Fort Worth

Voice on the school board for almost 30 years to leave, open the way for challengers

Fort Worth school board member Christene Moss — who was first elected to office in 1990 — is no longer seeking re-election to the District 3 post during this year’s May 4 school board elections.

Moss, who became the board’s first female black board president in July 2013 and was a candidate until Monday, said Tuesday she is throwing her support behind another candidate who filed to seek the District 3 post, Quinton “Q” Phillips, a 1999 graduate of Dunbar High School whom she has mentored.

“It’s true,” Moss told the Star-Telegram in a telephone interview. “‘I decided not to seek re-election to the school board in District 3. ... I thought this would be a good time for me to step down.”

The race for District 3 would have been a three-way contest had Moss not decided to step away from a re-election campaign. Another candidate, Cleveland Harris Jr., a barber, is also seeking the seat.

Moss said she plans to withdraw her name off the ballot.

District 3 covers 16 schools in east Fort Worth, including Dunbar High School and the Young Men’s Leadership Academy.

Moss is one of three incumbents who are not seeking re-election on the school board. Trustees Judy Needham and Ann Sutherland are also not running for school board.

The Fort Worth school board is made up of nine single-member districts. Four of those positions are on the May 4 ballot. School board members serve four-year terms with no pay. The president is elected by the other board members and serves a one-year term.

Moss said she is proud of her 29 years of service, which included a focus on literacy, equity for all students and closing academic gaps.

“I’m very proud of my record,” Moss said.

Among her key accomplishments are supporting the district’s Division of Equity & Excellence and creating a racial and ethnic equity policy aimed at helping more students succeed by eliminating institutional racism, she said. Those efforts included the creation of a racial equity committee.

“That is something I am very proud of,” Moss said, adding that this work is creating more access and opportunities for students.

Moss, who has served under five superintendents, said she pushed for equal representation on the school board.

Until a few years ago, the Fort Worth school district had been the only one in Texas to elect its school board president districtwide but its trustees by single-member districts. The board decided to redraw voting boundaries and create a new single-member district, then elect a president from among themselves, as most districts do.

Moss, a registered nurse consultant, has an elementary campus named in her honor. She is a graduate of Como High School and holds degrees from Tarrant County College, Texas Wesleyan University and Texas Woman’s University. She is a former president of Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members.

Moss’ husband, Frank Moss Sr., is a former Fort Worth city council member.

Who is running for Fort Worth school board?

District 2

Tobi Jackson (I)

Chad E. McCarty

District 3

Cleveland Harris

Quinton “Q” Phillips

District 5

Carin “CJ” Evans

Carla Morton

District 6

Anne Darr

Lisa Saucedo

Sandra A. Shelton

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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Diane Smith, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 1997. Smith, who has covered municipal government, immigration and education, has won multiple awards for reporting, most recently as part of a Star-Telegram team recognized by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for coverage of child abuse and Fort Worth’s Las Vegas Trail area.