candidate-questionnaire

FORNEY, Texas — Six candidates have filed for a place on the May 1, 2021, ballot seeking two seats on the Forney Independent School District's Board of Trustees.

In Position 3, incumbent Board member Barbara Jo Green drew two challengers in Shanika McGaughey and Kimberly Carlton. In Position 4, Board member Heath Carroll did not file to seek re-election and his seat drew candidates in Hanna Doan-Bateman, Cecil Chambers, and Rogelio Hernandez.

Election Day is May 1, 2021, and Early Voting begins April 19 and continues through April 27. For more election information from Kaufman County, visit their website, here.

Below are the candidates' responses to an inForney.com questionnaire, in the order they appear on the ballot. Each candidate was asked to keep their responses to 200 words or less.

Position 3

Shanika McGaughey

Introduction: Please, in 200 words or less, provide an introduction of yourself.

Hello residents of Forney! I am your candidate for Forney ISD Board of Trustees Place 3, Shanika McGaughey. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, I graduated from A. Maceo Smith High School in Oak Cliff, and received my Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, then completed my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University located in Austin, Texas. Education has always been my passion. I knew from an early age that I wanted to pursue a career in education, I wanted to help children achieve their dreams and reach the goals they set for themselves. As a lifelong learner, I believe that nothing is more important than education.

Family and community are an important part of my life. If the schools flourish, people will come. Forney ISD is rated as one of the best in the metroplex; and I am proud that my three children, Andrew, Bryce, and Cameron attend Criswell, Warren, and Forney High Schools. When you drive through our community, everyone is friendly, kind, and helpful. It is exactly the environment I envisioned for my family - rich in diversity, warmth, and togetherness.

Question 1: Why have you chosen to run for a place on the Forney ISD School Board of Trustees and what unique personal experiences/perspectives/qualifications do you believe you bring to the board?

After a few years teaching in the classroom, I developed an interest in becoming a member of my community school board. Educational policy has been an area close to my heart, and as a parent with children currently attending schools in Forney ISD, district policy is especially important. With the support of my family, I am now ready to pursue this interest. As an educator with twenty years of experience, I bring a love of learning, a passion for education, and the experience of teaching face to face, and virtual students concurrently during a pandemic.

Question 2: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing our school district, today, and how do you propose to address this issue?

The Forney family is becoming more and more diverse. Not only is growth bringing diverse learners, but also diversity within learning differences and styles. Forney ISD has already taken a step that I believe was essential in addressing the needs of diverse learners. I had the opportunity to be part of the Culture of Excellence Committee. The committee discussed the needs of our community and how to address those needs. Forney ISD is not only becoming more and more ethnically diverse, increases in students with special needs, as well as the increase in English language learners is also occurring. The district should look to diversify its hiring practice so that students see more teachers that look like them in classroom. Lastly, all staff should receive training that addresses how to interact with culturally diverse students, as well as students with a variety of learning needs.

Question 3: What are some other issues, if any, do you feel face the district – today, and in the near future.

Transportation is the next issue our district faces. School buses are already stretched beyond capacity ensuring that students from all over the district, that have a choice of what school they attend, have transportation to those schools. Buses do not always arrive at destinations in a timely manner. As growth increases the need to implement more efficient bus routes, and maybe even a late bus so that students that miss the bus do not have to miss school.

Question 4: What are some strengths or weaknesses the district possesses to address these issues?

Being a small district allows Forney to address the issue now so that as growth continues to rise, only minor changes to bus routes will need to be made. A weakness in the bus system would be lack of drivers. The more drivers, the more routes and the addition of a late bus.

Question 5: Bullying and child safety are always top of parents’ minds. What is your commitment to parents on these issues and how can we continue to improve in these areas.

As a parent of a child who has experienced bullying in the district, I am just as concerned as most parents. The commitment I make will be to work with the board to create a district that takes each allegation by a child seriously, addresses the concerns of parents, investigates and not ignore or brush to the side, the situation so that instances of bullying are not tolerated or allowed to progress in Forney ISD. The district needs to create policy that each campus must enforce. It is then that schools will begin to take away power from bullies and create a school culture where children feel comfortable and want to attend school.

