Frisco ISD Board of Trustees Election Q&A: Four candidates for Place 4

The Frisco ISD board of trustees Place 4 election is May 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Frisco ISD board of trustees Place 4 election is May 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Frisco ISD board of trustees Place 4 election is May 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

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Courtesy Sean Heatley
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Courtesy Amit Kalra
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Courtesy Dynette A. Davis
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Courtesy Muni Janagarajan
Editor's note: In September Sean Heatley announced that he has dropped out of the race. See more here.

Four candidates will appear on the May ballot for the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees Place 4 seat.

Community Impact Newspaper contacted Sean Heatley, Muni Janagarajan, Dynette A. Davis and Amit Kalra with questions about their campaign priorities for the city.

The candidates and their answers are listed below in alphabetical order. Minor edits have been made for formatting.

Election day for the Place 4 seat is May 2.

Amit Kalra

Why did you decide to run for the Frisco ISD board of trustees?

If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing! I stand for education: education that is inclusive of academics, sports, arts, spiritual, cultural, moral and social facets; an education that promotes knowledge and accountability, both by the providers and stakeholders.

Education has been a very important part of my family for decades. My son is a first-grader in Frisco ISD. As a father, I envision a school district that develops erudite character, like a strong wall that withstands the huffs and puffs of the future challenges in life, locally and globally.

With the growth of the city of Frisco and its neighboring cities, Frisco ISD is experiencing a major multicultural, multiregional, multinational and multigenerational influence on the existing education system every year.

The open seat for Place 4 in the Frisco ISD board of trustees is an excellent opportunity for me to be a voice of this evolving community and contribute towards the betterment of the society straight at the grassroots level. Benjamin Franklin once quoted, “Hide not your talents, they for use were made/What’s a sundial in the shade?”

What experience do you think prepares you for serving on the board?

As a physical therapist, I have served those who have served us—veterans, teachers, professionals and other community members—in Frisco and the DFW Metroplex. I have worked with special-needs children, empathize[d] with their [parents'] emotions and [have been] involved with Frisco ISD since 2015.

My fervor towards education is ongoing as I am pursuing a doctorate degree. Having studied in four different countries spread over three continents, I have firsthand experience on multiple learning and examination patterns.

I have worked under university leadership that overlooked 65,000 students. I got a grant approved for $400,000 for an MSN program and developed a $200,000-per-year cost-saving tool for a nonprofit hospital.

I was a student leader in high school [and a] mentor and university ambassador in college and have built multiple social groups that promote individual interaction, knowledge-sharing and family integration.

How should Frisco ISD accommodate for the rapid growth it is seeing?

Plan for the future by building in the present. The rapid growth for Frisco ISD is a sign of success. Retention and promotion of current teachers and attracting the best teachers to Frisco ISD will lay the foundation for future success. Frisco ISD can accommodate this growth by exhibition of responsible financial expenditure, transparent accountability with stakeholders, judicious development of hard infrastructure and soft infrastructure and auscultate the community. A diversified board of trustees for Frisco ISD will help achieve these goals.

What is Frisco ISD’s biggest challenge, and how would you address it?

A demand for a fair accountability assessment for students is the biggest challenge. Students, athletes, artists, special-needs community [members] and budding entrepreneurs are being strangled by some monotonous standardized testing. I plan to use my dynamic multinational experience in different education systems to assemble, impart and reassess a reliable and valid educational assessment tool.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

I am a recipient of the President's Voluntary Service Award under President George Bush and honors medal in the Masters in Health Administration in 2009 and [as a] high school student leader in 1999. I volunteered in the National Abilympics and International Abilympics for special-needs children. I have multiple awards in extra-curricular activities.

My father is a retired diplomat, and [my] mother is a double master's degree-holder and retired Director of National Council for Teacher Education in India. My wife, Archana, is a physical therapist, gold medalist, university professor, double master's degree-holder and a current doctoral candidate.

Honesty, gratitude, integrity and loyalty are of prime importance to me. I am a wise spender and enjoy traveling. After moving to Dallas in 2011, Frisco became my home in 2014. I am currently enjoying the City Hall 101.

Dynette A. Davis

Why did you decide to run for the Frisco ISD board of trustees?

My name is Dynette A. Davis. My family and I have been Frisco ISD residents since our relocation to Texas in 2012. I decided to run for the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees Position 4 because over the past eight years, I have seen and been a part of the amazing growth that has taken place in Frisco.

What experience do you think prepares you for serving on the board?

As an educator, student advocate [for] and mother of Frisco ISD students, I believe that I would be an asset to our current board. I currently have students at Taylor Elementary, [the] Frisco High School Inaugural IB program and Liberty High School.

How should Frisco ISD accommodate for the rapid growth it is seeing?

