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Lubbock ISD appoints new trustee

The Lubbock ISD School Board of Trustees met Thursday morning.
Sarah Self-Walbrick
/
Texas Tech Public Media
The Lubbock ISD School Board of Trustees met Thursday morning.

The Lubbock Independent School District’s Board of Trustees appointed a new representative for District 5 at a Thursday morning meeting.

Kristopher Zepeda is an executive director of medical affairs for the biotech company Epizyme. The Seagraves native is a pharmacist by trade and holds multiple degrees from Texas Tech University.

His wife is a school nurse at Roscoe Wilson Elementary School, where two of his three children attend classes. Zepeda has worked for years with Lubbock ISD’s Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit financially supporting projects that aren’t covered by the district’s budget.

“It was just kind of a natural move, I think, with the involvement my family has and the ownership I feel with the school district, to serve as a fiduciary to help the students in this community,” Zepeda said.

Zepeda said he wants to help students and parents with the issues that are important to them.

Zepeda was appointed, rather than elected, to serve after the former District 5 Trustee Scot Mayfield moved for work in the middle of his term. Zepeda will fill the position through 2024, when the seat is again up for election.

The Texas Education Code states when there is a vacancy on the board and more than a year remains on the term of the position vacated, remaining trustees can opt to fill the vacancy by appointment until the next election or order a special election.

Lubbock ISD went through this same process last year when the District 3 position was vacant. Realtor Jason Ratliff was appointed to that seat and won his first election in the district in May.

Nine people applied for consideration to represent District 5, which covers a swath of Lubbock north of the Marsha Sharp Freeway and the Tech Terrace neighborhood. Texas Tech Public Media filed a public information request to know who applied and is choosing to share those names for transparency. They are: Jessica Tullar Caroom, Denise Colley, Grant Gerlich, Manda Klein, Melissa McDougal, Greg Taylor, John Weddige, William Wells and Zepeda.

Board President Zach Brady said it was an impressive pool of applicants.

“Kris’s professional and educational background is quite impressive,” Brady said. “A commitment to the community is quite impressive, as well, and he also has younger kids in the district. We thought that was a great combination of skills and background.”

Brady added the board was looking for a thoughtful person with a record of interest in the district who doesn’t “bring any particular ax to grind.”

Have a news tip? Email Sarah Self-Walbrick at saselfwa@ttu.edu. Follow her reporting on Twitter @SarahFromTTUPM.

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Sarah Self-Walbrick is the news director at Texas Tech Public Media, where she leads the news team and focuses on underreported stories in Lubbock. Sarah is a Lubbock native and a three-time graduate of Texas Tech University. She started her career at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
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