Timothy Payne (center) has been appointed by the governing board to fill an elected trustee position left vacant by Edward Romero.
Edgewood ISD's governing board has appointed Timothy Payne (center) to fill an elected trustee position left vacant by Edward Romero. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

A familiar face will fill the vacant trustee position on Edgewood Independent School District’s governing board.

Timothy Payne, who in September 2017 was appointed to the governing board by the Texas Education Agency, has now been appointed by the governing board to fill the elected trustee position left vacant by Edward Romero, who resigned his trustee position last October.

Board President Roy Soto called Payne a great pick for the position because he won’t have a learning curve to get up to speed on district operations or events.

“He has a good understanding of the vision, mission, and goals of the district,” Soto said. “He has had extensive training and would be so far ahead of any individual new to the position.”

Edgewood’s governing board has an unusual composition. The TEA intervened in the district in 2016 because of governance issues that often left the elected board deadlocked and unable to make important decisions. At the time, the seven elected trustees were removed from power and replaced by five managers, who were appointed by Commissioner of Education Mike Morath.

In July 2018, Morath began transitioning the district back to elected governance by adding two trustees to the board. Voters elected Martha Castilla and Romero in 2016 and Morath chose the two as the first trustees to add to the board.

After Romero resigned, Castilla continued to serve as the one elected trustee alongside the five managers. With Payne’s appointment, the board now switches to two elected trustees and four managers, although there is no difference between the role or responsibility of a manager and trustee. The board will continue to govern as a body of six members, a district official said.

Morath still has to add five elected trustee positions to the board before a full transition back to elected governance is complete. He is expected to complete this process by May 2020.

Payne lives in the district and sits on the board of Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.