2021 Dripping Springs ISD School Board Candidate Survey
After reviewing all responses properly submitted to our 41 Question 2021 annual Candidate Survey and based entirely on candidates' responses (or nonresponses) to our Survey's questions, Citizens for Excellent Education in Dripping Springs:
Don't forget: you are entitled to THREE VOTES on your ballot for this plurality-at-large DSISD School Board Election.
Remember: SPLIT VOTES ARE WASTED VOTES because of DSISD's discriminatory, unrepresentative, and often-banned plurality-at-large electoral system, so we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that anyone wanting the necessary and positive CHANGE that DSISD NEEDS NOW, more than ever, only cast their ballots for Tricia Quintero, Stephanie Holtzendorf, and Stefani Reinold for DSISD School Board!
Again, split votes are wasted votes!
Early Voting is underway, running April 19th–24th and April 26th–27th.
Election Day is Saturday, May 1st.
About Our 2021 Candidate Survey
Beginning in 2018, Citizens for Excellent Education in Dripping Springs (CEEDS) began our annual survey of Dripping Springs ISD (DSISD) school board candidates as a service to our Dripping Springs community and in fulfillment of our mission of greater transparency, increased accountability, and more responsible stewardship of our tax dollars by DSISD’s School Board and School Administration.
Our broad range of supporters include parents, teachers, and taxpayers—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents—who originally joined together to fight Dripping Springs ISD's wasteful and misguided $132 million 2018 Bond, and to once again make students and teachers, instead of special interests, our School District's top priority. We were the only organization to oppose DSISD's 2018 Bond, and accordingly represent the interests and beliefs of one-half of those who cast ballots in the May 2018 DSISD Election AGAINST that Bond Referendum.
In 2021, our fight continues as we work to elect common-sense and fiscally responsible leaders to our school board, so that the hard-working families and fixed-income seniors of our community no longer need to fear being taxed out of their homes, while also returning our School Board's and School Administration's focus back to ensuring that all of our community's children receive an excellent and world-class education.
Our 2021 Survey questions reflect what we believe are the top fiscal, transparency, accountability, and other issues currently facing DSISD—information which should be communicated to and help inform every voter before they cast their ballot for School Board.
All candidates were given one week to submit responses for this Survey, which should have taken them not much longer than an hour and a half to complete in the candid/straight-from-the-heart/conversational format requested. Survey instructions were explicit and outlined that only those responses submitted through the Survey form would be published, exactly as received, and short answers were limited to a maximum of 600 characters, including spaces, per response.
Candidates were further informed that CEEDS would advertise the Survey responses, and that not responding would result in a "FAIL" rating for Transparency, while not responding to any questions in either the Fiscal or Accountability categories would result in an "Incomplete" rating for each respective category. CEEDS also stated that the Survey responses would determine any decision(s) to support or oppose candidates in this election and that any support/opposition decisions would also be advertised.
Note that in the interest of fairness and in order to ensure an even playing field for incumbents and challengers alike, we treat our annual candidate surveys and endorsement decisions as a blank-slate by limiting our assessment of candidates to only the responses provided on our Candidate Survey. That is, only candidates' responses or nonresponses to our Survey's questions are taken into consideration.
We appreciate all candidates' desire to serve on our community's School Board.
However, we thank those who took the time, had the political courage, and were willing to be truly transparent and forthright with voters by responding to our Survey.
Our School Board is intended to serve the best interests of all voters and taxpayers in this community, not just personal agendas and special interests—and being transparent with voters about where one stands on all the top issues of concern is the first step in that, as well as a clear indication that a candidate is seeking to represent, not rule.
Disappointingly, multi-term incumbents Shannon O'Connor and Mary Jane Hetrick, who have both held office for six (6) years and are seeking to extend their tenure to nine (9) years, did not submit responses to this Survey—just like they have failed to be responsive to so much of our and our supporters' repeated outreach and advocacy since our 2018 founding. Unfortunately, doing so is not only failing to be accountable to one's constituents, but also presents an air of entitlement. Challenger Thaddeus Fortenberry also failed to submit any answers to our Survey.
Please note that these were our most difficult candidate support and endorsement decisions yet, and all responding candidates' Surveys were a breath of fresh air versus DSISD's status quo.
However, due to DSISD's plurality at-large election format, we have an obligation to identify and recommend the three candidates whose responses best align with our mission of greater transparency, increased accountability, and bringing fiscal responsibility back to the DSISD School Board.
To that end and again: we endorse Tricia Quintero, Stephanie Holtzendorf, and Stefani Reinold for DSISD School Board this May!
You can view all responses to our 2021 Candidate Survey by clicking on the buttons below.
Survey topics for Part 2 - Short Answers are also listed below, and you can click any topic to go directly to that section, without scrolling through.
In order to allow for easy candidate comparison by question, candidate responses to Part 1 - Rapid Fire all listed in ballot order, while Part 2 -Short Answers are listed in revolving ballot order.
At the bottom of this page are additional candidate surveys and interviews conducted by other organizations that may also help voters make an informed decision prior to casting a ballot for the 2021 DSISD School Board Election.
2021 Candidate Contact Information
Candidates listed below in ballot order.
Fiscal Responsibility Rating
Mary Jane Hetrick
Mary Jane Hetrick
Mary Jane Hetrick
Additional DSISD Candidate Interviews and Information
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