Fort Worth school board swears in new trustee, approves District 4 runoff election

·2 min read
Courtesy: Fort Worth ISD

Podiatrist Camille Rodriguez said she wouldn’t have gotten her doctorate without her family and the Fort Worth teachers and staff who supported her when she was in school.

Now that she’s the district’s newest trustee, her goal is simple.

“I truly want every Fort Worth ISD student to have the same opportunities that I did,” she said.

The school board swore in Rodriguez to represent District 1 on Tuesday during a special board meeting. She replaces Jacinto Ramos Jr., who announced his resignation in March.

Rodriguez, a former substitute teacher who served on the board from 2004 to 2008, was surrounded by family and friends as Justice Maryellen Hicks swore her in.

District 1 represents the historic North Side neighborhood and parts of central Fort Worth. The seat term expires in 2025.

Rodriguez was born and raised in North Side and is a Dunbar High School graduate, according to a district press release.

She attended Prairie View A&M University, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology. Rodriguez graduated from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine before returning to Fort Worth, where she has practiced medicine for over 20 years.

Results from the May 7 special election, which also included voting to select a trustee for District 4, were canvassed during the meeting before the swear-in.

The board approved a June 18 runoff election for District 4 after none of the candidates in that race reached the 50% threshold.

Brian Dixon and Wallace Bridges will face each other in the runoff.

The District 4 board seat, which was left vacant by the death of trustee Daphne Brookins in November, represents parts of southeast Fort Worth and includes O. D. Wyatt High School.

Dixon ran on a campaign to improve reading rates, support teachers and choose the right superintendent.

Bridges said his top policy priorities are to improve reading and math scores, build strong school communities and ensure schools receive the support they deserve.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Bridges called Dixon’s residency into question and filed a complaint with the Fort Worth school district regarding the suspension of Dixon’s voter registration by the Tarrant County Elections Commission. Bridges claims Dixon does not reside in District 4. Dixon, who owns property in the district, has denied the claims.

A pair of speakers during the public comment section of Tuesday’s meeting said Dixon was breaking the law, and it was the board’s responsibility to take preventative action.

Prior to the vote to approve the District 4 runoff race, trustee C.J. Evans asked for consultation with the board’s attorney in a closed session. The board later returned and unanimously approved the runoff race.

The District 4 seat expires in 2025.