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Longest serving Waco ISD board member to retire, major changes to some Waco schools possibly on the way

Waco ISD
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Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 23:45:07-04

Allen Sykes announced his plans to resign as a school board member at the Thursday night meeting of the Waco ISD Board of Trustees.

Sykes was first elected to the board in 1999 and is currently the longest serving board member. He represents Waco ISD Trustee District 5, which covers neighborhoods near Richland Mall, the lake, and areas near Baylor University as well. His wife, Jane, retired from Waco ISD as a teacher after 35 years, their two children are Waco High graduates.

The timing of the resignation was explained in a letter to fellow board members, Sykes said in the letter that he hopes the announcement will have other community members take the opportunity to serve.

Sykes noted the changes and improvements he saw the community make, in his 22 years of service, including the construction of University High and advancements of other campuses made possible by voters' approval of a $172.5 million bond package in 2008.

The announcement comes with another voter approval the board is considering seeking, of a $376.1 million bond package that will possibly replace Waco High, G.W. Carver Middle, Tennyson Middle and Kendrick Elementary with new schools built on the same grounds.

“The bond election being considered at this time will have major impact on the Waco community, and I am in complete support of the broad scope as determined by the tireless work of the Community Advisory Committee,” Sykes said in his letter. “Under Dr. Kincannon’s leadership, the district is well positioned to dramatically improve student performance with facilities aligned to promote achievement through well planned and designed learning environments.”

The board will decide on a bond election at their next meeting on Aug. 12. Board President Angela Tekell said they will also discuss the vacancy Sykes is leaving behind as well.

Anyone interested in being appointed to the vacancy must be registered to vote, be a one year Texas resident, be a resident of District 5 for at least six months, and is encouraged to submit a letter listing their qualifications and reasons for wanting to serve on the board by Aug. 23.

Letters can be emailed to or delivered to the Waco ISD Administration Building, located at 501 Franklin Ave, Waco, TX 76701.

“Allen has been a thoughtful voice for our students and employees for more than two decades,” Dr. Susan Kincannon, superintendent, said. “He has a remarkable legacy of service on this board and in our community. While Allen may be stepping down from the board later this year, I have no doubt that he will continue to make a difference in the lives of our students.”