During a special meeting Jan. 3, Keller ISD board members voted unanimously to appoint Heather Washington to fill the vacant Place 7 seat.

The backstory

The Place 7 seat was held by Ruthie Keyes, who recently resigned. Her resignation came on the heels of an at-times heated board meeting on Dec. 11 where Keyes voiced her disagreement with other board members over a resolution to accept volunteer chaplains. Keyes ultimately walked out during the meeting.

The details

Before Washington was nominated and appointed, several community members spoke out against the meeting, stating it was deliberately scheduled on the morning of the first day back to school after winter break to keep teachers and other stakeholders from attending and expressing their thoughts on the new board member.

“No educators or students could attend today to give their input on the open board seat,” audience member Jennifer Erickson said.

Audience member Kris Kittle urged the board to keep the seat vacant until May when the Place 7 seat is up for election.

“This will permit the community to elect the individual who will fill the seat rather than you being accused of stacking the board in your favor,” Kittle said.

What they’re saying

“We’re happy to have Ms. Washington serve on the Keller ISD board of trustees,” Board President Charles Randklev said. “Our district is at a critical time, and this board needs a complete board [with] seven members to weigh in and help the district and the new superintendent navigate these issues as we move forward.”

“I’m very excited, honored and humbled to be appointed to this board position,” Washington said. “I look forward to the impact that my support can help create.”