Question 6: As the district continues to roll out voter-approved initiatives from the 2019 bond, what other areas do you think the district should begin to, or continue to improve on?

As the initiatives from the 2019 continue to roll out, the district should continue to ensure that existing facilities receive updates to infrastructure and improvements to grounds and playground/athletic equipment. The district should also consider allowing wireless internet that may be utilized by the community surrounding the school. If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is that equity is not always present in technology. Forney ISD students had the technology (Chromebooks, Canvas), many students were unable to utilize that technology because they lacked internet access. As a district, that is an area that should continue to improve so that there is equity in technology.

Question 7: Are there any other issues/points that define your campaign for Forney ISD’s Board of Trustees?

I want residents of Forney to know that I am running a campaign that is based on truth and honor, the needs of all learners, support and growth of educators, and the continual drive to keep the district at the forefront of innovation in education.


Kimberly Carlton

Introduction: Please, in 200 words or less, provide an introduction of yourself.

A little about me. I was born in Kaufman County, and raised in Beaumont Texas where I graduated from High School and earned my degree from Lamar University in Criminal Justice. I became a Probation Officer in Jefferson County and then in Harris County where I eventually entered law school and received my J.D.. I married my husband Sam and we transferred to Albuquerque, NM where I practiced law all over Texas and New Mexico. In 2004 our son was born. We then moved back home in 2005. Our son entered school at Rhea Elementary where I served on the PTA and as room mother. Our son is now in the 10th grade at Forney High School and finally loving it. As a result, I am aware of the greatness as well as the areas of opportunity to improve our schools. In addition to my own experiences as a parent, friend, working mother, Probation Officer, Attorney and Mediator, these roles of communication and transparency are keys and will serve to assist our children and community to always be better. I am confident my expertise will be an asset to our children, families, community and the

Forney ISD Board of Trustees, I promise to bring full transparency and accessibility to our students and their families. I will ensure ALL voices are heard and do everything possible to ensure our children are our great leaders of tomorrow

I humbly request your consideration and support!

Question 2: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing our school district, today, and how do you propose to address this issue?

The highest priority facing Forney ISD at this time is reengaging students and staff after the most trying year in the history of education in this country. Reestablishing in person learning and catching up on the lost opportunities we have endured this year should be our highest priority. Tutoring and finding new out the box opportunities to challenge and re-engage our young minds to seek and embrace their educational future are vitally important, as are the social interactions that our children have sacrificed during the Covid pandemic. They must be encouraged to relearn how to have friends and be a friend, our country needs their example to come together and heal socially as well as physically, we are all in this together and we will succeed or fail together.

Question 3: What are some other issues, if any, do you feel face the district – today, and in the near future.

Some basic issues, we all laugh at and want to cry about at the same time are issues as basic as reading an analog clock or as adults know it, a clock. Reading and writing in cursive, how do you sign for something, or sign your name on a check if you can’t write in cursive. How do you read historical documents, so important to our freedom, if they are in cursive and your school didn’t teach you how to read that. More importantly we must find ways to foster a desire to learn among our children, they will certainly not want learn the same things and they don’t need to, but they all must have at least one thing in their life they thirst to learn more about. By encouraging this and giving them choices we will have given them gifts to last a lifetime and changed their lives forever. We must also learn to utilize our assets, teachers, staff, and parents to face the challenges we will face in the coming years. We will have increased demand on our resources and will face unforeseen situations in the short and far term. We must place our children’s future at the forefront of our decisions. We must learn to delve into the available information about testing and standardized syllabuses to ensure that classes are using the available time to impart knowledge that is useable and relevant and a manner that is conductive to learning.

Question 4: What are some strengths or weaknesses the district possesses to address these issues?

The strengths of this District lie in our people, our teachers, our staff, our administration, and our parents and our students. We must fling open the doors to innovation, to thinking out of the box, to make this District the Gold standard, that the rest of the state follows. How do we equip our children to lead the nation in learning, to give them the lives we want them to have! We must make education a joyful, challenging and rewarding experience that our children will thank us for in the years to come. We must determine what in the years ahead will they need and how do we deliver it to them, that they welcome it. And there are no size fits all, yes there is a standard that must be learned but all children are different, every home is different, every child learns differently but surely we can make allowances for those differences and find answers. There are so many successful programs out there that we have no excuse for failure and looking into the eyes of those children on their first day of school, so eager and excited how can we even contemplate failure.

