Kathy Smith

A retired El Campo Middle School teacher was elected as the school district’s newest trustee after defeating the position’s incumbent in the local election Saturday.

Former teacher Kathy Meek Smith won over incumbent trustee Greg Anderson by 46 votes, receiving 416 compared to Anderson’s 370, according to the Wharton County Elections Office.

Smith is excited for trustee training and her first school board meeting, she told the Leader-News Monday.

“I’m anxiously awaiting to see what it holds for me and I want to represent everyone,” Smith said. “A lot of people don’t understand that I’m just one person. It (the school board) is a teamwork and everyone has to vote, but I do have things that I do want to address when the time comes.”

Smith taught at ECMS for 27 years and is a native El Campoan and ECISD alumni. Her three children attended ECISD and she also has three grandchildren who are currently students.

Smith has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Victoria. She has also held the positions of Wharton County Electric Coop president and director.

Anderson served as the ECISD school board secretary and was a trustee on the school board since May 2016. Although no longer on the school board, Anderson plans to stay involved with ECISD and the community, he told the newspaper Monday.

He wanted to congratulate Smith and thank the voters who cast ballots.

“My time on the school board in the last five years was awesome,” Anderson said. “I really had a good time being a part of giving El Campo’s ... kids equal opportunities to an education.”

Anderson is a former student and he has done good things for the community, Smith said, so winning brought her mixed feelings.

“He was the first one to call and congratulate me, so that shows that he’s a class act,” Smith said.

A total of 807 votes were cast in the ECISD election. With 10,123 registered voters eligible to cast ballots for the ECISD positions, about 8 percent of voters participated.

A total of 1,934 votes were cast in the Wharton County election, with 1,253 coming from early voters, 657 submitted on election day and 23 being absentee ballots.

“I don’t care who they voted for, I just wish more people would come out and vote,” Smith said. “I am thankful for the ones who came out.”

Former trustee Dennis Rawlings, position 2, did not file for re-election. Instead, now trustee Rich DuBroc ran unopposed for the spot, winning the post Saturday.

DuBroc originally opted to leave the board in September 2020 so that his wife, Tammy, could apply for a teaching job at the district. He served on the board since May 2019. Prior to his time as a trustee, he worked as the El Campo High School principal for a decade.

“I just want the best we can do for our people,” DuBroc told the newspaper in February, after learning he would be unopposed in the election. “Our students, our staff and our community.”

Board President James Russell, position 4 and trustee David Vallejo, position 3, were unopposed on the ballot, winning re-election Saturday. Vallejo was appointed and sworn into DuBroc’s vacated position 3 in October. He will serve the remainder of the unexpired term, which runs through 2022.

ECISD trustee terms last three years. Ed Erwin, position 5, will be up for election in 2022, with Vice President Anthony Dorotik, position 6, and trustee Susan Nohavitza, position 7, up for election in 2023.

The ECISD election was held on May 1 at the El Campo Branch Library, 200 W. Church, with early voting running from April 19 - 23 and on April 26 and 27. An election was also held for several city council positions. (Please see related story for more information.)

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