Alvin ISD has two positions on the May 4 ballot: Positions 4 and 5. For Position 5, incumbent and board President Nicole Tonini faces challenger Arnetta Murray.
Community Impact Newspaper interviewed Tonini and Murray about why they want a spot on the board. Here are the candidates and their responses.
Occupation: special education teacher
Occupation: mom, homemaker
Why did you choose to run for the position?
Murray: I chose to run because I feel my experience and passion for education will make an impact for the future of Alvin ISD. I know I can ensure all will be considered when I am making decisions for the community.
Tonini: After serving on the board for the past six years, I know I still have a lot to contribute to this great district, and I will continue to be an advocate and a positive influence for the students, faculty, parents and taxpayers of Alvin ISD. During this time of transition, as we are selecting a new superintendent and experiencing fast growth, the district needs strong and experienced voices on the board.
What makes you qualified to run for the position?
Murray: The reason why I am qualified is because I am a teacher who has a master’s degree. I also have a strong passion for education. I know that I will ensure all have access to resources that will empower their educational journey through Alvin ISD.
Tonini: I have participated in the passing of three school bonds, the selection of two superintendents and the construction of 15+ schools. Over the past ten years, I have averaged over 100+ hours of volunteer service yearly within the district. As a result of my volunteering in the schools, community and my church, coupled with my leadership on the board of trustees and the Alvin ISD Education Foundation, I have deep experience at both the campus and district level as well as in the community as a whole.
If elected, what will your priorities in office be?
Murray: If elected, I will focus on teacher engagement and higher student achievement, and will promote extreme school safety because we want Alvin ISD students and parents to never have to worry if their kids are coming home or not.
Tonini: My priorities are to help in creating a smooth transition for a new superintendent, to help provide a positive environment for the administration, and to uphold and promote the district’s values and beliefs that help create an excellent learning environment for our students. I will continue to help with the balanced approach that Alvin ISD utilizes as we manage both fast growth and aging facilities. I will continue to strengthen the district’s financial position, to leverage opportunities between the community and district and to seek for synergies between the two.
Anything else you would like the voters to know?
Murray: I want the voters to know that inclusiveness will be a hallmark of my time in office. I will build bridges with students, teachers, and the community. I want my voters to know all five of my children graduated from Alvin ISD. Since I am a current teacher, I get to see all angles and understand how to connect those angles to ensure growth and empowerment for all.
Tonini: My family has lived in AISD for fifteen years, where we have proudly raised our five children. Collectively, our children have been involved in 10+ extracurricular activities, including sports, theater, band, student council, and dual-language programs. They have attended six different schools across the district, providing an appreciation of the diversity of opportunities that Alvin ISD has to offer. I am extremely pleased with the direction of Alvin ISD, and it would be my honor to continue to serve the district.
Candidate responses have been edited for length and clarity.