Gloves Off: HISD District IX Trustee Race – Part II

ABOVE: Dr. Karla Brown

Leading up to Election Day (November 7th), the Forward Times will take a look at each of the three candidates running for HISD’s District 9 Trustee seat.

Dr. Karla Brown: The Educator

If Wanda Adams’ experience could be summed up as “The Politician” since she’s the only one of the three candidates in this race with policymaking and elected experience, Dr. Karla Brown could be summed up as “The Educator.” Of the three candidates, she’s the only one who brings experience as a former public school teacher, assistant principal, and adjunct professor. She’s lived in Houston for 45 years. Attending Reynolds Elementary, Woodson Middle, and Worthing High Schools, Brown is a product of District IX.

At first glance, Dr. Brown is a formidable candidate. She received her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD from HBCU Texas Southern University. She founded Providence on Southmore, a non-profit aimed at increasing the success of students enrolled at colleges and universities.

Brown claims her teaching experience will give her an edge on the school board. “It’s very easy for people who’ve never been in front of a classroom to assume they know what’s best, but often times they’re wrong,” said Brown. She points to her experience in the classroom and as an administrator within HISD as the key to her campaign, but according to her LinkedIn page, Brown only served one year as an Assistant Principal in HISD before leaving the district.

Maxwony Jean, a 2009 Worthing High School alumnus and District IX voter says he’s never heard of Dr. Karla Brown, or Southmore on Providence – Brown’s non-profit, and states that he wants a board member with deep roots in the community.

“There’s legacy at schools like Yates, Wheatley, and Worthing, my Alma Mater. Worthing is a family,” added Jean.

At this point Jean is not yet sure who he’ll support when election time rolls around.

Looking at the race, if Brown has an obvious Achilles heel, it’s her lack of name recognition amongst community and alumni circles.

According to Brown, she’s been working with Worthing, Kashmere, Wheatley, and Scarborough with her organization’s High School to College Pipeline program. She also says her organization has awarded scholarships at those schools the last three years.

Dr. Brown points to several positions where she and the incumbent, Wanda Adams, disagree as the reason she’s in the race. She points to the renaming of Dowling Middle School after Audrey Lawson instead of one of its own – Carrie McAfee – as an issue that angered the community and pushed her to seriously consider the race. Brown also thinks she could do a better job communicating with members of the community than the incumbent.

“Community members should never feel ‘out of the loops,’ and that’s how Trustee Adams left many of us during very important discussions. I’ll make sure the community is at the table when decisions are being made that impact them,” concluded Brown.

All three candidates will be participating in the “Gloves Off: HISD District IX Trustee Race” debate sponsored by the Forward Times, at the Sunnyside Multiservice Center on October 4th at 6:30PM. Community members are invited to attend, and participate in the online poll.