Six candidates are vying for Comal ISD single-member districts 6 and 7 in this May’s election. Those board member positions are occupied by Marty Bartlett and Cody Mueller, respectively. Neither filed for re-election.

Amanda Jones and Amber Bracegirdle will vie for the District 6 position.

Candidates David Krawczynski, Kaila Stovall, Stephen Gallets and Orlando Dona have filed to fill the District 7 seat.

The last day to register to vote is April 7, and the last day to apply for a ballot by mail is April 26. Early voting will run from April 25-May 3, and election day is May 7.

Candidate responses have been edited for length, style and clarity.

Amber Bracegirdle

Experience: While this is my first time running for office, I am not new to the education sector. I hold a bachelor's [degree] in social sciences with concentration in education. I am immersed daily in all things education and policy in my role at my company, where we use education as our primary form of marketing. through online courses, video series across social media and online content geared at teaching website owners how to create better, more thoughtful, engaging content that will improve their businesses.

Occupation: Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer of Mediavine

Candidate Website:

Contact Information: [email protected]

What would be your top priorities if you are elected?

Top priorities for me are transparency in how board decisions are made. Creating accountability to our parents, students and staff where it might be lacking now through open communication. No board, no person, no institution is perfect. But I believe transparency and accountability lead to trust throughout an organization, and no matter how an organization is currently run, there are always improvements that can be made in transparency and accountability.

How should CISD handle growth within the district?

I believe handling growth is going to come down to understanding the data around that growth. Where are our new students coming from? What are their needs? We've already got a shortfall of budget around special education. We don't have the staff to meet currently enrolled needs, so this has to be addressed and continually assessed if we're ever going to have a hope of breaking out of the cycle of hiring contractors that take us over budget.

Kaila Stovall

Experience: I have worked with teachers, support staff, administrators and central office employees as a teacher and know the ins and outs of how schools run. I stay up to date with the Texas Education Codes as well as the TEKS, so that students are getting the best education and parents know their rights in the education process. As a teacher, I've worked with families from all different backgrounds and understand the nuances of cultural differences and how to navigate that so we can have candid conversations to better help students succeed.

Occupation: High School ELAR Teacher - certified 7-12th

Contact Information: [email protected]

What would be your top priorities if you are elected?

My top priorities include: Looking at our budget and finding where we are overspending so that we can find a way to pay teachers and support staff more; making sure we are being more transparent and accessible to parents, Comal ISD staff and all community members; offering support by listening to Comal ISD staff to find out what things need to change in our schools to ensure student success; and communicating with constituents

How should CISD handle growth in the district?

One of the first things we need to do is have conversations and work closely with city leaders to learn about new developments being approved so we can make growth projections and plan accordingly. We also need to make sure that before we continue to let people outside of the district register students here, we have sufficient staffing, especially for our students who are [in special education], [English language learners] and on 504 plans.

Orlando Dona

Experience: I am running for this office because I have lived a life of integrity first, service to those around me and excellence in everything I do. Yes, it sounds like an Air Force motto, but it is tough not to adopt these good values after serving 23 years in the US Air Force as a Lt Colonel; and with 22 years in education at the secondary and college level, now retired honorably from Comal ISD

Occupation: Air Force veteran and retired educator

Contact Information: 619-884-5973 [email protected]

What would be your top priorities if you are elected?

Student grades are not improving, and the loss of teachers is making it worse. I do not like the latest unofficial grades for our school district and how our students are not meeting basic educational standards set for the [State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness], and in Math and Science. I challenge voters to look at the most recent grade report on their local school and not be horrified. I will also expand teacher inputs into district decision-making and create a teacher task force for addressing student discipline, social media and teacher pay.

How should CISD handle growth within the district?

I want your vote as the trustee for our district because I am greatly concerned about the reasons why good teachers and staff are leaving our district, some after only three or four months in the classroom; why bus routes are being canceled; why teachers get yearly pay cuts because any increase they get is less than the rise of inflation, pay cuts, and the failing grades!

Amanda Jones

Experience: Comal Forward Bond Committee 2019 and 2020, Council PTA, Comal Leaders Academy Graduate, Mental Health Taskforce Committee 2022, Facilities Improvement Committee, Mascot and logo design team for Pieper High School, Executive Officer for Indian Springs Elementary, 5 years, Comal ISD Council PTA, Clothes Closet Coordinator, Pieper Warrior Youth Football Association, Board of Directors, Co-Creator and team lead for district Kinder Panel

Occupation: Nutritional Territory Manager for Nestle Health Science

Candidate Website:

Contact Information: [email protected]

What would be your top priorities if you are elected?

Maintain the ongoing academic and extracurricular success of our students. Support our teachers and staff. Be a voice for all Comal ISD communities. Proactively address district growth.

How should CISD handle growth within the district?

We must continue to study the projected growth in the district so we can make strategic decisions regarding when and where to purchase land. We also need to continue the strategic use of portables so that we build schools at the right size at the right time, all while having a conservative and mindful approach about using taxpayer supported bonds.

David Krawczynski

Experience: OpenStack Foundation Board Member from 2020-2021; City of Garden Ridge, Commission Chair since 2017

Occupation: Manager - Global Cloud Services at Rackspace

Contact Information: 210-620-7289. [email protected]

What would be your top priorities if you are elected?

I plan to keep a students first mindset in all decisions. I will do everything in my power to support the school district in providing the best teachers, curriculum and facilities needed to prepare our students for what lies ahead. Our teachers work hard for our students, and, if I am elected, I plan to take a fiscally conservative approach to increase teacher compensation. Because I understand some of the financial burdens placed on school districts, I will strongly advocate for teachers and taxpayers at the state level to ensure that more of our tax dollars stay in our own fast-growing district.

How should CISD handle growth within the district?

It is no secret that Comal ISD is growing at an unprecedented rate, and how well we handle additional student enrollment is crucial. There are ways to responsibly manage growth that allows for the tradition of excellence and student success to continue in our district. I plan to push for the development of intentional and conservative budgets that prioritize hiring and compensating existing teachers as well as hiring well-qualified teachers to fill new positions.

Steve Gallets

Experience: Six years as a certified teacher in the state of Texas. I served in the Army Corps of Engineers.

Occupation: Retired, do some substituting. I do volunteer charity work for the Garden Ridge Lions Club.

Contact Information: 254-366-9018 u2022 [email protected]

What would be your top priorities if you are elected?

Manage growth within the district by being as fiscally responsible as the Comal ISD Board should be. Ensure our budgets do not contain wasteful spending and insure we are meeting the needs for the education of our children as best we can. We do not need to do deficit budgeting. Of adjoining school districts bordering Comal ISD, our teachers are number six in terms of compensation. Teachers must know their school board has their back.

How should CISD handle growth within the district?

We are one of the fastest growing districts in the area if not the state. We need to look at how we plan out future growth by working with local leaders in New Braunfels, Garden Ridge, Canyon Lake and Smithson Valley to insure we meet this growth in a fiscally responsible manner. I would look at copying other school designs for expansions so we can reduce design and architecture costs. Why reinvent the wheel.