Q&A: Meet the candidates running for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Board of Trustees Place 1

Meet the three candidates running for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Place 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Meet the three candidates running for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Place 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Meet the three candidates running for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Place 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Learn more about the candidates running for the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Board of Trustees Place 1 seat ahead of the May 1 election. Early voting is from April 19-27.


DALLAS-FORT WORTH



Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Board of Trustees Place 1










Mindy McClure*



Occupation: Homemaker


Experience: Volunteered in our schools and our communities for close to 25 years. My mother was a teacher, and I have always had a heart for the teachers in GCISD. I'm a people person and a problem-solver, and my door is always open if someone has a question or concern. Graduated with a JD from Texas Tech University School of Law, member of the Texas State Bar. My leadership style is best described as a servant leader. I'm hands-on and enjoy serving this community.






Why are you running for office?



MM: I am running for office to continue the positive direction and culture in our district. My oldest graduated in 2010 and got a wonderful education, but when I look at the programs and opportunities available today, I'd like to be able to shrink all three of my boys and raise them all over again! Since I can't "time travel," instead it is important to me to continue this progress and protect these opportunities for the students in GCISD. Campuses are working together across the district like never before, and it is so important that continue. We are so much stronger when we pull together, and that has been very evident in the district's strong response when faced with COVID-19. GCISD has been very good to the McClure family, and I hope through my service to pay it forward for many families to come.



If elected, what would be your top three priorities?



MM: My top three priorities are COVID-19 response, communication and the budget. Regarding the COVID-19 response, I'd like to focus on communicating to our families the precautions we take to safely educate our students' work. Some thrive in the remote environment, but the vast majority are much more engaged when they are in the classroom. As far as communication is concerned, I think we could improve getting the word out to our community members who no longer have students in our classrooms or who have young children, so they will know about the amazing programs we offer. We're considered a destination district, and when it comes to ensuring property values remain strong, the strength of the school district is key. We have campuses dedicated to advanced academics, to STEM, to dual language and to the arts. We continue to strengthen our dyslexia program. Our Career and Tech Ed department has absolutely exploded in terms of popularity and courses offered. Finally, when it comes to the budget, teachers and staff continue to be a priority. We've recently been named a Top 100 Places to Work by The Dallas Morning News for the third year in a row, and that doesn't happen if those employees don't feel valued.



Discuss the district's COVID-19 response and what you think is working well and what needs to change.



MM: Our COVID-19 response is an area that I want to praise. Just a little less than a year ago, we sent our students off for spring break, and over the course of two weeks, our world changed dramatically. I can't sing the praises enough of the administrators, educators–honestly every single employee of this district. Due to the foresight of voters many years ago, our students already had devices and knew how to operate those devices. Our tech team works night and day keeping everything repaired and operational–even providing hotspots to homes that lacked connectivity. Over the summer great improvements were made in the delivery of remote instruction and equally great improvements that allowed our students to return safely to in-person instruction. I'd like to see more students return to the classrooms, and hopefully, as the word spreads about our success in keeping students and teachers safe, this will increase. One advantage to our students being familiar with how to do school remotely is when they have to quarantine, or remain home due to damage at their campus from our recent unprecedented winter storm, they are able to continue the business of learning without missing a step.









Shannon Braun



Occupation: Homemaker


Experience: I am a GCISD graduate as is my husband. I have chaired events, fundraisers and managed sports teams, worked in the classrooms, served in my community and church. I have served in all aspects of my children’s education and sports. I am an out-of-the-box thinker who challenges the status quo. I will be relentless in finding solutions to the problems that GCISD faces.






Why are you running for office?



SB: I am running for office because GCISD is my home. My husband and I both graduated from Grapevine High School. My daughter graduated from GHS, and my son attended GCISD and eventually graduated from Grapevine Faith Christian School. It is time for the average citizen to get involved in local government. I am answering that call. I have common sense, and it’s time to inject a little more of that in the way we are managing our schools.



If elected, what would be your top three priorities?



SB: School finances are priority: finding ways to save our district money, paying our teachers more and transparency in all areas.



Discuss the district's COVID-19 response and what you think is working well and what needs to change.



SB: Online learning and staring at a screen all day is setting our children back. As a community we are going to have to come together to get our children not only caught up but moving forward. We need to bring the fun back into school. We need to give our children back the class parties, allow parents back in the building, have kids playing sports and have pep rallies, debates, band and classroom interaction with their peers.









Sergio Harris



Occupation: Teacher


Experience: I have been an educator in the public school system for the past 10 years. I have experience with a variety of students across grade levels with a passion for the high school setting and U.S. History. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army where I served in a variety of leadership roles. My children are current students in the district at the elementary level, and my wife is an active member of the Silver Lake PTA and serves in a variety of roles, including several on the executive board. I actively serve the Silver Lake campus when my schedule allows and support my wife in the various roles in which she serves.






Why are you running for office?



SH: I have chosen to run for school board because I have a passion for education, and I love the city of Grapevine. I believe my experience as not only a parent of children in the district but also as an educator provides me with a unique perspective that would prove profoundly useful to the GCISD staff and community. I began my career as a student teacher and then substitute in this district and am excited to serve in a larger capacity. GCISD is a large district with a diverse group of staff and students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. I would like to see this diversity reflected across the district at all levels.



If elected, what would be your top three priorities?



SH: I would like to see greater diversity reflected within the district, including personnel and enrichment activities for students and staff. I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with not only the board on ways we can promote, celebrate and educate on diversity but also even more so am excited to collaborate with students and staff on their creative ideas. In the end, we are here to serve the staff, students and community and I feel their input is vital for success in any program undertaken by the district. Other priorities I feel strongly about include addressing our mental health, especially in the student body, and continuing to grow strong leaders within the district at the staff and student level. This is in direct alignment with the mission, vision and values of this district in educating and sending our students out into the world as global ambassadors.



Discuss the district's COVID-19 response and what you think is working well and what needs to change.



SH: I commend the district on a job well done in response to COVID. The district emphasized continued learning for our students in a very fluid situation and worked with leaders at the campus level to attempt to provide the most seamless transition to remote learning as achievable. The district rose to the occasion on all fronts, including distribution of technology, rapid testing for students and staff to ensure safety for all and especially in the area of communication. As a current parent, I have appreciated the level of clear, concise and timely communication provided by the district. An appreciated area of growth is addressing mental health districtwide but especially for our remote learners and especially as we all continue to navigate the current, ongoing and chronic changes related to COVID-19.


By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.