Two candidates filed for the Single-Member District 3 position ahead of the Hays CISD board election. On the ballot are incumbent and Board Secretary Courtney Runkle, and Ray Chávez.

Early voting starts April 22, and election day is May 4.

Candidates were asked to limit their answers to 50 words, and some responses have been edited for length, style and clarity.

* denotes incumbent

Courtney Runkle*

Experience: Law firm business manager, former facilities and bond oversight committee member, current school board secretary

Occupation: Law firm manager

Contact Information: [email protected]

Why are you rerunning for this position?

Hays CISD is the best district! In order to keep our upward trajectory, we need strong advocates on the board. Over the past three years, I have been a relentless advocate for students, educators, staff, families and the community, and our district needs this continuity and strength in leadership.

What are your major areas of concern for the district?

Growth and lack of sufficient funding continue to be areas we constantly monitor in Hays CISD. Our district is growing exponentially, bringing a constant influx of new families to our community and our campuses. We must keep up with the growth.

If re-elected, what is your No. 1 priority to address?

The education of Hays CISD students is and will always be my top priority. While our district has made significant gains in this area, we will always strive to improve. Our goal is to become an A-rated district, and we have made great strides while I have been on the board.

Ray Chávez

Experience: Award-winning educator, development director, accreditation assessor, curriculum coordinator, community activist, communication specialist

Occupation: Educator (ret.), journalist

Contact Information: [email protected]

Why are you running for this position?

I believe I have the passion and wealth of experience to address challenges for continued quality education in our district. I’ve been an educator for over 30 years, having won teaching awards locally and nationally. I’ve also been an administrator, manager, department head, coach and grant writer, fulfilling many duties.

What are your major areas of concern for the district?

My concerns for the district include public school financing, massive student population growth, district infrastructure and school construction, mobility problems involving neighborhood traffic and school dismissal times, school safety including the need for more school resource officers and security measures, and the student mental health and fentanyl-related crisis.

If elected, what is your No. 1 priority to address?

HCISD is experiencing tremendous growing pains and will continue to do so in the near future. With this exponential growth comes a variety of concerns, including but not limited to higher enrollments, class size, increased transportation woes, infrastructure, expanding resource needs, and teacher and staff recruitment, retention and overdue compensation.