Two challengers are looking to unseat two incumbents as they all battle for two at-large seats on the Krum ISD school board.

Current board members Brad Andrus, a real estate agent, and Eric Borchardt, a banker, will face traffic supervisor Joe Galicia and information technology designer Robert Dollins in the May election.

Because the seats are at large and not divided by places, the two men who receive the highest number of votes will be declared the winners.

Like school districts across the country, Krum is mulling ways to improve security on its campuses. The district put together a survey to get feedback from staff members, students and parents on building improvements, school resource officers and potentially arming teachers on a voluntary basis.

Superintendent Cody Carroll said the results of the survey showed the community mostly favors facility upgrades and trained officers on campus. He said no official action has been taken yet, but the district is working to put together its own police department with officers that could patrol the campuses.

The school board election is May 5. Early voting begins April 23.

The Denton Record-Chronicle caught up with the candidates and asked them about other issues happening within the district. The candidates are listed in the order they appear on the ballot, and each interview has been edited lightly for space and clarity.

Brad Andrus

Age: 41

Hometown: Krum

Education: bachelor's degree in marketing from Brigham Young University, master's degree in journalism from University of North Texas

Work experience: commercial real estate agent at Axis Realty Group

Community service: current four-year Krum school board member, served on Krum City Council, served on the Shady Shores Planning and Zoning Commission, youth baseball and basketball coach, bishop in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Website: none

What do you think are the next steps for Krum as you work to make your campuses safer?

We're evaluating all options to make our campuses as safe as possible. There's a lot of security technology available and we're looking at that. We're also strongly considering a school resource officer, at least one for the district. In my opinion, we need to have someone like that to help us analyze risks and threats, give us recommendations and help us figure out a plan.

When talking about violence in schools, a lot of people point to bullying as a contributing factor. What can be done at the school board level to curb bullying on campus?

We rely heavily on principals and teachers on each campus to be our eyes and ears. The thing we can do as a board is to emphasize the importance of preventing bullying and we do that with our superintendent [Cody Carroll.] We meet with him regularly to have those discussions and talk about how we can work with principals to foster positive environments.

As conversations about school finance swirl in the Legislature, how do you continue to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and also continue to recruit and retain high quality teachers and programming?

I think that's something that always has to be looked at. We don't wait every year for a vote in Austin to make those decisions. We have a very healthy fund balance and reserves right now. We're able to grow that balance so if state funding doesn't come, we don't have to sacrifice quality teachers or programs. I think it's also important that I worked in banking for seven years. I'm able to analyze the financial aspects of the school district and make decisions based on that experience.

Eric Borchardt

Age: 48

Hometown: Krum

Education : attended Tarleton State University, received degree in electronics engineering from ITT Technical Institute

Work experience: vice president of mortgage lending at Access Bank Texas

Community service: current president and 15-year member of Krum ISD school board, fundraising committee member for Krum ISD Education Foundation, treasurer for Krum-Jackson Cemetery board of directors, Krum FFA Friends and Family member, Denton County Young Leaders 4-H volunteer

Website: none

What do you think are the next steps for Krum as you work to make your campuses safer?

There are a lot of good options. We have to stay fiscally responsible, but still maintain the utmost safety and security. As an elected official, it's not what I want. It's what the community wants. My job is to carry out the wishes of the taxpayers and community. I think, unfortunately, it's never 100 percent possible to prevent someone from going crazy and attacking schools, but we want to make sure we can do everything possible to keep everyone safe.

When talking about violence in schools, a lot of people point to bullying as a contributing factor. What can be done at the school board level to curb bullying on campus?

It all starts with the teachers being aware of their surroundings and properly training them. As a board, we need to make sure administrators make bullying prevention a priority and we have to make sure we have the funding to provide services and training for everyone involved. One of the most serious forms of bullying is social media and it's hard for schools to monitor when it happens outside of school. We should be making sure parents are well versed in checking up on their students. It has to be a partnership between parents and the school.

As conversations about school finance swirl in the Legislature, how do you continue to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and also continue to recruit and retain high quality teachers and programming?

It's a constant battle of shuffling money where we see it's most needed at the time. I think we've done a good job with facilities and high quality teachers and new programming for our kids even though we've had that struggle with state funding. We recently took over $1 million out of our fund balance to improve the high school and we did it without going to the taxpayers for a bond. We've also been very good about watching when interest rates dip and refinancing our bonds at a lower rate. It's not a huge impact on a daily basis, but in the long term it saves millions.

Joe Galicia

Age: 51

Born in: McKinney

Education: received mechanical certificates from Lincoln Tech

Work experience: traffic supervisor for the city of Lewisville

Community service: youth softball coach, served as a captain in the Krum Volunteer Fire Department, president of Aspen Park Homeowner's Association

Website: none

What do you think are the next steps for Krum as you work to make your campuses safer?

The safety and security of every student and staff member is one of my top priorities. If I'm elected, I think we should have trained police officers on every campus. I also think every staff member who wants to carry a weapon and participate in active shooter training should be able to volunteer.

When talking about violence in schools, a lot of people point to bullying as a contributing factor. What can be done at the school board level to curb bullying on campus?

I think we should punish the kids who are the bullies and not the ones who are getting bullied. From what I hear in the middle schools and high schools, the kids who stand up to say something and report the bullying are the ones who are punished. That's contradicting the bullying. Kids are too afraid now to report it because they're afraid of retaliation.

As conversations about school finance swirl in the Legislature, how do you continue to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and also continue to recruit and retain high quality teachers and programming?

I'm not all that familiar with the school finance system, but my understanding is that the school district spends a lot of money on expensive vehicles and things for athletic events. I'm 150 percent for education. I think that money should be put back into the classroom. If you don't have an education, then you can't go anywhere.

Robert Dollins

Age: 42

Hometown: Mineral Wells

Education: bachelor's degree in computer information systems from Tarleton State University

Work experience: information technology architect and designer for Cognosante

Community service: founding member of Krum Education Foundation, youth baseball and softball coach, Krum FFA volunteer, involved with Krum Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students), former member of Bikers Against Child Abuse

Website: https://www.facebook.com/robertdollinsforkrumisd/

What do you think are the next steps for Krum as you work to make your campuses safer?

Everybody seems to want a school resource officer and I agree, but that's more of an intervention and coordination point. I'm a proponent for voluntary teacher carry but it needs to be a comprehensive training program, not a haphazard "strap on your six shooter" situation. There are buildings in our district that don't get notification during lockdown drills and substitute teachers aren't trained on emergency protocol. Those are just some small changes that need to be addressed.

When talking about violence in schools, a lot of people point to bullying as a contributing factor. What can be done at the school board level to curb bullying on campus?

We need a school resource officer, but it has to be a person who knows how to interact with students. They should also keep a direct line with teachers. If teachers have an imminent need, they don't want bureaucracy to get in the way. From a school board standpoint, you can use an SRO as a spring board for intervention programs. We can push a campaign for kids to reach out to outcasts and bring those kids into the social circle and try to help them.

As conversations about school finance swirl in the Legislature, how do you continue to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and also continue to recruit and retain high quality teachers and programming?

In my field, I work with public funds daily. In the back of my mind, I'm saying, "This is tax money. I can't blow it." That's the same thing with school finance. We don't have a whole bunch of people to draw money from and the budget is finite, so we have to get creative in how we manage that. There's nothing I see in our budget that looks like waste. We need it but we have to comb through it and find ways to save money by changing the way we do things. I know that we've been fairly proactive about writing grants. The key is working on strategic grant applications that will put us in a position to save money over the long term.

Recommended for you