Boswell, Lugo Claim Open Seats on AISD Board

Run-off election results


Noelita Lugo at the polls with kids in tow (photo by Jana Birchum)

Lynn Boswell will be the new representative for District 5 on the Austin ISD Board of Trustees, after winning her run-off against Jennifer Littlefield by a nearly 10% margin Tuesday night. Boswell had also finished first – albeit much more narrowly – in the Nov. 3 election against Littlefield and third-place finisher Piper Stege Nelson.

All of the candidates addressed educational equity in their campaigns. "I gambled that District 5 was looking for that conversation," said Boswell about the Westside district that's home to some of Austin's wealthiest neighborhoods. "I think that the wisdom for a long time has been that someone who was willing to talk too openly about that was not going to be the voice in our district."

A documentary filmmaker who once served as president of the Austin Council of PTAs, Boswell wants to work on improving communication between the district and community, and rebuilding trust. Regarding COVID-19, she said working to retain teachers should be a priority, particularly into the spring semester. "The policies in place are causing teachers to really have to make extremely hard choices about whether they stay or go." She called the pilot program crafted by Education Austin and district leadership to allow more teachers to work from home a promising option, and she hopes to find other collaborative solutions to enhance both in-person and virtual instruction.

In the race for the districtwide At-Large Place 8, early voting results showed Leticia Moreno Caballero with a narrow edge, but Noelita Lugo pulled ahead by night's end to take 52% of the vote to Caballero's 48%. On Nov. 3 Caballero, who had been endorsed by outgoing P8 Trustee Cindy Anderson, finished 16 percentage points ahead of Lugo in a four-way race with Mike Herschenfeld and Jared Breckenridge.

Lugo, founder of the anti-closure Save Austin Schools, shares Boswell's priorities on educational equity and rebuilding community trust. "I think this particular win – not just mine, but also the District 5 win – really shows us that our city and the voters across our city, we are craving social justice and equity." Part of Lugo's vision for education equity involves focusing on authentic engagement and co-creation of solutions between the community and the district.

Lugo also intends to focus on AISD's declining enrollment, an issue that predates the COVID-19 pandemic but which has been exacerbated by the health crisis. She believes creating a re-enrollment plan is possible and would help restore families' trust in public schools.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Beth Sullivan
Qmmunity: Queer News Here, There, Everywhere
Qmmunity: Queer News Here, There, Everywhere
Openly gay lawmaker announces mayoral bid, HavenCon returns, and more

Jan. 14, 2022

Austin Enters Stage 5 of COVID Risk Guidelines
Austin Enters Stage 5 of COVID Risk Guidelines
More important than ever to mask up, urge health officials

Jan. 6, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Lynn Boswell, Noelita Lugo, December 2020 Run-off Election

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle