Half of FWISD board seats up for election

By Daisha Sipho

Half of the seats on FWISD’s board of education are up for re-election this year.

Each term is no more than four years, however, the amount of times one can be re-elected is unlimited.

Cinto Ramos Jr.

District 1 trustee, Cinto Ramos Jr., ran unopposed for his seat on the board. Ramos was declared re-elected early for his second term at the last board meeting.

Matthew Avila

District 8 incumbent, Matthew Avila, will not be running for re-election, leaving Anael Luebanos and Jason Brown running for the open seat. Avila joined the board in 2013, having worked at the university level for many years. He currently serves as the president of the Byrne Foundation.

TA Sims

In District 4, incumbent T.A. Sims faces Johnny Cook-Muhammad for his bid for re-election. Sims has been a school board member for 34 years. Sims is a registered pharmacist and president of Sims Enterprises. He was FWISD’s first African-American school board president. T. A. Sims Elementary was named in his honor in 1989. He also originated the FWISD Scholar Athlete-Award program.

Norman Robbins

Norman Robbins is running against opponent Michael Ryan for the District 7 seat. Robbins joined the school board in 2004. He is currently the senior manager of community relations for Lockheed Martin. Robbins is responsible for the reinstatement of music and art into the curriculum of primary schools.

Ashley Paz

Incumbent Ashley Paz faces Pilar Candia for her seat representing District 9. Paz joined the board in 2013. She is an entrepreneur who owns two small businesses: Vera Green Productions and Vivi Gray Design. Paz has a background in finance and community advocacy.

Incumbent Ann Sutherland will continue to serve on the board until her term is over in 2019. Sutherland works as an educator and budget analyst. She is also a member of the Board Audit Committee.

Anne Sutherland

“I would expect the situation to continue even if there are new school board members,” Sutherland said. She said the board is not split into two discrete factions but votes on issues break down differently.

Along with Sutherland are incumbents Christene Moss, Judy Needham and Tobi Jackson.

Christene Moss

Incumbent Christene Moss will also continue to serve until 2019. Moss is a registered nurse and has been on the board since 1990. Christene Moss Elementary and The Salvation Army’s Children’s Library were named in her honor.

District 5 trustee, Judy Needham, is a fundraising consultant and has been on the board since 1996.

Judy Needham

She is also a product of FWISD. Needham has served on numerous boards including Lena Pope Home and the Garden Club. The Union Gospel Mission library was also named in her honor.

Tobi Jackson, District 2 trustee, was first elected in 2010. Jackson is the CEO of Fort Worth SPARC program.

Tobi Jackson

She focuses on public service and volunteer work in the community. Jackson currently serves on numerous boards such as the East Fort Worth Business Association.

If the five incumbent board members are defeated in this election, most of the board of education will consist of new members.

The election will take place May 6.