School board candidates were sent questionnaires and asked to address the following:
1. Rank issues by importance and emphasis: academics, athletics, band and fine arts, facilities, technology, transportation, vocational programs
2. Rank groups as a resource for information in making decisions: administration, parents and teachers, taxpayers, fellow school board members.
3. Primary reason for seeking a place on the school board: continue the direction and policies of the district, change the direction and policies of the district, lower the tax rate.
Candidates were given a 50-word limit per question due to space constraints. If they exceeded the word limit, the remainder of the sentence containing the 50th word was published, and the rest of the answer was deleted.
CHICO SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 3
Occupation: Owner/CFO/Alternate Administrator of Home Health Care of North Central Texas Inc.
Education: Bachelor of science in agricultural services and development, Tarleton State University
Family: Wife of 28 years, Kim Cantrell and three children, Chris, graduate of Chico ISD and Tarleton State University; Megan, graduate of Chico ISD and Texas A&M University, and Kenzie, graduating from Chico ISD this June.
1. Because of my beliefs and background, academics are the most important issue and the one which I place the most emphasis on. I believe that all schools, K-12, must have strong academic standards. Without strong academics, we are not providing individuals that are ready to be productive parts of our society and workforce. (Exceeded word limit)
2. As a school board member, you must first take into account administration. These individuals are highly skilled, trained and certified by the state of Texas for the job you hired them to do. Secondly, teachers always have the student’s best interest in mind. Taking their input into account is a beneficial board tool. (Exceeded word limit)
3. My primary reason for seeking re-election is to see Chico ISD continue to grow academically through technology and in pride and school spirit through our extracurricular activities. Chico ISD is preparing kids for society better than ever, and I want Chico to achieve above all other schools. We have people that want us to do away with the technology and go to back to the Big Chief tablets and chalkboards. (Exceeded word limit)
Occupation: Measurement Tech, Targa Resources LTD, Chico
Education: Texas Tech University, Knox City High School
Family: Married to Rita Gonzales; son Corey Driver, graduated from Chico High School in 1990
1. All of the above fields are important elements to ensure that Chico ISD graduates can be competitive students, co-workers and future community leaders, wherever life may take them. I would have to place academics as the most important. We must continue to strive for excellence in order to prepare our children for the tasks they will face after graduation. (Exceeded word limit)
2. We must maintain a direct communication link between parents and teachers to ensure that the interest and education of the students comes first and the integrity of this link is not jeopardized. Teachers are in charge with the quality of the education our students receive and sometimes are our first responders to possible problem areas within the education community. (Exceeded word limit)
3. I am seeking a place on our Board to bring a new and fresh opinion to our Board. The Board is in charge of looking out for the interests of our children. Education is not a line item on our curriculum; it is the only item we must be concerned about. (Exceeded word limit)
Occupation: James Wood Motors communications manager
Education: Graduated Northwest High School 1971, attended North Texas State University in Denton for two years
Family: Married to Winford for 32 years; two sons; one daughter; five grandchildren
1. Academics is the top priority for a school district. Each student should be given a quality education, and we need good facilities, transportation and today’s technology to attain this. Vocational programs, athletics, band and fine arts should be equally represented in the school district to allow students to achieve success.
2. No group is more important than the other. I would value any of these groups’ opinions. It takes everyone, and the custodian and bus drivers are as equally important to me as an administrator or teacher. The key is to listen to the needs of everyone and do our best.
3. My decision for seeking a place on the board is to be involved as an individual who cares for the students of our district. I have no single item agenda in seeking this, as I try to care about everything and everyone in our school district.
CHICO SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 4
DONALD JOE CLARK
Occupation: Oilfield supervisor and inspector
Education: Graduated from Chico High School in 1980
Family: Wife of 29 years, Lori; son J.D.; son Jesse and daughter-in-law Alecia; grandchildren Natalie and Cain, with a third on the way.
1. Academics, vocational programs, athletics, band and fine arts, facilities, technology, transportation
My rankings are based on what is best for the future of our students. Facilities, technology and transportation are all important, but they don’t matter if we aren’t providing the best academic and vocational programs possible. Our board’s decisions should always be made with our students’ futures as our priority.
2. Parents and teachers, administration, taxpayers, fellow school board members.
Good administrators listen to their teachers because they know that teachers are the ones dealing directly with the students’ issues and challenges. As a board, we need to value the input of those who know our students best and who have chosen to make our children their life’s work.
3. As a taxpayer, as a former student and as a father, I believe we need people on the board who will ask questions, who will protect our tax dollars and who will make sure that this community remains in control of our school. Our children and grandchildren deserve it.
Occupation: Owner, Got To Go Solutions Inc.
Education: Graduate of Alvord ISD
Family: Wife LeeAnn; daughter and son-in-law, Whitney and Curtis Buckner; grandchildren Mady and Creese Buckner
1. Academics and technology go hand in hand. To prepare our students for the next phase of life we need to improve academics and technology. Chico ISD has great facilities, the middle school being the oldest campus, needing repairs and maintenance, including roofing and new air conditioning. Another important aspect in educating our kids is transportation.
2. The decision making in the school system: each group should be looked at equally for evaluation of their strong points and knowledge of the particular situation.
