Grapevine-Colleyville trustee ousted from school board group

A longtime Grapevine-Colleyville trustee was ousted from her seat on the Texas Association of School Boards in a split vote that came in well after midnight on Monday.

Becky St. John lost her bid to serve another three-year term when trustees voted 4-3 to replace her with newly elected trustee Tammy Nakamura.

St. John, who has served on the school board since 2009, has also served several terms on the Texas Association of School Boards, an educational and advocacy organization serving school boards and districts throughout the state.

“I am not stupid. I can read the handwriting on the wall,” St. John said. “I can see how this vote is going to go down. I’m proud of the service that I’ve accumulated and the work that it takes to attain.”

The issue to remove St. John from her TASB seat first came up in May where trustees voted 4-3 in favor of Nakamura, but St. John said she asked for another vote Monday because of a “procedural error.”

Nakamura criticized the “minority” on the board and said the issue was brought up because people did not get what they wanted.

“I suspect this vote will get the same result. Just because certain members aren’t happy with the outcome. When we make it an issue, members in the minority shouldn’t waste the board’s resources by bringing up these issues again and again. When the majority has voted, we must walk forward together,” Nakamura said.

During the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting which lasted almost six hours, people spoke in support of St. John and Nakamura.

Laura Leeman, who is a co-leader of the group Protect GCISD, said a petition posted on the organization’s Facebook page Saturday had over 1,200 signatures in support of St. John.

“Elections have consequences. ... Every trustee will be made accountable,” she said.

St. John said she was grateful and overwhelmed by the support from the community, and had no idea that there was a petition supporting her.

Another speaker, Curtis Ratliff of Grapevine, said that he had served on various strategic planning committees for the school district.

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If it is, tell us why,” he said.

People also spoke in support of Nakamura.

Mary Lowe, who said she represents the group, Moms for Liberty said the majority of board members voted for Nakamura to serve on the TASB.

Former Colleyville mayor Richard Newton said that when Nakamura served on the city council, she served on various boards including the Tax Increment Financing District. ”It is critical that you have someone who is a member of the new board majority,” he said.

Elizabeth Campbell: 817-390-7696, @fwstliz