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Dallas School District No. 2

DALLAS – Pally Mann was excited to move from retirement after 23 years working in Dallas schools to serving on the Dallas School Board.

Mann’s friend and colleague, Jessica Dehm, a special education specialist in the district, said using her retirement to continue to serve students was in Mann’s character.

Dehm spoke through tears on Sept. 13 while addressing the board to request the district find a way to recognize Mann’s decades of work in the district. With the help of other friends of Mann, Dehm made a photo collage and wrote a message about her friend, which was displayed as she spoke to the board. She said that recognition may have made Mann a little uncomfortable.

“Pally didn’t want to be in the spotlight. She would be mad these photos,” Dehm said. “She wanted to make others around her shine. … She is one of the strongest people I know.”

In addition to strength, Dehm said she would add the words resilience and compassion to describe her friend.

“We have opportunities in life to make a difference,” Dehm said. “Pally Mann spend 23 years in the Dallas School District making a difference in the lives of our students, school district staff, and the Dallas community.”

Mann began working in Dallas schools in 1994, hired as an educational assistant in Whitworth Elementary School. Superintendent Andy Bellando said he was informed of Mann’s death on Sept. 6. He said the unexpected news was shocking and painful to those who know Mann.

“I’ve been here two and half years, and Pally had been essential to many district office operations, especially in the special education department,” Bellando said. “She was a leader with our local OSEA chapter (classified staff union).

“She was a very caring soul and was able to demonstrate her care for others through her conversation, and her collaborative decision making,” he added.

Dehm said Mann was proud to have been elected to the board.

“She wasn’t done,” she said. “She would have been great at it.”

Selecting a replacement 

On Sept. 13, the board approved a process to find a candidate to serve in Mann’s place until June 2023, the same process used to replace Luis Garibay, who resigned shortly after he took office in July. Six candidates submitted letters of interest for Garibay’s seat. The board appointed Lu Ann Meyer.

If the other five candidates wanted apply for this vacancy they would not need to resubmit an application, the board decided. Others interested in the position have until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 to submit a letter to the district.

New candidates will be interviewed by the board at its Sept 27 meeting, and the board may vote to appoint a new member at that same meeting.

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