Katie Patterson and family

Richardson ISD trustee Katie Patterson announced via Facebook Wednesday night that she will not seek re-election to the board.

“I hope this provides our community the opportunity to elect a candidate who reflects the fantastic diversity of our community,” wrote Patterson, who was elected in 2016.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are immensely important to me,” continued Patterson. “I strive to be the change I want to see in the world.”

Patterson, an active Pearce booster and graduate of Richardson High, says the board made significant strides during her tenure. Dr. Jeannie Stone was hired as superintendent and a strategic plan enacted. The district is moving toward closing the achievement gap by implementing ACE (Accelerating Campus Excellence) and other programs. Career and Technology Education (CTE) has expanded, allowing students to learn about modern career options. The TRE (tax ratification election) was approved by voters to provide school funding when the state fell short.

“I still have a few months before I step down,” Patterson told me. “In that time, there’s still work I hope to accomplish. While it wasn’t my intention to only serve one term, I’m proud of the progress we made during my short tenure.”

“I have enjoyed serving alongside Mrs. Patterson during her term on the board,” said Justin Bono, board president. “Her intelligence, work ethic and passion for the success of all Richardson ISD students have been assets to our team. I know the rest of the board joins me in thanking her for her service to RISD and wishes her well as she leaves us in the coming months.”

It’s not yet clear if a minority candidate will, in fact, run to fill Patterson’s seat.

The district was sued in federal court in 2018 by former trustee David Tyson, Jr., who alleges practices by the all-white board have led to racially segregated schools and an “egregious achievement gap.” Tyson, the only minority ever to serve on the board, does not seek a financial remedy, but instead wants to ensure minority representation on the board by instituting single member districts. That lawsuit is still pending.

Eron Linn and Karen Clardy are also up for re-election May 4 and are expected to announce their intentions in the next two weeks.

The first day for candidates to officially file is Jan. 16, and packets are available at the RISD Administration Building on Greenville Avenue. The deadline is Feb. 15.