SBOE Candidate: Sue Melton

Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be up for grabs in the November 2012 elections. The results of those elections will determine whether the religious right’s corrosive influence over public education will weaken or grow as the board considers what the next generation of public school students in Texas will learn about sex education, social studies, science and other subjects. We plan to publish on TFN Insider candidate announcements for a seat on the SBOE. We will publish announcements in no particular order, and their publication does not constitute any sort of endorsement by TFN. We will redact requests for contributions or mentions of fundraising events from the announcements, but we will provide links to the candidates’ websites (if available).

Sue Melton, District 14, R-Waco
(Current District 14 Board Member: Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas)

Retired educator and small business owner Sue Melton on Dec. 5 filed paperwork to run for the District 14 SBOE seat currently held by former board chair Gail Lowe. Melton’s website is

Why the State Board of Education? Why Now?

As a recently retired educator of 36 years, I am very aware of what is happening in the classroom. Learning should be an enjoyable experience and teachers should be able to teach with creativity and enjoy teaching. Students and teachers need and want to be accountable for what goes on in the classroom, but, don’t need to be shouldered with all of the extra testing and requirements that they must meet. I believe that decisions made concerning what happens in the classroom should be made by educators who have been in the classroom and know what our children and teachers need.

As a 4th generation Texan I have deep roots in our state and a strong foundation in traditional Texas values. A successful small business owner, my father taught me the value of hard work, determination and creativity while my mother instilled in me a love of learning and the value of education.

I’ve known that it was my passion to help children learn and discover the world around them from an early age. My first experiences teaching were in my local church congregation working with children during Vacation Bible School and in the church day care. After receiving a strong education from my local public school system, I went on to
 receive a degree from Baylor University’s School of Education.

Upon graduating from Baylor my formal career in education began and I quickly realized that there is a lot to learn about being a successful educator. More than 36 years later, my passion for educating the next generation of Texans has brought me a wonderful career and many opportunities to ensure that my students received the best education possible. During my years in the classroom I was honored to be the recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence and to be twice named to Who’s who Among America’s Teachers.

As I became a more seasoned classroom veteran, I also gained a deeper appreciate for the need to cultivate and nurture the atmosphere of professionalism in the teaching profession. This led me to serve on many local, regional and state level education committees. It also propelled me to become the state president of the largest non-union group of professional educators in the nation. While serving as state president, I worked directly with many policy makers and interest groups whose focus is education and helping Texas students achieve academic success, including the State Board of Education, TEA and the Texas Legislature.

Currently I am serving as the Worship Leader at Primrose Drive Baptist Church in my hometown of Waco and continue to remain active in the education community as a member of the Waco-McLennan County Retired Teachers Association. If elected, I intend to further act on the belief that has driven me for the past four decades, that our children are our most precious resource and our future and deserve the best education that we can provide.

30 thoughts on “SBOE Candidate: Sue Melton

  1. Can’t imagine Ben. What on planet Earth could that possibly mean? Who among us can discern this great mystery?

  2. Sue has been an outstanding representative for educators in Texas for many, many years. She would do an OUTSTANDING job on the SBOE!

  3. I’m so excited to see a PUBLIC EDUCATOR run for State Board of EDUCATION!! Finally someone with the background to help our schools!

  4. Does Sue reject teaching the pseudoscience of intelligent design in public schools? Does she accept the teaching of the theory of evolution? Answers to those questions would be a good indicator as to what we could expect from her on the SBOE.

  5. Sue is a very qualified leader and with her background in education she is a perfect candidate for the job.

  6. I can’t say I’m completely thrilled with the sound of her (religiosity makes me a little leery, given the SBOE history), but I’d be surprised if she could fail to be an improvement over Lowe.

  7. I bet Janice and Darlene Kelly can tell us where Sue stands on evolution and intelligent design. How about it, ladies?

  8. I have known Sue Melton for over 25 years as a fellow educator. In her experience of 36 years in the classroom, she has a keen awareness of what is going on in Texas classrooms today and what the needs are. She is a person of strong intergrity and values. She has proven over and over that she is a dependable person in areas of leadership at local district, regional, and state levels. She is highly respected by her peers. She is extremely qualified and has a strong desire to serve the children and educators of Texas. I can’t think of anyone I would rather see in this position on the State Board of Education than Sue Melton.

  9. Please ladies. With all due respect, where’s the CARFAX? We would like to see the CARFAX on Sue Melton. Please do do by answering Ben’s question. If we do not get a CARFAX, I think everyone here will have to assume that there is some hidden defect under the hood in the Meltonmobile.

  10. A major responsibility of the SBOE is to establish the parameters for the curriculum to be used in educating our Texas students. I have known Sue long enough to see that she understands it is not the responsibility of the SBOE to establish those parameters based on political or religious positions but upon the educational needs of the students. The past several years of an SBOE led by those who placed personal and political agendas above the needs of the students have created an atmosphere of distrust. Sue is truly one who has the integrity, classroom experience, and a real love for students that will help us get back on the right track in our educational system.

