Tony Pompa’s seat on the Arlington school board is up for grabs, and two very eager candidates are hoping to fill his shoes.
Bridgett Davis, 54, and Kecia Mays, 45, each enter the race with an impressive background of civic involvement.
A retired educator of more than 20 years, Davis says she feels the district has failed its students by not closing the achievement gap, and this problem would be her major priority if elected. She also wants to improve security at schools and build a more respectful and collaborative environment between teachers and parents.
Promoting diversity in the majority-minority district is also of particular interest to Davis, who counts among her accomplishments the leadership role she took in establishing Black History Month celebrations at several Arlington campuses, including Martin High School, the school attended by both of her daughters.
Davis supports the $663.1 bond election — also on the May 10 ballot — “100 percent,” but says she is discouraged by the current board’s failure to educate the public about the proposal.
Opponent Kecia Mays is also a proponent of the bond package, which she says was created by way of a thorough and transparent process.
Mays, whose three sons attend AISD schools, is an auditor for the state comptroller’s office, experience she says would be valuable on a board responsible for setting the district’s budget priorities and executing its strategic plan.
Her most relevant experience includes her chairmanship of the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee that helped form the $197.5 million bond package in 2009, her more recent role on the Capital Needs Steering Committee that formulated recommendations to the board for the capital needs of the district, and several years on multiple PTAs.
Both women previously sought a spot on the board, Mays in 2012 and Davis in 2011 and 2012, making clear how passionate each is about the prospect of serving the diverse district of some 64,000 students, many from economically disadvantaged households.
But Mays’ particular service for the district gives her an edge.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Kecia Mays for Arlington ISD school board, Place 7.