Facing the incumbent for Place 1 on the Calallen Independent School District Board of Trustees, challenger Tammy McLendon said she hopes to bring fresh ideas to the district.
"I don't think there's really anything that separates us. We both have the best interests of the district in mind. He's been in there for many years and he's done some good things for the school district, but I'd just like to bring fresh ideas," McLendon said. "Since I have kids in the district, I see what's going on at some of the campuses and I hear things that maybe he might not be in tune with because he doesn't have kids in the district."
McLendon is a 1990 graduate of Agua Dulce High School and is married to Keith McLendon, a Calallen graduate. They have twin 13-year-old children who attend Calallen Middle School.
This is the first political office McLendon, who has worked for Valero Refining for the past 18 years in contracts and procurement, has sought.
McLendon said she first became interested in running for the school board as a way to get more involved with the education her children receive.
"Basically, whatever the kids are involved in, we try to show our support and interest in," McLendon said. "This last year I got involved in the Calallen District Education Improvement Committee, and saw some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, like setting the school calendar and learning about grants."
McLendon currently serves on the boards for 4-H and FFA Alumni.
McLendon said her first priority as a trustee would be to continue increasing the role technology plays in the classroom.
"I know the school is moving in a lot of different directions, and they're really getting involved in technology. I want to see that progress and work more with that," McLendon said. "Technology and the teachers are going to have to go more hand-in-hand."
McLendon said she has already been working to increase communication at all levels of the district, and hopes to continue that as a board member.
"(I hope to) Get more involved in the relationships between the community, administration and the board," McLendon said. "I've gone to board meetings, and I've tried to play an active role already. If they're discussing something, I've taken it one step further and I've been calling teachers in the school district and getting their input and trying to get a feel of what their opinions are about what's going on."
McLeondon said she has been meeting with Superintendent Arturo Almendarez to learn the duties of a trustee, and hopes to continue that education with some on-the-job training after the election.
"It's stuff that we have to learn - how it works, what we can't ask, what we can do about budget," McLendon said. "I know I have a lot more to learn, a lot more that's going to be involved with the job. I hope I get the chance to serve the community in a way that is going to move this district forward."