Today the United Educators Association formally endorsed its first candidate in the Fort Worth school board elections. The group, which represents area school employees, is backing Ann Sutherland for District 6 over incumbent Chris Hatch.
Sutherland spent most of her career in California as an educator and budget analyst. She moved to Fort Worth in 2004 to be close to family and had served on John Peter Smith Hospital's committee looking at patient access. UEA deputy director Steven Poole said that it is time for new leadership on the board. "There are a lot of difficult issues facing the school district," he said, referring to the district recently declaring a financial state of emergency for the second year straight. "She brings a number of perspectives together with her background as a school teacher and budget analyst."
Hatch, a certified public accountant, has represented the Southwest district since 2004. He currently serves as chair of the board's audit committee. Hatch has said he is proud that the district has been able to make gains in academic achievement despite financial difficulties and noted that the current bond program is about $38 million under budget.