Four candidates are running for election for the three open positions on the Montgomery ISD board of trustees. Positions 1, 2 and 3 are up for election with all three incumbents running for re-election. Only Position 1 is contested.

The ballot order for these races will be drawn at 3:50 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Montgomery ISD Education Support Center, 20774 Eva St., Montgomery. Early voting will begin April 24 with election day taking place May 6.

Responses may have been edited for length and clarity.

*indicates incumbent

Michael Hopkins*

Experience: business owner, career in oil and gas, career in airline industry, retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant

Occupation: local business owner

Contact Information: 713-256-5592

Why are you running for re-election?

I have spent my entire life serving my community and country in one way or another. I have a passion to serve and to serve where I believe I can do the most good for our community, kids, and teachers. I was elected nearly three years ago along with several others on the board to change the way our district is run. I believe we need to continue the successes we have already achieved.

What do you hope to accomplish in your term?

We need to build new schools, renovate, and be good fiduciary managers of taxpayer money. One of our biggest challenges that is being addressed through our MISD Board Legislative Committee is the Texas School funding formulas. Districts like Montgomery are negatively impacted by the way our state calculates the funding allocation per student. While we have experienced a 66% increase in property taxes over the years, MISD has only received a 16% increase in funding. MISD is currently nearly 30% underfunded as compared to the state average per student.

How would you like to see the school district respond to the continuing growth?

We have and are engaging with our local chamber of commerce, local leaders and our community. This includes speaking with real estate developers to understand where communities are planned and what growth we will be seeing in the near term and long term. Prior to our last bond we had a demographic study completed. We are doing that again this spring to stay ahead of the growth in terms of planning and forecasting.

How do you plan to approach statewide challenges of teacher retention and turnover?

My view is that teachers across the state are not compensated enough. Pay is a large component, but so is supporting your teachers and creating a positive culture for them where they are supported and are heard. Teacher retirement and benefits are two areas as examples that we as a state and district need to continue to stay on top of and address.

How will you help the board meet its vision of becoming the premier school district in Texas?

I will continue to address our state funding formulas as well as build on our successes over the last three years. The strategic plan we developed as a district is intentionally designed to develop MISD into a premier district. We are absolutely well on our way. Employee retention is up, staffing is 100%, our schools are A-rated, and we successfully passed one of the largest bond packages in the state.

Eddie Winn

Experience: Montgomery Girls Softball Association Board (2014-2021), Lake Creek Softball Booster Club president, Lake Creek FFA Booster Club president, Montgomery ISD Bond Task Force, MISD CTE and AG Barn Advisory Committee

Occupation: General manager/sales manager for Eagle Forest Products in the Southern U.S.

Contact Information: 713-492-1980

Why are you running for election?

After serving on the bond task force and CTE/AG Barn Advisory Committee it became more apparent that I wanted to serve the community and this school district. Not that I feel the current board has done anything wrong, I simply feel like I have something to offer the district and our community.

What do you hope to accomplish in your term?

I hope to continue to help our district accomplish the pathway to be the premier school district in Texas. To help make certain the bond that was passed in 2022 is completed and executed the way it was represented to the community. Continue to help the district meet the challenges of the continued growth our district is seeing. Continue to make certain our two most valuable assets, our kids and staff, are at the forefront of every decision that is made.

How would you like to see the school district respond to the continuing growth?

I think we have to accept the fact that growth is coming and try to stay ahead of it as much as possible and do what the school district can to plan ahead to meet these challenges by working with community leaders and developers. We need to make certain the bond money that was voted on and approved by the community is used how it was represented so that when the time comes in the future for another bond to meet the demands of the continued growth we will have the community's support.

rnHow do you plan to approach statewide challenges of teacher retention and turnover?

Teachers are some of our most valuable assets and we are fortunate to have the best, in my opinion, in the state. We need to continue to make the district a place that teachers want to teach at and make it a safe, conducive environment to teach in and provide the necessary training and tools to be successful. We will have to continue to stay competitive in teacher salaries and support them from the top down.

How will you help the board meet its vision of becoming the premier school district in Texas?

We will continue to set the bar high for academic achievement. Teacher retention is a big part, too and supporting our teachers to make certain they have the necessary training and support to properly handle their daily task. We will continue to work to keep class sizes down and have a safe place for our kids and staff to teach and learn each day. Continue to make certain we have some of the best facilities and the proper educational tools to maintain academic achievement.