The Midway Independent School District Board of Trustees election has one contested race for the Place 6 seat between incumbent Ivan A. Green, a certified public accountant, and Andrew B. Popejoy, an emergency room physician.
No one filed to run against incumbents Pam Watts, Place 5, or Rick Tullis, Place 7. All seats are elected at-large and serve three-year terms.
Green, vice chairman and chief administrative officer for Extraco Banks, has served on the Midway school board for 17 years. He said his tenure on the board and expertise in finance make him the best candidate, especially when the district is considering building new schools.
A Midway graduate, Popejoy wants to give back to the school system he credits with much of his success. He and his wife, Vicki, also have four children who attend Midway schools in grades one through eight. He said he wanted to get involved in the community to see how he could “keep Midway great.”
Both candidates said the most important issue facing the Midway school board is the overcrowding of several schools. While Green believes his background in finance will help with the issuance of any bonds to build new schools, Popejoy thinks the school board needs the input of future generations to make decisions that will impact them.
“When people plan for the future, we talk a lot about buildings and growth,” Popejoy said. “The future isn’t just about buildings. It’s also about people. Our board is very experienced, but at the same time, we need to plan to let the next generation in and have a succession plan in place for the board.”
Green said his experience on the school board has given him essential knowledge of how the school system works.
“We’re going to have to make a decision to address this overcrowding, and it’s going to have to be by issuing some bonds,” he said. “That’s an area I’m familiar with.”
Popejoy, an emergency room physician at Premier ER, said having children in school keeps him informed of the day-to-day happenings in Midway and allows him to interact with other parents. He also sees plenty of parents and students at Premier ER who feel comfortable talking to him about concerns they may not want to discuss at a board meeting.
Even though his children no longer attend Midway schools, Green’s grandchildren do, which gives him a “vested interest” in the school district, he said.
“If I didn’t think I was providing value to the district, I wouldn’t run for the school board,” he said.
Both candidates praised the teachers and staff in the school district who make sure the students are on track to graduate. Green said the school board always needs to examine compensation because teachers are the “lifelines” of the district. He also said the district needs to help students who struggled on state standardized exams.
Popejoy serves on the board of directors for Incommons Bank, the Premier ER Medical Advisory Committee and the Cameron Park Zoological and Botanical Society board. Green is past-President of the United Way of McLennan County, as well as secretary and treasurer for the boards of Extraco Corp. and Extraco Banks.