RRISD Board Elections Represent a Wide Range of Ideas For The Community


Hannah McDonough

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, community members will vote for places 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the RRISD Board of Trustees. This election is particularly controversial due to the wide range of perspectives portrayed by the candidates.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, polls all over the community will be open to elect candidates to places 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the RRISD Board of Trustees. This election is particularly controversial with a variety of differing perspectives represented by the candidates. 

Many yard signs are displayed all over the RRISD community, promoting the community’s support for various candidates. Many of them are grouped together by political leaning –  some yards boast their support for Amy Weir, Amber Feller, Estevan Zarate, and Tiffanie Harrison, and Alicia Markum, who are known to have more left-wing views, while others are proud to support Don Zimmerman, Christie Slape, Orlando Salinas, John Keagy, and Jill Farris, who are known for their conservative viewpoints. 

This election displays five candidates endorsed by the Republican Party of Texas who are pushing for less teaching of controversial topics, specifically Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender identity (as opposed to male-female biological genders), as well as tightening control over reading materials available to students. Between all five of these candidates – Don Zimmerman, Christie Slape, Orland Salinas, Jill Farris, and John Keagy – there is at least one running for each open place on the board.

If elected, this display of increased conservative voices could model that of the Dallas ISD school board, which saw a gradual increase in the number of right-winged members, allowing a conservative agenda to be achieved. 

However, these candidates are met with opposition from several incumbent candidates, including Amber Feller, Tiffanie Harrison, and Amy Weir as well as some new candidates, including Estevan Zarate and Alicia Markum, who intend to increase campus safety and address equity issues concerning students with disabilities and those of lower socioeconomic households.

Outside of the two major groups, other candidates include Kevin Johnson (place 1), Linda Avila (place 4), and Cory Vessa (place 4). 

Newly elected candidates will impact the community through policy changes and oversight of district administration intended to improve RRISD schools. More voting information can be found here.