Victoria resident and retired chemical engineer Rick Jones entered the race for the Victoria school board’s District 5 seat on Tuesday, challenging incumbent Tami Keeling.
Jones received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1981. After a 37-year career with a handful of chemical plants, he retired from Invista in 2017 and retired permanently in 2019. He has lived in Victoria since 2001.
Jones said he is running because he takes issue with the district’s curriculum, what and how students are learning, and the state of its facilities.
“We need to make an improvement in how our schools are run, and I want to help make that change,” Jones said.
He wants schools to push students to think more critically about the information they’re receiving.
“Too often, they’re taught what to think, not how to think,” he said.
In a statement, Keeling said she looks forward to a race that highlights the role of trustees in supporting the school district and benefiting student learning.
“Elections provide an opportunity to have discussions about the future of our public schools. That’s a good thing,” Keeling said.
Jones pointed to his newness as a possible draw for voters. Keeling has held her position on the school board since 2005.
“Our schools are not in the best shape,” Jones said. “And the school board, ultimately, is responsible for the quality of our schools.”
The deadline for applicants to file for is 5 p.m. on Friday. The general election will take place on May 6.