Question 5: Bullying and child safety are always top of parents’ minds. What is your commitment to parents on these issues and how can we continue to improve in these areas.

Bullying and child safety are the premier points of responsibility for the Forney ISD. When parents release their most precious parts of their life, their children, into our care, they have every right to expect total commitment to those children’s safety and welfare on our part. Bullying is never to be tolerated in any form. While social behavior is a learned process and not intuitive, no child, at any age, should have to deal with the schoolyard bully and no school yard bully should go unchallenged. As Board members, administration, teachers or staff there can be no turning a blind eye to any form of bullying behavior, social injustice by any faction, or any behavior which takes away from the opportunities we are dedicated to providing to our children. A school should always strive to be a place of refuge, where children feel welcomed and safe, a place where they want to be. There can be zero tolerance for behavior that broaches this standard. Also, as important to the actions we take to protect the victims we must examine the best ways to prevent the behavior at the first indication to help everyone achieve success through our interactions with one another.

Question 6: As the district continues to roll out voter-approved initiatives from the 2019 bond, what other areas do you think the district should begin to, or continue to improve on?

While many of the commendable initiatives related to the 2019 Bond issue are forward thinking and designed to handle the expected influx of new students, we should also be looking at changes to the expected educational needs of our students. While we need to maintain focus on a core syllabus designed to produce competent well rounded graduates we also need focus on electives and alternate routes to both college and professional paths. What drives our children to learn and the best methods of instruction are questions that will never have an answer carved in stone. Like our children, the answers are always evolving and changing. Sometimes we also need to look into the past for possible answers. Did hard copy textbooks really stop having a value? Perhaps a blended experiment might help find answers. While professional educators are always looking for best methods, they need input and suggestions from the parents who daily interact with their children in unguarded moments dealing with their learning struggles. A format for funneling ideas and suggestions along with expanding the ability of the District to share information on the current initiatives underway online is needed to encourage parent involvement

Question 7: Are there any other issues/points that define your campaign for Forney ISD’s Board of Trustees?

Going forward, we have so many options. Children really want to attend school. The Welding & Fabrication Program, Animal Science Center and the Culinary Arts Restaurant are amazing. More programs like these, geared to provide our children with different career programs and opportunities are needed and welcome. These programs provide our children the opportunity to earn college credits and different certificates in several trades. These programs keep children, parents and teachers involved and motivated, while providing all children real world experiences and knowledge they will take throughout their lives, regardless of their ultimate career choice. All children do not learn the same way. Many children excel through virtual learning, some prefer and excel with face to face in school instruction. The in person and virtual learning for students should be continued after the pandemic has subsided. Our teachers and administration have done an outstanding job of teaching during these challenging times of the last year.


Barbara Jo Green

Introduction: Please, in 200 words or less, provide an introduction of yourself.

I am a retired teacher, with over 25 years of classroom experience.

My husband of 38 years, Charlie, and I are the proud parents of 6 children and 12 grandchildren. We are active members of First Baptist Church Forney.

Question 1: Why have you 1) chosen to run for a place on the Forney ISD Board of Trustees and what 2) unique personal perspectives/qualifications do you believe you bring to the board?

1.) There was not a teacher on the school board when I decided to run. It seemed like common sense that someone should be there to represent the students and the view from the classroom as to what is needed by students and teachers.

2.) I have served as an officer in several professional organizations:

President of Mesquite Education Association

President, Region 10 Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)

Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Legislative Advisory Council

Forney ISD Board of Trustees Secretary

Invited to receive and completed Master Trustee training for TASB

Awards:

ATPE Sam Houston Award (received many times) for teacher with most grassroots involvement while lobbying for student friendly legislation

ATPE Stephen F. Austin Award for encouraging financial contributions

ATPE Local of the Year

ATPE Campus Representative of the Year

Question 3: What are some other issues, if any, do you feel face the district — today and in the near future?

We are a fast growth community and that is reflected in the number of students we are gaining each year. Our Forney Family graciously passed a $623 million bond election that has launched us into a building program to meet our present and future needs for seats for our students.

