Meet HISD’s newest trustees in this month’s edition of ‘Up Close’

In this edition of “Up Close,” HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones visits with recently elected District IV Trustee Jolanda Jones and District VIII Trustee Diana Dávila.

Jones landed a seat on the board for the first time in November, beating out three opponents to win the District IV spot being vacated by departing trustee Paula Harris, who did not seek re-election. Jones says she is looking forward to focusing on the new superintendent search. She is also planning to advocate for the preservation of existing schools, and to work on resource equity.

“I’d like a superintendent who is collaborative,” said Jones, “because different schools have different issues. We have very student-specific problems, so I think that we need to talk to the community and find out what we need. I also want a superintendent who wants to have more vocational trades in the schools. That is super important.”

Dávila, a former HISD teacher, previously served on the HISD board from 2003 to 2010. She defeated incumbent trustee Juliet Stipeche for the District VIII seat. Her top priority is to identify and create education options for students throughout the district, but she also sees the importance of the superintendent search.

“I think we need a superintendent who is approachable,” said Dávila. “They need to be someone that people can come up to and feel comfortable. Whether you are a student, whether you are a parent, whether you are an administrator, it doesn’t matter what walk of life you are coming from, they have to feel comfortable enough to come up and tell you about the needs of their communities, their children, and their schools.”

Other Up Close segments this month focus on:
HISD College Success Centers
• the redesigned SAT
Houston’s youngest Poet Laureate Andrew White, a senior at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.