Two vacant seats on the Amarillo Independent School District’s board of trustees have been filled.

This week, the AISD board voted to appoint Kayla Mendez and David Nance to fill the board’s vacant seats, following the resignations of former trustees Renee McCown and John Ben Blanchard. Mendez and Nance were ultimately chosen from a group of 14 applicants, which had been narrowed down to a group of six finalists prior to the meeting. The group of finalists also included candidates such as former Amarillo Mayor Debra McCartt and former AISD trustee John Betancourt.

Mendez, an engineer, was appointed to fill Blanchard’s seat on a 4-1 vote. Trustee Dick Ford was the sole vote against Mendez’s appointment.

Meanwhile, Nance was appointed to replace McCown by a unanimous vote. According to his LinkedIn profile, Nance is the president of Denman Building Products.

The appointments bring two more newcomers on the board after voters ousted all incumbents up for re-election in the May 4 school board elections this year. In that race, incumbents Betancourt and Jim Austin were voted out of office, while school board president F. Scott Flow chose to retire from the board. The seats to be filled by Mendez and Nance will be up for re-election in 2021.

Both Mendez and Nance are expected to take their seats on the board in late August.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.

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