Candidate responses may have been edited for length, style and clarity.
Occupation: federal relations manager at Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Relevant experience: elected to represent District 2 on the Richardson ISD school board of trustees in 2019; previously elected in 2015 and again in 2016 to represent Place 5 on the RISD school board' also appointed by the Richardson mayor and City Council in 2009 to serve as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. In 2011, Richardson appointed Linn to be a commissioner on the city Planning Commission; served for six years on the advisory board to the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, where he was twice appointed chair of the Public Policy Committee.
Occupation: small-business owner, marketing
Relevant experience: teacher for first and third grades in Forney ISD: 2004-2010; founded Resolve Consulting in 2014, which is based in Richardson; oversee a team of marketing professionals to help businesses of all sizes with social media, marketing, and web design; mother of four children currently enrolled in RISD schools.
Occupation: vice president of Ohana Cottonwood
Relevant experience: Leadership ISD 2021 fellow, School Board Governance Fellowship, Equity and Inclusion Fellowship MBA, Global Leadership, University of Texas at Dallas scholar with distinction graduate; BBS, Management Information Systems, Dallas Baptist University; Berkner PTA Board, XIX Society Member, GOTV Steering Committee, NABSE Parent Commission, and RLA Supplemental Materials Criteria Parent Committee
Why are you running for office?
Linn: I am running for re-election to the school board because I believe I have the experience, leadership, and vision needed to represent District 2 for another three years. If re-elected, I will continue to stand up for what I believe is right, ask difficult questions, and vote accordingly. As the father of three RISD students, I want to ensure that RISD schools are focused on providing the best academic outcomes for all students.
Clemens: My husband and I moved to Richardson ISD because it is one of the premier school districts in DFW. We have four children that attend RISD schools. In the last years, I’ve seen a shift from the pillars of excellence that have made RISD a destination district. I want to get us back in the right direction—where RISD provides an outstanding education for every student, partners with parents and teachers, and remains financially sound.
Pacheco: I’m running for RISD because I believe it’s time for new leadership for our Richardson schools. For too long, kids have been treated as data points and closing achievement gaps hasn’t been made a primary priority. Our students are the future of our community and our economy. We have a responsibility to give them the best education possible and on a path for a successful adult life.
If elected, what would be your top priorities?
Linn: The largest priority facing the trustees is hiring a new superintendent. Next, I believe it’s important to create a fiscally responsible budget, addressing teacher retention through competitive compensation. Additionally, we should commit additional resources to ensure all students are performing on their grade level, focusing support towards our highest-need students. Finally, I’d like to establish new policies for students, teachers, and parents to help with increased transparency in the classroom.
Clemens: My top priority would be hiring a superintendent focused on education to help our students exceed the current educational goals of the district. Now is the time to unify our community by hiring a leader that will partner with parents and be a champion for teachers. With outstanding leadership in place and a board that is focused on setting policies to positively impact the education of all students, RISD will once again rise to excellence.
Pacheco: My top three priorities will be to strongly prepare students, support our staff, and increase communication. I believe RISD needs to teach kids today and prepare them for tomorrow by ensuring they have a college or career path forward. Additionally, I’ll be an advocate for more transparency and communication directly from board members to schools, parents, and the community.
What are the biggest challenges facing Richardson ISD? How do you plan to address these issues?
Linn: Teacher retention is a critical issue I’m focused on now as our teachers and staff have been working tirelessly to educate our kids throughout the pandemic. I recently approved a $1,000 stipend to show our appreciation to teachers and to encourage their return next year and continue to be an important part of our community.
Clemens: Two of the biggest challenges for RISD are academic performance and teacher retention. We must work to close the achievement gap and improve educational outcomes for all students. This can be done by refocusing on proven curriculum and instruction. We must also come alongside our educators, implement proven strategies to support teaching and learning, and increase pay. We need our great teachers to stay in RISD.
Pacheco: RISD is currently facing a couple of major challenges, a high staff turnover rate and growing achievement and progress gaps. As trustee, I would support doing more to appreciate and retain our teachers, support staff, and administration workers through retention bonuses and stronger communication on the ground to ensure they’re receiving the support they need. I’ll also collaborate with the Administration to understand what policies will give students the individual attention they need to catch up to grade level and stay on track.
Where to vote
Voters in Dallas County can cast ballots at any countywide polling location during early voting and on election day. For a complete list of polling locations, visit www.dallascountyvotes.org.
Dates to know
- April 25: First day of early voting
- April 26: Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked)
- May 3: Last day of early voting
- May 7: election day
- May 7: Last day to receive ballot by mail (or May 9 if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. at location of election)