Residents within Richardson ISD will be voting for the District 2 seat on the RISD school board of trustees.
In the May 7 general election, three candidates were vying for the single-member District 2 seat: incumbent board member Eron Linn, Sherry Clemens and Vanessa Pacheco. According to Dallas County results, Clemens received the most votes in the election with 1,726 votes, or 41.8%, followed by Pacheco, who received 1,684 votes, or 40.8%. Linn received 721 total votes, or 17.4%. A runoff was declared since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote.
Voters in Dallas County may cast a ballot at any polling location in the county during early voting and on election day. To find out where to vote during early voting and on election day in Dallas County, click here.
View below for our Q&A with the three candidates.
Clemens and Pacheco previously answered questions for Community Impact Newspaper before the May 7 election. Their responses may have been edited for length, style and clarity.
Occupation: small-business owner, marketing
Relevant experience: teacher for first and third grades in Forney ISD: 2004-2010; founded Resolve Consulting in 2014, which is based in Richardson; oversees a team of marketing professionals to help businesses of all sizes with social media, marketing, and web design; mother of four children currently enrolled in RISD schools
Occupation: vice president of Ohana Cottonwood
Relevant experience: Leadership ISD 2021 fellow, School Board Governance Fellowship, Equity and Inclusion Fellowship MBA, Global Leadership, University of Texas at Dallas scholar with distinction graduate; BBS, Management Information Systems, Dallas Baptist University; Berkner PTA Board, XIX Society Member, GOTV Steering Committee, NABSE Parent Commission, and RLA Supplemental Materials Criteria Parent Committee
Why are you running for office?
Clemens: My husband and I moved to Richardson ISD because it is one of the premier school districts in DFW. We have four children that attend RISD schools. In the last years, I’ve seen a shift from the pillars of excellence that have made RISD a destination district. I want to get us back in the right direction—where RISD provides an outstanding education for every student, partners with parents and teachers, and remains financially sound.
Pacheco: I’m running for RISD because I believe it’s time for new leadership for our Richardson schools. For too long, kids have been treated as data points and closing achievement gaps hasn’t been made a primary priority. Our students are the future of our community and our economy. We have a responsibility to give them the best education possible and on a path for a successful adult life.
If elected, what would be your top priorities?
Clemens: My top priority would be hiring a superintendent focused on education to help our students exceed the current educational goals of the district. Now is the time to unify our community by hiring a leader that will partner with parents and be a champion for teachers. With outstanding leadership in place and a board that is focused on setting policies to positively impact the education of all students, RISD will once again rise to excellence.
Pacheco: My top three priorities will be to strongly prepare students, support our staff and increase communication. I believe RISD needs to teach kids today and prepare them for tomorrow by ensuring they have a college or career path forward. Additionally, I’ll be an advocate for more transparency and communication directly from board members to schools, parents, and the community.
What are the biggest challenges facing Richardson ISD? How do you plan to address these issues?
Clemens: Two of the biggest challenges for RISD are academic performance and teacher retention. We must work to close the achievement gap and improve educational outcomes for all students. This can be done by refocusing on proven curriculum and instruction. We must also come alongside our educators, implement proven strategies to support teaching and learning, and increase pay. We need our great teachers to stay in RISD.
Pacheco: RISD is currently facing a couple of major challenges, a high staff turnover rate and growing achievement and progress gaps. As trustee, I would support doing more to appreciate and retain our teachers, support staff, and administration workers through retention bonuses and stronger communication on the ground to ensure they’re receiving the support they need. I’ll also collaborate with the administration to understand what policies will give students the individual attention they need to catch up to grade level and stay on track.