Unofficial results: 2 new members, including possibly district's first minority member, elected to Frisco ISD board

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Chad Rudy
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Natalie Hebert
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Gopal Ponangi
Two new board members, including who could be the board's first minority member, as well as one incumbent have been elected to the Frisco ISD board of trustees, according to Saturday's unofficial election results.

Gopal Ponangi and Natalie Hebert are the newly elected board members. Incumbent Chad Rudy also won in his re-election bid for Place 3.

Ponangi is believed to be the first minority member to serve on the FISD board, district spokeswoman Meghan Cone said.

The result is key because FISD is being sued over its at-large election system. The lawsuit claims the system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board. In the past four years, seven minority candidates have unsuccessfully run for a spot on the board.

"I have pledged to strengthen the entrepreneurial skills of FISD students, focus on fiscal responsibility, and increase mental health and special education programs," Ponangi said in a statement May 4. "I ran my campaign on this vision, I strongly believe in this vision, and I will continue to pursue this vision and the very best for our teachers, parents and students."

Ponangi defeated his opponent Nathan Adams for the Place 1 seat on the board.

Hebert unseated incumbent Steve Noskin for the Place 2 seat. Hebert said she is honored as an educator to represent the teachers, staff and students of FISD.

"My initial focus from the get go was special education, to make sure we have what we need in place to make sure that every single one of our students that have special needs are served and served well," she said. "From there, I want to make sure we have the most effective teachers in place and that we are valuing our most effective teachers."

Noskin could not be reached May 4.

Rudy was first elected to the board in 2015.

"This campaign was an opportunity for me to connect with more Frisco ISD residents on what we’ve been doing over the last three years in the district," he said. "Managing our growth has many facets and challenges, and I love getting to talk to voters about what we are doing and why."

Muni Janagarajan declined to comment on the results May 4.

Election results are unofficial until canvassed.


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