Nacogdoches Hospital District
Hospital District
Board of Directors

Elected Officers of Political Subdivision, Year Elected Officer's Term Expires

Lisa King, Member-at-large - President, 2024

Lisa King

Lisa King has been a registered nurse for over 46 years and has worked in areas across hospital operations, from running an Emergency Room to bringing babies into the world to administering sexual assault and child abuse exams as a Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. A consistent public servant on the Nacogdoches County Hospital Board, she was first elected in 2000. Lisa is a certified trustee as recognized by the Texas Hospital Trustee Organization, which requires continuing education in the areas of hospital governance and leadership training. She believes that quality healthcare must be available for all without consideration of their ability to pay, 

Lisa gives back to Nacogdoches. Named 2012 Woman of the Year by AAUW, Lisa King is recognized as a force for positive societal change. She serves as chairwoman for the Nacogdoches County Child Welfare Board, the Nacogdoches County Child Fatality Review Team, as well as being a member of the regional and state child death review teams. Lisa is active in organizations throughout our community, is a past-president of the Nacogdoches Rotary Club and has contributed time and talents to Harold’s House, Family Crisis Center, SFA’s Dean’s Circle and CASA of Deep East Texas. Lisa also serves as a member of the regional Critical Incident Stress Management team. 

She and husband Forrest live in Nacogdoches. They enjoy traveling, spending time with their grandchild, and fishing in Alaska. 


Sean Hightower, Precinct 2 - Vice-President, 2024
(936) 371-2310 or (936) 560-3300

Sean Hightower

For Sean Hightower, public service is a family tradition.

“All four of my grandparents were active in their hometowns,” he said. “My grandmothers held leadership roles in schools, business, and social organizations in a time when few women were allowed to hold such positions. My grandfathers were both active in many social organizations, schools, and local governments. My 85-year-old grandfather still currently serves on his local water board and has for over 30 years.”

As a lawyer practicing state and federal criminal defense, as well as a limited number of civil rights, employment and personal injury claims, Sean aims to use his skills and experience to provide a stable environment on the board for the long-term growth of the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital District.

Sean graduated from Chisum High School and then Stephen F. Austin State University, then earned his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Texas A&M Law School. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association and is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Nacogdoches Bar Association. He is active with the SFA Alumni Association.

In his free time, Sean enjoys traveling and cooking.


John Sparks, Precinct 1
(936) 554-4191

John Sparks

John Sparks was inspired to go into public service because of his concerns about healthcare inequities in the community, including fiduciary responsibilities of the county.

“I am an average citizen that is concerned about the population I serve, and I hope to be able to bring the board the voice of my precinct,” Sparks said. “My hope for this position would be to represent the precinct that has elected me and speak up for the sick and underserved population. I want to ensure that the tax dollars that are given to the Nacogdoches Hospital District are used in a way to better healthcare and provide more opportunities to the great citizens of this county.”

Sparks runs a cattle operation and is the owner of JR Sparks Farms LLC (excavation, fertilizer, shavings), and he is involved with the Appleby Water Supply Board, the Holly Springs Cemetery Board and the Nacogdoches County Go Texan Committee. He is a graduate of Nacogdoches High School, Class of 1990.

Sparks and his wife, Rachelle, live in Garrison with their children.  He enjoys watching his boys participate in sports and show their FFA projects, and spending time with his grandchildren. His family loves traveling and the outdoors. They attend Corner Post Cowboy Church in Lily Grove.

> Oath of Office (PDF)
> Statement of Office (PDF)

Wesley McKnight, Member-at-large, 2024

Wes McKnight
As the at-large board member, financial advisor Wes McKnight brings knowledge of business and finances to his service on the Nacogdoches Hospital District board.

“The only way to make a difference is to jump in,” Wes said. “I hope to help the city, and to learn more about ways to help the community.”

A graduate of Nacogdoches High School and Texas A&M University, Wes attends Grace Bible Church and is involved with the Cycleland Motorcycle Club, the Nacogdoches Bicycle Club and youth soccer.

He and his wife, Natalie, have a daughter, Indie, and a son, Rhodes. The family has one dog, Myla, and three cats, Olive, Otis Redding Jr. and Schroeder. In his free time he enjoys motorcycling cross country, motocross, bicycling and running.


John McLaren, Precinct 4 - Secretary, 2024
(936) 553-2233

John McLaren

As a long-time hospitality professional, John McLaren understands how important even the smallest details can be.

“I was inspired to go into public service by the thought that if we all do what we can to improve the community around us and those in it, even if it’s just the small things, together we can achieve great things,” he said.

John is General Manger of the Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center, and has more than 30 years of managing people, businesses and budgets.

“I understand the necessity to prioritize needs to allocate limited funds that will be the most impactful and beneficial to the community we serve,” he said. “While I’m on the Hospital District board, I want to ensure that the funds we receive are distributed to secure proper care for those in need, not only today but in a sustainable way for the future.”

John attended Eastfield and El Centro Colleges and studied criminal justice. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator and is a member of the Texas Restaurant Association, the Texas Hotel Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Locally, he is involved with the Nacogdoches Rotary and the Convention and Visitors Bureau board and serves as precinct chair for the Nacogdoches County Republican Party.

John and his wife, Julie, have four children. The family has three dogs, a cat and a flock of chickens. In his leisure time, he enjoys traveling, cooking, fishing and golf.


David Schaefer, MS, RPh, Precinct 3, 2025
(936) 552-9020

David Schaefer

As a retired pharmacist with more than three decades of experience running hospital pharmacies, David Schaefer understands the ins and outs, as well as the unique challenges, of providing health care in rural areas.

“I want to ensure that the hospital district is able to meet its obligations to the community in a cost-effective manner,” David said. “I will use my knowledge and experience in healthcare to assist the hospital district in providing the citizens of Nacogdoches with security that their tax dollars are being used appropriately.”

David graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science and from the University of Houston School of Pharmacy in 1987. He earned his Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Texas-Austin School of Pharmacy in 1994.

He is a member of Grace Bible Church and serves as chapter president of the East Texas Bourbon Society. He enjoys spending time with his three grandchildren, gardening and golf.

> Oath of Office (PDF)
> Statement of Office (PDF)

Justin Sowell, Member-at-large, 2023
(936) 569-3020
Justin Sowell

As board member-at-large, Justin Sowell has three goals for the Nacogdoches County Hospital District Board.

“A thriving EMS service that is the best in the area,” he said. “A fiscally responsible approach to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent ethically and responsibly and paying down the district debt.”

As Director of Special Projects at Lee TranServices, Justin’s understands managing teams of developers and analysts, developing project outlines, assessing resources, making high-level decisions and implementing procedures. He relies on his business-minded approach to management as well his creative approach to solving complex problems in his role on the NCHD board.

Justin credits his father, former Nacogdoches Police Sergeant and current county judge Greg Sowell, for inspiring him to enter public service. After graduating from Nacogdoches High School, Justin graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. He is an officer of the Emerging Leaders Council of the Texas Trucking Associations and serves as the liaison to the American Trucking Associations. He is chairman of the Angelina College Business Management Development Advisory Committee and is a Past Master of Milam Lodge #2.

Justin and his wife, Jessica, have a son, Jackson, and two pets, Maggie and Pepper. He is a member of First Christian Church.

> Oath of Office (PDF)
> Statement of Office (PDF)
> Certification of Unopposed (PDF)

> Internet Posting Requirements for Political Subdivisions (PDF)


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