A version of this candidate Q&A appears on Page 19 in the April 2019 issue of Community Impact Newspaper’s Georgetown edition.
Candidates’ responses are their own and have only been edited for length or minor style changes.
Early voting for Georgetown ISD election races runs April 22-30. Election day is May 4.
Andy Webb (incumbent)
Experience: Six years on Georgetown ISD board, GISD Education Foundation, city of Georgetown Planning and Zoning Commission, Round Rock Chamber of Commerce board of directors, father
Priorities: Continue to dedicate my efforts to ensure every student in GISD has the thought process and opportunities to fulfill our Learner Profile
Experience: optometrist specializing in low vision rehabilitation, contractor with Educational Service Center Region 12, mother
Priorities: support teachers and students; develop a systemic, effective approach for addressing disruptive behavior and increase access to licensed specialists
What is the biggest challenge facing Georgetown ISD, and how would you address it?
Webb: Our biggest challenge is leading and managing change, continuing to transition from a small town district to one that serves the nearly 12,000 students that are here now and more that we know are on the way. To be transforming organizationally, building and renovating our facilities and overhauling our curriculum all the while holding school, has been an amazing thing to be a part of, and I want to see this to fruition.
Wood: For the past three years, the Texas Education Agency rated GISD’s special education determination status as “needs intervention.” Like me, I am sure that this is a concern to many in our community. The development of an objective task force comprised of community members, business leaders, teachers and parents is needed to determine the district’s effectiveness of response to intervention, special education programs, discipline decision-making and the overall evaluation processes for eligibility and placement.
How should Georgetown ISD handle future growth?
Webb: We are so fortunate to have community leaders, parents and educators who we are able to call on to lend their expertise and experience to help us prepare for and lead through growth. Whether this is on curriculum, facilities or logistical issues, we have been able to work collaboratively and transparently to make sure we are accessing the incredible talents within GISD to help give us guidance.
Wood: Effective growth management should not only concentrate on numbers but the needs of the students, as well. We need more than new buildings. I believe that GISD trustees should move towards district representation that would allow for better advocacy of their constituents before the school board and the superintendent to develop appropriate strategies to meet the needs of students, both new and current.
How do your experiences qualify you for the position?
Webb: As a business owner, parent and board member, I have been blessed to see the impacts of decisions made at the board level and how they impact everything from tax rates to facilities for the children of GISD. With chances over many years to serve on various boards and commissions, I also get to see how the district interacts with other leaders of the community and how to achieve the best outcomes for GISD.
Wood: I am the mother of three young boys who are just beginning their scholastic journeys. I am committed to their success. As the daughter of a military service member, I moved extensively and was exposed to a variety of school systems. As the daughter of a teacher, I learned about curriculum and childhood development. My role as an invested parent, my professional career and my childhood all bring strength to my candidacy position.
What is your vision for education in the Georgetown community?
Webb: My vision is that every one of our students, teachers and parents are able to develop a set of goals that they want to achieve for themselves and have the ability within our district to get there—from academic, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth to learning what they want to become. I can say with conviction that our team of board members truly wants to see success for all involved.
Wood: Investment in our youth shapes our educational environment. GISD offers innovative programs and opportunities for its students, but many of them occur at the secondary level. These approaches should also be applied at our foundation to minimize district disparities. I support the creation of a centralized early childhood center for district-supported, pre-kindergarten students. I would like to investigate a tuition-based pre-K that can be offered to those students who do not meet the eligibility requirements.
Why are you running for this position?
Webb: To have the honor to serve the students, parents, teachers and community members of GISD for the past six years has been tremendous. Whether it is successfully passing and implementing bond programs to bringing in incredible programs such as Sea Perch, Kick Start Kids, rocketry and aviation to becoming a district of innovation, being a part of this team of board members has been a privilege that I want to continue.
Wood: I am running to influence change; to be a voice that asks the right questions prior to decision implementation. Decisions should be made based on data and the unbiased input of those affected. I am committed that every child receives an equal and appropriate education. We must ensure that we have the appropriate training in our schools to support the behavioral, academic, physical and/or artistic needs of all our students.