Three vying for CISD school board spots
Election Day is May 4 for Cameron ISD Board of Trustees. Voting will be at Cameron ISD, 303 East 12th Street in Cameron from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cameron ISD has three candidates for two open spots on the school board.
Those running are incumbents Jason Dohnalik and Alan Patterson and challenger Annisha Williams.
The Herald asked the candidates a few short questions to help voters decide who they thing can best serve Cameron ISD over the next few years.
The question and answer follows:
Why are you running for school board?
Dohnalik: I consider school board trustee as a position of honor with great responsibility to Cameron ISD as well as the community. It is my responsibility as a school board member to continually support, without bias, the core values of Cameron ISD and to base my decisions on what is best for all students and staff.
Our goal as a district has to be to educate all students to be great Yoemen for life, not just during their years in school. I have been blessed to serve the past 12 years in this position and look forward to offering steady experience to help guide Cameron ISD through a transition of new leadership.
Patterson: Having the opportunity to work with a team that can have a positive impact on the children of Cameron ISD, is truly a great honor. If we take a step back, and look at the “big picture” and the role the school district has in our community, it is very evident how important the decisions we make as trustees, both educationally, and financially are to this community.
Williams: I think it is time for a change with new and fresh ideas.
What do you feel is the most important issue the district faces right now?
Dohnalik: There are several issues that our school district is currently facing along with many other school districts across the state … state funding, accountability, and A-F ratings.
I feel the most important issue facing Cameron ISD is creating a positive overall culture and environment for students and staff to help achieve the outcomes of excellence we desire for our district.
Patterson: There are many, but if I had to pick one, it would be keeping up with the changing educational landscape, and the responsibility of graduating seniors with the knowledge, and skill set they need to begin the next step in their life, all while maintaining fiscal responsibility to the tax payer.
Williams: I feel our school district has gotten off track of what is most important, and that is the children. I think we need to listen to the teachers and teaching staff to help better serve the children because they are our future.
What is your background and how will that help you to make decisions for the school district?
Dohnalik: I am a proud graduate of Yoe High. I have 12 years experience serving as school board trustee for Cameron ISD and four years experience serving as Region 6 Director for Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) representing 56 school districts at the state level. With these combined experiences, I feel that I’m qualified to help guide Cameron ISD in all areas necessary to achieve our goals.
Patterson: All of my professional career has been in the funeral industry, in many different roles. In the funeral profession, you have to be able to truly listen to people, as you help them navigate a very difficult time in their lives. Those same skills apply to serving on a school board. There are seven trustees, and a superintendent, that make up the team of eight. It is important to listen to all, with an open mind, in an effort to make the best-informed decisions for the district.
Williams: I am a 2004 C.H. Yoe High graduate. I am currently employed with the Milam County Clerk’s Office. I am also a member of the Ben Milam PTO and am a member of Grace Church.
Tell us a little more about you ...
Dohnalik: I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 26 years and we have two wonderful daughters. My wife, Susan, has been an educator for 24 years. My oldest daughter, Emily, is married to Josh Eixman. She has been a teacher for for years in Franklin. My youngest daughter, Megan, graduated from Texas A&M in 2018, and is currently attending Texas A&M Nursing School in Round Rock.
I have been employed with EBCO Development, Inc. for the past 22 years and am currently a partner in the business. My hobbies are hunting, golfing, and umpiring high school baseball. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my family and we are excited about our granddaughter arriving this fall.
Patterson: I am married to my wonderful wife Addie, who is a realtor, and we have two children, Brinley (13), and Cade (11). We also own and operate a backhoe service that provides grave digging services to funeral homes, and cemeteries in central Texas.
As for hobbies, we really like to enjoy anything outdoors as a family, whether it is supporting the different activities our kids are in, or just spending time together.
Williams: I have two very energetic young children, Scarlett who is six, and Shane who is five and both in school at Ben Milam. My hobbies include coaching my daughter’s T-ball team and cheering from the stands for my son’s T-ball team. When I am not running around with my children I love to read in my downtime.