The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


Panhandle PBS, NAACP Host AISD Candidate Forum

Candidates for Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees were in attendance for a forum, on Saturday.

Retired teacher Cristy Cooper Wilkinson and incumbents James Allen and Eric Darnell discussed issues facing the school district during the forum. Panhandle PBS’ Karen Welch moderated the forum and asked questions of the candidates. Audience members were also able to ask questions during the last segment of the forum.

Several candidates seeking other offices in the May 6th election were also on hand, including Elisha Demerson, Freda Powell, James Schenck, Howard Smith, Daniel Martinez, and Thomas Warren III.

AISD Board of Trustees incumbents John Ben Blanchard and Renee McCown were not in attendance for the forum.

Topics addressed included issues with diversity and educational staff. There was also some discussion over Trustee Allen’s proposal for district-wide diversity training and the proposal for a new neighborhood school in the North Heights area.

The forum was live streamed by Panhandle PBS on their Facebook page and is available through their website at

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NAACP Holding AISD Candidate Forum