Voters chose to replace Almand with Andrew Yeager by a margin of over 30 percent. Almand had endorsed Yeager’s opponent, Stephanie Williams.
Yeager told The Texan that he is looking forward to representing everyone and listening to those with whom he may disagree so the community can move forward. “Southlake is a wonderful community,” he said, “and we are humble enough to know that we have things to work on.”
Turnout was also key, according to Yeager, who said the campaign had to begin by educating the community that there was a special election coming. Almost 8,000 votes were cast in the election. Southlake has a population of about 32,000.
Yeager believes the differences between himself and his opponent were clear, including their position on masks, school police officers, and the district’s Cultural Competence Action Plan (CCAP), a controversial plan that its critics say creates more problems than it solves with its diversity, equity, and inclusion policies.
Williams favored CCAP, speaking at school board meetings as a representative of Dignity for All Texas Students (DATS), a group that is outspoken in support of the plan and “fostering a culture of diversity [and] inclusion.”
Yeager opposed the plan stating on his website that he “will also work to ensure our primary focus is on education, not indoctrination. Students should be taught ‘how to think,’ not ‘what to think.’”
Any action or furthering of the CCAP is currently halted by a court order due to a possible Open Meetings Act violation by CISD board members.
Southlake Families, a political action committee that has declared goals of “upholding character, integrity, a strong work ethic, and leadership in our community,” supported Yeager. It also supported Hannah Smith and Cameron Bryan, the CISD candidates successfully elected in May.
CISD and Southlake have received national attention for their fight against critical race theory and the attendant extensions making their way into teacher training and classroom curriculum. The same concerns have grown among parents across the state, with the Texas legislature passing a law this year meant to stem critical race theory in the classroom.
The two candidates also differed about protocols for COVID-19. Williams wanted stricter protocols like mask mandates, whereas Yeager believes CISD should follow the governor’s order, offer in-person schooling with accommodations where needed, and make masks optional.
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Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.