Community Impact Newspaper sent Obamehinti a list of questions about her candidacy. Below are her answers edited for style and length.
Q. Why did you decide to run for this office?
A. There is no neutrality when it comes to being part of the solution. What I have learned working with our teachers across the state has given me laser insight into our broken educational system and possible ways to fix it. Texas should be ranked higher than 34th nationwide. This is why I am running. I believe it is time for a new, strong, and experienced conservative voice in SBOE District 11 that can bring a collaborative approach to problem-solving. Whether gifted or struggling, all students deserve better. Texas deserves a well-educated student base than rank No. 34.
Q. What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
A. I have been a public-school advocate for 15 years in various capacities.
Professional Experience: I am a former elementary math/science teacher, middle school science teacher, high school biology teacher, college professor, central office public school administrator, trainer for Texas Education Agency, curriculum writer/designer, executive consultant for Regional Service Center and currently a business owner providing professional development services to schools and corporations in best practices.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree of science in microbiology (University of Texas, Arlington).
Master’s degree of science in teaching and learning, and curriculum and instruction (Peru State College). Doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction (Texas A&M University, College Station)
2013 Texas Standard Principal, EC-12 (8/24/13 – 5/31/2021)
2007 College Board Advance Placement Biology
2004 Texas Standard Generalist, 4-8 (4/17/04 – 5/31/2021)
2005 Texas Standard ESL Generalist, EC -4 (2/26/05 – 5/31/2021)
1999 Texas Provisional Composite Science, 6-12 (5/2/99 – Lifetime)
- Board Member-Cedar-Hill Public Library
2. 2017 Republican Appointee to the Texas Advisory Council for the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights, a bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters.
- Appointed to the Texas Education Agency State Review Panel for ELPS (Proclamation 2010)
2. Appointed to the Review Panel for the Texas 2013 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
3. Appointed to the Texas Education Agency State Review Panel for Special Topics (Proclamation 2018)
4. 2011 Recipient of the prestigious Barbara Bush Fellowship Award ($25,000 Research Grant)
5. Named to the 2016 National Small Business Association Leadership Council- a non-partisan small business advocacy organization that works with policymakers in Washington, D.C.
6. 2017 Republican Appointee to the Texas Advisory Council for the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights-a bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters.Q. If elected, what would be your top priorities?
A. 1. Establishing a quarterly community forum to fix the limited transparency and accessibility of the office; to allow for input of all stakeholders in Parker, North, South, West Tarrant and far northwest Dallas counties. There is currently no community input. To represent well requires a consistent dialogue, which is essential and necessary for good governance. This will be accomplished by engaging our school districts within each county to be host sites for the community forum. Each forum will focus on major issues pertinent to public education.
- Immerse contribution to the Long-Range Plan for Texas Public Education. If elected, I pledge to contribute my years of experience from working with regional service centers, public schools, charter schools, private schools and homeschooling families to ensure there is representation in the plan that makes public education better for all Texas children. My experience training and working with educators across the state on best practices in teaching and learning for English Language Learners will play a central role in executing this priority.
- Working with fellow board members to champion the implementation of statewide instructional approaches that will ensure all our elementary-aged students are well prepared for secondary grades. This will be accomplished in collaboration with fellow board members working and working with regional service centers to gather data on possible effective approaches. My experience as a senior consultant with the regional service center will be a great asset in executing this priority.
- Many of our elementary-aged students are not well prepared for secondary grades and hence higher education. I would like to champion fixing this systemic problem by committing to work with fellow members to implement instructional approaches that will ensure all our students have equal opportunity to succeed in secondary grades and beyond. One such instructional approach is the need for a consistent and statewide transition plan that bridges elementary grades to secondary grades to ensure our elementary students are well prepared for the rigor of secondary grades.Q. What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?
A. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Nigerian parents. I grew up in Nigeria and am married with three adult daughters. My husband and I homeschooled our three daughters for 11 years; after which, they all completed their high school education in public schools. All three daughters desired to pursue the IB program which gave them all a strong literacy and numeracy foundation going into college. All three graduated as IB graduates at age 16 and graduated college with their first degrees at age 20. I have a diverse well-rounded background that has allowed me to see our public education system from many angles for better decision making as a state board of education member.
To learn more about Obamehinti, go to www.Feyi4Schools.com.