Question 4: What are some strengths or weaknesses the district possess to address these issues?

FISD has a Board of Trustees that trusts each other and work well together as they bring diverse skills and backgrounds to the table. This combination helps us to see each issue more clearly.

We have a conscientious administrative team led by an innovative visionary superintendent. Dr. Terry keeps us well informed and practices transparency.

FISD is able to lure teachers and other staff from higher paying jobs. I believe it is our Forney Family community that draws them. The “logo” for our Job Fair this Spring is

“It’s not just a job fair. Join the Forney Family.”

Question 5: Bullying and child safety are always at the top of parents’ minds. What is your commitment to parents on these issues and how can we continue to improve in these arenas.

Research shows that relationships are key to behavior. (If you feel that a person cares about you, it is very unlikely that you would wish that person ill.)

We have in place “Capturing Kids’ Hearts”, a program we have been using to train our staff. It is based on relationships and is in use in FISD already.

Question 6: As the district continues to roll out voter-approved initiatives from the 2019 bond, what other areas do you think the district should begin to, or continue to, improve on?

This Fall, three new schools will be serving our students. They are Griffin Elementary in Devonshire, Rhodes Intermediate, and Jackson Middle Schools. Groundbreaking for Willett Elementary and the Aquatic Center will happen this month.

Plans are made for building the Keith Bell College and Career Center also.

This school year, we opened the Animal Science Center, a welding shop and The Local which is a student operated restaurant that is serving Forney customers during this pandemic with pick up orders every Thursday.

We have also expanded our Dual Language program, established an Advanced Academics and Fine Arts Academy at Blackburn. S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camps were started during my first term on the Board.

Two of the responses to these are the Safety and Security Committee for the District and this year we have established the FISD Police Department. So these issues of behavior are being addressed.

Question 7: Are there any other issues/points that define your campaign for a place on Forney ISD’s Board of Trustees?

Currently, I am the only teacher on the FISD School Board, and I will continue to practice transparency and keep watch over the FISD budget, taxes, business and issues.

I would like to finish what I started with our response to meet the Forney Family fast growth needs.

Please Vote for me, Barbara Jo Green.


Position 4

Hanna Doan-Bateman

Introduction: Please, in 200 words or less, provide an introduction of yourself.

My name is Hanna Bateman. I am a lifelong Forney resident and graduate of Forney High School and hold a BSN in nursing from UT Tyler. I am married to Adam and we have one daughter, Gracie, a 1st grader at Johnson Elementary. I operate Groovy’s in downtown Forney and feel honored and blessed for the potential to serve our community as a member of the Forney ISD Board of Trustees.

Question 1: Why have you chosen to run for a place on the Forney ISD Board of Trustees and what unique personal experiences/perspectives/qualifications do you believe you bring to the board?

I chose to run for school board in order to serve our community in a larger capacity. I have a daughter who is just starting within the district and it is important to me to be more involved in the decisions being made today that will affect our children growing up in our district. It has been an honor to serve on the FISD Bond Committee and in other facets throughout the district including supporting the Forney Education Foundation.

Qualifications: My career background is in nursing as an RN. My experience in this field honed my ability to communicate effectively, critically think through challenges and develop best outcomes for the overall population while working with a team. In 2018 I procured a local business opportunity. Through this, I have built on working towards best outcomes for a common goal and serving the community as a whole. This experience has given me a better understanding of fiscal business responsibility, policy and procedure and the significance of servant leadership.

Question 2: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing our school district, today, and how would you propose to address the issue?

According to U.S. News, Kaufman County is the 3rd fastest growing county in the nation. This places growth and the challenges that come with it at the top of pressing issues for our district. In order to face the challenges of space and maintaining academic excellence, I plan to work effectively and in a productive manner with fellow board members and members of the community to develop best outcomes for every child served within our district and best working practices for our educators. Due to the nature of our current district growth this includes evaluation of facilities, programs offered and district zoning and alignment, as well as competitive teacher salaries that will help attract the most qualified candidates to Forney ISD.

Question 3: What are some other issues, if any, do you feel face the district — today and in the near future?

