Election Q&A: Candidates for Frisco ISD Place 7

Meet the candidates running for Frisco ISD Place 7. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Meet the candidates running for Frisco ISD Place 7. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Meet the candidates running for Frisco ISD Place 7. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Learn more about the candidates running for the Frisco ISD Place 7 seat ahead of the May 1 election. Early voting is April 19-27.

Editor’s note: Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name. An asterisk (*) indicates the candidate is an incumbent.


DALLAS-FORT WORTH



Frisco ISD Place 7










René Archambault*



Occupation: Higher education administrator/deputy director, Southern Methodist University


Relevant experience: Frisco ISD Board of Trustees (elected in 2018), currently board vice president; Frisco FastPacs Board of Directors (ex-officio); Frisco Council of PTAs – ambassador level member; Wakeland High School Theatre Booster volunteer; Dallas ISD Advisory Board; Dallas County Community College District Steering Committee member; Deputy Director, SMU Guildhall (2004-current); past service includes FISD Long Range Planning Committee, FISD Insight Class of ‘18, Frisco Education Foundation Advisory Board






Why are you running for office?



RA: Public education is the great American equalizer. Over 90% of children are educated in public schools across the nation. In order for students, teachers and staff to remain the focus of every decision, every initiative and every priority, there is nothing more important than measured, experienced, non-political leadership on a public school board to help fulfill the mission and vision of a school district. I am running for re-election to the FISD Board to continue to build upon the successes of our school district during my first term serving as a trustee and most recently as the vice president of the board and to continue to provide proven leadership and fierce advocacy for our 64,000 students and 8,300 staff members as we navigate post-COVID-19 challenges and strive for continued excellence and robust experiences for our students both in and out of the classroom.



How has your experience prepared you for board service?



RA: I was fortunate to be voted into my first term in 2018. My experience on the board through expansion of student opportunities, management of significant growth, expanded programming (i.e. Navy National Defense Cadet Corp, CTE and AP course and pathway expansion, STEM based courses, dual credit partnerships, the IB Diploma programme, etc.), strengthening safety and mental health resources, delivering robust and meaningful increases in teacher/staff compensation and benefits, achievement of the lowest tax rate in decades, expansion of special education resources, collaborating with legislators during the 86th session, and the achievement of stellar financial transparency ratings positions me to continue to be able to a part of the team that will lead this district forward.

In addition, I have over 17 years in higher education and have worked to advocate for and help prepare thousands of students as they pursue their educational and professional goals. That experience, coupled with my district service, will provide a direct benefit to the students in Frisco ISD as we move into the next phase of strategic planning and future ready learning.



What do you think are the biggest issues facing Frisco ISD today, and how do you plan to address them if elected?



RA: As a board, we know that COVID-19 has been a tough road to travel for our students, staff and families. We've balanced staying future-focused while working to solve the daily challenges that this crisis has presented. Our goal was to take advantage of every single moment that our community of children was in our care, both online and in person, and to provide the excellence in education for which Frisco ISD is known. Quality student outcomes, and creating a safe and physically and mentally healthy environment for teachers, staff and students remained our top priority and is always the central focus going forward.

The next three years will present COVID-19 recovery-related challenges with both academic progress and mental health support, and our board will need to balance these areas with both resource allocation and support as FISD staff continues to work on the individualized needs of each and every one of our learners.



What else do you want voters to know about you?



RA: A fifth-generation North Texan, I have worked in higher education at Southern Methodist University for over 17 years as a graduate admissions and marketing officer.

I am very active in the Frisco community, having served on the Frisco ISD Long Range Planning Committee, Frisco Education Foundation Advisory Board and Frisco FastPacs Board of Directors. I am an active member of the Frisco Women’s League, and ambassador level member of Frisco ISD’s Council of PTAs, and I volunteer with the Wakeland Theatre Booster.


My husband, Randy, and I have been married for 19 years, and our daughter Zoe is a freshman at Wakeland High School (and attended Purefoy Elementary and Griffin Middle School).

I have made community communication one of the foundations of my board service and have a very active Facebook page.








Evelyn Brooks



Occupation: Educator, youth leader


Relevant experience: 23 years of classroom teaching and youth development, Waterford Falls HOA board member, adviser for Texas State YMCA Youth & Government and Beauman’s 2nd Chance for Change, family tutor specialist, founder of Challenging Edge Academy, founder of International Rock of Faith.


Website: https://evelyn4friscoisd.com/




Why are you running for office?



EB: 2020 was a game-changer in the field of education. COVID-19 encroached upon our lives unexpectedly and turned our society upside down. I decided to run for the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees mostly because of how the dynamics of teaching have changed. 47% of our students are learning virtually, while 53% remain in-person. This has created a critical problem for Frisco ISD to solve. I am strongly committed to serve my community and provide a unique and fresh approach to the current virtual and in-person learning challenges that COVID-19 has presented and look forward to collaborating with trustees to continue meeting the learning and mental needs of all our students without leaving any child behind.



How has your experience prepared you for board service?



EB: I have over 23 years of classroom teaching and youth development. I was an elementary teacher for several years and earned certification in the state of Maryland, Colorado, Virginia and Texas. My experience includes specialized training in literacy and ELA-A certification.

I’ve worked in urban and suburban school districts and have consistently raised the standards for student learning in each of my classrooms. I worked in the classroom to ensure that 90% of all my first graders were proficient readers and writers prior to advancing to second grade. Some of my class sizes reached a capacity of thirty-five without the help of an assistant. In order to meet the needs all my students, which included ESL students and students with special learning needs, I provided free tutoring before and after school. In addition, I provided holistic and challenging teaching practices to increase academic success and excellence.

I serve on Waterford Falls HOA Board, am an adviser for Texas State YMCA Youth & Government, a family tutor specialist, founder of Challenging Edge Academy, founder of International Rock of Faith, and an adviser on Beauman’s 2nd Chance for Change.



What do you think are the biggest issues facing Frisco ISD today and how do you plan to address them if elected?



EB: The biggest issues facing Frisco ISD today are COVID-19 recovery, addressing the mental wellness of teachers and students, learning loss, providing supports for learners with physical or learning disabilities that are easily transferable for virtual and in-person learning with social distancing, safety, and sustained funding for COVID-19 expenses.

If elected, I’ll listen to what teachers need most in order to successfully do their job teaching our students under the current tremendous pressure. I’ll research ways to close the achievement gap by suggesting the use of differentiated instruction.

I’d advocate for early math and reading readiness initiatives for pre-K and elementary school students, where we teach the most practical, concrete and fastest methods for solving mathematics problems and include phonics using a balanced literacy approach for reading. In like manner, I’d encourage reading, handwriting, sentence writing, addition and subtraction be taught as early as ages 3 and 4, using an integration of a kinesthetic, visual, hands-on, movement, auditory, musical, virtual, inquiry-based curriculum with the integration of STEM.



What else do you want voters to know about you?



EB: I want voters to know that I am committed to making decisions that are in the best interest of all our students. I support family values and choices. Parents know what is best for their children, and I want to find ways to support them and provide ongoing communication. I desire to see all our children in Frisco ISD realize their dreams as a reality. I look forward to meeting most of you by name and serving your needs.



By Valerie Wigglesworth
Valerie has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She is currently managing editor for DFW Metro for Community Impact Newspaper.


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