Local May 11 election results tallied
The results are in from the local May 11 municipal utility district and school elections, with voters overwhelmingly casting ballots in favor of all bond proposals.
In the Sagemeadow Municipal Utility District, residents voted 53-19 in support of a $15 million referendum to address the MUD’s aging water and sewer lines that were damaged by recent droughts. A similar $10 million bond proposal passed in the Kirkmont Municipal Utility District by a 26-3 vote.CCISD
Voters in the Clear Creek Independent School District approved the CCISD bond referendum, with 68 percent (7,719 total votes)voting for the $367 million proposal. Roughly 32 percent (3,520 votes) voted against the measure.
According to district officials, the funding will be used to rebuild or improve 40+ year-old schools; address student safety, security systems, repairs and enrollment growth; construct or expand co-curricular and extracurricular facilities for growth in programs; and improve wireless infrastructure and access to technology for 21st century learning.
“I would like to thank the community for supporting our mission to prepare students for their future, not our past,” said CCISD Superintendent Greg Smith. “Today’s vote is a win for your children, your community and your schools.”
Contents of the school bond package were prioritized by the 30-member facility committee consisting of parents, local citizens, business leaders and educators. Over the course of several months, the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee studied a districtwide facility assessment, enrollment projections, district financial information and the long-range technology plan and toured schools.
This committee reduced its original recommendation by $20 million following input from the community and administration.
The tax rate increase will be gradual with a $0.04 increase in 2013, $0.03 increase in 2014, and $.0425 increase in 2015. The maximum tax rate increase of $0.1125 would be in effect from 2015 for six years and then it will begin to decrease. At the maximum increase of $0.1125, a median homeowner will see a total of $172.72 increase.CCISD board
The race to fill the CCISD District 1 seat currently held by Robert Davee went to Laura DuPont, who received 46.47 percent of the vote (1,047 votes). Opponent Gary Renola received 36.44 percent (821 votes), while opponent John P. Herrmann received 17.09 percent (385 votes). Davee was not seeking re-election.
Incumbent Ann Hammond will retain her At-Large B position, defeating challenger Nick Long 53.56 percent (5,201 votes) to 46.44 percent (4,510 votes).Pearland ISD
In the Pearland Independent School District election, 1989 Dobie graduate Lance Botkin won the Position 6 seat, handily defeating challenger Sharon Goodwin 60 percent (1,251 votes) to 40 percent (841 votes). The seat is currently held by Sam Gray, who was not seeking re-election.
Incumbents Rebecca Decker and Pam Boegler will retain their respective Position 5 and 6 seats on the board.
One by one, Sharon Brantly calls her second-graders forward to answer multiplication problems on a high-tech electronic whiteboard at the front of her classroom at Stuchbery Elementary. Then, with dismissal looming, her students straighten chairs around a half-dozen computer stations along the back wall.
Finally, a computer-generated ring tone vibrates the building and her students scatter home, down neighborhood arteries that didn’t exist when Brantly arrived at Stuchbery more than four decades ago. Cars and buses vanish into the distance, some up and over a gargantuan freeway interchange that now encroaches on the once unobscured blue sky over the South Belt homes and apartments where Brantly’s students live.
In the early years, many of her students’ parents would come by after the bell to chat, some introducing themselves as lawyers, accountants and NASA engineers. Today, not so much. Many in her parental flock are out of work, some homeless. Things change.
When Brantly first came to Stuchbery, the blackboards were black and chalk dust a pardonable nuisance. The school’s copy machine was a hand-cranked mimeograph. Teachers calculated grades in their heads and penciled them into paper ledgers.
With simple math, it’s easy to calculate that Brantly has taught roughly one thousand youngsters since she joined the Stuchbery faculty in 1969. One Sagemont family, four kids deep, saw every one of them pass through Room 11, her four-sided castle on the second-grade hall.
Many of the kids she taught, she taught their kids, too.
Now she is retiring – after teaching the same grade, in the same classroom, for 43 years – something, it’s believed, that no other Pasadena ISD teacher has ever done.
“I never wanted to leave,” she says. “I couldn’t even imagine not wanting to come back. But now it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life.”
The next chapter, she says, revolves around caring for her 91-year-old mother and grandkids who also need her attention. Hopefully, she says, opportunities will bring her back to Stuchbery, perhaps as a substitute teacher. But in just four weeks, with the end of the school year, that will no longer be her priority.
“I’ve always been a giver and not a taker,” she says. “I want to have time to give to my mom and grandkids while I can.”
Her former students represent some of the finest citizens to come from the South Belt area. Earlier this spring, she ran into several while attending Dobie High School’s first Hall of Honor induction. Ken Howery, who sat in her class 30 years ago and later made millions as a venture capitalist and founder of PayPal, gave her a big hug.
