Big changes could be in store for the Jacksonville ISD school board as four incumbents vie to keep their seats.
Incumbent Jeff Horton will face Ken Smith for a one-year unexpired term in Place 1 while three other incumbents face challengers for three-year terms. Incumbent Dale Jamerson will face Dean Dublin for Place 5, incumbent Todd Travis will face Al Chavira for Place 6 and incumbent Joe Casey will face Randy McCown for Place 7.
Horton, 46, a concrete construction company owner, was appointed to his position last year when Jim Tarrant resigned.
Since then, he said he’s learned a lot about the school board.
“You can’t have a good community without a good school system,” Horton said. “I think JISD is on the right track. ... (And) I want to see it keep progressing, moving forward, getting facilities and everything up to date.”
Horton said he wants JISD to finish up facility projects, including the construction of new Joe Wright and East Side elementary schools, and move forward with its long-range plan.
He said his children were a primary factor in his decision to run.
“I helped out with the last bond election, and being a concerned parent, I’d like to be a part of the decision making,” Smith said.
Like Horton, he said he also wants the district to move forward with a comprehensive plan.
“We have two facilities going up, and we want to make sure things stay on track and continue...” Smith said.
“I have I think a good breadth of experience as far as construction. I’m very committed to open communication and just providing a different perspective on things.”
Dale Jamerson, 60, who works as a pastor at several area churches, said he believes there’s more to be done in the district.
Dublin, 35, who works as a strategic supplier development manager with Hewlett-Packard, said he became interested in running because of his children.
“I want to make sure we have the funding that’s needed to educate kids the best we can,” he said.
If elected, he said he wants to continue to build on recent successes and “continue to grow on the path that they’ve got now.”
“I’m a hard worker and a hometown kid. I grew up here, moved away after college, and moved back and learned some things, and I’d like to come back and apply it and continue to help,” he said.
Travis, 41, works as a business manager at Hubert Glass Oil Company.
He said he’s enjoyed his time on the board and believes trustees accomplished a lot.
Chavira, a contractor in his early 50s, said he believes it’s important to be involved in children’s education to ensure they get the best they can as far as funding and education.
He said Jacksonville ISD has done well and for the future should put money in reserve if possible.
Casey, 44, a pilot, said he is not ready to leave his position.
“It’s a great district and we’ve come a long way in the last six years. I think the district is doing a great job of teaching the kids. We’ve got great schools and really changed a lot. I would like to be part of the next years as well, because there are a lot of things that have not been completed,” he said.
Specifically, he said he would like to see building projects come to fruition and Jacksonville ISD continue moving in a positive direction.
“It seems so close to becoming a (state) recognized or better district,” Casey said.
“I’m really excited about what the future holds.”
McCown, 35, owner of two lumber companies, said he views the position as an opportunity to give back to the community.
“Jacksonville was good to me through the years,” he said. “I look for ways to serve the community. I’ve got a past history of working well with teams, and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing. ... All I want to do is do what I can do to make Jacksonville a better place.”