Frisco ISD is growing by leaps and bounds, with many families relocating from all over the world. Ensuring that we are equipped to welcome the diverse families should be our top priority.

What is Frisco ISD’s biggest challenge, and how would you address it?

We already have the secret sauce for academic progress. Now, it is time to review and update our foundation work while moving #forwardtogether.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

Over the past 15 years, I have developed programs that contribute to the success of students from their developmental years through college. I have also served as a teacher, mentor, curriculum developer, teacher leader and university professor for both the private and public school sectors. As the founder and CEO of Dymensions Educational Consulting LLC, I have brought many college readiness programs into our community and provided academic support for students.

My commitment to Frisco ISD is: Family—Education—Community

#forwardtogether #dynetteadavis4fisd

A few of my community activities include:

  • Taylor Elementary PTA Board Membership Chair | 08/2012–06/2014

  • Fowler Middle School PTA Board Programs Chair | 08/2014–06/2016

  • Fowler Middle School PTA Board Membership Chair | 08/2016–06/2018

  • Liberty High School Band Special Events Chair | 2019–2020

  • Texas PTA Honorary Life Membership | May 9, 2019

  • Clean It & Green It Team Leader | 2017, 2018, 2019

  • Collin College Marketing and Entrepreneurship Committee Member | 2017–2019

Muni Janagarajan

Why did you decide to run for the Frisco ISD board of trustees?

I firmly believe education is a great equalizer. We are fortunate to be blessed with a great school system in Frisco ISD, and I am running to build upon the district’s academic excellence by providing leadership in areas of fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability, safety and security measures and as a strong advocate for teachers’ welfare and growth. I am committed to the enduring success of Frisco ISD. I will bring a fresh voice to our board and will work in the best interests of the taxpayers, teachers, parents and students.

What experience do you think prepares you for serving on the board?

First and foremost, I have a long, enduring relationship with the city of Frisco that started in January of 2013 when I first moved here from Plano. I have seen Frisco ISD grow in leaps and bounds, and I want to work with the district to see it flourish even more. My daughter is a student at Frisco ISD, and I am eager to give back to the district that is working with and for my child.

I actively participate as a volunteer and a community leader. I have served on the board of directors for the Richwoods HOA since 2017. Richwoods is one of the largest gated communities with over 1,600 homes, a budget of $2 million and $1 billion in assets.

The safety and well-being of our children is particularly vital to me. I volunteered as a crossing guard at Vandeventer Middle School for 3 1/2 years. Serving on the board will allow me to broaden the scope of my passion to ensure that our children are safe.

In addition, I regularly volunteer with various nonprofit organizations. I have organized and volunteered at various fundraising events for Frisco Family Services, Samaritan Inn, Frisco Fastpacs, events for special-needs children and have successfully raised funds in support of these and other organizations.

How should Frisco ISD accommodate for the rapid growth it is seeing?

While Frisco ISD is still growing, the rate of growth has declined over the past few years. Slower growth has meant that some bonds issued in 2014 for new schools are still unissued. As an example, lower than projected student enrollment growth allowed Frisco ISD to leverage capacity at existing schools and push out the projected opening date of Frisco ISD’s 11th high school from 2019-21. Two additional elementary schools have yet to be built from bonds authorized in 2014. In 2018, voters authorized bonds for High School No. 12, two middle schools and another elementary school. Frisco ISD is well-positioned to accommodate current growth projections. It is essential to maintain a watchful eye on demographic projections to ensure we continue to leverage existing capacity before beginning new construction projects.

In order for FISD to stay viable in the future, we need to offer a variety of programs to adequately prepare students for college and career readiness. At Frisco ISD, every student should have access to programs that feed their creativity and energize their ambitions.

While we have been blessed with a healthy and growing economy, it’s prudent for the board of trustees to adequately assess risks in the event of enrollment decline or economic downturns. Sustainability in either scenario is an essential element to the continued success of the district.

What is Frisco ISD’s biggest challenge, and how would you address it?

I believe there are three crucial challenges that Frisco ISD faces today:

  • Attracting and Retaining Talented Teachers: So much public debate centers on celebrities, athletes and even politicians serving as role models. In truth, outside of [students'] own homes, some of the biggest role models in a young person’s life are teachers. Teachers are essential to the success of our children, and attracting and retaining good teachers is a key priority. Teacher turnover in Frisco ISD is an area of concern, and I believe we need to do a deep dive into the reasons why turnover has risen and immediately focus our efforts on ensuring we adequately address this issue. This would include seeing to it that effective mentorship programs are in place, prioritizing teacher pay so that it remains competitive, instilling a supportive management environment, studying incentive plans, and providing meaningful leadership pathways.

