Candidate Profile
Thaddeus Fortenberry

Non-Partisan , Texas


Thaddeus Fortenberry
Dripping Springs ISD School Board Member

Panel Rating

Somewhat Liberal Information icon

Selected Contributions


Barack Obama (2013), Hillary Clinton (2016), Joe Biden (2020)







Other Information

Party Primary Election Voting History for Thaddeus Shawn Fortenberry during time of residence in district and/or at current address:

  • 2020 Party Primary: Democratic
  • 2018 Party Primary: Democratic
  • Voted in 1 Democratic Primary 2014 - 2016

**Voter history is not considered during panel evaluations.

Bio from DSISD  Source


Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

No Answer   

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not be a resource for instruction or services in the school.



Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.


School districts should be able to use taxpayer money for lobbying the state legislature.


Religious Liberty

School districts should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

No Answer   

At school, students should be able to speak freely and civilly about matters of conscience and faith, including Christianity.


Students should not be allowed to pray in school.



What is the function of the local school board?

Gather information from teachers, parents, and staff; create a long-term strategy, and ensure all resource requirements are met.

Who should have the authority to set curriculum and determine resources used in those curricula?

It's the responsibility of the Dripping Springs Independent School District to comply with all Federal and State mandated requirements. I believe teachers should be able to make individual decisions in many cases - learning strategies, themes, concepts, and materials.

Please rate in order the following priorities in relation to the role of a K-12 public school (omitting any that do not apply): Mathematics, Information Technology, Science, Political Activism, Personal Finances, Gender Identity, Physical Fitness, American History, Critical Race Theory, Language Arts, Art & Music, Vocational Learning, Sexuality, Foreign Language, Social Emotional Learning

1. Social Emotional Learning 2. Physical Fitness 3. Science (critical thinking) 4. Art & Music 5. Mathematics 6. Language Arts (including foreign) 7. Information Technology 8. History (American and world) Early promotion of positive social interaction is directly related to many items.

Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.


Our state should participate in the nationwide Common Core standards for high-school graduation.


Schools should use Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum and resources to teach emotions, values, and relationships.

Strongly Agree   

I support the teaching of the 1619 Project emphasizing slavery and racism as the foundation of American history.


When students are taught courses such as Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE) or Social Emotional Learning (SEL), they must opt-in with written parental permission.


Parents are the ultimate authority in their child’s education and should be able to freely pursue whatever educational options they deem best for their child.

Strongly Agree   

No healthcare diagnosis or treatment, whether mental, reproductive, or otherwise, should be given to a child without first receiving written consent from the parent.


Who is responsible for teaching sexual education to children, and what is the appropriate age when it should be taught?

Structured sexual education in school helps to establish objective learning. I generally support the European standard ( which breaks the topic into separate, age-appropriate content. Knowledge of hygiene and anatomy should start early.

If you support the teaching of Sex Ed, please answer the following question: Sexual education should include these topics (list all that apply and add your own, if needed) -- Physical and emotional health outcomes; contraceptive methods; consent; abstinence; sexual orientation and gender identity; human anatomy/the reproductive system; abortion methods and side effects; stages of pregnancy and fetal development; sex acts and pleasures of sex

Early teaching: Knowledge - Care for body and hygiene, names of body parts, gender differences Middle teaching: Skill - Human anatomy/the reproductive system. What to do if someone behaves towards you inappropriately Later teaching: Positive attitude - Body is your own. Differences are to be respected.


No school official should be involved in the sexual transitioning of a student. All issues on this subject should be referred to the parents of the student.


Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality that is necessary for our system of limited government.


Teachers should not use alternative names and pronouns without parental permission.


Therapy for children who have unwanted same-sex attraction should be banned.


I support allowing students to use public restrooms, showers, and changing rooms, and to participate in athletic competition based on the gender with which they identify instead of biological sex.


Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I believe in freedom of religion. Throughout civilization, religion has provided the framework for societies - and it still does today. My core values are based on basic kindness.


Why are you running for this office?

I believe in creating student opportunities in Science and Energy. In the Austin Area, the Engineering community is growing dramatically. My goal is to assist in the development of complementary and appealing education programs in Dripping Springs.

A candidate's personal moral values should not be relevant when considering a candidacy for elective office.


Which of the 11 objectives specified in the Texas Education Code is your highest priority?

I generally disapprove of discrimination and censorship. My highest priority is promoting social emotional learning in conjunction with the parents.

What books have had the most profound impact on your view of life?

The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I've had decades of computer technology experience. In these days of distance and online learning, I hope to have the opportunity to offer innovative ideas to give our school system first-rate capabilities. Additionally, I hope to provide value with an outsider's viewpoint.

Considering all issues (social, economic, national security, etc.), which of these best describes you?


Please defend your answer to the previous question by referencing your publicly available track record.

I tend to vote Democratic, but some core party issues are a lower priority for me. My vote will always tend towards strengthening the people of our country and society.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.


Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I'm certain that I'm not a typical candidate for the School Board. However, I think I'll be helpful in building a successful District that creates a strong academic start for our children. There will obviously be many areas I'll need to learn, and I am committed to this process. The prospect of what we can accomplish together is exciting and I'm very much looking forward to all the possibilities. Thank you.

2nd Amendment

Teachers who are licensed to carry should be allowed to carry guns at school.


Other Important Issues

Do you support mandatory vaccinations for children attending public school?

Yes. However, I fear this will be a complicated topic.


  • Ausbildung Technisch, Munich, DE, BS, 2006
  • Roane State, Oak Ridge, TN, AA, 2001
Work & Military
  • Army Reserves, E-4, 8
  • Aid to Distressed Families of Anderson County, Contributor
  • Friends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Member
  • Oak Ridge Girls in Science, Contributor
  • Scarboro Community Alumni, Contributor
  • KNHC High School (Seattle), Contributor
  • Oak Ridge Community Playhouse, Contributor
  • Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, Contributor
  • (Candidate did not provide)

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