By Katelyn Needham/ editor-in-chief
A current board of trustees member is running against a data consultant for the District 3 position in the May 6 election.
Incumbent Diane Patrick will face off against Sean Hayward in this year’s only contested board race. Patrick was appointed to the board in August of last year after the previous holder Kristin Vandergriff resigned.
Early voting will open April 24 and close May 2. Polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on the day of the election. Early voting locations will be on SE Campus and other places around the county.
Patrick’s main motivation for running for office again is her strong belief in the TCC mission.
“The college is very important in our community,” she said. “TCC is the bridge of opportunity for 99,000 students.”
Patrick currently teaches other teachers to become administrators at the University of Texas at Arlington but has been teaching since she was 20. She holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of North Texas.
“I have been involved in education all of my adult life,” she said. “So I have a lifelong passion for education and the difference it can make in people’s lives.”
Patrick foresees that one of the biggest challenges will be voter turnout, specifically for an election scheduled in May.
“If I am voted into the position, I look forward to working with the other trustees to make TCC the biggest educational player in our county, particularly working on issues related to developmental courses,” Patrick said.
Hayward’s main motivation for running started with his young sons.
“I have two kids, and if you look year by year, college is getting ever more expensive,” he said. “I am looking for a way I can increase access to a more affordable education. I think community college really is just the next level in public education.”
Hayward currently works for Slalom Consulting, where he builds data warehouses and analyzes data for clients.
He studied at Rhodes University in South Africa before he moved to London. He has experience on other boards and now lives in Arlington with his wife and children.
“I want to bring an outside perspective to the board,” Hayward said. “I have worked in consulting for years, and the way we look at problems is dispassionately without any pre-held beliefs or biases, which is where we find the best solutions for our clients. I want to bring that to the board.”
Hayward believes his biggest challenge has been raising awareness of the election in a large area.
“My long-term goals are to help lower the cost of tuition and really ensure that when people leave Tarrant County College that they are able to walk straight into a job, especially since this is a taxpayer-funded institution,” Hayward said.