By THOMAS COOK
Jon Hanna, 60, became the fourth person to apply for the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees Place 6 on Feb. 17. Hanna joins incumbent Kristi Hassett, 47, Eric Parker, 23 and Peter Rabner, 38 in the race for Place 6.
He is currently a fluid power specialist for an industrial products supplier. While he has never done any work in the school system or with the school board, Hanna said his current and past work experience would serve him well.
“In terms of looking at issues and problems in a logical sense and taking them to a logical conclusion or solution is what would prepare me for dealing with situations like this,” he said.
Hanna said that teacher and superintendent salaries were the primary catalyst for his decision to run. While doing research into property values in the area, he found some information about district salaries that bothered him.
Between the 2011/12 school year and the 2015/16 school year, the LISD superintendent’s salary rose from $138,435 to $300,000, a 117 percent salary increase. Hanna’s wife Becky, a special education teacher at Prairie View Elementary, has been teaching for almost 15 years and has received a 9 percent salary increase, he said.
“I think teacher salaries need to be looked at very closely, something needs to be done.”
Keeping quality people employed both in the district office and in LISD schools are important issues for Hanna.
“I don’t necessarily think the superintendent’s pay needs to stop being increased,” Hanna said. “We need to keep quality individuals interested in the school district, but [teachers] also need to make a living wage, and year after year there needs to be something.”
Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education also impacted his decision to run.
“The new secretary of education and everything I’ve read and heard about her — her desire to apparently reduce the emphasis on public education is absolutely the wrong way to go,” he said
Hanna doesn’t think a reduction of public schools is a good idea but does see important changes that public schools should make.
“I am not in favor of standardized testing, and if there is anything that we can do to eliminate that I would be in favor of it,” Hanna said
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Hanna graduated from Gettysburg College in 1978 with a sociology degree. While there, he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
Following college, Hanna was a field artillery officer in the United States Army for 14 years until 1992.
Hanna moved to Flower Mound in 2000. Hanna has three children who graduated from Flower Mound High School, the youngest graduating in 2011.
Anyone wishing to contact Jon Hanna can reach him by email at email@example.com.
In addition to the four candidates running for Place 6, four candidates are also running for Place 7. Unlike Lewisville city council elections, school board elections do not require the winner to receive over 50 percent of the vote. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes will win the election, and there will be no runoff vote.
“As far as how many total candidates run, it’s higher this year,” Assistant to the Superintendent Jeanne Arnold said.
No election in the past five years has seen more than six total candidates in a single election, and that included two elections where three seats were elected, Arnold said.
Feb. 17 was the last day for candidates to file to run, and the election will be held May 6.