Candidates file to run for 2 trustee seats
As of early this week, a three-way race exists for each of two seats on the Cypress Fairbanks school board.
Filing for the Nov. 8 school board election continues through 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Position 1 incumbent Larry Youngblood, 62, has said he will decide Sept. 1 whether to seek re-election. The retiree does software training and independent consulting.
As of Aug. 29, three had filed for election to the seat, including Ethel Ann Hodges, 66, a retired teacher; Kelly Horsley, 35, a stay-at-home mom who graduated from Cy-Fair schools in 1994; and Willie Wright, a Realtor who ran for the Position 4 seat in 2009.
Position 2 incumbent Ethel Wolfe, 64, a teacher at Lamar High School in Houston, has two challengers to her re-election bid. They are James Hardin, 56, owner and president of JH Landscapes; and Christine Hartley, 43, a preschool teacher and mother of three.
Both Youngblood and Wolfe won their first three-year terms in 2008.
The number of candidates demonstrates high community interest in the school district after the Legislature cut education funding amid statewide enrollment growth, said Marney Collins Sims, the Cy-Fair district's general counsel.
Candidates are running for three-year terms on the seven-member board.
This year, the district absorbed the largest single-year spending cut in its history, $47 million, mostly by lowering employee health-care costs, cutting central administration jobs and expenses and increasing class sizes in kindergarten through fourth grade. Teacher layoffs were avoided due to attrition, retirements and the opening of the new Salyards Middle School in the Fairfield subdivision, which added about 150 jobs.
Anticipated district enrollment is 107,683, which is about 1,500 higher than last year.
Incumbent board members said the leadership Henry displayed in the Galena Park district will be crucial for maintaining the high quality of education Cy-Fair is known for. Until this year, Cy-Fair was ranked as the state's largest recognized district. It's state accountability ranking fell to academically acceptable because one campus was rated unacceptable. The lowered rating is under appeal with Texas Education Agency.
Beginning this year, the state's public schools must transition to a new method of tracking student achievement, known as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.
Qualifications to run for school board are that candidates must be registered voters in the school district, have lived in the school district for six months and have lived in the state for 12 months before the filing deadline, according to the CFISD website.
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