During the RISD school board campaign, supporters of Mike Tabor for Place 1 hung a banner on his house that read “We Like Mike, And Mary, Too.”
The slogan also appeared on bumper stickers and yard signs throughout Lake Highlands.
Voters in the Place 1 district apparently liked Mike, too. Tabor beat opponent Gary Scoggins in the May 7 school board elections. He replaces retiring trustee Patti Clapp.
A run-off election for Place 2 between incumbent trustee Lee Cochran and his challenger Jere Maki will be June 4.
It was Tabor’s debut campaign for office, and he says it was a learning experience.
“My wife, Mary, and I sat down and talked about my running for the RISD board and mutually made the decision to do so,” says Tabor, a corporate lawyer for Clark, West, Keller, Butler & Ellis Downtown.
Mary, a longtime Lake Highlands community volunteer, managed his campaign. Tabor says friends with vast campaign experience also helped.
His children attended RISD schools all the way from grade one through 12. His daughter, Elizabeth, starts her sophomore year at Vanderbilt soon, and his son, David, studies at the University of Richmond.
Even though his children are no longer in RISD, Tabor says he still maintains a commitment to local education.
“While we have a wonderful system in RISD, we need to continue to strive for academic excellence,” he says. “Through work with committees, staff and parents, we must continue to provide the resources necessary to achieve that goal.”
If he ran with a certain platform, Tabor says it is the need for more than just improved academics.
“With society the way it is today, it is very important to ensure our students that they will be able to learn in a safe and wholesome environment,” he says.
He was sworn in two days after the election and immediately began meeting with fellow RISD board members to begin work on new strategies to reach that goal.
As a trial lawyer, Tabor has years of experience with strategies, some of which has been applied to education.
“In 1988, my law firm joined DISD’s Adopt-A-School Program, which I worked on for the last six years,” he says. “And we have seen a lot of progress at ours, North Dallas High School.”
Tabor, who says he enjoys bringing groups together for one goal, has also served on the RISD Strategic Planning Committee and for many years has been an active member of the Lake Highlands Exchange Club.