The supposedly non-partisan race that became partisan is over, with all three Humble ISD Board of Trustees incumbents--Sitton, Conrad and Cunningham--keeping their seats.

The race became very tension-filled during the early voting period, and the partisan political tactics used by candidates were noticed at the state level, getting mentions in both Texas Monthly and Breitbart Texas.

Approximately 5,200 people voted out of 116,000 eligible voters, meaning the decision regarding trustees was made by less than 5 percent of the voting population. Early voting was much higher at about 3,241 votes, for a difference of 1,091 votes or 51 percent higher than in the 2015 race. About 500 votes were cast on the May 6 election day, slightly lower (3 percent) than in 2015.

Election results are as follows:

Position 1:

Robert Sitton 2,975

Bob Rehak 1,979

Roli Cruz, who dropped out of the race the day after his name was put on the ballot, got less than 200 votes.

Position 3:

Angela Conrad 3,216

Christopher Herron 1,863

Position 4:

Charles Cunningham 3,178

Abby Whitmire 1,975

Position 5 was open after Brent Engelage announced his retirement. Martina Lemond Dixon, who had previously run and lost in the last board race, had victory this time by closely aligning with incumbent candidates. Lohit Datta-Barua came in second.

Dixon 2,368

Datta Barua 1,186

Panzarella 636

Crossett 373

Biazar 240

Clayton 110

Prevot 106

Dixon is a former teacher who taught at Galena Park ISD and has previous school board experience at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi. “I bring experience and passion for public school education,” Dixon said. She also has a post-graduate degree in Construction Management, a skill set that she says will “come in handy due to all our district growth and building of new schools.”

During the campaign, Dixon discussed the educational gap between our schools and the underserved population. “It’s hard for me to see our district with 11 Title I schools—it really is. It pulls on my heartstrings. I think about this often. The number is getting larger, not smaller. There is a way to reach out and do a better job of educating these children, but there is no textbook answer. We need to reach out to different districts that are bridging those gaps. Some are private, some public, but we can learn from any type of education system. Schools are putting two teachers per classroom, reducing class sizes, and creating after-school academic enrichment. These small examples can make a difference in a child’s life.”

Candidates serve in volunteer roles for four-year terms.

Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.

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