Why are you running?

I am running as a concerned parent of two young children who will soon enter Hays CISD and as a concerned taxpayer and member of the community. The rapid growth of the district presents unique challenges, and I desire to serve in a capacity that meets these challenges. My stance is that the district should serve the needs of the entire community, which includes the students, teachers, other district employees, administrative personnel, parents and taxpayers.

What will be your top priority if elected?

If elected, my top priority would be to collaborate with all stakeholders to establish the standards, policies and procedures necessary to allow every student in the district to realize their maximum educational achievement. A major component of this priority entails empowering the appropriate district personnel to perform the tasks that are critical to success.

Why do you think you are qualified to be a trustee?

As a person who pursued an education that was not necessary for my employment, I feel as though my dedication to the educational pursuit represents the proper attitude needed in public education. In my professional career, my role has always been one of many that must come together for a common purpose, and I plan to bring that understanding to the board as we seek solutions to complex problems. It is important to maximize the talents of all participants in the process of providing public education.

Hays CISD will hold a bond election this year. Do you support the bond propositions? Why or why not?

The need for additional schools is undeniable. However, I have legitimate concerns regarding the process that brought us to the pricing being proposed. The board of trustees owes a fiduciary duty to the taxpayers, and must weigh any desires of the administration against that duty. Extravagant building design does not translate into educational achievement, and any dollars that do not meet that standard are wasted. Local debt cannot continue to accumulate at its current pace, placing a cloud over all of our property. As such, I do not support the current bonds as presented. With a current debt load approaching $300 million, fiscal restraint should be a priority.

What is your opinion on the state's A-F accountability ratings?

You can add my voice to the crescendo of those calling for an end to standardized testing. When accountability is only quantified on testing performance, you will continue to see an increased focus on testing. It feels as though we have all realized by now that standardized testing adds very little to the educational experience. We don't need the state to tell us what sort of district we have. Communities somehow figure out a way to pinpoint who the best doctors, dentists, mechanics and electricians are, and I think our community can figure out our schools' performance in the same manner.

How well do you think the district does in attracting and retaining top educators?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it seeks to quantify a generalization that is seemingly purely anecdotal. However, one thing that we can all agree unequivocally sells itself to potential elite educators is the area. People are moving here in droves because of the attractiveness of the Kyle and Buda communities, and that attractiveness certainly assists with attraction and retention. My hope is to help the district by adding some additional deliberation to the process that seeks to ameliorate the challenges that we face as a district.