99° F Monday, July 24, 2017

Five candidates have filed for Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees Places 3, 4 and 5, which are up for election on May 11. Candidate applications were due to district offices by March 1 at 5 p.m.

Positions on the ballot will be as follows:

Place 3 filings

  • Mario Acosta
  • Tony Hanson

Place 4 filing

  • Vernagene Mott

Place 5 filings

  • Carol L. Fletcher
  • Lance Sandlin

Pflugerville ISD is governed by a seven-member board of trustees responsible for adopting policy, employing and evaluating the superintendent, approving the budget and capital improvement plans, and setting the district tax rate. There are seven members of the PISD Board of Trustees, each elected at-large to serve staggered three-year terms.

Early voting runs from April 29 through May 7 with Election Day falling on May 11.


  1. Keith German says:

    I had the privilege of meeting both Tony Hanson and Lance Sandlin last night and hearing why they have chosen to run for PISD Board places. They seem to be fine men of faith, family, and both have strong successful business backgrounds. I hope to meet the other candidates soon too, if possible. Competition should be healthy.

  2. Jessica Rotz says:

    There will a few chances in April to hear from the two candidates and the three incumbents. Next Tuesday (4/9) the Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce is having a candidate forum during their monthly luncheon. Check their website for details. Also, there is likely to be a candidate forum at an upcoming PfCONA meeting this month. Details aren’t yet confirmed.
    It is very important that people are informed and get out to vote in this election. We will be transitioning to a new Superintendent and need to keep experienced voices on the Board of Trustees. During this time of change, it is critical that we maintain the great strides our district has made under Charles Dupree and our current Board.

  3. Jennifer Preston says:

    How can we learn more about the candidates?

  4. Karen Robbins says:

    The current PISD school board is one of the best in the state of Texas as evidenced by their many awards and recognitions and the successes of our students. I highly value the extensive education background that both Carol Fletcher and Mario Acosta bring to the board – experience that other school boards have to pay consultants to get. I encourage everyone to keep them on our PISD Board of Trustees for our children. You can learn more at http://www.carolfletcher.net and http://www.marioacosta.net.

  5. August Plock says:

    PfCONA is arranging for a school board forum for the last week of April. I had a chance to hear the candidates at Riojas Elementary School last night at the PTO Meeting. As a parent, teacher, and resident I want proven leadership, and our current school board offers that leadership. PISD Board of Trustees was named one of the top five school boards in the state of Texas, and it shows in their professionalism.

  6. Mary Washer says:

    I am very disappointed that the current board has chosen to risk losing even more funding to our district (7.5%!) from state resources because of their political agenda to extend benefits to same-sex partners. The proper place to seek same-sex partner rights, if that is your intent, is with our state constitution. In 2005, we all had an opportunity to vote on an amendment that specifically defined marriage as one man, one woman. If you don’t like the fact that Texas voters enacted it, then find a lawmaker to put it back on the ballot! Putting our children’s education in the cross-hairs of this issue is reckless and irresponsible.

  7. Sondra Kenealy says:

    I am very disappointed that First Baptist Church of Pflugerville has chosen to force their religious beliefs on the Pflugerville ISD and the residents of Pflugerville. Before you post on a public forum my suggestion is you actually do your research and get your facts straight – not just recap the headlines that tend to be more sensational than accurate.

  8. Robert van de Geijn says:

    So, on one side we have three incumbents with, between them, a hundred or so years of experience in education: Acosta – 36+ years of experience, etc. etc.; Fletcher – Ph.D. in Science Education, school board president, etc. etc.; Mott – well, she taught in Pflugerville for forever. On the other side we have two people who may be upstanding citizens and men of faith, but who have no measurable experience in education that I could find on any website…

    As a parent of three kids who have been in the pflugerville school district for many, many years (our oldest started in Pflugerville ISD 18 years ago and graduated 6-7 years ago, our youngest is still at PHS), and a professor at UT for the last 26 years, the choice for me couldn’t be clearer.

    If you don’t vote for experience, for what are you voting? You must have a valid reason for how you vote that puts the education of our children first.

  9. Karen Robbins says:

    Mrs. Washer,
    The board voted last fall to uphold the recommendation of the insurance committee and administration to offer the option, at the employees’ expense, to purchase insurance coverage for domestic partners. At that time, there were no laws that would result in state funding being denied to PISD for doing so. Additionally, seven major governmental entities were already offering similar benefits. HB 1568, which was proposed by a freshman legislator from Muenster, was filed this spring to essentially blackmail PISD and any other district that was considering offering domestic partner benefits, into rescinding them. Pflugerville residents Steve Washburn and John Carlton, both supporters of Mr. Sandlin and Mr. Hanson, have endorsed the bill (http://tinyurl.com/TexasValuesHB1568), which has not even made it out of committee. It would cost PISD taxpayers over $6 million. Mr. Acosta and Dr. Fletcher oppose this clear intrusion on the rights of local communities to determine what is in the best interest of their districts. So, the only people risking and pursuing a loss of funding for PISD are the advocates of HB 1568.