3. My primary reason to seek re-election is to help provide the best education and best educational experience for each student of Chico ISD by bringing technology into education to prepare our students for college to be the best they can be and excel in other areas such as band, athletics, fine arts and vocational programs.
CHICO SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 5
WILLIAM E. “BILL” HAND
Occupation: Retired from oilfield, now ranching
Education: Bachelor of science in P.E., Minor Biology North Texas State University, Master of Education: Major School Administration, Minor Biology NTSU, 19 hours toward PhD in school administration NTSU.
Family: Wife Inez; three grown children and seven grandchildren
1. Academics, transportation, facilities, technology, all the other programs offered in the district on equal basis
2. All of the above mentioned groups are equally important in making my decisions. I will be representing all these groups, if I am elected to the board.
3. I am not running for the Board to change or reinvent the “wheel.” I am only running to “polish the hub caps.”
Editor’s note: Craig Moss is also running for Place 5, but he did not return a questionnaire.
DECATUR SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 1
Occupation: Business development national accounts manager for Axis Communications
Education: Bachelor of science criminal justice with honors
Family: Wife Paula Johansen; son Connor Mooney, eighth grade; son Devin Mooney, sixth grade
1. Academics, vocational programs, athletics/band and fine arts, technology, facilities, transportation
Our primary focus should be ensuring the comprehensive education of our children combined with a robust vocational program. Not every child will go on to college. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to ready our students for both – higher education and the job market. Coupled with this approach, we should emphasize ability, leadership and accountability in our athletics, band and fine arts programs. (Exceeded word limit)
2. Administration, parents and teachers, taxpayers, fellow school board members
Administration coupled with teachers and parents should be equal in regards to information resources. As elected members of the community, it is incumbent upon us to ensure we are doing what is best for the school district. This information must come from administration in the form of facts and figures and from teachers and parents in the form of morale and feedback. (Exceeded word limit)
3. Change is inevitable. In fact, in order to grow, there must be a level of change during the growth process. We are experiencing a change in education as we speak. House Bill 5, which reduces state-mandated testing requirements, has made its way through the House of Representatives and will have a far-reaching impact in Texas and nationally as we strive to provide our children the best education possible. (Exceeded word limit)
Occupation: Owner, Texas Custom Trailers
Education: High School
Family: Wife Teela, married 18 years; son Ty, 13 years old and a seventh grader at McCarroll Middle School
1. Academics, vocational programs, band and fine arts, technology, athletics, facilities, transportation
This was difficult. All of these programs and services contribute to the overall success of our students and the district, and it is essential that we provide quality solutions and programs in every area of the educational process. Obviously, academics and vocational programs are essential, but it’s all important.
2. Taxpayers, parents and teachers, fellow school board members, administration
I will listen to all stakeholders and will encourage them to work through the system to resolve and improve student experiences. I believe we must keep the best interests of children as the primary focus of all decisions. If we do this, I believe the correct decisions will be made.
3. Continue the direction and policies of the district
No organization is perfect, but I think we already have a good district. My goal is to help make sound decisions that will continue to improve DISD. We must balance the needs of our students and teachers with the demanding requirements placed on our district by the State of Texas.
NORTHWEST SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 3
EDWARD R. MERGENTHAL
Occupation: Travel agency owner
Education: Master’s degree in business administration and certificate of specialization in human resource management from Nova Southeastern University; bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Warner University
Family: wife of 15 years, Jennifer; Samuel, age 3
1. Facilities, technology, academics, vocational programs, band and fine arts, athletics, transportation
To prepare for our children’s success, we need to invest in facilities and technology to provide our children with all the resources available to prepare them to be productive and successful members of the global community.
2. Administration, fellow school board members, parents and teachers, taxpayers
3. My primary reason for seeking a place on the school board is to continue the current direction of the school district and their vision of being the best sought-after school district where our children will receive a premier education that prepares them to be successful, productive citizens.
ANNE DAVIS SIMPSON
Occupation: Education, Professor in the Department of Reading at Texas Woman’s University
Education: Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Methodist University; master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University; doctorate in reading from the University of North Texas
Family: Married; two grown children; one granddaughter; extended family are community members
1. Academics are the primary responsibility of our public schools. Athletics, band and fine arts and vocational programs offer students ways to enhance their learning. Technology is a resource for learning. Transportation is essential to provide access to learning in our district.
2. Members of the board of trustees are elected to serve the community. Working collaboratively as members of the board, our goal is to ensure all students excel and that all stakeholders’ voices are heard.
3. Northwest ISD has much to celebrate. The direction and policies of the district have helped us achieve great accomplishments. Being responsive to change is a continued responsibility, as is the cost of change. I look forward to serving our communities in listening and responding to the future.
Occupation: Service management
Education: Ryan High School, bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Texas, master’s degree in negotiation and dispute resolution from Creighton University
Family: Wife Brooke; children Christian, 9, and Natalee, 6
1. Academics, technology, band and fine arts, vocational programs, athletics, facilities and transportation
These issues are quite interchangeable outside of academics. They all serve a purpose.
2. Parents and teachers, administration, taxpayers and fellow school board members. Parents and teachers, in conjunction with the administration, are on the front lines of our children’s education. They see it every day.
3. My primary reason for seeking a place on the school board is to continue the direction and policies of the district. The prospect of contributing to the district and the children’s educational progress thrills me.