Frisco ISD Board of Trustees Election Q&A: Debbie Gillespie to serve another term in Place 5

Debbie Gillespie will serve a fourth term as the Place 5 board of trustee member. (Courtesy Debbie Gillespie)
Debbie Gillespie will serve a fourth term as the Place 5 board of trustee member. (Courtesy Debbie Gillespie)

Debbie Gillespie will serve a fourth term as the Place 5 board of trustee member. (Courtesy Debbie Gillespie)

Incumbent Debbie Gillespie will continue as Frisco ISD's Place 5 board of trustee member for a fourth term. Gillespie is running unopposed in the May election.

Community Impact Newspaper contacted incumbent Debbie Gillespie with questions about her campaign priorities for Frisco ISD.

Gillespie's answers are listed below. Minor edits have been made for formatting.

Election day for the Place 4 seat is May 2.

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

Education is the most powerful tool that we can offer our children, not only to help them succeed in whatever career path they choose, but also to become productive, active citizens in their communities.

I began volunteering in FISD as a room mom over 20 years ago and watched my children learn and grow in what was truly the greatest education experience I could’ve ever imagined. My choice to run for Frisco ISD Board of Trustees is to be a voice for our students, staff and community so that we continue making education a priority for all of our children.

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

Prior to first being elected in 2011, I was involved in FISD at many levels, including the 2003 and 2006 bond committees. I have worked very hard to learn and be prepared for every decision we make in FISD. I am very involved in the legislative process, advocating for FISD while building relationships with our legislators so that we have a continual line of open communication.

Most importantly, I have spent hours on school visits watching how our students learn, which helps me be a better trustee and a better advocate for our students, staff and community at large.

In addition to FISD, I was first elected in 2014 as the Region 10 Director for Texas Association of School Boards. This past September, I was elected statewide as the second vice president of TASB, giving me the great opportunity to represent and advocate for all of the children in our Texas Public Schools.

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

FISD is no stranger to the challenges of rapid growth. The past few years, we have worked diligently to make sure that our buildings are utilized in the most efficient way while keeping the safety, security and health of our students and staff a top priority.

Campus and class size play a very important role in making sure that our students are able to learn in the best environment; therefore, we continually monitor enrollment very carefully.

Although there is opportunity for each campus to have some character and autonomy, we strive to make sure that the programming across campuses is equal.

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

Maybe not so much challenges, but programs that are a priority will be a successful rollout of our full day pre-K program. [We will] continue building on educating the whole child with social and emotional learning training and identification. [We will continue improving] our community-based accountability system along with the addition of more opportunities for community to be involved in the decision-making process. [We will make] continual upgraded security measures, including making sure that our buildings are updated and maintained properly.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

My husband and I have been Frisco residents for almost 25 years. Both of our children experienced rezoning and attended FISD schools K-12. Our daughter is a University of Texas McCombs School of Business graduate and currently lives in Manhattan, NY. Our son is a graduate of Texas A&M, where he was a four-year member in The Corps of Cadets. He is now a First Lieutenant in the United States Army.
By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


The Frisco Chamber of Commerce held its eighth virtual Conversation with the Chamber event April 7. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
How Frisco businesses can benefit from the CARES Act

The CARES Act encompasses a $2 trillion package for employers, individuals and companies amid coronavirus.

Texas Central claims the $12 billion construction process would be privately funded, and the train would transport 6 million annual riders by 2029. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators request federal officials halt activity on Texas Central's high-speed rail project

Dozens of elected officials representing Texas requested the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao put an end to activity related to Texas Central’s high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston.

Dallas Cowboys spokesperson Joe Trahan said the team will be participating in the #LightItBlue initiative on the video board outside the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. (Lindsey Juarez Monsivais/Community Impact Newspaper)
In honor of essential workers, Frisco landmarks to #LightItBlue on April 9

The Star in Frisco and the National Soccer Hall of Fame are taking part in the #LightItBlue initiative that will salute the millions of essential workers providing services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care co-founder Dr. Jay Woody said those hurt in household accidents should not delay in seeing a doctor. (Courtesy Legacy ER & Urgent Care)
Legacy ER advising those with medical issues unrelated to coronavirus to not delay doctor visits

Dr. Jay Woody said those that are sick or hurt should not delay in seeing a doctor.

Venue Verona Villa is located on Dallas Parkway. (Courtesy Verona Villa)
ROUNDUP: DFW businesses, ISDs respond to outbreak

Here are five stories on how business and school districts in the metroplex are adapting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Superintendent Mike Waldrip updated the district board of trustees during an April 7 meeting via video conference. (Courtesy Frisco ISD)
With several options in the works, graduation ceremonies will still occur for Frisco ISD seniors

A virtual graduation ceremony at each high school is one option under consideration.

Frisco City Council approved a zoning ordinance amendment during its April 7 meeting that will allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to operate in specific land use districts. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Frisco approves zoning to allow breweries, distilleries and wineries in the city

Frisco City Council approved a zoning ordinance amendment that will allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to operate in specific land use districts.

The exams will be open-resource and timed at 45 minutes with an additional five minutes for uploading documents for test submission. (Courtesy Fotolia)
AP Exams to be administered online, at home in May for Frisco ISD students

All AP exams will be taken at home by students using a laptop, desktop, digital tablet or cellphone with internet access.

Venue Verona Villa is located on Dallas Parkway. (Courtesy Verona Villa)
Frisco wedding vendors lose majority of business for March, April as couples postpone celebrations

One Frisco wedding venue has already rescheduled 17 March and April weddings.

Area chief appraisers struggle to meet tax calendar deadlines under stay-at-home orders

Property owners typically begin receiving assessed value notices in the mail around this time each year. Already, the region’s largest districts have announced the delay of those letters until the end of April or middle of May.

Plano ISD trustees on March 15 agreed to continue paying district employees as schools close in response to new coronavirus outbreaks across the country. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)
5 of the latest coronavirus updates from the DFW area

Catch up on some of the latest coronavirus-related developments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area below.