Amarillo Globe News
first-timers join AISD board
Incumbent Jack Thompson was the top vote-getter in
Saturday's election for the Amarillo Independent School District
board of trustees in its second election to use cumulative voting.
Newcomers Janie Rivas and Jim Austin will join Thompson on the
Thompson received 2,978 votes. Rivas had 2,458
votes. Austin got 2,335.
The other candidates were one-term board
member Julie Attebury, with 1,975 votes, and LaRue Hite, with 659
Thompson, 69, a community volunteer, has been on the board
for 22 years.
He said he was pleased to receive the support and is
ready to serve another four years.
Thompson said the district has
four needs to address during his next term; health care, a shortage
of money coming from the state, keeping up with technology, and
keeping and educating employees.
"All of that leads to the first
thing, that being the best, safe education for the kids," Thompson
said. "The kids have been my agenda since 1980."
Rivas, 46, a
community volunteer, said she feels great about the outcome of her
"I've got a lot of work to do still," said Rivas, the
second Hispanic elected to the AISD board. "This is just the
Austin, 49, a senior executive of Graham-Webb Data
Print, said he was surprised by the results but is glad to fill the
"I consider it a volunteer opportunity," Austin said.
"There is a lot of responsibility both because of the human beings
that are involved and the money that is involved."
Austin said he
thought his business background might be perceived as a negative by
"They might think I'm more concerned with the dollar
than I would be with a person, but that's not right," he said.
Attebury, 46, a community volunteer, has been on the board since
She said the outcome of political races is always uncertain.
"The good thing about this race is this was the strongest slate of
candidates in my memory," she said. "That says good things about
Thompson, Rivas and Austin will serve four-year
Hite, 64, is a homemaker, community volunteer and retired
teacher. The Globe-News was unable to reach Hite on Saturday night.
Saturday's election used cumulative voting. Every voter had three
votes to cast in any combination.
AISD switched to cumulative
voting in 1999 and elected its first black and Hispanic trustee in
May 2000, the first election to use the new process.
in the Amarillo Globe-News