Tammy Mutasa, Garland Reporter
The school board election for Garland ISD's place six pits a 19-year-old Lawrence B. Jones, who just graduated last May, against former district communications department employee Steve Knagg.
A 19-year-old college freshman is running for the Garland school board in a district that has not had a contested race in nearly a decade.
Lawrence B. Jones, who graduated from Garland High School in May, is campaigning to go back to the Garland Independent School District as a school trustee.
"I really do think it's time for a new generation of leadership," he said.
Jones is a freshman at the University of North Texas, where he is double-majoring in political science and criminal justice.
"I offer a new perspective of what's going on in the district," he said. "I also have a lot of enthusiasm, and I really know what the kids are going through today."
Jones served as the youngest student advocate for Garland ISD and was once the Garland youth mayor and a Texas junior senator.
His opponent, Steve Knagg, said experience is the most important.
Knagg has lived in Garland for more than 50 years, 30 of which he worked in the school district's communication department.
"I've been through this district as a student, as a parent, as an employee and now as a grandparent, so I think I have long years of experience that will help the kids here," he said.
Both are pounding the pavement for Place 6. School board members serve three-year terms with no limits.
Both candidates said school funding is their top priority.
"It's a tough budget time right now, and I think that's where we need to put our emphasis for years to come," Knagg said.
Jones said bullying, an issue he takes to heart, is also a priority.
"Bullying was little bit different back in the day than it is now and so, when it comes to policy, I want to make sure we're setting policy that is up-to-date," he said.
Early voting starts April 30 at City Hall. Election Day is May 12. Place 7 is also open on the school board. Garland residents Rick Lambert, Charles Axe and Marcus Hood are running for that seat.