Two candidates are vying for Position 2 of the Pearland ISD board of trustees in the upcoming May 6 election. The candidates include incumbent Kristofer Schoeffler and financial adviser Stephen Bumgardner.

Candidates were asked to keep responses under 75 words, answer the questions provided and avoid attacking opponents. Answers may have been edited or cut to adhere to those guidelines, or for style and clarity.

Kristofer Schoeffler

Experience: 2017 Pearland Chamber of Commerce chair, Northern Brazoria County Education Alliance board of directors 2013-present, incumbent

Occupation: veterinarian, entrepreneur

Candidate Website:

Contact Information: 832-409-3248

How should the district approach future prospective budget deficits?

Deficits are coming unless the state of Texas changes. We ALL must lobby Austin to help resolve the problems we now face. We must fund public schools because Pearland ISD is worth funding. Our teachers deserve to be paid what they are worth. And we need to continue looking under every rock for potential gains before the worst happens: We must cut positions or programs.

If elected, what would be your priorities?

My SAFER plan lays it out: Security with a special focus on mental health and technology; achievement, continuing our Pearland tradition of excellence; fiscal responsibility, taking care of tax-payer money; engagement, particularly with parents who love their children; and respect, guiding students to be good citizens, employees, and patriots. We need to get back to basics in a world that is anything BUT basic.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

I am a father of six wonderful public school children. I am the son of a teacher. I am a product of Pearland ISD. I am educated as a veterinarian. I am a business owner. I solve complex problems for a living. I am a taxpayer. I am a servant. I can listen. I can explain. I can advocate. And I will proudly stand alone when it is the right thing to do.

Stephen "Steve" Bumgardner

Experience: Business owner, community advocate

Occupation: Financial adviser

How should the district approach future prospective budget deficits?

First determine what is needed to meet the basic needs of all of our students to be successful members of our community. Second, find out what additional is wanted from our system from our stakeholders. Then we can determine where surpluses and deficits are. With that we can go to the community with different remedies we have to determine what the community is willing or not willing to do to meet the shortfalls we identify.

If elected, what would be your priorities?

To attract and retain the most talented educational staff in the state (if not the country). teaching is the only career that makes all other careers possible. Without great teachers in the classroom, anything else we try to do is wasted effort.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

I am a business owner and am acutely aware of wasting time and money, of which the taxpayers of Pearland don't have an infinite supply of. I am an advocate for all children of PISD receiving the very best education we can provide. I am a husband of a teacher and am acutely aware of the struggles and victories that teachers deal with on a daily basis. I am a father of two grown men.