  • Accuracy in Financial Forecasting and Enhanced Transparency: For the past four years, initial financial forecasting for the general fund has varied significantly from year-end actual revenue and expenditures. In part, this contributed to the premature ask for the tax ratification election in 2018. The increased revenue generated by raising the [maintenance and operations tax] rate to the maximum was unspent, sending nearly $54 million of taxpayer dollars to the district’s fund balance while needlessly dictating the expenditure of over $14 million to the state in recapture costs. If elected, I will push for improvements in the budgeting process by encouraging the use of a districtwide, zero-based budgeting approach; increase oversight to ensure a more thorough analysis of district forecasts; and improve transparency by establishing enhanced visibility of district expenditures related to debt and capital expenditures.

  • Campus Safety and Security: Parents need to feel confident in their child’s safety every time they drop their student off at school. We should continue to proactively train and prepare our children and staff for all types of crises and provide them with the ability to respond appropriately. In addition, I would promote workshops designed to train school staff to identify, interrupt, and intervene when bullying happens. Enhanced processes are needed to establish an environment that matches the district’s stated policy of zero tolerance.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

I have a master’s degree in computer science and over 20 years of experience as an IT professional. I bring a passionate heart, a logical mind and a listening ear to the table and assure the citizens that they will not regret their decision in appointing me to serve on the board.

A vote for me means a vote for a board member who pledges the following:

  • To unequivocally represent every resident, taxpayer, student, parent and teacher of Frisco ISD fairly. If elected, I am prepared to work with fellow school board trustees and FISD administrative staff to find fiscally conservative solutions to our budget and proposed bond projects.

  • To provide ample opportunities to the teachers and students to bring excellence in academics and extracurricular activities.

  • To rise above the status quo and work with district staff and other stakeholders with integrity and honesty.

  • To bring public trust and transparency to all levels of the decision-making process.

I’d be most honored and humbled to have your vote to serve on the Frisco ISD board of trustees Place 4. For more information, please visit my website at

Sean Heatley

Why did you decide to run for the Frisco ISD board of trustees?

Volunteering as an ISD trustee comes from the desire to understand and positively guide both my daughter’s future and the futures of the 63,000 students who currently call Frisco ISD home.

After a lengthy seven-year process through science, IVF’s and all kinds of emotional ups and downs, our family ultimately went through the path of surrogacy to grow our family. The process was ultimately successful through the incredible generosity of a surrogate family, and that has led us to appreciate every moment we have together. We feel very strongly that as parents, we have a responsibility to serve and do our part for the community.

What experience do you think prepares you for serving on the board?

I have been preparing for this role for seven years, and here are some of the most relevant experiences:

  • Member, Co-Chair Facilities & Budget Committee | 2018

  • Member, Long Range Planning Committee | 2017-2019

  • Member, Priority Based Budget Committee | 2016-2017

  • Graduate, Frisco Leadership XXI | 2017

  • Member, Board of Directors for Frisco Fastpacs | 2019-present

  • Entrepreneur, Owner and Operator of EPIC Distribution | 2017-present

  • Nominee, Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year | 2019

  • Nominee, Chamber Small Business of the Year | 2019

  • Investor & Advocate, KIDSTRONG | 2018-present

  • Project Relo Graduate, Veteran Transition, Class 9

  • Member & Advocate, NFL Alumni Transition | 2016-present

  • Denton County CPS Board Member | 2014-2017

  • City Hall 101 | 2014

  • Dale Carnegie Graduate | 2006

How should Frisco ISD accommodate for the rapid growth it is seeing?

With the passing of the 2018 TRE, the 2014 and 2018 bond dollars remaining and the active status of House Bill 3, Frisco is a great position to do three major things to support our near-term growth, which is still at a rate of over 2,000 students per year:

  • Recruit, train and retain our teaching staff and administrators.

  • Build and maintain the necessary facilities for the small school model the community desires, ensure class ratios are in line to target in existing schools and continue to reduce waivers.

  • Continue the evaluation, implementation and expansion of sustainable programming.

What is Frisco ISD’s biggest challenge, and how would you address it?

Based on the last four years of training, listening and learning with the community and the district, I believe one our biggest challenges is to create a measurable evaluation system that factors in the whole child and creates a language that citizens, teachers, students and stakeholders can all communicate in. The community-based accountability system will give us all a more consistent platform across the district and help us look at our district and kids from a number of perspectives, including academics, well-roundedness, safety and financials.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

I love Frisco. I love this town, I love our house, I love our neighbors and I love our schools. Our family is emotionally invested in everything about this town, good and bad, and we are willing to volunteer our time to make it better today than it was yesterday. We have friends and family in McKinney, Little Elm, Plano and Prosper, and as a trustee, those areas are just as important, but I can only live in one house. I have been training for this position for the last seven years and building the citywide connections that it takes to guide a district with over 7,000 employees and 63,000 students. [Being] a board trustee in a district the size of Frisco is a huge responsibility, and we are humbly asking for everyone’s support as we continue our seven-year-long campaign.