Education

Diana Davila Elected President of the HISD Board But Not Without a Challenge

The gavel is passed to Diana Davila from Rhonda Skillern-Jones at last night's meeting. Wonder what Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan is thinking.
The gavel is passed to Diana Davila from Rhonda Skillern-Jones at last night's meeting. Wonder what Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan is thinking. Screenshot from HISD-TV

With all their declarations about working together and setting aside their differences, trustees of the Houston ISD didn't seem all that warm and cuddly Thursday night when they voted in their new officers for the year.

Diana Davila, who's been on and off the board and back again, was elected president. What made last night different was that instead of the usual practice of one name being offered for each seat and approved by all the board members in deals obviously worked out in advance, there were challenges.

Wanda Adams put forth Sergio Lira's name after Davila's nomination had been named. He quickly declined and the vote was taken: 7-2 with Adams and Jolanda Jones (who for a while was BFFs with Davila) voting against her.

Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca was elected first vice president (Jones against, Adams abstained), Elizabeth Santos second vice president (Jones and Adams against), Lira was elected secretary (the only one to receive a 9-0 vote in the evening) and Sue Deigaard was elected assistant secretary (Elizabeth Santos nominated Anne Sung but she declined and Deigaard was elected by an 8-1 with Santos against.) So the top four positions will all be held by Hispanic board members.

With Rhonda Skillern-Jones handing over the gavel to Davila as president there are no African-Americans in leadership positions on the board. Which probably doesn't bode well for Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan's chances for getting the superintendent's job permanently since they have been her biggest supporters. 
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing