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.