Trustee Freddy Klayel Avalos is stepping down from the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees effective immediately and suspending his campaign for City Council, he said Wednesday.

His announcement comes weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 election, when his name will be on the ballot along with six others running for the District 1 seat on the El Paso City Council that represents the West Side and Upper Valley.

“I have a new set of challenges in my personal life that will prevent me from being able to entirely focus on EPISD or a political campaign,” the first-term trustee said in a prepared statement.

“It would be unfair to the parents and students of the Franklin area if I continued to occupy the seat knowing I can’t give the position the attention it requires.”

Klayel Avalos’ term on the school board runs through May 2023. It will be up to the board to decide whether to appoint someone to fill the remainder of his term, or to wait until May for voters to determine their next representative.

The entire school board is not scheduled to meet until Oct. 18.

Klayel Avalos cited holding the superintendent accountable as one of the highlights of his tenure. He was among a new group of trustees elected in 2019 who were highly critical of then-Superintendent Juan Cabrera and who ultimately pushed for Cabrera’s resignation after a consulting scandal rocked the district in fall 2020.

Klayel Avalos was a part of the December 2021 hiring of new Superintendent Diana Sayavedra.

Molly Smith has been a reporter for the El Paso Times and The (McAllen) Monitor. She’s covered education, criminal justice and local government. A Seattle native, she’s lived in Texas since 2014.