Two more candidates have entered the race for the Stephenville ISD board of trustees.
On Monday, board member Rusty Jergins, place 6, filed for re-election and a shot at his second term.
Jergins is employed by Tarleton State University, where he was recently promoted to serve as the university's vice president of student life.
He and his wife Deslys have three children - Adyson who is a second grader, Austin who will attend kindergarten next year and Adan, a toddler.
When asked what motivated him to run for a second term, Jergins spoke to the district's strategic plan. Being on board when the plan was developed, he said he continues to believe it is a good plan that will serve SISD students well, and would like to see the plan come to fruition.
Jergins also said since SISD is facing significant challenges in the future, he believes the district would be well served by having experience on board and by sticking to the strategic plan. He said he is viewing the current financial forecast for public education in the coming biennium as an opportunity for SISD to emphasize its priorities.
"It has been an honor to be given the privilege to serve the district," Jergins said. "And I wish to continue to do so."
Also on Monday, Jason Westbrook announced that he would face off against Jergins for his first fight inside the political arena.
Westbrook works for the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) at Tarleton State University as the senior director for programs and said he is confident the experience gained at TIAER and through former business partnerships has given him valuable management, budgetary and personnel experience.
Westbrook and his wife Heidi, who is the executive director of TriCounty Agribusiness Association, have four children - Holton, Witt, Rilyn and Hudson - who attend classes within SISD and participate in a slew of extracurricular activities. Westbrook said their children are spread across the district, with the youngest being in pre-kindergarten and the oldest in high school.
"I have had an interest in running for school board for some time," Westbrook said, adding that as parent, he has a good idea of how the district works.
He said he has three primary concerns - students, the budget and giving teachers and administrators the tools they need to shape the future.
Place 6 is one of two full three-year terms up for election in May, with the other being the seat currently held by Doug McLemore, place 7.
McLemore filed for his second term on Feb. 14 and has not drawn an opponent.
"While public schools are facing some significant challenges from tight budgets at every level, I believe the future is bright for SISD and I look forward to continuing to work to make this the best school system possible for our children and our community," McLemore said in February.
Meanwhile, two SISD retirees, former Stephenville High School Principal Ken Williams and former SHS dance teacher and Stingerette advisor Sherrie Evans have filed to face-off for a one-year unexpired term.
That term for place 2 was previously held by Toby Mills who resigned from the board in January after more than a decade of service.
Evans said she hopes to bring her decades of teaching experience to the board in an effort to boost teacher morale, which she said is at an "all-time low."
"When you are hired to do a job, I feel like you should be trusted with that job," she said. "Let the teachers teach."
When asked about his motivation, Williams said he has always had a desire to serve the community, and education is the perfect fit.
"I was in education for 24 years and it was great to me," he said. "I need to give back what education has given to me."
The last day to file for a spot on the May 14 ballot is Monday, March 14.
Individuals interested in running for a spot on the school board can pick up a packet and application at the SISD administration building, located across from Stephenville High School.