New Faces On The HPISD School Board

The Highland Park ISD board of trustees officially welcomed three new members during their May 18 meeting. 

Place 1 trustee Doug Woodward replaces former board president Jim Hitzelberger, place 2 trustee Maryjane Bonfield replaces former trustee Lee Michaels, and place 3 trustee Bryce Benson replaces former trustee Kelly Walker, who retired from board service in late December. 

Woodward’s was the only contested seat. He received 58% of the vote (or 4,845 votes) to challenger Kelli Macatee’s 42% (or 3,509 votes).

Hitzelberger was first elected to the board in 2007 and has served as its president since 2017. 

“I want to thank the … former trustees, some of which are here tonight, for what you built — traditions and excellence that you created for us. I want to thank the … current board members for maintaining that excellence,” he said. 

Michaels was elected to the board in 2015 and has served as board secretary since 2017.

“I just want to thank you for the privilege of serving as a trustee for the district for the past six years. As I’ve told many of you, I decided to run for school board to give back to the district and community for the wonderful education that my daughters … received here,” she said. “Teaching is challenging under the best of circumstances and the Texas finance system does not make it easy to reward our teachers as they should be rewarded, and this year, the teachers have gone above and beyond to deliver the highest quality education to all students both remotely, in person, or often both consecutively. I applaud your dedication and perseverance and I’m confident that under your guidance, we will continue to educate our kids to be successful and happy adults.” 

After a brief send off for the former trustees, Bonfield, Benson, and Woodward were sworn in.

Tom Sharpe was nominated and approved to serve as the next president of the board, Stacy Kelly was nominated to serve as vice president, Jae Ellis was nominated to serve as finance chair, and Woodward was nominated to serve as the Texas Association of School Boards delegate.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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