Beltran shines in DFW district

01/30/2014 6:01 PM

01/30/2014 6:02 PM

Dallas Democrat Mavis Knight’s retirement gives Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington voters a chance to send new energy to the State Board of Education.

For 20 years, Dallas Democrats have represented District 13, which stretches from the Stockyards through South Dallas and includes much of both central cities plus east Arlington.

Three candidates are running in the March 4 primary. Erika Beltran, a young Dallas Democrat and education policy analyst originally from Fort Worth, understands both cities and is best-positioned to represent the sprawling district.

She grew up in the Diamond Hill neighborhood and credits her Helbing Elementary and Meacham Middle School teachers with spurring her on to North Side High School, Williams College and a career in education.

As a former Teach for America corps member, she taught kindergarten and fourth grade in Houston before becoming an education policy analyst for non-profit organizations including Dallas-based Teaching Trust, giving her extra experience for the board’s role overseeing public charter schools.

The other candidates are Dallas Democrat Andrea Hilburn, a 40-year Dallas teacher, counselor and administrator who does not seem familiar with current board issues, and Dallas Democrat Denise Russell, a teacher at a Lancaster charter school.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Erika Beltran in the Democratic primary for State Board of Education District 13.

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