The next most important issue to me, is ensuring that every student within Forney ISD, despite any constraints, be provided the opportunity to explore career paths that may not have been otherwise provided to them through a traditional educational path. I look forward to the possibility of assisting with vocational program development through the CTE campus.

Question 4: What are some strengths or weaknesses the district possess to address these issues?

Growth- Our district is very forward thinking in regards to facilities and mindfully growing programs offered to students as well as the community. Our greatest limitation within this issue is managing the data provided by demographers as it is continually changing on a daily basis.

Career Readiness- FISD is continually working toward an innovative academic path for every student. By moving in this direction our district proves continued strength. The lack of programs today leaves opportunity for improvement tomorrow. 

Question 5: Bullying and child safety are always at the top of parents’ minds. What is your commitment to parents on these issues and how can we continue to improve in these arenas.

In addition to current safety, anti-bullying and behavioral management protocols, I believe FISD should explore the potential for social workers at each and every campus. In the last 10 years the shift to a stricter standardized test has limited the ability of school counselors to be counselors to students past test prep and college readiness. The addition of social workers to each campus would bring an advocate designated to student well-being. Our campus environments must provide a safe, secure place for students to grow and learn.  School safety goes beyond buildings. With growth of the community, comes growth in the number of high-risk students within the district. I believe having positive, supportive, trained adult support for these students will reduce student and teacher bullying and help maintain a positive campus environment. 

Question 6: As the district continues to roll out voter-approved initiatives from the 2019 bond, what other areas do you think the district should begin to, or continue to, improve on?

Our district should continue evaluating the growth and management of our community as it pertains to facilities and programs offered within the school district. Some of these evaluations should include improving technology available to students and educators and developing policies and procedures that are easily adapted and implemented by incoming teachers in order to reduce learning curves that come with growth.

Question 7: Are there any other issues/points that define your campaign for a place on Forney ISD’s Board of Trustees?

Being married to an educator, I understand that the key to a district producing successful students is hiring and retaining quality teachers. Employee satisfaction is key to maintaining the foundation of a district and is directly related to it’s success. Helping to maintain the awareness of supported, equipped and adequately paid teachers is a sure fire way to continue propelling our district forward into greatness.


Cecil Chambers

Introduction: Please, in 200 words or less, provide an introduction of yourself.

Question 1: Why have you chosen to run for a place on the Forney ISD Board of Trustees and what unique personal experiences/perspectives/qualifications do you believe you bring to the board?

I AM AN TIRELESS ADVOCATE OF OUR CHILDREN, IN ALL THINGS EDUCATION. THE OVERALL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE WILL HELP TO SHAPE AND DEFINE A CHILDS FUTURE, AND IT WOULD BE AN HONOR TO LEVERAGE MY EDUCATION AND PUBLIC SAFETY EXPERIENCE TO SERVE OUR LEADERS OF TOMORROW. FROM MY DAYS OF MENTORING YOUNG MEN AT NORTH FORNEY HS, TO BEING INVOLVED IN OFFICIAL FISD COMMITTEE’S AND ATTENDING TRUSTEE MEETINGS, I AM WHOLEHEARTEDLY COMMITTED TO SERVING OUR KIDS, PARENTS, TEACHERS, STAFF, AND ADMINISTRATION AS WE LOOK TOWARDS A NEW CHAPTER OF FORNEY ISD.

Question 2: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing our school district, today, and how would you propose to address the issue?

# 1 IS GROWTH. FORNEY IS EXPERIENCING EXPONENTIAL GROWTH AND NEEDS TO CONTINUE PLANNING FOR THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF TOMORROW. THE RECENT COMMUNITY APPROVED BOND WAS A GREAT START, BUT MUCH MORE WILL BE NEEDED AS OUR COMMUNITY CONTINUES TO BUILD AND EXPAND. SEVERAL KEY CONCERNS:

• WE WILL NEED TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR CURRENT FACILITY SPACE, ENSURING THAT EACH CHILD CONTINUES TO HAVE A DEDICATED SEAT AT THE TABLE OF THEIR EDUCATION

• WE WILL NEED TO ADDRESS THE CONTINUED STAFFING NEEDS AS OUR DISTRICT EXPANDS

• AS OUR DISTRICT EXPANDS, WE NEED TO FURTHER ASSESS OUR ACADEMIC, TECHNICAL, FINE ARTS, AND ATHLETIC PROGRAMS TO ENSURE THEY MEET THE NEEDS OF A GROWING AND DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION

Question 3: What are some other issues, if any, do you feel face the district — today and in the near future?