She laughed and asked him for a loan.
When Brantly arrived at Stuchbery in the fall of 1969, Dobie had not yet graduated a student. Sagemont Church, which now covers 55 acres across Hughes Road from her school and counts her as a long-standing member, was a miniscule chapel back then. Richard Nixon was in the White House and the Beatles were atop the charts.
“I felt like I was the luckiest person in the world,” she says. “I just felt there was something special about this school. It was just like family. I felt I was really blessed that God let me be at a school like this.”
Because of her commitment to teaching, she made Room 11 a second home.
“There were nights when I left with the custodians at 11 p.m.,” she says. “One of the kindergarten teachers started calling me ‘the homeless lady.’”
“Sharon was born to teach,” says Judy Bowers, who taught in a classroom just across the hall for Brantly’s first 18 years at Stuchbery. Bowers went on to become principal at Freeman Elementary. Brantly stuck with Stuchbery.
“People always wondered how she could have such challenging students and then have things work out so well for those kids by the end of the year,” Bowers says. “The way you do it is total commitment. She stays late. She works hard.”
Once, Bowers recalls, Brantly was asked to change classrooms.
“I thought the woman was going to have a nervous breakdown!” Bowers says of Brantly. “She kept saying this was her room, and why would they do this to her. You would have thought she was physically attached to it – which I guess she was.”
“No parent could ever ask for a better teacher than Sharon,” says Carol Baccaro, who moved into Bowers’ classroom and, like Bowers, spent 18 years across the hall from Brantly.
“She’s been there for so long,” Baccaro says. “She really is a pillar of Stuchbery.”
Brantly grew up in rural Louisiana, graduated from Louisiana Tech and taught for just over a year in Bossier City, La., before transplanting to Houston. One of her best childhood friends, Kay Carrway, married one of her high school and college schoolmates, Phil Robertson.
The Robertsons now play lead roles on the hit TV show “Duck Dynasty.”
Brantly’s fame came in Room 11 at Stuchbery, then just three years old, when she arrived in 1969 in a turquoise 1968 Malibu, a graduation gift from her father, who operated a grocery/gas station and ran cattle in the tiny town of Ida.
Miles Bozarth, Stuchbery’s first principal, hired her. She has worked for every principal since: Roy Birkhead, Dean Lynch, Nancy Teichelman and Jackie Salisbury.
“I thought I would teach a few years then become a homemaker,” Brantly says. “But I guess I was called to teach. When you’re called to teach, everything has a way of falling into place.”
The most critical piece of the puzzle was Bozarth’s offer of a second-grade teaching job. Brantly grabbed it and never considered changing grades. The reason: the impact of her own second-grade teacher back in Ida – Nettie Anthony.
“She was my favorite teacher,” Brantly says. “She’s the reason I wanted to teach second grade.”
“Never another grade. Never another room. Never a low point,” she says.
Her Stuchbery colleagues quickly brought her up to speed on Texas history – a teaching requirement – and several became lifelong friends. Her meticulous habits have often earned her some friendly ribbing from faculty members. Once, Brantly rebuffed a suggestion that she throw out a box of crumbling three-ring binders.
They belonged to the school, she insisted. And someone might walk in some day and want them back. Her colleagues howled.
“She’s a rule-follower, and she wants to be perfect,” Bowers says. “She will do whatever it takes to be perfect.”
Brantly was a perfect four-for-four with the Tyer kids. All four spent second grade in her classroom. Katie Tyer is now a freshman in college. Andrew, Jeffrey and Kellie are all current Dobie students.
“They all still say she’s one of the best teachers they ever had,” says their mom, Pam Tyer, Stuchbery’s attendance clerk. “She was always easy to understand and explained things well. But she was also so nurturing, always encouraging.”
Tyer says Stuchbery staff members “simply can’t imagine” what the school environment will be like without Brantly occupying Room 11.
“I think they just need to do some kind of big dedication and then close it off,” Tyer says.
Three years ago, Stuchbery staffers observed Brantly’s 40th year in the district by placing a small plaque outside her door. Brantly, who’ll turn 67 in July, has her own thoughts on the future of Room 11.
“Whoever moves in,” she says, “I want them to be a very special person. I want them to take very good care of it.” That wish comes from a teacher who specializes in caring.
“I’ve had the privilege of teaching many wonderful students, and they’re all very special to me,” she says.
“I’ve had the great joy of watching children blossom. I’ve always tried to nurture them, with academics but also with love. I believe we were all born to make a difference. And I hope I have done that.”
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