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AISD trustees earn new terms

// Published April 26, 2009 in www.amarillo.com

Cumulative Voting expected to return incumbents to the Amarillo Independent School District Board.

Has there been a huge turnover of teachers and administrators at the Amarillo Independent School District? Are our children failing to achieve? Do buildings need constant repair?

No on all counts. The 30,000-student AISD is running well. The incumbent trustees seeking election should return to the job.

AISD voters will choose from six candidates running for four full terms on the board of trustees. Incumbent Anette Carlisle is running unopposed for an unexpired term.

Linda Pitner is the current president of the AISD board; James Allen is the longest-serving trustee among those running for these full terms on the board; and Mary Faulkner is seeking election to her first full term, along with John Ben Blanchard, the board's newest member.

Pitner has long been involved with education. She currently manages KACV-TV, the Amarillo College public television station, and has worked tirelessly with Panhandle Twenty/20 to address the district's changing demographic patterns.

Allen has a lengthy history of involvement at the community and neighborhood level and has earned his spurs serving on the board.

Faulkner's background, in her words, as the daughter of a "farmhand and a housewife" provides her with a unique perspective on the board that gives her a keen understanding of the value of a good education.

Blanchard, a managing partner of a large Amarillo law firm, has a lengthy history of civic involvement that will serve the community well as he continues his service on the AISD board.

All four candidates are worthy representatives for Amarillo's public school system.

Voters will get to cast their ballots in a "cumulative voting" plan, which allows them to cast more than one vote for a candidate, as long as the total number of votes doesn't exceed four - the number of seats being contested.

But when the votes are counted, AISD residents should hope the incumbents finish in the top four among the vote-getters.