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Interview with Sarah Winkler

Sarah Winkler

Sarah Winkler

For what truly will be my last interview of the 2009 cycle, I bring you a conversation with Alief ISD Trustee Sarah Winkler, who serves District 6 and is also the President of the AISD board. She has been in office since 1997, and is a 28-year resident of Alief whose five sons all attended Alief schools. She also now serves as the President of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). Alief is having its school board election in November for the first time, and also for the first time, a majority of the seven-member board is up for election. This year, there is a concerted effort by a group of tax cut uber alles types to run a slate of candidates on a slash-and-burn platform in an effort to take over the board, which is what attracted my attention to this race. I hope this helps shine a little light on it.

Download the MP3 file


Karen Derr, At Large #1
Brad Bradford, At Large #4
Stephen Costello, At Large #1
Lane Lewis, District A
Lonnie Allsbrooks, At Large #1
Noel Freeman, At Large #4
Brenda Stardig, District A
Oliver Pennington, District G
Amy Peck, District A
Herman Litt, At Large #1
Natasha Kamrani, HISD Trustee in District I, not running for re-election
Alex Wathen, District A
Robert Kane, District F
Council Member Melissa Noriega, At Large #3
Jeff Downing, District A
Mike Laster, District F
Council Member Jolanda Jones, At Large #5
Mills Worsham, District G
Rick Rodriguez, At Large #1
Council Member Sue Lovell, At Large #2
Carlos Obando, At Large #5
Richard Sedita, District G
Jack Christie, At Large #5
Dexter Handy, District G
George Foulard, District G
Alma Lara, HISD Trustee District I
Anna Eastman, HISD Trustee District I
Linda Toyota, HISD Trustee District I
Council Member Ed Gonzalez, District H
Council Member Wanda Adams, District D
Council Member Anne Clutterbuck, District C
Progressive Coalition candidates
Council Member Mike Sullivan, District E
Council Member James Rodriguez, District I
Council Member Jarvis Johnson, District B
Mike Lunceford, HISD Trustee District V
Ray Reiner, HISD Trustee District V
Council Member Ronald Green, candidate for Controller
Council Member MJ Khan, candidate for Controller
Council Member Pam Holm, candidate for Controller
Gene Locke, candidate for Mayor
Council Member Peter Brown, candidate for Mayor
City Controller Annise Parker, candidate for Mayor
Adrian Collins, HISD Trustee District IX
Otis Jordan, District D

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  1. Jay B Smith says:

    Sarah W. is a definite asset to Alief schools; to lose her depth of knowledge would be a great loss for the District.

    People running for school boards claiming that school improvement is their goal, but have never had any involvement in schools at any level are clearly intent on one thing: guarding their own pocketbook. The result for your school would be tragic.

  2. Thurston Hughes says:

    The Royal Oaks PAC is absolutely correct. As in most major corporations it comes a time that an organization needs and benefit from a “changing of the guard”.

    New individuals brings fresh, new, innovative ideas. It is no secret that the tax burden Alief homeowners pay is fairly exhorbiant. It is also no secret that Alief ISD’s superintendent is one of the highest paid administrators in the State of Texas

  3. […] The same type of antitax crusaders are at work in those elections as well – as noted in my interview with Sarah Winkler, this is the case in Alief in part because of a successful HCC annexation election in a previous […]

  4. Eric Weinmann says:

    Let’s be fair here… Winkler has clearly said that AISD kids are not finishing school because they are a different kind of student body. By that, she means minority. She sets ultra low standards for AISD and doesn’t take issue with setting the bar low. She went on to say this week that she has to win a “horrible” election to stay in office. I am so sorry democracy stands in the way of a lifetime term for this dishonorable school board member.

  5. Billy Warren says:

    It is time for s different out look . Sarah has done all she can. Let’s give someome else a chance. We need to concentrateon viloence and felons attending school with our innocent students. We are looking at how to help drop outs instead of how to challenge students that could be leaders in the world.

    I have a serious question. What do the supervisors in the administration buildings do everyday? Really?

  6. Cort McMurray says:

    “Different” is being taken out of context.

    I am all for new outlooks — I have two kids enrolled in Alief schools — but the Royal Oaks group did not actually start talking about bettering standards until about a week and a half ago. Before that, it was all about taxes.

    Thurston doesn’t know what he’s talking about: Spring Branch’s tax rate is $1.3825 per thousand. Katy is above $1.52. Cy-Fair is $1.35, and Cy-Creek is $1.36. Alief is $1.34. There are some lower, but many, many are higher. So how does that compute to “fairly exorbitant”?

    Winkler is tireless in her efforts for the district. Her comment about our “different” students was not a commentary on their race; it was an admission of the realities of poverty. Seventy percent of our kids are in homes that qualify for free or reduced lunches. Look at any one of hundreds of studies on the challenges faced by underprivileged students, going all the way back to The Moynihan Report.

    The challenges to keep underprivileged kids in school — white, black or brown — are daunting. Add the single-parent dimension, and the challenges make your knees buckle. Winkler and this board have faced those challenges head-on. The board and Dr. Stoerner should be commended, not condemned.

    As for the blather about low standards, my daughter is a student at Kerr. I will put the education she’s receiving there, the standards she’s expected to meet there, against anything any high school students are doing, anywhere in the country. My son graduated from Elsik, with honors. He received an excellent education.

    And let’s remember folks, change for change’s sake isn’t always good. At some point in their lives, Lenin, Mussolini, and Juan Peron were all fresh-faced agents of change…

  7. […] first two would qualify for that. As for Winkler, she’s a trustee in Alief ISD – I interviewed her in 2009 when she last ran for re-election. Her entrance makes HD137 a four-candidate race, with all […]

  8. […] well, those first two would qualify for that. As for Winkler, she’s a trustee in Alief ISD – I interviewed her in 2009 when she last ran for re-election. Her entrance makes HD137 a four-candidate race, with all […]

  9. […] on the SPARK Park Board of Directors. I interviewed her for the 2009 election Alief ISD election here. Oh, and she’s a Rice grad as well, which I am constitutionally required to mention. […]