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KISD candidates face issues of overcrowding, special education standards

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The Killeen Independent School District in the last year had three major hurdles to address.

One was overcrowding at KISD schools. Rezoning for 19 of the past 20 years has been a byproduct of the population growth in the Killeen area and is reflected in the student population numbers of all four traditional public high schools in KISD, each with over 2,000 students.

Another major issue has been the implementation of policy and procedures of KISD’s special education program. Texas Education Agency’s 2015 investigation of the district showed changes needed to be made to improve the school special education programs. In January of this year, TEA terminated its investigation of the district, saying KISD had taken steps to improve its problems. Now, special education statewide is under investigation because of the TEA’s mandate that districts keep special education enrollment at or below 8.5 percent.

Another issue has revolved around open campus lunch periods. In the last three years, multiple fights and car accidents involving KISD students have happened during open campus lunch periods.

The two people elected to the Killeen school board May 6 will join the rest of KISD’s board of trustees in making important decisions on those and other issues.

A look at the candidates

Eight candidates are vying for two seats on the Killeen school board.

Running for the board’s Place 5, currently held by incumbent board President Terry Delano, are six candidates: Lan Carter, a teacher; Steven Drayton, regional manager for CW Resources; Gerald Dreher, the chief of orthopedics for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Temple; Lonnie Farrow, an information analyst; Robert “Bob” Snyder, a financial adviser; and Carlyle Walton, the CEO of Metroplex Hospital in Killeen.

Place 5 will see a fresh face come May 6 due to Delano’s decision to not run for re-election.

In the Place 4 race, incumbent Marvin Rainwater, a retired Killeen educator, will face off against challenger Stephania Lynn Williams, an employment readiness specialist and advocate.

Rainwater is a retired KISD educator and administrator for 43 years and resides in Harker Heights. Rainwater attained a bachelor’s degree in science from Texas State University and earned a master’s degree in counseling from Texas A&M University, Commerce.

Walton is the CEO of Metroplex Hospital in west Killeen and is a resident of Harker Heights. He attended the University of the Southern Caribbean, where he earned an associate of arts and business. Walton then attended Washington Adventist University in Maryland and earned a bachelor of science in accounting, and lastly attended the University of Mary-Hardin-Baylor, where he earned a master’s in health services management.

Snyder has been a KISD district resident for 52 years. He is currently a financial adviser, and lives in Killeen.

Dreher is the chief of orthopedics at the VA hospital in Temple. Dreher has been a surgeon for 22 years. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from the College of Holy Cross, and a doctor of medicine degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He does not have any experience in elected office.

Information on the following candidates came in late Friday:

Carter is a counselor and a prior elementary teacher, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in computer information systems, and a master’s in counseling psychology. A resident of Killeen for over 20 years, Carter attended Killeen High School.

Drayton is a regional manager for CW Resources.

Farrow has been a resident of the KISD school district for 30 years, and attended Killeen High School. Farrow works as an information analyst and has an associate degree in psychology and a media communication certification.

Williams is a Killeen resident and works as a special education advocate. Williams attended Central Texas College.

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