Two candidates have filed to seek the vacant Place 3 seat on the Longview ISD school board.
Parent and social worker Tiffany Angus and parent and Longview Regional Medical Center cardiologist Dr. Samir Germanwala filed Thursday to place their names on the ballot for the May 1 election.
Chris Mack, who was the board’s second-longest serving member, resigned the Place 3 seat at the board’s Nov. 17 meeting, and trustees decided not to fill it before the election.
Also Thursday, LISD Place 1 Trustee Michael Tubb filed to seek a second term.
Angus said her main goal is to strengthen the Longview ISD community. She attended LISD schools and has three children in the district — one at Johnston-McQueen Middle School and two at Foster Middle School.
She said she wants to bring a new perspective to the board and hopes her input as a social worker and parent of a student who needs special education can help.
“I know there’s a lot of people that have done that, and I appreciate their perspective, too. I hope to help guide the district as we move forward and improve things,” she said.
Angus has been vocal about some of the district’s decisions. She has spoken publicly at town halls and board meetings about issues ranging from a change in leadership at Johnston-McQueen to the charter school conversion.
Additionally, Angus wants a full-time superintendent for the district, something the board can decide.
Superintendent James Wilcox retired from the district in late 2011 and was rehired part-time in early 2012. The board has said through its current and past presidents that Wilcox is serving the district well and there is no plan to search for a new superintendent.
“I’ve seen a lot of overlap whether in administration in the SB 1882 charters or the district level,” Angus said. “I think that’s an overarching goal in getting a really good full-time superintendent for our district to keep doing good things and improve what needs to be.
“One of my main goals in strengthening the community is to make sure that when teachers and students and parents and families are surveyed, or input is requested of them, whether in surveys or PTA meetings or ETAA parent advisory or TCIS councils, my hope is that we can make decisions utilizing that,” she said.
Germanwala said he wants to make a difference in education for all students.
“The educational system in Longview is great,” he said. “I think we’ve got some disparity between various levels of education, but I think we want to be able to continue to teach at all levels, whether it’s someone advanced or someone who needs things more kind of basic.”
Germanwala said he has concerns and suggestions related to standardized testing, the International Baccalaureate program and fundraising.
Education is important to him, especially as a doctor who went through so much schooling, he said. Germanwala has two children at Longview High School.
One of those children, junior Arya, started the nonprofit organization Simple Bare Necessities to create hygiene packets for students in need.
Germanwala said his entire family is invested in making sure students have what they need. Arya told him that 85% of students in the district are on free-or reduced-cost lunch plans.
“I want to get involved in the school board because worrying about education should be all (that students) are worried about,” he said. “I’m wanting to to make a difference and get more involved.”
Tubb has spent three years on the board attending conferences and learning more about how the education system in Texas works.
Now, he is hoping to spend another three serving the community and the school district his children attend.
Tubb has children at East Texas Montessori Prep Academy, Hudson PEP Elementary School, Johnston-McQueen Elementary School and Judson Middle School.
“Especially with the current environments with COVID-19, education is not a simple matter. It never is, but COVID-19 compounds everything we’re trying to do to educate our children,” he said. “One of the most difficult things is, you try to plan for the future, but you don’t know what the future holds.”
Tubb wants to work to get as many students back in the classroom as possible while keeping students safe. He said the classroom is the best environment for students to learn in.
With another term, Tubb wants to improve communication in the district.
“I’ve been saying this for three years, and I feel like we’re getting better at it, but of course communication,” he said. “I have communication with parents, and we may have put it on the website or social media, but that’s not where they get information. We have to make steps in putting it on every outlet possible so our parents know everything that’s going in in their district.”
Filing for open seats at cities and schools across the state continues through Feb. 12. The last day to register to vote is April 1. Early voting is set April 19 to 27, and Election Day is May 1.