By SEAN WARDWELL
Chris North, a community activist who also serves on the County Parks Advisory Team and founded the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance, has thrown her hat into the ring for the San Marcos CISD’s May school board race.
North, who will run for an at-large position, said she will focus on transparency and community issues.
“I’ve been thinking about running for the school board but never did,” said North, who has three children attending San Marcos CISD schools. “The catalyst was the new attendance zones.”
The school board recently approved new attendance zones that will take effect this coming fall. North said the process used to determine the new zones was unfair.
“It was a closed process,” said North. “I tried to engage and participate, but I wasn’t allowed. My entire neighborhood was kicked out of the Crockett (Elementary) zone (a short distance from North’s home). We’ve built all these nice new schools, but we keep pushing them out further into the country. We need to keep inner city schools to encourage downtown neighborhoods.”
North also wants to address food and nutrition issues throughout the district, while upgrading the bus system and improving the school district’s image. Specifically regarding meals, North said, “The food is terrible and it gets worse every year. I’m shocked at how bad it is.”
North said she is especially passionate about televising school board meetings.
“If elected, one of my top priorities will be to have the school board meetings televised, because I believe transparency is critical,” North said. “Televised meetings will give parents an opportunity to become more involved in the decision making process regarding the education of their children.”
North said she has brought up the possibility several times in the past with San Marcos CISD board members to no avail.
North contacted current at-large board member Tom Brown to see if he was going to run again. After confirming that Brown would leave, North hoped to take his seat. However, North won’t be running for a specific seat, because two at-large seats are up for vote and they will go to the top two vote recipients.
North has not written a formal platform, held a fundraiser or brought on a manager, though Amy Kerwin has agreed to serve as campaign treasurer. However, North said she is planning on getting up to speed on all the issues and talking to parents and teachers in the coming weeks.
“We have great schools and great teachers,” North said. “My kids get a great education but we seem to have a reputation we can’t shake that our schools aren’t very good. I hope to change that.”