Dustin Qualls

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Dustin Qualls
Board Trustee, Klein Independent School District, Position 6
Former Candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sTexas A&M University
Campaign website
Dustin Qualls campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Dustin Qualls was a candidate for the Position 6 seat on the Klein Independent School Board of Education. He lost election of the seat to incumbent Paul Lanham on November 5, 2013. He campaigned on the need for an engineer on the board, tackling rezoning efforts and introducing innovative safety initiatives.[1]


Qualls is a traffic engineeering consultant who works for Traffic Engineers, Inc., a small business based on Houston. He is a licensed professional engineer with the State of Texas and a licensed professional traffic operations engineer with the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He attended Texas A&M University where he obtained his Civil Engineering degree. He is a native of Lubbock, Texas and attended Lubbock ISD schools through high school. He and his wife, Sarah have two children who attend Hassler Elementary in Klein ISD.[2]



See also: Klein Independent School District elections (2013)


Klein Independent School District, Position 6, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Lanham Incumbent 53.5% 4,272
     Nonpartisan Dustin Qualls 46.5% 3,716
Total Votes 7,988
Source: Harris County, Texas, "November 2013 General Election Official Results," accessed December 12, 2013


Qualls was not endorsed in this campaign.


Qualls reported no contributions or expenditures to the Texas Ethics Commission.[3]

Campaign themes

Lanham described his reasons for running on his campaign website:[4]

Engineering experience

There are currently no licensed professional engineers on the Klein ISD Board of Trustees. I hope to change this. Having an engineer on the board (and more specifically a traffic engineer) that understands infrastructure needs, traffic demands, transportation planning and can speak the “engineering language” with various agency stakeholders in Harris County will greatly benefit KISD.

Traffic circulation

Traffic circulation at schools impacts us all. From the school staff who volunteer their time to work the drop-off and pick-up lines, to the parents who must navigate these same lines twice a day, to the students who must dodge these vehicles if walking or biking. I have more than 10 years experience with the traffic operations of Klein ISD schools and have many more recommendations and ideas to bring to the table. Safe traffic operations is a huge component of keeping our students safe.

School attendance zoning

My experience as a traffic engineer will provide valuable input towards any future school attendance rezoning efforts, especially with the construction of the Grand Parkway cutting right through the current Klein ISD boundary. I have more than 10 years experience with site planning, thoroughfare studies, school traffic analyses and demographic studies. I also enjoy working with community volunteers in finding the right solution that benefits the most people; a task that school attendance zoning is a prime example of.

Safe routes

I have extensive experience in obtaining federal funds towards the Safe Routes to School program. With childhood obesity on the rise, I would like to look for as many opportunities to encourage our students to walk or ride their bikes to school. Many factors are involved in these modes of travel; primarily parents are concerned about the safety of their students while doing so. By instituting Safe Routes to School programs, as well as innovative programs such as parent-driven “walking school buses”, we can make a difference.


One of the most significant roadways in our region’s history is under construction. The entire impact of this new roadway will not be known for quite some time, but I plan to keep both the Klein ISD administration as well as the Board apprised of all aspects of this roadway’s impacts. The Grand Parkway has already affected certain aspects of the District in terms of attendance zoning and bus transportation planning. I want to make sure Klein ISD is represented at any and all stakeholder and agency meetings concerning the Grand Parkway.


The success of our students in the classroom can be directly tied to the amount of time we as parents spend with our children. I thoroughly enjoy volunteering as much of my time as possible inside the classroom and out. I plan on leveraging a position on the Board to further improve parent volunteer efforts across the entire District.

Safety initiatives

A key aspect of instilling good safety habits in our children is getting to them while they are young. Issues such as texting-while-driving are going to become very important in the coming years. If we can implement programs teaching elementary school kids that texting-while-driving is very dangerous and can lead to fatal crashes, they will in turn tell their parents not to do this should they see that behavior while being driven around by them. I don’t know about you, but anytime my kids try to teach me something, I listen. They emulate what they see, but if we teach them to teach their parents, it will last for a long time. A prime example: it used to be that wearing bicycle helmets or even helmets while snow-skiing was a “not-cool” thing to do. But over the last 10 years or so, education has really increased showing the effects of not properly wearing helmets while enjoying various recreational activities. The educational movement has been so thorough that nowadays the “not-cool” crowd are the ones not wearing helmets. The same kind of success can be realized with a no-texting-while-driving program aimed at our younger children so that by the time they get to be of driving age, it will no longer be “cool” to text while driving. I would like to work with various community stakeholders to see what kind of programs we can provide our elementary schoolchildren towards this goal.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

A significant topic that faced the district this year is the potential for growth and dealing with the fiscal issues that go along with it. As a result of a new Exxon Mobil campus, as well as the arrival of The Grand Parkway, both coming in 2015, the district is looking to hire nearly 200 new personnel in 2014.[5]

Two seats were up for election on November 5, 2013. Those seats were for Positions 6 & 7, held by Paul Lanham and Rick Mann, respectively. Both incumbents won re-election.

About the district

See also: Klein Independent School District, Texas
Klein Independent School District is located in Harris County, Texas.
Klein Independent School District is located in Harris County, Texas. The county seat of Harris County is Houston. Harris County is home to 4,092,459 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[6] In the 2011-2012 school year, Klein Independent School District was the 20th-largest school district in Texas and served 46,002 students.[7]


Harris County overperformed in comparison to the rest of Texas in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 28.1 percent of Harris County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.3 percent for Texas as a whole. The median household income in Harris County was $53,160 compared to $51,563 for the state of Texas. The poverty rate in Harris County was 17.9 percent compared to 17.4 percent for the entire state.[6]

Racial Demographics, 2013[6]
Race Harris County (%) Texas (%)
White 70.7 80.3
Black or African American 19.5 12.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 1.0
Asian 6.8 4.3
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.7 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 41.6 38.4

Presidential Voting Pattern, Harris County[8]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote Other Vote
2012 587,044 586,073 15,468
2008 590,982 571,883 8,607
2004 475,865 584,723 7,380
2000 418,267 529,159 27,396

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[9]

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