, 45, of Roanoke is a regional market manager. He said that his experience of being an advocate for his autistic son has led to him to realize that "parents and local classroom teachers did not have a voice on the school board."
Pastor Stan Durham, 59, of Fort Worth said he was driven by a goal of supporting education and plans to help the district "to support and hold our NISD vision accountable as we constantly strive to improve our quality education to the ones we love the most."
Aaron Fraser, 38, compliance trainer from Roanoke said he decided to run to "ensure that the district and its students can be productive and meaningful citizens in the ever-changing workplace."
Lillian Rauch, 64, a retired educator from Trophy Club, said she believes it is "important to ensure that we retain the quality of our schools in the face of enormous change and growth in the district."
Kristi Wade, 48, of Trophy Club said she likes the direction the current board is headed and wants to help the district "to be the best and most sought-after district in Texas." Wade works as a service and support manager.
Place 6 candidate Edward Mergenthal, Jr., 40, a travel consultant from Fort Worth, did not respond to interview requests.
Incumbent Board President Mel Fuller is seeking another term for Place 7 and is being challenged by Doug Smith.
Fuller, 48, of Trophy Club is an educational administrator. He believes the fast-growth district is headed in a positive direction. He wants to continue helping lead the district in that direction, “as we pursue the vision of the district and prepare students for success.”
He said the district has the potential to add another 5,000 students over the next three years.
Doug Smith, 52, of Roanoke, who is challenging Fuller in Place 7, said he decided to run because he wants the school board to promote the highest education standards for students. It’s something he does not believe is being done with the district’s current common core curriculum.
Smith, a caterer, said that "instead of lowering the expectations of our students, I believe we should have a curriculum that challenges and encourages our students to achieve their highest possible goals," Smith said.