This election cycle is a big one for the Houston ISD Board of Education. There are nine, single-member trustee seats on the board, and trustees serve four-year-staggered terms. This means that, normally, every other year, four or five of the seats are up for election.
This year will be different for a number of reasons.
In the past, there have been other races on the ballot with school board elections, namely city council. But, because Houston voters approved a change in city council terms in 2015, and since this is an off year for state and federal elections, there are only a few things to vote on during this election.
On November 7, the ballot will include just the HISD School Board elections, the HCC Trustee elections, and some state and local propositions. Turnout will be different than past years, probably lower--making every vote count even more than usual.
Additionally, Manuel Rodriguez, Jr, longtime trustee for District III, passed away unexpectedly in July with about two years remaining in his term. The board appointed Jose Leal to represent District III until a special election could be held along with the regularly scheduled elections. Because Rodriguez’s seat was not slated to be up for election this cycle, we have six of the nine seats on the board up for election at once.
EVERY VOTE WILL COUNT. MAKE SURE YOU MAKE PLANS TO VOTE.
Below is some basic information about the candidates for each seat and you can click through for detailed information on each candidate. We will build out these candidate pages with deeper analysis with special focus on each candidate's campaign finances and views on policy throughout the weeks leading up to the election.
To find the district you live in, click here, and then click "continue" to enter your address. Once your address is displayed, click on "info". The Houston ISD position number is the same as your HISD district number. Alternately, here is a map of the districts.
District I Summary
Currently held by Trustee Anna Eastman who is concluding her second term and has announced she will not seek re-election. There are three candidates looking to succeed her:
- Gretchen Himsl, a District 1 parent and policy analyst
- Monica Flores Richart, a District 1 parent and lawyer
- Elizabeth Santos, a teacher at Northside HS and lifelong District 1 resident & graduate of District 1 schools
District III Summary
This seat was recently vacated when longtime trustee Manuel Rodriguez, Jr. passed away in July. The board appointed Jose Leal to serve until a special election could be held. The special election is being held in conjunction with the regular election on November 7. Because this is a recently-called special election, these candidates have not turned in their first round of campaign finance reports. There are four candidates:
- Carlos Perrett, Chavez HS graduate, college senior and Teach for America (TFA) Campus Campaign Coordinator
- Jesse Rodriguez, owner of a full service entertainment, production, marketing and promotional service company
- Rodolfo Reyes, former League City city council member and former State Senate Candidate
- Sergio Lira, Assistant Principal at Bellaire HS
Currently held by Trustee Mike Lunceford. He is concluding his second term and has announced that he will not seek re-election. Four candidates are vying to take over Mr. Lunceford's seat:
- Sue Deigaard, HISD parent and volunteer
- Kara De Rocha, HISD parent and environmental consultant
- Sean Cheben, chemical engineer and Republican party volunteer
- Susan Shafer, retired HISD teacher and former librarian
Currently held by Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca who was appointed to the seat in January 2016 by the HISD Board when longtime trustee Greg Meyers resigned in the fall. She is seeking re-election and has two challengers.
- Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, Former teacher, TFA alum and currently works for an education technology company
- Robert Lundin, former teacher in both district and charter schools, recently resigned from HISD administration to run for school board
- Daniel Nhật Dan Albert, attorney and Chief of Staff for Houston City Council Member Steve Le
Currently held by Trustee Anne Sung. Sung won a runoff by 37 votes last December after a special election was held to replace longtime trustee Harvin Moore when he resigned his seat in the fall (who she lost to in his last re-election). Ms. Sung is seeking re-election and running against the same challenger as her last race.
- John Luman, HISD parent and registered state lobbyist
- Anne Sung, former HISD teacher, TFA alum and current executive at education non-profit which happens to also be a vendor of HISD
Currently held by Board President Wanda Adams. She is seeking re-election for a second term and has two challengers.
- Wanda Adams, Former Houston City Council Member, Former professor at Texas Southern University and currently a diversity consultant
- Karla Brown, former teacher and administrator and current head of a local nonprofit
- Gerry Monroe, community activist and leader of United Urban Alumni Association
Stay tuned for more info on these candidates!