The son of a current Calallen Independent School District trustee is looking to unseat one of his father's colleagues in order to play a larger role in the education of the district's children and seize his first seat in public office.
Michael Chad Burkhart, who is more commonly known by his middle name, works for Burkhart Plumbing Co., a business owned by Burkhart's father, Brent. The elder Burkhart has been a CISD trustee since 2002.
Chad Burkhart and his wife have lived in Calallen for 12 years, with all three of their children currently enrolled in the CISD. The family previously lived in Tennessee, but moved to the area after Burkhart graduated from college.
"The board and its president, as we speak today, they've done a good job. Obviously, look at the changes and improvements they've brought to the school district, but then, almost no one on that school board have a child in the district," he said.
Of the current seven school board members for the CISD, only Karen Karagas has children presently enrolled in the district.
Burkhart said his involvement in coaching various youth sports, as well as serving on the PTA, will allow him to bring a fresh perspective to the board.
"I think I can bring some new ideas and some youth to the board in order to move it in the right direction," he said.
As for what issues he said are most pressing for the district, Burkart said he would like to see the ongoing bond projects completed, even if some tough decisions must be made. A proposed multi-purpose athletic facility, which includes an eight-lane swimming pool and indoor practice field, was one example he cited as maybe needing another look.
"The district right now is facing some tough, economic times," he said. "They passed a bond (in 2007). Let's be realistic here - the economic times have changed and what was approved for the board then may not all be feasible now."
"I don't know if they're ever going to get a swimming pool," he contined. "Do (the students) need a swimming pool? Maybe. There are a lot of questions there. The maintenance of it is an issue, from what I understand."
Burkhart said he would also like to see some improvements go towards other athletics, including new locker rooms for the high school's baseball, softball and tennis teams, along with renovations to the weight room.