IN A FAST GROWTH DISTRICT LIKE FORNEY, SCHOOL BOUNDARIES WILL CONTINUE TO BE A VERY HOT TOPIC. I HAVE PERSONALLY SEEN THE EFFECTS OF BOUNDARY RE-DRAWS THAT FEED SCHOOLS AND IT CAN BE A VERY EMOTIONAL AND TAXING ISSUE THAT FACES OUR PARENTS AND CHILDREN.

Question 4: What are some strengths or weaknesses the district possess to address these issues?

STRENGTHS:

• COMMUNICATION: FORNEY ISD DOES A GREAT JOB IN SOLICITING PUBLIC FEEDBACK WITH WORKSHOPS, PUBLIC FORUMS, ONLINE SURVEYS, AND ONLINE VIDEO’S AND GENERAL POSTS, BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS……CAN WE DO MORE?

WEAKNESSES

• REPRESENTATION

Question 5: Bullying and child safety are always at the top of parents’ minds. What is your commitment to parents on these issues and how can we continue to improve in these arenas.

AS I HAVE PREVIOUSLY STATED, SCHOOL SAFETY REMAINS ONE OF MY TOP CONCERNS GOING INTO THIS CAMPAIGN. IF A CHILD DOES NOT FEEL SAFE AND PROTECTED, IT WILL NEGATIVELY IMPACT THEIR EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE. BULLYING, WHETHER IN-PERSON OR ONLINE, SHOULD BE MET WITH ZERO TOLERANCE AND THE MOST SERIOUS OF CONSEQUENCES. AS A FORMER SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER, I KNOW FIRST HAND THE VALUE OF A SWIFT AND FIRM RESPONSE TO A BULLYING SITUATION……OUR CHILDREN DESERVE NO LESS. WE NEED TO CONTINUE OPEN DIALOGUE AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING WITH OUR KIDS, LEVERAGING FURTHER THE FLIPPIN GROUP SYSTEM (CAPTURING KIDS HEARTS), AS WELL AS THE ANONYMOUS REPORTING TOOL WE HAVE IN PLACE NOW. STAFF TRAINING IS PARAMOUNT AS WELL.

Question 6: As the district continues to roll out voter-approved initiatives from the 2019 bond, what other areas do you think the district should begin to, or continue to, improve on?

I WOULD LOOK AT INVESTING FURTHER INTO PROGRAMS AND CURRICULUM EXPANSION AT OUR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS. WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE LOOKING TO EXPAND OUR PROGRAMS TO HELP ELEVATE OUR STUDENTS OPPORTUNITIES IN A VERY COMPETITIVE WORLD (ACADEMIC, CTE, FINE ARTS, ATHLETIC, CLUB AND ORGANIZATION GROWTH)

Question 7: Are there any other issues/points that define your campaign for a place on Forney ISD’s Board of Trustees?

Along with my qualifications and heartfelt commitment to our FISD stakeholders, my campaign represents an opportunity to address the current lack of diversity on our Board, and if elected, will better reflect the diverse student population we serve today. I want to bring new ideas, new perspectives, and a different life experience that, in working with my fellow Trustees, will potentially promote more open dialogue and creativity in addressing the needs of our District.


Rogelio Hernandez

Introduction: Please, in 200 words or less, provide an introduction of yourself.

My name is Rogelio Hernandez. I am a Dallas, Texas native and a product of the Dallas Independent School District. I grew up in Oak Cliff with my mother, father, one older sister and on younger sister. Now I live in Windmill Farms with my partner Luzdary, my 12 year old daughter Jordan, my 10 month old son Jesse, and our two dogs, Hank and Quinn.

I am a veteran of the Texas Army National Guard with over 16 years of service including over seas deployments to Egypt, Iraq, and twice to Afghanistan. I am a full time law enforcement officer in the DFW, a part time student pursuing a degree, and a full time father and family man.

