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Lake Dallas, Sanger school board races stack up

Four seats are contested in two area school board races as the May election inches closer.

In Lake Dallas ISD, Blake Abbe will challenge incumbent Tim Hicks for his Place 6 spot, while current board President Lance Stacy runs unopposed for his Place 5 seat.

Sanger ISD voters will see a busy ballot with a $26.7 million bond package proposal and six candidates running for three open board places.

Jim Searles will take on incumbent Jimmy Howard for Place 1, Kathy Carter will challenge incumbent Brad Watts for Place 6 and Sarah Peers York will face off with incumbent Dale Gleason for Place 7.

The Denton Record-Chronicle caught up with the candidates and asked about issues facing their districts. Candidate voting histories will follow.

Election day this year is May 6, and early voting begins Monday. For more information, visit www.votedenton.com.

Lake Dallas ISD

Blake Abbe — Place 6

Lake Dallas ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Blake AbbeBlake Abbe
Lake Dallas ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Blake Abbe
Blake Abbe

Age: 30

Hometown: Waco

Education: high school diploma; bachelor's degree in emergency management from the University of North Texas; master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia

Employment: executive director of Risk Management for Texas Woman's University

Campaign website: On Facebook at Blake Abbe for LDISD Board of Trustees

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Lake Dallas ISD?

We need to make sure we're always providing compensation benefits and an environment that provides a good landing spot for teachers. We need to make Lake Dallas desirable. We also need to be making sure that the budget is strategically aligned with our priorities. We also need to make sure that we build bridges across the Lake Cities area.

Tim W. Hicks — Place 6

Lake Dallas ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Tim HicksTim Hicks
Lake Dallas ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Tim Hicks
Tim Hicks

Age: 49

Hometown: Sanderson

Education: high school diploma; bachelor's degree in construction management from Texas State University

Employment: owner of industrial flooring company T.W. Hicks Inc.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Lake Dallas ISD?

Our biggest challenge is the voucher system. It's something that we're very passionate about. We need to stay ahead of that and let the public know how it impacts out schools. I think as board members, we have to support our superintendent on this. We're lucky in that we have a superintendent who is very vocal and speaks about this issue as often as she can.

Sanger ISD

Jim Searles — Place 1

Sanger ISD School Board Place 1 candidate Jim SearlesJim Searles
Sanger ISD School Board Place 1 candidate Jim Searles
Jim Searles

Age: 49

Hometown: Lewisville

Education: high school diploma; bachelor's degree in marketing from Bellevue University

Employment: works in business management

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Sanger ISD?

I think the school district is locked in with other districts in that we're teaching to a [state standardized] test. The education we're putting out there should be what they need to succeed in the world, not just to pass a test at the end of the year. I also personally oppose this particular bond package we're trying to pass. I don't think we passed the right one. I want Sanger to be known for strong academics, not how big of a football stadium we have.

Jimmy Howard — Place 1

Sanger ISD School Board Place 1 candidate Jimmy HowardJimmy Howard
Sanger ISD School Board Place 1 candidate Jimmy Howard
Jimmy Howard

Age: 45

Hometown: Sanger

Education: high school diploma; U.S. Army basic training; EMT paramedic training; associate's degree from Cooke County Junior College; graduate of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service

Employment: owner and operator of Howard Mortuary & Crematory Services

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Sanger ISD?

The biggest issue for our district right now is growth and future growth. We have started with a small bond package in the upcoming election to get the ball rolling. The next couple of years will be crucial for the community, students and Sanger ISD as whole. The ground work and blue prints over the next three to four years must be done right for our future.

Kathy Carter — Place 6

Sanger ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Kathy CarterKathy Carter
Sanger ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Kathy Carter
Kathy Carter

Age: 48

Hometown: Joplin, Missouri

Education: high school diploma; bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from Missouri Southern State University; master's degree in special education from the University of North Texas; currently working on doctorate in educational psychology from the University of North Texas and certification as an educational diagnostician from Dallas Baptist University.

Employment: Admission, review and dismissal facilitator for Lewisville ISD

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Sanger ISD?

My current gripe is the bond proposal. We've got more money going to athletics and not enough for students and teachers. The money for the new field house needs to be redirected. We're not solving space issues with that. We do need a new agriculture program barn, and we need more career and technical education programs. We have real issues that need to be solved. It's not going to happen with new turf on the baseball field.

Brad Watts — Place 6

Sanger ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Brad WattsBrad Watts
Sanger ISD School Board Place 6 candidate Brad Watts
Brad Watts

Age: 49

Hometown: Sanger

Education: high school diploma

Employment: Denton Municipal Electric employee

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Sanger ISD?

The most important issue today is our ability to update and maintain our facilities to accommodate the projected growth in Sanger. Our administration works diligently on updating our board on the growth and needs of our district and campuses. With those reports, we as a board are able to process these needs and help implement actions needed that will support the superintendent and administration. Growth is coming and Sanger ISD will be ready.

Sarah Peers York — Place 7

Sanger ISD School Board Place 7 candidate Sarah Peers YorkSarah York
Sanger ISD School Board Place 7 candidate Sarah Peers York
Sarah York

Age: 39

Hometown: Sanger

Education: high school diploma; bachelor's degree from Tarleton State University

Employment: market human resource manager at AutoNation

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Sanger ISD?

The good thing about Sanger is that it's already a great school district. My main thing is to join a team that's already successful and provide my insight on things. The reason I wanted to be on the board is because I want to be involved in the wonderful school district that my son goes to.

Dale Gleason — Place 7

Sanger ISD School Board Place 7 candidate Dale GleasonDale Gleason
Sanger ISD School Board Place 7 candidate Dale Gleason
Dale Gleason

Age: 45

Hometown: Denton

Education: high school diploma; bachelor's degree in biomedical science and veterinary science from Texas A&M University; doctorate of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University

Employment: owner and veterinarian at Lone Oak Veterinary Clinic

What do you think are some of the challenges facing Sanger ISD?

Our biggest challenges are facilities and maintaining professional staff. There's an increasing number of students that need to be accommodated at Sanger. We're one of several school districts growing rapidly. We're trying to pass a bond to increase capacity and we've been able to offer a 10 percent teacher salary increase over the past three years.

CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.