The board of trustees for the Sherman Independent School District is retaining a current member and adding a new face.
Current board Vice President Rob Wilson was re-elected over challenger Andra Petrean in the race for the Place 7 seat and Chanel Stiggers, who ran unopposed, was elected to the Place 6 seat being vacated by current board Secretary Lynn Mitchusson.
Wilson’s total of 1,871 votes was 239 more than those received by Petrean. The Place 7 challenger received 1,632 votes. Stiggers received 2,700 ballots cast in her favor by Sherman voters.
With the defeat of the $308 million bond election designed to give the district the funds to build new facilities and update technology, Wilson said it is hard to get excited about his re-election.
“I’m encouraged, I’m happy, but at the same time it’s a little bittersweet for me because I really wanted the bond to get passed,” Wilson said. “It was really for our kids and for our future students here in Sherman, so it’s a bittersweet victory for me. Over the last three years, we’ve done some good things in the district and we want to continue the positive momentum we have in the district, and that’s what I plan to do.”
Petrean, who is an associate professor of physics at Austin College, said the election was her first time running for public office, but even in defeat, she said it was a positive experience.
“I just had a good experience and I think based on this I’m going to try to run again, either for school board or some other position in which my expertise and my skills would match the position,” Petrean said.
Stiggers, who has worked as manager of MG’s Restaurant in Sherman for 25 years, will be taking over for Mitchusson, who has served on the board for the last six years.
Wilson, who expressed gratitude for all his supporters and thanked his family, said there is great unity on the board right now.
“The vision and the direction that we see, the future for SISD is bright,” he said. “Everyone on the board is committed to doing what we need to do to ensure that vision is put in place.”
Going forward he said he’d like to see the board work on increasing parent involvement in the district’s schools and working to better enforce discipline within the schools.
Both candidates for the Place 7 seat also spoke about the bond defeat. Petrean said she had a feeling the vote on the bond proposal was going to be close.
“There were some people who were definitely for it and some people who were definitely against and a lot of people who were kind of in the middle,” Petrean said. “I think we definitely need some funds for improvements. I do think for a lot of people the sticker price was high.”
Wilson said the recent release of the 2017 real property value notices by the Grayson Central Appraisal District likely had people worried about how much their taxes were going to be raised.
“We’re going to go back to the drawing table and we’re going to put another bond proposal together,” Wilson said. “You cannot argue the fact that we have overcrowding in every school that we have. We’re going to come back to this community with a proposal that’s going to address those needs.”