Long-time volunteer runs for board

Published 6:50 pm Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mary Jane Kestner almost didn’t file to become an Austin Public School board candidate. She didn’t have much of an interest of politics, but her friends and husband convinced her that her volunteer experience and kind demeanor would make her an excellent school board member.


“I’ve always had a really big heart and pull toward children in general,” Kestner said.

Kestner has a history of volunteering with children. The 52-year-old has taught Sunday School classes since she was 19 and once worked as a special education paraprofessional for Woodson Kindergarten Center for about six months.

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“It was just an incredible experience working with [kindergartners],” she said.

Yet she didn’t think about joining the school board until several of her friends told her she would make a great board member. It finally took her husband to convince her to run for one of three board seats open this November.

Kestner said she doesn’t have any issue or initiative that she would want the district to change, but would rather work to help promote growth within the district.

“As a parent, I just want to join hands with the administration and teachers and do whatever I can do to make their jobs better, more easier, more fulfilling,” she said.

Kestner is one of nine candidates to face off in a Aug. 14 primary, where six candidates for school board will remain on the ballot for three open seats come November. She joins Carol McAlister, Dick Lees, Kathy Glowac, Bud Johnson, Bruce Quitmeyer, Don Leathers, David Price, and Matthew Tabor as candidates.