Election Q&A: Meet the candidates for Pflugerville ISD, Place 1

Voters will cast ballots on May 1. Early voting is from April 19-27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Voters will cast ballots on May 1. Early voting is from April 19-27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Voters will cast ballots on May 1. Early voting is from April 19-27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)



PFLUGERVILLE



Pflugerville ISD, Place 1










David Aguirre



Occupation: retired store director, Target


Experience: Award-winning Target store director, 42 years in retail, local volunteer, proven ability to lead teams and balance budgets






What will be your top priorities if you are elected?




DA: Elevating students academically, particularly by expanding the use of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in PfISD schools. Supporting educators by truly listening to teachers and staff. Advocating for students, educators, and parents while responsibly managing tax dollars.




What uniquely qualifies you for this position?




DA: My career includes proven leadership and successfully managing complex budgets. Opening three Central Texas stores, including the Stone Hill Target, required long-range strategic planning, executing on tight timelines and recruiting. As a volunteer, father, coach and church group leader, I believe in the power of effective mentorship.




How should Pflugerville Independent School District manage its growth?




DA: As an extremely fast-growing district, we must be purposeful in long-range planning to ensure stability in the classrooms. Our priorities should be attracting, recruiting, and retaining the best teachers and administrators and implementing a system that allows students to easily be rezoned to another campus to receive equitable programs.




What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the district?




DA: With the pandemic, the winter storm damage on campuses and the unknowns for next year, I believe our greatest challenge is the school district budget. It will take some innovation and collaboration, but if we work as a team and agree that keeping money close to the classrooms is the priority, then I know we can achieve a balanced budget.












Marc Garcia



Occupation: School guidance counselor, Austin ISD; past assistant principal and classroom teacher


Experience: I have a Master of Education in education administration and 15 years of experience as a teacher, counselor and assistant principal






What will be your top priorities if you are elected?




MC: Improving district communication with families and staff with timely dissemination of urgent information rather than at the eleventh hour or not at all; greater emphasis on student mental health, particularly as campuses reopen for more students; increased diversity in staffing at all levels; and a commitment to academics and programs that reflect today’s educational needs.




What uniquely qualifies you for this position?




MC: As a working educator and PfISD parent of two elementary students, I’ve balanced the challenges of work with remote learning. I understand the anxiety and stress felt by teachers, administrators and kids. Combined with my front-line academic experience, [that] means I will bring today’s thinking and solutions for current issues faced by students, families and educators.




How should Pflugerville Independent School District manage its growth?




MC: PfISD must be proactive in planning for future growth and nurture our partnerships with area governmental entities to provide up-to-date population and demographic data. PfISD must use this data to support families and include them in planning processes, like boundary changes. PfISD must continue to develop premier academic, CTE and vocational programs.




What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the district?




MC: COVID-19’s ramifications will be challenging, with a budget deficit due to COVID-19 attendance decreases. I understand the fiscal discipline required to stretch school budgets while positively impacting academics. Student mental health, and how COVID-19 has affected our kids must be front and center, and I can use my counselor experience when addressing this issue.