  11. Boy, I’m seeing a lot of waffling. Come on Janice, Darlene, Linda, and Sam—if you know Sue personally, then you can answer my questions.

    Religious zealots have created chaos on the board for too long. We deserve to know if Sue is one of them. So the questions stand:

    Does Sue reject teaching the pseudoscience of intelligent design in public schools? Does she accept the teaching of the theory of evolution?

    If you waffle further, I will assume that you are being intellectually dishonest.

  12. I agree with Sam! I have also known Sue long enough to know that even though she believes in the bible, she understands that her position with the SBOE will not be political or religious. Her position will be about the educational needs of our students.

  13. “Her position will be about the educational needs of our students.”

    Many of the zealots that have been on the board in the past would argue that ID does fit into the educational needs of our students.

    Does Sue reject teaching the pseudoscience of intelligent design in public schools? Does she accept the teaching of the theory of evolution?

    The lack of answers are a clear answer.

  14. Janice. I would have much rather seen “believes in Jesus” rather than “believes in the Bible.” Most of the folks who push the radical right wing position on the Texas SBOE will claim to being a Bible-believer first and leave the Holy Trinity out in the snow to eat seconds and freeze to death. That kind of divide is one of the principal problems the Christian religious faction here at TFN has with the SBOE.

    1. Charles — Sue is a Christian woman that believes in the TEACHINGS of the Bible which includes the belief in Jesus Christ.

  15. Hey Ben.

    The public school system of my youth threw up their hands and caved in to the ACLU yesterday. They decided to settle out of court rather than go to trial. One of the stipulations of the agreement was as follows (more or less):

    The Southern Baptist youth minister that was NOT showing up at lunch each day to proselytize students at a local middle school will now be BARRED from coming to the school cafeteria that he was NOT visiting to proselytize to the students that he was actually proselytizing to but was not really proselytizing to.

    Kind of sounds like the situation that ensues when the culprit gets caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar—just stands there and babbles nonsense. More details on the terms of the agreement will be published in the local newspaper on Sunday.

  16. Janice, since you’re answering questions, could you answer mine? I’m assuming you know Sue well enough to know the answers.

    Does Sue reject teaching the pseudoscience of intelligent design in public schools? Does she accept the teaching of the theory of evolution?

    Considering the history of the board, these are relevant questions. If Sue is opposed to the teaching of evolution, or if she supports the teaching of ID, it is dishonest of her not to state those facts plainly.

  17. Charles, that is good news. The dishonesty in these types of situations always stuns me. They will just flat-out lie.

  18. Perhaps Sue is holding back on her opinions because she doesn’t want to lose the far-right vote. My opinion—that’s a mistake. Candidates need to be very clear on their positions. It shouldn’t be just the left mocking people like Don McLeroy. The sane people on the right should join right in and drive the wingnuts from their party.

    Being a sane, rational candidate should not require a stealth candidacy.

  19. Janice.

    Let me give you and Sue an out here. It is the same out that John F. Kennedy took in the Presidential election of 1960. At that time long ago, a Roman Catholic had never been President of the United States. Millions of people were afraid to vote for him because they assumed that, once in office, he would forget about the American people, the requirements of his own office, and the welfare of the United States—and just do or refrain from doing what the Pope in Rome ordered him to do.

    Janice. This is why we study American history. You two watch this and decide whether Sue’s religion will get in the way of representing EVERYONE WITHOUT PREJUDICE in her Texas SBOE district. If she will be unable to do this, she needs to withdraw from the race now.

  20. First I am thrilled to have a Christian, Educator, and Republican run for SBOE.
    As a retired teacher of 34 years someone better get in there that knows what is happening in the school districts.
    Ben, I am not sure what your problem is, but I am sure like all other educators Christian or not you teach both sides and all theories. As a science teacher, and a Christian I was able to do both and let the students come to their own conclusions.

  21. Dawn,

    My problem is that evolution deniers lie to our children. It appears you are one of them. It also appears you don’t understand the definition of “theory” as it is used in a scientific context.

    There is no other “side” that explains the diversity of life on the planet. Evolution is a fact—the most well supported theory in science.

    If Sue does not accept the theory of evolution, she should be honest about it. I don’t care whether or not she is a Christian or a Republican, as long as she doesn’t want lies like intelligent design to be taught in the classroom, and as long as she accepts the teaching of sound science.

  22. Yeah, “teach both sides and all theories” sounds like another variant on “teach the controversy”.

    One of the fundamental tasks of science education is not just telling students what conclusions have been reached, but teaching the method for how those conclusions have been reached, and on what basis one hypothesis is judged better or worse than another.

    Still might be an improvement over Lowe… but at least Slightly Silly Party, and more likely Silly Party.

  23. Ms. Melton’s website is pure unadulterated GMHAP (God Motherhood And Apple Pie). It reads like a list of platitudes and frame activation phrases and codewords. Nothing in there of any substance about her ideas, positions or proposals for improving education.
    To those people writing in to say how wonderful Sue Melton is – yep, she may be the most wonderful person in the world, helping old ladies across the road, being nice to animals etc. but that tells me nothing about what her philosophy is on education. I want substance, not empty style points.