Bowie Hogg and Peter Baron were elected to two open seats on the Arlington school board on Saturday, signaling substantial change on the veteran board.
Both Hogg, the son of teachers, and Baron, a technology teacher at Arlington High School, credited their constituency of educators for delivering their victories.
Turnout was 5.9 percent of the 174,606 registered voters eligible to cast ballots for Arlington school board candidates.
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Baron, 60, won the Place 2 unexpired term with 46 percent of the vote. Competitor Alisa Simmons took 34 percent; Luis Castillo had 20 percent.
Baron said he will resign his teaching post at Arlington High School, but said he hopes to finish out the year with the board’s approval. He said his experience in the classroom will help him work with teachers, parents and children as a trustee.
One year remains in the term vacated by Michael Glaspie. He left his school board seat after 17 years to run for City Council and will face Jimmy Bennett in a June 14 runoff for the at-large District 7 council seat.
Hogg, 30, is an insurance executive and said he believes he is the youngest school board member ever in Arlington. He is single and has no children. He has the distinction of having been seen on the network TV show The Apprentice with Donald Trump.
"I had the support of all the teachers in town, and teachers vote," Hogg said. "They are an influential voting bloc in Arlington." Hogg claimed 44.6 percent of the vote, outpacing nearest competitor Carla Crow by almost 16 percent for the Place 6 seat. The field included Crow, who took 28.7 percent; Roger DeFrang, who took 18.2 percent; and Stephen White, who took 8.5 percent. Trustee Erich Ramsey did not seek re-election in Place 6.
Incumbent Wayne Ogle ran unopposed for the Place 7 school board seat.
School trustees will be working with a tight budget and the need to close the achievement gap between campuses in the district.
Trustees had to dip into the $410 million budget this year for teacher raises, creating a $15 million deficit that came out of the district’s surplus fund.
Trustees will also get the chance to work with new superintendent Hector Montenegro, who took the district’s reins in February and intends to work on raising graduation rates and TAKS scores. Montenegro kept up with returns Saturday online from El Paso, where he was preparing to spend Mother’s Day with family members.
What they said
Hogg: “I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders. It wasn’t a quick decision to run on my part, I’ve been working constantly toward this for a year and a half.”
Baron: “I’m pleased it was a good, clean campaign with three great candidates. I’m glad the voters chose me. We’ll be doing all this again in a year.”
Glaspie: “It’s still a bittersweet thought, leaving the school board after 17 years. But they say all good things must come to an end.”
The school board will canvass returns and verify election results May 15, and new trustees will be sworn in June 5.