Board Candidate Don Zimmerman Believes in Redirection of The RRISD Board of Trustees


Mr. Don Zimmerman is a candidate for Place 6 of the RRISD Board of Trustees. Zimmerman pushes for reinstatement of the goals set for public school education. Photo courtesy of Don Zimmerman

Tara Kurkal, Reporter

Don Zimmerman, former Austin City Council member and previously elected President of Canyon Creek North West Austin Municipal Utility District 1,  is running for Place 6 for the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees. 

Mr. Zimmerman wants to use his knowledge as an engineer and from teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1997 to increase efficiency and eliminate distractions in education.  

“I put together a two week technical training course, and it gave me a grasp of what it’s like to create a technical teaching curriculum and how to divide up the work and do testing and how to make sure they were understanding information,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “Those teaching experiences [in Ukraine] certainly lend credibility to my understanding of what’s involved with the classroom teacher.”

The Board of Trustee members are expected to create a vision that supports and directs students to success. Mr. Zimmerman’s main goals are to bring school focus back to academics and higher public school expectations. 

“One of the jobs of the elected Board of Trustees is to set academic goals. The five incumbents who control the board voted to approve what I think are dreadful academic goals, that’s not acceptable,” Mr. Zimmerman said. 

Certain topics such as critical race theory (CRT) and social emotional learning (SEL) are controversial topics that bring up the concern of whether or not it should be taught to K-12th graders. 

“Maybe the root cause of the problems in public school is that we have a political movement that is de-emphasizing academics, so that it can emphasize transgenderism and all this kind of politically correct garbage that has infiltrated the school and taken attention away from academics,” Mr. Zimmerman said. 

Recent events such as the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas has led school safety to the forefront of upcoming elections. In total, this year there have been 257 school shootings which marks  2022 with the highest number of school shootings on record, bringing gun control into question. 

“I think the gun free zone policy is misguided, if not crazy. And the problem that we have in schools with school shootings is not a problem with guns. It’s a problem with evil, with children that have not been taught the difference between right and wrong,” Mr. Zimmerman said. 

“If you commit some kind of crime, like going to a school and committing mass murder, you would face some kind of horrific judgment [like the] Wrath of God, that would be far worse than a prison sentence.” 

Mr. Zimmerman encourages young voters to have a voice on the decisions being made by voting during elections based on his experience growing up during the Vietnam War, when the voting age was 21 until 1971.

“A teenager, especially at the time this was done [during the Vietnam War] , could be drafted against his will and be forced into a military conflict and risk his life when he had no vote in the matter on whether we should even be going to war,” Mr. Zimmerman said. 

Early voting started on Oct. 24 and continues until Nov. 4th. Election Day is Nov. 8th.