Plano Star Courier Question and Answers
What are the most pressing issues facing the district, and how do you plan to address them?
The two main issues facing the district moving forward are pandemic-induced learning loss and decline in enrollment. Our students have spent the last year under the stress of the pandemic and the change in structure at school. While we do not know the extent of the learning loss, we know there are students suffering, struggling and failing. We need to focus on reading and math goals for elementary and middle school students. Some younger students will need Tier III intervention to catch up. A transparent disclosure of the true academic loss is needed. For the upper grades, we need to mitigate the loss of skills which are required for graduation, college and future employment. Plano ISD had an enrollment loss of 2,200 students this year – a $20 million impact to our current budget. That impact will carry over to the following years. We will need to find solutions.
What is your opinion on Gov. Abbott’s recent executive order?
There is a need to return to a sense of normalcy. The pandemic has created many difficult situations in different ways for our students. The mental and emotional health of our students is critical. The need for social interaction with peers, structure at school and academic success are paramount for the emotional and social health of our students. Our schools should look at ways to mediate the stressors for our children while safely providing the much needed educational and social interaction needs. Safety is always a concern. We now have a year’s worth of data to provide an implementation plan for next year. The students should be the priority in our planning.
What all does the Board of Trustees owe to students, parents, faculty and staff, and what would you do to help fulfill these obligations? (If you're an incumbent, what have you already done to help fulfill them?)
The school board is elected by constituents to serve the needs of the students first. Texas Education Code Chapter 26 states parents are partners with educators, administrators and school district boards. The board has a responsibility to provide the best education possible, make decisions on priorities, policies, personnel, expenditures, textbook and financial management to maintain and operate the schools efficiently and effectively. I believe in open dialogue and transparency in decision making. The board also owes accountability to students, parents and teachers. One of the benefits of Plano is our schools and we need to maintain what is working well and work on areas that need improvement. This requires communication, transparency and accountability and I am committed to being a trustee that actively engages with our stakeholders to achieve these goals.
What do you identify as core competencies for you and your campaign?
My core competencies are active listening to parents and active involvement in our schools and community. I have three children currently at Plano ISD. I understand what a high school senior is going through trying to graduate during a pandemic. A 10th grader worried about not seeing friends, a middle school child trying to find her way. I understand planning for college. I have two students in college. I can see what worked and what needs to be addressed to have successful college students. Having students in school is a reason parents reach out to me. They know I can understand. I have set up meetings with parents I have never met, parents who have heard of me just through word of mouth and parents who could not get heard. They trusted me to tell me their story and seek help for their children. I am humbled by that. I am on the Career and Technical Committee for Plano ISD looking at ways to expand vocational classes and student awareness of the paths offered. I have been on multiple PTAs for many years to keep involved and aware of our local schools. I have attended the Board of Trustees meetings and work sessions for two years. I read and keep informed of agenda items. It is important to understand and the best way to do so is to attend these meetings. I am Vice Chair of Community Relations for the City of Plano focusing on the needs of the disadvantaged in our community. Plano has changed and daily involvement and engagement in our school and community is critical to ensuring the success and safety of our stu