San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 9th, 2010
Two candidates announce for Hays CISD board

020910hayscandidatesHays CISD Trustees candidates Meredith Keller, left, and Willie Tenorio, right.

STAFF REPORT

Long-time Hays CISD volunteer Merideth Keller filed Monday morning to run for election to the school district’s board of trustees, while interim appointee Willie Tenorio filed to win approval from voters in the May election.

Keller filed to run for the District 4 seat, which represents the northern reaches of the school district. Willie Tenorio, appointed in December to fill the District 2 seat vacated by Joe Munoz, is running in the May 8 election to fill out the term, which expires in May 2011.

Neither candidate immediately had an opponent, but filing continues through March 8. The District 5 seat, presently held by Trustee Chip DuPont, also is up for election. District 5 covers the western portions of the school district.

The District 4 seat is up for grabs since venerable Trustee Ralph Pfluger announced that he will not seek re-election. Pfluger was an original Hays CISD trustee in 1967 after serving on the board for the Buda public schools. Voters put Pfluger back on the Hays CISD board in 2004, then re-elected him in 2007.

The Hays CISD voted last year to name the district’s 13th elementary school in Pfluger’s honor.  Pfluger cast the lone dissenting vote. Keller said she is running with Pfluger’s support.

“The definition of ‘trustee’ is ‘guardian,'” Keller said. “I take those words very seriously and I plan to provide trusted leadership to all stakeholders in our district.  While I am very student-centered, I also recognize the important role of parents, teachers and taxpayers, all of whom deserve representation and advocacy.”

Keller began volunteering in the Hays CISD in 2002, when she and her husband Alan Keller moved their family to Buda. She has served eight years on campus leadership teams, parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs. In later years, she has broadened her service to include many district level committees such as the Strategic Planning Committee, District Leadership Team, Bond Action Committees, Growth Impact Committee and the Principal Hiring Team. In 2004, she represented Hays CISD on the State Comptroller’s Task Force in Student Learning and Instruction.

Although Keller said her volunteer passion is with the Hays CISD, she also has served as an at-large board member on the Manchaca United Methodist Church CDC and volunteered for the Hays Youth Soccer Association.

Keller has four children — a recent Hays High School graduate, a seventh grade daughter at Dahlstrom Middle School, a fourth grade son at Buda Elementary School and a four-year-old son who will attend Carpenter Hill Elementary School.

“I am a true believer in procedures and accountability,” Keller said. “I am confident that we can fulfill our obligation to students, teachers, parents and taxpayers by implementing the strategies and best practices resulting from this intensive planning process.”

Tenorio, a Kyle native, was appointed on the board when Munoz moved out of District 2, which is centered in Kyle. A graduate of Hays High School, Tenorio received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas. After living in Austin from 1994 until 2000, Tenorio moved his family to Kyle.

Tenorio said his professional experience gives him the skills to be an effective trustee. He serves as a business analyst at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, identifying business needs and proposing solutions. Before that job, he worked in multiple capacities monitoring federal housing programs, developing policies and interpreting federal regulations and auditing grant and loan programs.

“I’m running because I know that my strong fiscal policy and analytical experience will help me in my role as a board member,” Tenorio said. “As our school district faces financial challenges, we must remain focused on maximizing the dollars we spend directly educating students while balancing our responsibility to offer the absolute best facilities we can afford.”

Tenorio and his wife Daphne have two children — a son at Armando Chapa Middle School and a daughter at Susie Fuentes Elementary School.

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