Candidate Profiles: Yantis ISD Board of Trustees, Early Voting information

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Yantis Independent School District has four candidates running for two full-term 3-year at-large seats on the school board in the Nov. 3 election. The Yantis ISD Board of Trustees Election was originally scheduled in May, but due to COVID-19 had to be postponed until November.

Early Voting

Early voting by personal appearance for Nov. 3 elections began Oct. 13, and will continue through Oct. 30, with Election Day following on Nov. 3.

Sample ballot

Hopkins County residents who reside within Yantis ISD will vote in Sulphur Springs. All early voting by personal appearance in Hopkins County will be conducted in the Game Room at The ROC, First Baptist Church’s Recreational Outreach Building, located on 115 Putman St., about a block of the downtown square, in Sulphur Springs. Voting will be continue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Friday, Oct. 30. Extended voting hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25; and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 and Thursday, Oct. 29.

Due to a communication mix-up the Yantis ISD Board of Trustees election does not appear on voting machine ballots. Any registered Hopkins County voter living within the boundary of YISD who attempted but was unable to cast a ballot in the YISD trustees election may stop by the early voting site during election hours to vote by paper ballot at the YISD election booth.

The last day an application for a ballot by mail for those who qualify will be accepted is Friday, Oct. 23; that means the application must be received by Oct. 23, not just postmarked. The last day to receive a ballot by mail will be Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The Hopkins County early voting clerk’s address is: Tracy Smith, Hopkins County Clerk, 128 Jefferson St., Suite C, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. She may be contacted at phone weekdays at 903-438-4074, by fax at 903-438-4110 or email at [email protected]. Additional voter information can be found under the Voter Information link on the Hopkins County website, www.hopkinscountytx.org

Registered voters who reside in Wood County may cast an early ballot in person for the Yantis ISD Board of Trustees election from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14-17, Oct. 19-24, and Oct. 30, including on Saturdays Oct. 17 and Oct. 24. Extended voting hours in Wood County will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26-29. All early voting will be conducted at the Annex Building, located at 200 West Bermuda St. in Quitman, according to Wood County Voter/ Elections Information.

Wood County voters may download an Application for Ballot by Mail from MyWoodCounty.com or submit an order online to have one mailed to the Early Voting Clerk. For more information about ballots by mail, visit MyWood

Candidates

To help voters learn a little more about the people seeking office, each school board candidate was asked to provide information about themselves and their candidacy, including their reasons for seeking a seat on the school board. KSST receives responses from 3 of the 4 candidates. Those responses are shared in ballot order below:

Jennifer Larkin

Jennifer Larkin

Name and office sought:

Jennifer Larkin – Seat on Yantis ISD School Board

Family information:
Son, Brant 13 years old, 8th grader at Yantis Middle School
Daughter, Kennlee 8 years old, 3rd grader at Yantis Elementary

Occupation, brief job description:

Sales Support Coordinator at M&F Western Products for 8 years.

Education, training, special skills, experience:

Currently President of Yantis Baseball Association and also board member for Yantis Little Dribblers.

Why are you seeking this office?

  • to appreciate and care for every student
  • to elevate out schools programs to offer more opportunities for all students
  • to invest in our students by hiring the best teachers
  • to improve the communication and involvement with parents and the community
  • to work with staff and parents to combat bullying

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them:
Getting the community/parents more involved
Take polls to hear from the community on what type of parent student activities and programs they would like to see in our district. Collaborate with members of local government and businesses, inviting them to share their visions for the community and discuss the importance of their fields.

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?

My efforts as board member would focus on serving all the children in the community and being a voice for the community. By working together we can all share in the knowledge and satisfaction that we have provided for the educational needs of all children and build a district where students, parents, teachers and staff ALL feel they are welcome and belong. I ask for your support because Team Work makes the Dream Work. We are a team!!


Teresa Starrett

Name and office sought:

Teresa Starrett

Teresa Starrett – School Board Member

Family information:

My family consists of my husband, my two daughters, my son in law and my two grand-daughters.

Occupation, brief job description:

I have been a registered nurse for over 7 years now. As a registered nurse I have cared for many people in various locations in our surrounding area. I have worked in such areas as long term care centers also known as nursing homes, home health agencies providing care to the our surrounding community, hospital nurse helping those who were facing crisis of care and life and for the last two years in the mental health field. I love nursing in all its facets and I love taking care of people. This is why I am running for Yantis ISD school board. I would love to have a hand in the care and education of our future generations.

Education, training, special skills, experience:

I received my education, training and special skills in nursing not only in local colleges and educational institutions, but also in the homes and hospitals in local communities.

Why are you seeking this office?

Like any other candidate, I am seeking a seat on the Yantis ISD school board because I believe in change. I believe in the future and I believe the future requires change. Our schools are the catalysts for that change. I wish to be a catalyst toward positive change as well, for our children, our future, and our communities.

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them:

I feel that teachers aren’t properly recognized for the care, love and education they provide to our students. I feel that students are led into their education by a state mandated test, which incarcerates the spirit and creativeness of teachers with a passion to educate. I believe educators are a primary resource toward our futures. They are teaching the next generations and should be given full creative, educational and passions to teach they were born with.

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?

I am a Starrett. I married into the family going on 13 years ago. Although most of you may know a Starrett, you do not know me. I am wholeheartedly a Starrett. Like the Starretts I married into, I am strong, generous, passionate, community conscious, educated and I am not afraid to show it. So if you see me in public, say “Hi”, shake my hand and let’s set down and talk a bit.


Jennifer McKeever

KSST did not receive information from YISD Board of Trustee incumbent candidate Jennifer McKeever. She is seeking a second term on the school board. She was currently serves as vice president.


Melissa Stephens


Melissa Stephens

Name and office sought:

Melissa Stephens

YISD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER

Family information:

I have two beautiful daughters, Samantha Morgan and Kaylyn Nunez! I’m a very proud Nanna of 10!

Occupation, brief job description:

I am the owner of the Yantis Cafe! I have owned it for almost 13 years!! I love seeing our community come together for coffee and breakfast, or a great, hot lunch!

Education, training, special skills, experience:

Graduated high school in 1988! Vocational, Business training certificate in 1994! Local business owner! 

I have been on the YISD school board for almost 3 years, I was VP my second year, I am President currently!

Why are you seeking this office?

I love being a part of this Board… We have come very far the past 3 years! We work well with our Superintendent, and are United in decision making! My main goal is to give our children a safe place to learn, and provide them the opportunity for the best education possible!

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them:

Our school is always looking to improve our campuses for safety issues. … we are already talking about that! Our mission is to make sure our kids get the best education possible! Getting our community involved, as much as possible, is also another area we are working on!

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?

I think that I help make a difference at our school, by being a part of the YISD SCHOOL BOARD! As I mentioned earlier, the children are why I am volunteering to help create the best place for them!!!

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Author: Faith Huffman

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