And We’re Off: Filing Begins for Three Dallas ISD School Board Seats

As of 8 a.m. Jan. 15, candidates who wish to run for one of three seats up for grabs on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees can file an application for a place on the ballot — and two have already indicated they will be filing to run for the District 2 seat held by incumbent Dustin Marshall, who is running for re-election.

In addition to District 2, the District 6 and District 8 seats are open as well. District 8 will have a new trustee regardless of the outcome, as Trustee Miguel Solis announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election.

District 2 is an odd-looking, almost donut-shaped district that encompasses Preston Hollow, Lakewood and parts of East Dallas, the North Dallas High School feeder pattern, as well as parts of Midway Hollow, with the donut hole being the Park Cities.

Dustin Marshall

Marshall is going for his third term, but faced runoffs each of his two previous elections, first winning a seat in a runoff against now-Dallas Education Foundation executive director Mita Havlick, and then in a come-from-behind win in June 2017 against Lori Kirkpatrick, who had more votes than Marshall in the general election, but not more than 50 percent. Marshall then came back to win the runoff handily.

Marshall announced his re-election campaign in December. In a letter to supporters, he spoke of the successful initiatives he spearheaded or supported, and vowed that a third term would see him “continuing to prioritize improving student outcomes above all else.”

“No matter how far we have come, we cannot forget how far we still need to go,” he said.

Nancy Rodriguez, a Dallas ISD parent and a social worker with the district’s special education program, also announced her candidacy in December. In her announcement, she said the district was overly concerned with standardized testing, to the detriment of other programs like special education, as well as to the detriment of teacher retention.

“Our District has grown obsessed with standardized testing, to the neglect and detriment, it seems, of many other issues,” she said. “I want to change that. I believe parents care more about whether their child has a teacher instead of a long-term substitute than whether the District got a ‘B’ or a ‘B minus’ in its state rankings.”

Nancy Rodriguez

Tuesday, Alex Enriquez threw his hat in the ring in a morning press conference at Willis Winters Park. Enriquez, a Dallas ISD advocate and founding executive director of City Year Dallas, is also a Dallas ISD graduate.

Marshall also announced this week that he had a sizeable war chest, with more than $150,000 in donations and almost $200,000 cash on hand.

“The Dallas community is more invested than ever in continuing the progress underway at Dallas ISD.  I am honored by the level of support our community has shown to me as I plan for a robust and effective re-election campaign,” Marshall said in a press release. “After four years on the board, I now have a track record of success to run on.  I believe my history for relentlessly putting the interests of our kids above all else has had a measurable impact on student achievement across the District.  I’m thrilled that student advocates across the district have eagerly signed on to support my campaign both as donors and as volunteers.”

Candidates can file to run until 5 p.m. February 14. Information on filing can be found here.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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