Kerriann and Nicholas LaGrassa

Richardson ISD school board candidate Nicholas LaGrassa in running at large in District 7. He doesn’t yet have kids in district schools, but his wife will deliver twins before Election Day May 1.

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Kerriann has two weeks to go before the LaGrassa’s baby boy and baby girl are due to arrive, but the twins almost made a surprise debut during last week’s Snowpocalypse.

“We did have a scare on Monday,” LaGrassa says, “but luckily we’ve got a great ob/gyn, and he helped us take care of everything.” The children will attend Aikin Elementary when kindergarten rolls around.

LaGrassa, who works as a security guard for Allied Universal Services, says his top concern is inadequate teacher pay.

“We went to undergrad with a lot of people who became teachers or married teachers. They all come back to teacher pay. The 2020-21 RISD budget only allows for a 1% teacher raise for all teachers. We can’t sit idly by and say these teachers deserve only 1%.”

A full year fighting the pandemic has made clear, LaGrassa says, the difficult and valuable work performed by dedicated teachers and staff each day.

“If a teacher at RISD only gets $47,000 in their starting year with a 1% annual raise, but inflation goes up 2%, did they really get a raise?”

LaGrassa is running to become one of RISD’s two at large trustees, but he believes it is important for all board members to understand – and advocate for – parents and voters throughout the district.

“Even if I wasn’t running for at large, even if I was going for District 5 [surrounding Lake Highlands High School], I’d still be making an effort to reach out to individuals [across RISD]. We just had a major natural disaster, so I haven’t been out pounding the pavement, but I intend to as we get into March and April. I’ll be all over the district targeting individual neighborhoods and speaking to civic organizations trying to get my message out about radical increases to teacher pay and how I see the district moving forward.”

Also running in District 7 are Nicole Foster, Blake Sawyer, Gavin Haynes, Amanda Clair, Eric Stengel and Chris Poteet. Early voting begins April 19.