November 2020 election: Meet the candidates for Round Rock ISD board of trustees Place 7

Jenn Griffith and Danielle Weston are running for Round Rock ISD board of trustees Place 7. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Jenn Griffith and Danielle Weston are running for Round Rock ISD board of trustees Place 7. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Jenn Griffith and Danielle Weston are running for Round Rock ISD board of trustees Place 7. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)



ROUND ROCK



Round Rock ISD board of trustees Place 7










Jenn Griffith



Occupation: Realtor, Coldwell Banker


Experience: mom of 4 RRISD students; 15 years of serving with RRISD; real estate professional; small business owner






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



JG: My commitment is to work with the board members and the superintendent to ensure that Round Rock ISD is providing all of our students with every possible opportunity to help cultivate critical thinking skills they will need to be successful in life. I'm running with a focus on the whole child: emotional well-being and safety; financial stewardship: efficient and effective spending; and teacher empowerment: providing the tools to be innovative and engaging.



What uniquely qualifies you for this position?



JG: We’ve been in Brushy Creek for 21 years with 3 of our 4 children still in the district. I’ve served in various leadership and volunteer roles in RRISD for 15 years, including PTA, council of PTAs, district level committees and booster clubs. I currently serve on the St. David’s Round Rock board of trustees. In the last 3 years I’ve logged 550 volunteer hours in our schools and understand the challenges and strengths of RRISD.



What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the school district, and how will you improve it?



JG: The board must be able to work together, and that is not currently happening at a high level. Having our students at the center of every decision we make as trustees is imperative to the district's success, not board member infighting and disagreements. Student success should be the number one priority for any board member and I am committed to ensuring every student in this district has the chance to learn and succeed.











Danielle Weston



Occupation: U.S. Air Force veteran


Experience: U.S. Air Force captain; private sector HR manager; master of arts-HR and leadership, Webster University; bachelor of arts-English, University of Kansas






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



DW: Successfully emerging from the global pandemic and writing new district goals are the most important tasks for our board of trustees. Student and teacher safety in both the virtual and on campus environments is also a priority as well as elevating vocational training and special education. In addition, projected declines in 2020 state tax revenue mean tough fiscal decisions loom ahead for trustees. Meeting the educational needs of students must be prioritized.



What uniquely qualifies you for this position?



DW: Blue Star mom of 5 children; extensive volunteer record; and personal history of service. Leading in times of turmoil is not foreign to me. I was on active duty on 9/11 and a private sector business leader when the economy melted down in 2008/09. My advocacy for our students spans years and hundreds of hours in broad areas of academic and extracurricular involvement including as a RRISD student mentor, PTA volunteer and booster volunteer.



What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the school district, and how will you improve it?



DW: Many students have suffered academically, socially, with mental health and lack of equity during the extended closure of school campuses. Recovering from this and coping with declining state revenues will require tremendous leadership from RRISD. Virtual instruction works very well for some students but for many, access to our world class campuses and in-person teachers is imperative. Our future success hinges on parents, teachers, administration, trustees and others effectively working together to emerge stronger.


By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.