Sharyland elects new trustees for school board
The Sharyland ISD board of trustees will have one new and one not-so-new member join the panel of seven elected officials for the next three years. Meagan Sullivan will take over Place 1 after longtime board member Ricky Longoria decided to step down from the position. And Julio Cerda, a former trustee of six years, beat out an incumbent to take back Place 2.
In the unofficial results, voters elected Sullivan with 51.96% of the vote (823 votes) over opponent Sergio Saenz who had 48.04% (761 votes).
Sullivan said the May 6 Election Day was unusually calm for her. All the anxiety and nervousness left her body because she felt she had done her best to win.
The Place 1 winner was home with family when the results came through Saturday evening. And she admitted she was a little surprised she came out victorious.
“I knew I would be a strong competitor and could get people who had been previously disengaged, engaged. But I genuinely believed I was a very long shot to win,” Sullivan said. “I’m very honored to have been entrusted with the win. And to me, I take it as an indication that my message was true for a lot of people.”
Sullivan’s campaign was rooted in improving communication and bringing transparency to the school district. As an SISD parent and former employee of more than a decade, Sullivan has first-hand experience with the district lacking in communication in both aspects. She wanted to change that dynamic, and now she has the opportunity to do so.
“People want to be engaged, they want to be heard, they want to be informed,” the 53-year-old said. “I truly believe that we are a better community when everyone has a seat at the table and everyone has the opportunity to be involved, and that’s my plan going forward.”
The soon-to-be trustee already began registering for school board workshops to learn the ropes, and she is excited to start the process.
The Place 1 opponent Sergio Saenz said he is doing well despite the loss. He still stands behind his safety and security platform. And he said he plans to continue being active in the school district going forward.
Julio Cerda defeated incumbent Alejandro Rodriguez with 52.02% of the vote. Based on the unofficial results, Cerda had 825 votes, and Rodriguez trailed with 761 votes.
The May 6 election is the second time the two have gone head-to-head for a spot on the board. In the 2020 election, Rodriguez unseated Cerda with nearly 56% of the vote.
Cerda said he was nervous going into Election Day because he knows how difficult it is to defeat an incumbent. And although the Place 2 winner never revealed clear goals for his time on the school board, he said it is good to be back.
“I’m interested in knowing what happened in the last two years. I’m excited and I’m willing to get in there and help them out and work together,” the 53-year-old said. “I’m excited and ready to rock and roll. And I’d like to thank all the voters — the ones that voted for me and the ones that didn’t, they’re going to be helped out no matter what.”
Rodriguez did not return calls for comment, but Cerda thanked his opponent for serving the community.
The soon-to-be trustee said he is glad to be back in a position where he can directly impact the Sharyland students and employees.
A judge will swear in Sullivan and Cerda at the May 16 Sharyland ISD board of trustees meeting. The school board also will officialize the election results on the same day.