Some of my favorite hobbies are shooting, learning, and complaining about my knee and back pain. I’m an optimist and look forward to representing the families serviced by the Forney Independent School District.

Question 1: Why have you chosen to run for a place on the Forney ISD Board of Trustees and what unique personal experiences/perspectives/qualifications do you believe you bring to the board?

I love this country! And I love what we have the potential and strength to become. I want to ensure we continue to prosper as a nation and I want to ensure everyone has the same access to the American dream of success. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is through a valuable education. This means an education system that doesn’t just impart information for rote recall. This means an education that truly prepares our students for life after school; whether they are headed to college, trade school, the military, or the workforce.

I have seen the negative affects of the lack of education; in my family, in my community, and around the world. I know, through my personal experiences how vital a valuable education is. I will work to make sure all of our students receive that valuable education.

But also, through and through, I am a servant. I’ve been serving this country, this state, and my communities for my entire adult life! Send me to serve you again.

Question 2: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing our school district, today, and how would you propose to address the issue?

This is a trick question. The priority should always be providing a quality valuable education to all students to prepare them for life after school. We cannot afford to focus on one issue at a time. We must commit to comprehensive approaches to meeting this goal. I believe the district, its staff, and the students have the bandwidth to get this done.

As a member of the board of trustees I will encourage and I will enable nesting lines of effort at all levels to ensure no matter the task of department, we are all working toward the same end.

Question 3: What are some other issues, if any, do you feel face the district — today and in the near future?

The area serviced by Forney ISD has seen a growth rate of over 97% over the past decade. The same can be expected over the next decade. According to the most recent census data, 4.4% of people in Forney live in poverty. One in five of those people are school aged children. I can only assume those numbers are higher since COVID. We cannot see the programs put in place during the pandemic, like clothing drives, laundry stations, and food drives disappear.

Help me strengthen our school’s nutrition program so we can continue to fulfill Forney ISD’s commitment to combat food insecurity.

Help me expand food and clothing drive programs that arose during COVID so we can continue to face these economic challenges and ensure all of our kids can show up to school with pride.

Let’s face these challenges together.

Question 4: What are some strengths or weaknesses the district possess to address these issues?

We’ve got a great infrastructure in place. We’ve got a great organizational culture. We have been enjoying a budget surplus for several years running. Let’s use this as an opportunity to help close the gaps.

Question 5: Bullying and child safety are always at the top of parents’ minds. What is your commitment to parents on these issues and how can we continue to improve in these arenas.

Our kids cannot learn if they do not feel safe in the classroom. It’s time the Forney ISD got involved and confronted this problem in our schools.

We need to conduct a district wide survey of students and parents to find out how widespread the issue is and what type of incidents have occurred.

We need to start collecting and reporting data on all school violence; differentiating between school fighting and acts of bullying.

We need to explore options with the school district and the District Attorney and make sure we are addressing incidents of school violence appropriately under the penal code.

We need to aggressively attack this issue of bullying and bring peace to our student’s school lives. And we need to do this in an open and transparent way. So much and so many depend on us doing right.

Question 6: As the district continues to roll out voter-approved initiatives from the 2019 bond, what other areas do you think the district should begin to, or continue to, improve on?

The CTE center and college will be a great addition to the resources available to our kids. I would like to ensure we maintain our career exploration capabilities at our other campuses. I think career exploration, where students can go through trial periods to experience the different CTE pathways in one semester, will help ensure students select the pathway better suited to the likes and abilities.

Universal Pre-K is good for kids, parents, and the community. It gives our students an advantage in and out of the classroom. Expanding our current program to include all children, irrespective of income, is an investment that is almost assured net positive return.

I’d also like to work with the Forney ISD Police, Forney Police and other vital security stakeholders to look at a school crossing guard program for all locations and making sure school bus stops are well lit and safe in the morning twilight hours.

Question 7: Are there any other issues/points that define your campaign for a place on Forney ISD’s Board of Trustees?

Kids, Classrooms, and Communities. Let’s make sure our kids are academically, physically, and mentally prepared for life after school. Let’s make sure our classrooms are safe and taught by teachers who are qualified and empowered. Let’s engage the parents at every opportunity; opening up the flow of communication between parents and administration and let’s leverage our private public partnerships with the citizens and businesses in our local communities