Kandice Kapinos is running for the Carroll ISD board of trustees Place 7 seat against incumbent David Almand in the upcoming May 4 general election.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Kapinos a series of questions about her candidacy. Her written responses, edited for publication style, are below.
Why did you decide to run for this position?
As a mother of three Carroll ISD students and an economic policy expert, I believe I am uniquely qualified to bring about positive changes in our local educational system. Our district is fortunate in many ways with phenomenal teachers and administrators, but we are not immune to many of the issues facing schools nationwide. There are many concerned parents and students in our community. I am running to address their concerns; bring new, evidence-based ideas to the discussion table; and focus on grappling with important educational issues, such as [improving]transparency in financial and program decision making [in]the district; prioritizing mental health and fostering a culture of inclusion; and [using]an evidence-based approach to incorporating technology in schools.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
I am [a]health economist (Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) and have worked in a variety of academic, government and private-sector settings. I am currently employed at a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank where I lead social and economic policy research. Additionally, I am an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. My research includes work in the area of child and adolescent health, giving me unique insight into the pressing issues affecting children and families.
I have extensive experience in education as well, teaching economics and statistics at the collegiate level, math in the Upward Bound program for disadvantaged youth, and Sunday school at my church. I have also volunteered in my children’s classrooms and am currently serving on the School Health Advisory Council for the district.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Carroll ISD, and how do you plan to address it on the board of trustees?
There are several issues I think are important … but I believe we need to prioritize mental health and foster a culture of inclusion. CISD is known for the excellence and achievements of its students in academics and extracurricular activities, as well as strong teachers and involved parents. Although this is something to appreciate and celebrate, it is important to recognize that the level of stress and pressure on our students is intense. There are of dozens of studies documenting increases in adolescent and childhood depression, anxiety, suicide and non-suicidal self-injury, which are associated with increased stress. CISD has started a resiliency project, which aims to increase students’ abilities to overcome adversity. This project is a great step, and we must continue to do more to prioritize mental health [and]to develop students who excel at coping in life, who can better handle daily stressors, [who]are mentally healthy and who are good citizens. We also face sobering statistics on the prevalence of bullying in our schools, both in-person and on social media. I believe that fostering a culture of inclusion and acceptance goes hand-in-hand with our efforts to build resilient students who are good citizens.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
My husband, Pavel, and I moved to Southlake about two and a half years ago and are grateful to be part of this community. Like most parents, our goal is to help our children develop into compassionate and hard-working adults who can contribute meaningfully to our community. School is obviously an integral part of that process. I would love to serve in strengthening the partnerships between parents, teachers, students and administrators.
More information about Kapinos and her campaign can be found here.