Friday, May 09, 2008

Down to The Wire: Vote For Jonita Reynolds on May 10th

Tomorrow the voters living within the boundaries of Fort Bend ISD will have a final opportunity to repudiate the “reform” Gang of Four that turned Fort Bend ISD on its ear for two memorable years.

Two years that saw mass exodus of teachers and administrators. Two years that saw hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars flushed down the commode from the expenses incurred in replacing these people, and the lawsuits that resulted from board member actions.

Two of the original gang of four are standing for re-election and are being challenged by members of the education community. Of the two, former educator Susan Hohnbaum has the easiest task to unseat trustee Stan Magee, who claims that he does not have the time to campaign for his seat – and by correlation, does not have time to serve on the Board of Trustees. So unless the voters in Fort Bend ISD are truly asleep, look for a fond farewell to Stan Magee. In the other race, however, long-time Texas educator and administrator Dr. Jonita Reynolds has the steepest slope to climb to defeat her opponent, Laurie Caldwell.

Caldwell, whose personal and educational qualifications for this position are dwarfed by those of Dr. Reynolds, apparently has attempted to make up for that in having some help from fellow board member, Steve Smelley.

Smelley, a former supporter of Dr. Reynolds’ husband’s run for state representative in HD 27, has no similar feelings toward her. So much so that a story has emerged that Smelley, in his attempts to discredit Dr. Reynolds, has suggested that Jonita Reynolds bought her PhD degree in Education. All of that blew up in his face, however, when it was revealed that two of Dr. Reynolds’ professors in her quest for the degree at the University of Houston were none other than former FBISD Superintendents Betty Baitland and Don Hooper.

These attempts to defame Dr. Reynolds by casting doubts upon her honesty and integrity must be answered by the voters. Smelley’s insinuation is actually an accusation that Dr. Reynolds is in violation of Texas law by claiming a doctoral degree from an unrecognized institution. This is a practice that was recently abandoned by a couple of Republican elected officials in Fort Bend County when they were informed that they were committing Class B misdemeanors. Voters must reject these political ploys as the disingenuous things that they are.

Show your support for education in Fort Bend ISD by showing up at the polls tomorrow, May 10th 2008, and show even more support for education by voting for Dr. Jonita Reynolds for Fort Bend ISD Trustee Position 5.

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