  10. Joey Moore says:

    All the candidates are nice people who love their families. But the decision of who should be elected to run the biggest employer and organization in our city should be based on experience and knowledge. Dr. Carol Fletcher and Mr. Mario Acosta have spent their careers in public education. They understand what it takes to make our students successful and they advocate for our kids and schools. The challengers have no such experience or any record of advocating for public school funding or other issues that affect our children. The challengers have not articulated one issue related to education that they would do differently than the incumbents. PISD has big challenges in font of it–selecting a new superintendent, incredible growth in the face of declining funding the state, and the continued barrage of high-stakes testing mandates. I am supporting the candidates that are well-versed in these areas and have a track record of proven leadership–Carol Fletcher and Mario Acosta.

  11. Joey Moore says:

    Mrs. Washer,

    The Board’s decision has no affect on funding–yet. Unfortunately, Pastor Washburn of the FBC is actively supporting a bill that was filed this session to do just that. This bill has not passed, and if you are truly concerned about our children’s education and school funding, please join me and other parents standing up to bullies who would advocate for penalties against children when they don’t get their way. It seems your disappointment, frustration, and ire are misplaced.

  12. Brad Riemer says:

    I have been a teacher in PISD since 1999 and have seen first hand the passion, dedication, and innovative spirit of Mario Acosta and Carol Fletcher. Pflugerville continues to grow rapidly and with that growth new challenges have emerged. Our school board has sought to meet all of them head on with creative and innovative ideas that always put the best interest of our children at the forefront.
    I appreciate that we have community members wanting to get more involved in the process but strongly feel that we need the proven leadership of Mario and Carol right now.

  13. Darlene Khosrowpour says:

    Especially with losing our superintendent, having the knowledge that Dr. Fletcher and Mr. Acosta have is very important. Is this really about same sex benefits and insurance? We should not hold our children’s education hostage to a simple insurance decision. This isn’t an argument about same sex marriage and there is no place for politics in this election. If Mr. Sandlin and Mr. Hanson are truly running based on this issue, it really makes no sense. They do not have the background to take on these duties. They may be very nice but unfortunately are misguided in risking our children for the sake of their politics.

  14. Katy Clarke says:

    Pflugerville ISD teachers…like teachers everywhere… spend $1000 to $2000 a year on their classrooms. This number increased due to the funding cuts. The majority of teachers I know in PISD get to work at 6:30 a.m. and stay until 6:00 p.m. Then, they work an additional amount of time at home. At least half of a teacher’s weekend is spent on schoolwork. Then there is the time spent in talking to CPS and caseworkers and notifying authorities if students are unsafe at home. The responsibilities are too much for many teachers to take. For those willing to dedicate their time–and their families’ time–to our children, it seems that respecting them enough to offer healthcare to ANYONE in their family is the LEAST we can do–especially when it is AT NO COST TO US.

  15. Mike Price says:

    I like the idea of having members of the school board that are not teachers. The 2 challengers seem to be men of good character and have served in the community as well as having run business ventures. This experience sounds like a great foundation for making wise decisions for our schools and students. Just because someone was a teacher does not mean they are a great administrator. The personal convictions and agenda of the individual candidate must be considered when deciding who to vote for because it is from those personal convictions the board member will help to choose the next superintendent.

  16. Lauren Frances says:

    The only reason those seats are being challenged is to endorse hatred. Pflugerville is the best school board because the people in charge UNDERSTAND education. They are experienced. That anyone would try to unseat them over such a trivial matter is ridiculous and shortsighted.

  17. Julia Ruiz says:

    While it has been said that Lance Sandlin and Tony Hanson are one issue candidates, that is definitely not true. Both men have been actively involved in various youth organizations in the Pflugerville area and are pursuing a seat on the school board because of their desire to contribute to the community. While they are not career educators, Mr. Sandlin and Mr. Hanson have combined financial and bu…siness administration experience of 41 years. A successful school board will consist of financial and business knowledge in addition to educational experience. Regardless of the outcome of this election Elva Gladney and Vernagene Mott, the two most respected educators in our community, will still retain their seats. A school board should be representative of the stakeholders in the community in which we live. It is not necessary that each individual board member possess all of the same talents but that they work successfully as a team.

  18. Ron Russell says:

    I just received the Community IMPACT today and read the 4 questions and answers that were given. Having no children in the school system I am not up-to-date as to how the school system is doing other than reading other comments (which I take no value in since they are in many cases nothing but a cheering section). Being objective I did find Tony Hanson’s responses as actual responses to the questions being asked. Mario’s and Carol’s responses appeared to be canned answers as would be expected from those presently serving in positions. Sometimes people serving to long become too complacent and a time comes when new blood and thinking is necessary.

  19. Robert van de Geijn says:

    There are already at least three school board members whose primary experiences are outside of education and in business: Mr. Jimmy Don Havins, Mr. Rob Reyes, and Dr. Cynthia Graves. Given that there has been no comment from the challengers about the financial well-being of the district, one can only conclude that the current board has done a reasonable job. There is no evidence that the challengers will and can do better.

  20. Darlene Khosrowpour says:

    Dr. Fletcher and Mr. Acosta provided excellent answers in the IMPACT. They are highly principled people of Christian values and morals as are Mr. Hanson and Mr. Sandlin. Their difference of opinion with respect to insurance benefits is not a reflection on their Christian values but a willingness to serve the community’s needs. Hanson and Sandlin question the legality of providing insurance benefits to employees but the existing board looked into the legality and cost to the school system. No cost and yes – it is legal to not discriminate.

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