HARKER HEIGHTS — Three candidates running for seats on the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees met Thursday to make their case to voters at a question-and-answer forum.

Hosted by the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce in anticipation of the May 11 election, Thursday’s participants also included candidates running for the Harker Heights City Council.

After making short introductory remarks, Killeen school board President Shelly Wells, board member Susan Jones and her challenger, parent and local business owner John Gilmore, fielded questions from the audience. Wells’ opponent, former educator and Fort Hood employee Lan Carter, did not attend the forum. Topics included longevity pay for staff and teachers, and school safety.

All three candidates spoke about cuts to education funding at the state level, as well as automatic cuts to federal funding, commonly known as sequestration.

Wells said she and the board would attempt to keep the cuts from hitting the classroom and affecting the quality of education.

“The classroom is sacred to this board,” she said. “We’re going to do everything we can to maintain classroom learning. ... It’s all about the students.”

Gilmore, a first-time school board candidate, said the cuts created uncertainty at a time when districts are trying to plan their budgets.

“We’re juggling all these $100 million balls in the air, and we don’t know which ones we are going to catch and which ones we are going to drop.”

Jones said the board wanted to avoid having to cut programs.

“As far as eliminating programs and things like that, it’s not something that anybody likes to do,” she said. “With (Superintendent Robert) Muller’s guidance and the board working together, I’m certain that (the board) will find the right answer.”

Early voting is April 29 through May 7. Election Day is May 11.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

(4) comments


Ktexguy87 hit the mark. Reason we see the same names over & over on school board elections (and even city council) is because these old families that've been around for years are interconnected. They seek board positions to further their business holdings, get pals ahead & stay in the know on who is getting what contracts so they can get a share of pie. Look at the person that was recalled from Killeen's city council & went for a KISD board position instead. Was that really to serve the needs of the community? Getting more people to the polls to vote for non good-old boy candidates is key to decreasing this city's antiquated way of doing things. The 3 older candidates running for school board don't even have young kids in the schools & are out of touch with the times.


Yes Viktor, you're correct. and here's the kicker. do we really want an aunt and nephew on the board together? do we really want the owner of the company where the district gets their gas from on the board (isn't that against the law anyway?) Would the board if he were elected change the contract to a different vendor? (I doubt it) I mean the district is already buying land from current and past board members while seated on the board. One family of a current member was put into her position in the higher paid ranks with no experience and she's not even at work half the time.

The good ole boy network is here and the the rule of nepotism only applies to those they don't like but the ones the do like are the ones that get away with everything like the families that are running for the board.

The only way to do anything about it is to get enough people to vote them out.


I would have attended the forum if I didn't have clients scheduled for me at work.


Same names again & again. These people have no clue what classrooms are like today. Why don't we get candidates that are in touch with education?

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