Q&A: Hear from candidates running for Position 2 on the Magnolia ISD board of trustees on the May 7 ballot

Two candidates for Magnolia ISD board of trustees Position 2 talk priorities and growth in the district ahead of the May election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Two candidates for Magnolia ISD board of trustees Position 2 talk priorities and growth in the district ahead of the May election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Two candidates for Magnolia ISD board of trustees Position 2 talk priorities and growth in the district ahead of the May election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Incumbent Sonja Ebel will face Sharon Craig and Debbie Crawford in the May 7 election for Position 2 on the Magnolia ISD board of trustees. Hear from Ebel and Craig in their Q&As below. Crawford did not submit responses by press time.

Early voting begins April 25.


Candidate responses have been edited for length, style and clarity.

Click here for more information on voting in Montgomery County.







Sonja Ebel



Experience: trustee, PTO, MISD committees


Occupation: former ExxonMobil manager, mom







What inspired you to run for this position?



As a Christian mother of four kids, I am passionate about education and vested in our community. Over the past 10 years of involvement in Magnolia’s schools, I have learned that great schools do not happen by accident. It takes dedicated families, teachers, coaches and others working together to create positive learning opportunities for our kids. I am concerned by those who want to politicize our schools, and I believe that parents should lead, not politicians.



What qualifications or prior experience do you possess for this position?



I am the proud mother of four children, and I have been involved in Magnolia’s schools for the past 10 years, first as a home room mom and PTO member, later on the Magnolia ISD Parent Leadership and Facilities Planning Committees, and recently on the school board. At ExxonMobil, I learned about running large organizations and managing budgets, [which is] important because Magnolia serves 13,750 students and employs 1,950 people with a total budget of $153.4 million.



What will be your priorities on the board, if elected?



Our children should have the best opportunities for success, including preparation for entering the workforce, military or college. I want to honor our teachers and empower them to succeed in the classroom. Finally, I will ensure Magnolia remains a fiscally conservative school district. We have maintained a balanced budget for over 13 years and have the lowest debt per student in the area. I want Magnolia to stay on this responsible course.



What would you say are the two biggest challenges the district faces in relation to growth, and how would you address them, if elected?



One challenge is managing future growth. Magnolia’s schools, which offer Career/Technical Education (nursing, welding, EMT, cosmetology), Navy JROTC and college prep, are a driver of this growth, and we need to plan for the future. A second goal is keeping Magnolia’s tax rate among the lowest in the area. Conservative fiscal management has allowed us to pay off debt from prior bonds early, saving taxpayers $58 million, and we need to maintain this discipline.












Sharon C. Craig



Experience: 11 years teaching experience at private and public schools


Occupation: retired







What inspired you to run for this position?



I am concerned about the district’s implementation and promotion of [the] International Baccalaureate [program], a Globalist/United Nations-designed program, which is also aligned with Critical Race Theory praxis and Social Emotional Learning. These anti-American programs are designed to create global citizens of our children, indoctrinating them, teaching that there is no American exceptionalism, that “white men are devils,” that “white privilege” promotes “racism.”



What qualifications or prior experience do you possess for this position?



I am a Texas Certified Teacher for Spanish, ESL and bilingual education. I have a Bachelor of Science in Languages from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a Spanish major and a Russian minor. I spent 25 years as a secretary/administrative assistant in the corporate world, where I honed my Spanish, writing, proofing, editing and interpersonal skills. I’ve attended and taught at both public and private schools.



What will be your priorities on the board, if elected?



As fulfilling my oath of office is my sworn duty, I will always put students and parents first, making parent/guardian and student’s rights my main priority, as well as engaging with taxpayers, keeping in mind that it is their money that funds our schools. I will make the teaching of reading, writing, math, science and solid basic curriculum a primary focus and will work to end the use of IB, CRT praxis and SEL in MISD. I will never rubber stamp anything or be coerced or otherwise persuaded to vote for something which is against my conscience.



What would you say are the two biggest challenges the district faces in relation to growth, and how would you address them, if elected?



No. 1: Property tax relief. There will be the temptation to raise taxes even higher, but I will be against higher taxes as tax revenue is being misused, diverted to places other than education. … No. 2: Resuming normal operations after the [COVID-19] disruption. I’m against dependence on Washington money with its “requirements” for receiving it, as this will be a challenge as we move forward. I will vote against dependence on any further unnecessary federal government funding.







By Maegan Kirby

Reporter, xxConroe/Montgomery

Maegan joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in January 2022 after graduating with a degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. Maegan covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in Conroe and Montgomery. Prior to CI, Maegan was a life and arts reporter for The Daily Texan at The University of Texas at Austin and an associate producer on the Darkness podcast.