Feb. 17 was a busy day at the Humble ISD administration building as several new candidates officially declared their intentions to run for seats on the Humble ISD Board of Trustees.
In all, 15 candidates have filed to run in the May 2017 election. The district’s administration office had seen a flurry of activity in the last two days as seven people officially filed on the last day. Here is the list of contenders:
Position 1: Three candidates have filed to run for Position 1.
Incumbent Robert Sitton is a longtime Humble resident and former teacher and coach, and was elected to Position 1 in 2011 when the seat was vacated by Dan Huberty after his election to the Texas State House of Representatives. Sitton is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments and is the chairman for Kingwood Medical Center board.
Rolando Iseas Cruz originally filed to run for Position 5, but changed his candidacy Feb. 14 to instead run for Position 1. Cruz is a graduate of Humble High School and currently attends University of Houston. He has been contemplating how he can give back to the Humble community he loves, and that prompted him to run for a trustee position.
Robert Rehak is also running for Position 1. He has been a Kingwood resident for 33 years and owned Rehak Creative Services, a Houston-based marketing communications company specializing in high-technology and corporate advertising, for 22 years. He retired from that business last year and is running for trustee as a significant way to give back to the community he loves. Additionally, Rehak is a founding sponsor of the All Earth Ecobot Challenge, a free, statewide robotics competition for grades 4-8; Humble ISD sends dozens of teams each year to the competition.
Position 3: Three candidates have filed to run for Position 3.
Incumbent Angela Conrad has filed for re-election. She is currently serving her first term after being elected in 2013. She is a former Humble ISD teacher and currently is employed by Insperity as an instructional designer. Conrad earned the designation of “Master Trustee” upon completion of Leadership TASB, a program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), and is also a 2016 graduate of Leadership Lake Houston, a program designed to grow and develop community leaders.
Christopher D. Herron has also filed for Position 3. Herron was born and raised in Huntsville, Texas, graduated from Dartmouth College and received an MBA from SMU. He lives in northeast Houston and his family members include a school superintendent, school counselor, head football coach and athletic director, and teachers. Herron has worked in the energy, telecom, and industrial manufacturing sectors in various roles, including leading major capital projects and structured financial acquisitions. Herron is currently a business development manager at NRG Energy Services and has global work experience in England, Mexico and Denmark.
Deborah Yocham has also filed for Position 3. Now retired, she has served in various roles in Humble ISD, including assistant superintendent of elementary schools, director of construction and facilities planning, and is a past elementary school principal for Willow Creek Elementary.
Position 4: Two candidates will vie for Position 4.
Incumbent Charles Cunningham has filed for re-election. A longtime employee of CenterPoint Energy, Cunningham has served on the board since 2007. He also has a board of director position on the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
Abigail Davison Whitmire is also a candidate for Position 4. She grew up in New Braunfels and is a self-described product of Texas public schools. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government. Whitmire is currently a stay-at-home mom, but had a previous career in nonprofit fundraising. She also worked for the New Orleans-based Posse Foundation, a college access and youth leadership development program.
Position 5: Nine-year board member Brent Engelage will not seek re-election. Several candidates have filed for the open Position 5.
Martina Lemond Dixon filed for Position 5 Jan. 18. Another longtime Humble area resident, Dixon, is a former teacher and currently serves on the board of directors for the Humble ISD Education Foundation. She has served in several capacities there, including treasurer, chair of the finance committee, and member of the grant committee. Dixon also currently serves on the district Dream Team, a group of community leaders convened to recommend core competencies that any Humble ISD graduate should have (Portrait of an Humble ISD Graduate).
Dr. Lohit Datta-Barua filed Feb. 9. Datta-Barua has a Ph.D. in engineering and is a former project director in the oil and gas industry, where he was responsible for managing multimillion dollar projects. He is also a past University of Houston instructor, guest lecturer in Houston ISD and superintendent of United Gas Pipeline’s Technical Training Center. Additionally, he is currently volunteering at Fall Creek Elementary where he started a running club to promote healthy habits.
Shawn Biazar filed Feb. 15. Biazar is a deputy sheriff with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, but the majority of his career has been with the Humble ISD Police Department. He holds a Texas Master Peace Officer license and is a member of the North Harris County Criminal Justice Association. Biazar was honored by the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce as the 2011 Peace Officer of the Year for dedication and service to the community; Biazar received similar honors in 2011 from Congressman Ted Poe and Huberty. Biazar is running to be of greater service to the community.
Atascocita resident Jonathan Prevot is also a candidate. He graduated from University of Houston and was a civil engineer with the City of Houston for eight years. He is now a small business owner in Atascocita.
Robert Panzarella has lived in the Humble area his entire life. Panzarella attended Humble ISD schools and graduated with a biology degree from The University of Texas at Austin. He went to medical school at Texas Tech University School of Medicine, and did his internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He has practiced in the ER at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown for the last 26 years, and is double-boarded in family medicine and emergency medicine. He has been on the board of directors of the Northeast Hospital Authority for over 10 years.
Edgar Clayton and Clifford Crossett have also decided to run. Information on them was unavailable.