The contentious saga in Round Rock Independent School District continues as the general election results reveal a loss for a slate of pro-family school board candidates.
For more than a year, Texas Scorecard has chronicled multiple scandals involving Round Rock ISD in a special report and a podcast series, Exposed, which included investigations into the school board’s rushed hiring of Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez. Five trustees—Amy Weir, Jun Xiao, Amber Feller, Cory Vessa, and Tiffanie Harrison—voted to hire Azaiez despite the objections of trustees Danielle Weston and Mary Bone, as well as local parents.
After Azaiez’s hiring, citizens criticized the five board members, dubbed the “Bad Faith Five,” for allegedly covering up domestic violence allegations against Azaiez and protecting him through ongoing criminal investigations.
The incident drew attention to other scandals in the school district, including allowing gender-confused students to use the locker room opposite from their biological sex and spending more than $12,000 in registration fees to send employees to an education conference featuring three board members of Drag Queen Story Hour.
Concerns with the district’s conduct grew last month when video emerged of a vice principal shoving a 13-year-old student into a brick wall at the GOALS learning center. When the student’s mother attempted to voice her complaint at an October school board meeting, board members did not allow her to finish speaking and then blocked her from speaking to the media present.
Five spots on the RRISD school board were up for grabs in the general election, including a special election to replace former trustee Dr. Jun Xiao, who resigned in February 2022 after citizens filed complaints against the board member.
The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) endorsed five candidates running as a slate under the Round Rock One Family PAC: John Keagy (Place 1), Orlando Salinas (Place 3), Jill Farris (Place 4), Christie Slape (Place 5), and Don Zimmerman (Place 6). However, none of the slate candidates defeated the incumbents or took the open seat.
- Estevan “Chuy” Zárate (Place 1)
- Amber Feller (Place 3)
- Alicia Markum (Place 4)
- Amy Weir (Place 5)
- Tiffanie Harrison (Place 6)