Aldine ISD election voting starts this week

By P.J. Williams

Early voting for Aldine ISD School Board trustees elections begins Tuesday April 16th and runs through April 29th. Early ballots can be cast weekdays from 8AM to 4PM at the M.B. Sonny Donaldson Aldine ISD Administration Building at 14910 Aldine-Westfield. The deadline for applications for ballot by mail is April 25. The regular election day is May 3.

The AISD School Board consists of seven at-large positions with three year terms. The candidates for position 3 are Sidney Brewer and incumbent Leonard W. Marcella. Running for position 4 are Joseph l. Nailor and incumbent Rick Ogden. The three candidates running for position 5 are incumbent Carlos Diaz, Steve Mead, and Maurice Parker.

Incumbent Marcella, position 3, is the secretary of the board -said, “I am running for the benefit of the children to get them the best education for the money we have.” Marcella’s wife works at Nimitz High School and his three children graduated from Aldine schools. “We’re an Aldine family all the way,” Marcella said.

Position 3 challenger Sidney Brewer described himself as a concerned parent with two children in the district and one who just graduated. He said, “I just want to keep the district moving up. With the onset of federal and state cut backs there will be changes, and I want to see that those changes are for the best.”

Position 4 incumbent Rick Ogden served on the AISD School Board for the last 13 years and is president of the Association of School Boards. He said, “We have a great leadership team who have created a framework for our children to succeed academically, and I feel my work is not done.” His four children are graduates of Aldine High School.

Challenger Joseph L. Nailor is a 14 year resident of Aldine. He could not be reached for comment by press time.

Position 5 incumbent Carlos Diaz taught Texas History at Aldine Middle School for two years and was an assistant football and track coach there. Diaz said, “We worked over the last 8-9 years, while I’ve been on the board, to raise the test scores overall, but especially with minorities. I’m there for the children. I want to make sure they get the best education possible.” Diaz has two children who attend Anderson Academy and two more who are destined for Aldine schools.

Position 5 challenger Steve Mead is a 52 year Aldine resident who went through all levels of Aldine schools. Mead is active in the community as secretary of the Aldine Community Improvement District (ACID), president of the Aldine Optimist Club, former president of Aldine YOUTH and RFPD #24 (Aldine Fire and Rescue), and a member of the Aldine Scholarship Foundation and Aldine FFA buyer’s group. Mead said, “I want to be a board member who goes out to talk to teachers to see what teachers are looking for and what parents are looking for. I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly. Any decision I make will be an honest decision for the benefit of everyone.” Mead’s three children went all the way through Aldine schools, North Harris College, and University of Houston.

Position 5 challenger Maurice Parker’s two main concerns are the challenge of future budget issues and TAAS scores. “There are 20 percent who didn’t pass TAAS and that’s my concern. Eighty percent is not good enough,” he said. Parker’s solution is to check out other programs. “We need to find ways to reach students on their level. It means being creative and giving teachers more autonomy and let them do what they do. That’s teach,” he said.