Steve Math joins Round Rock ISD board as sole trustee from Westwood feeder pattern

Steve Math (bottom row, left) interviewed at the Nov. 16 board meeting.

Steve Math (bottom row, left) interviewed at the Nov. 16 board meeting.

Newly appointed Round Rock ISD trustee Steve Math calls RRISD, "a district of choice." He said eight years ago, he, like many others he has since met, moved to RRISD boundaries for the quality education offered at Round Rock schools.

In his interview for the post, conducted at the Nov. 16 open meeting, Math described how his wife selected the Westwood High School feeder pattern specifically, and then zeroed in on the other schools their two children would attend.

"My wife told me my kids were going to Westwood, and Canyon Vista Middle School," he said. "When I moved here, I realized there were hundreds of families that made their housing decision exactly like my wife did."

Now, Math said he believes his ability to represent the Westwood High School feeder pattern will help the district. Math is the only trustee living within this feeder pattern's boundaries, and said he is the only trustee directly representing this area for the last four years.

Involvement in the district

Math said he first became interested in taking a bigger role in the district's proceedings roughly a year and a half ago when debate erupted on changing middle school boundaries in his area. He said he attended several meetings on the matter, and ultimately joined the 2016 Citizen's Bond Committee to be part of the larger RRISD conversation.

The bond that resulted from this committee's work ultimately failed across the three individual propositions totaling close to $600 million. Math cited need for a future bond to support immense district growth as his biggest anticipated reward and challenge.

"I would like to jump right into the mix and help educate and inform as many people as I can about the right bond that will benefit our kids in the future," he said. "Yet, [I also want to] serve as an effective voice to the existing trustees who may have miscalculated or misread some things in the May bond offering."

Math said information and communication should play a large role in any future proposed bond. He said his goal would be to communicate as much credible information to voters so they can make informed choices.

His input from the Westwood feeder pattern may also help shape future bond discussions, which previously lacked necessary support from the Travis County portion of the district. In the May 2017 failed bond election, Travis County voters, who are situated in the Westwood feeder pattern, rejected the bond in greater numbers than their Williamson County counterparts.

On average, Travis County voters voted down the bond by 68.6 percent, in comparison to the Williamson County electorate who voted down the propositions by an average of 50.1 percent.

Future plans

Math comes from an actuarial background, which he describes as an insurance mathematician. He currently works on the underwriting side of Texas Mutual Insurance, with actuaries reporting to him.

"I believe my actuarial background provides a strong basis for logical thinking and breaking complex problems down into more solvable mini challenges," he said.

This logical mindset will help Math assimilate to the current board and its processes. Math describes himself as a fast learner who wants to soak up information like a sponge.

Prior to applying for the vacant seat, Math said he initially became interested in the position by watching tapes of the current board making decisions. He said he sensed the board was made up of talented and passionate people, and he wanted to be part of that group.

Already, Math has started his own onboarding process, meeting with those trustees to catch up on district affairs and needed school board knowledge.

Even though the term of Place 6 ends in November 2018, Math has plans for his board seat to last longer than its current expiration date.

"I am committed to serving for longer than the one year of the expiring term," he said.
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