The Amarillo Pioneer

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


Editorial: Trustees Should Consider Community in Blanchard Replacement Search

With a seat now vacant on the Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees, Amarillo’s school board has a real opportunity to listen to voters and include the community in what is sure to be a long process.

On Tuesday, AISD Trustee John Ben Blanchard’s resignation became official, setting the table for a search to replace the longtime trustee. Now, I have not always agreed with Blanchard on every issue, but I have found him to have one of the most sensible voices at the table on matters related to AISD operations. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Several citizens also took notice of Blanchard’s departure on Tuesday night, with several mentioning the need for a Hispanic representative on the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees. With Amarillo’s sole Hispanic trustee now out of office, citizens said they feel a lack of representation.

I believe the citizens who spoke on Tuesday night made a very valid point about the representation on the board, and it is one trustees should take into consideration when looking for someone to succeed Blanchard.

In general, this process is one that is very important for the future of the district, as the board will choose one engaged citizen to become a trustee of one of the largest employers (and the largest taxing entity) in Amarillo. It is my hope that trustees take all of the concerns raised by citizens into consideration when choosing someone to replace Blanchard. Let’s hope trustees allowing citizens to have a part in this important process.

-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief

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