Q&A: Meet the candidates running for Carroll ISD Place 4

Ahead of the May election, meet the two candidates running for Carroll ISD board of trustees Place 4. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Ahead of the May election, meet the two candidates running for Carroll ISD board of trustees Place 4. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Ahead of the May election, meet the two candidates running for Carroll ISD board of trustees Place 4. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)



DFW



Carroll ISD Place 4










Lynda Warner



Occupation: Retired


Experience: Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, involved with Band, Belles, InDoor Percussion, water polo, volunteered in attendance offices, libraries, search committees, PTO.






Why are you running for office?



LW: I’ve lived in Southlake for over 20 years and plan to spend at least the next 20 here. I love this community and that we are all Dragons regardless of where we came from or what our goals are. Both of my daughters are kinder-grads and CISD helped to prepare them to succeed at the college of their choice. I want to make sure that all future CISD graduates have the necessary resources to achieve their goals. Our students have unique skill sets and goals. Therefore, we need to provide opportunities for enrichment on all levels. Exposure to coding, robotics, expanding our academies beyond medical, innovative elective classes and more options for our special need’s students are just a few ways we can achieve that. This can all be done without tax increases. For CISD to be successful we need to ensure that we help each Dragon excel in the way that they want to excel.



If elected, what will be your top three priorities?



LW: COVID catch up: We need to ensure that any academic gaps due to covid in both our DVA and F2F students are identified and rectified so that we have a successful 21-22. We also need to make sure that we take care of the emotional needs of our students and staff as we bring everyone back together. Enrichment for all Dragons: We need to continue to provide programs and experiences for all Dragons that prepare them to succeed and be future leaders. These include academic as well as extracurricular. We also have to ensure that all students are provided a safe learning environment. We also need to evaluate if CISD should have a true Virtual Academy for students who would like to continue that option. Financial Health: CISD has to look at maximizing other revenue streams. We need to look at major corporation sponsorships, rental agreements as well as reviewing sustainability initiatives that can either be a cost-saving or a revenue producer.



What are your views on the diversity concerns in Carroll ISD, and how the district should move forward?



LW: If Southlake would like for its students to be successful and become future leaders then we must have programs that expose and teach our students about other cultures. We live in a global economy. By preparing them now we can only help them in the future. I know that we can find a way forward. But we cannot do that until the current legal issues are resolved. I am concerned about the emotional and financial impact that they are having on our community, the teachers and the students. I think that once the legal issues are resolved we can then figure out how to proceed. A lot will depend on when we can start working; how much of the financial burden has the legal issues put on CISD; what are the new limitations; what other issues is CISD dealing with; and who wants to work on the program.



Do you support the Cultural Competence Action Plan? Why or why not?



LW: Part of the Mission Statement of CISD is “...... will foster a safe, caring and creative learning environment." A safe learning environment cannot be achieved by just enforcing the Student Code of Conduct. To truly have a safe and caring learning environment, we need to have an awareness and understanding of the cultures of those around us. I agree that the SCOC should be uniformly enforced. However, the SCOC is punitive. I feel that it is in everyone’s best interest if we can find ways to lower the incident of any negative events. That would include cheating, as well as bullying. For that to be done successfully, we have to make all teachers, staff and students fully aware of what is in the SCOC. The SCOC only addresses the behaviors of the students. The last component must address the behavior of the teachers and staff. Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding acceptable behavior and consequences. I am confident that as a community we can develop a comprehensive plan that addresses all concerns.



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



LW: What is working well: Choice of educational model; masks and sanitizing stations in classrooms; water bottle fillers; no lockers; lunch and hallway procedures; and contact tracing. What is not working well: Having teachers [use] two platforms at once; asking teachers to cover classes due to other teachers being ill or [a] lack of subs; teachers having to take personal days to get a vaccine; asynchronous learning (DVA students do not have to “show up” to class. As long as they complete classwork by midnight they are counted present. This is one more thing for teachers to deal with.); and teachers’ plates are too full.









Cameron "Cam" Bryan



Occupation: Public servant


Experience: Over 30 years of capital planning and budget experience managing large airport infrastructure programs, member on two local program boards, coached numerous youth athletic and academic teams.






Why are you running for office?



CB: With two children currently in the district, I want to continue my service to the community in this capacity as I believe it is my civic duty. I have a consistently demonstrated passion to serve the youth in this community. Over the last decade, I have mentored, coached and taught hundreds of Southlake’s children in various youth programs. I’ve served a 7-year tenure on the Board of Directors for Dragon Youth Football, served as Odyssey of the Mind Volunteer Coach and am currently the President of the North Texas Football League. I believe CISD’s commitment to excellence in academics, athletics, the arts, programs for gifted and talented students and children with learning differences makes CISD the best school district in the state of Texas. Continuous improvement in all of these categories is possible and necessary to ensure the best and brightest future for our kids and our district. I am committed to ensuring our outstanding teachers receive the support and resources they need, our parent’s voices are heard and our children have access to the best education possible.



If elected, what will be your top three priorities?



CB: Teachers: I believe our administration’s support of our teachers is the single most important factor to keeping our district’s exemplary status. Our challenge as a district is to ensure we hire and retain the best and brightest teachers while providing them with the resources they need to be successful. I pledge to make our teachers a priority because teachers make our students a priority. Administration: I am committed to fulfilling a school board trustee’s responsibility of oversight of our administration. Our administration must shift the focus to prioritizing the support of our teachers and students to keep CISD’s Tradition of Excellence. I am excited for this new season of leadership with Dr. Lane Ledbetter. Finances: I will work hard in the budget development process to identify funding for more teachers, become budget neutral and being fiscally responsible. As a Chapter 49 (Robin Hood) designated district, we have to be mindful to assure budget expenditures (our tax dollars) are spent wisely and appropriately. Responsible board oversight is vital to identifying and eliminating wasteful spending, as just one example being a $15,000 CISD expenditure to a speaker, last school year, for a 90-minute training session. The students’ best interests must be at the forefront of every decision we make.



What are your views on the diversity concerns in Carroll ISD, and how the district should move forward?



CB: Everyone should be treated with respect. No mistreatment of any student should be tolerated at any point. We are a wonderful town with loving giving people of all races, ethnicities and worldviews. We are blessed with leaders from around the world choosing to make Southlake home because of our excellent school district. The reputation being portrayed in the media does not reflect our true community. Southlake citizens help each other and those less fortunate in times of crisis. The recent winter storm is a shining example of the Southlake I know and love. Neighbors helping neighbors, rushing in to help with burst pipes and offering strangers their warm homes. Having said that, anyone denying racism is real does not live in reality. It is real all over the world and Southlake is not immune. There are many forms of racism and when our kids are targets it is especially heart breaking. When true racism or bigotry occurs in our schools, it should be dealt with swiftly. The Student Handbook and Code of Conduct (SHCOC) is clear on not permitting students to be victimized by racism or bullying. The SHCOC should be enforced consistently across all campuses.



Do you support the Cultural Competence Action Plan? Why or why not?



CB: I have zero tolerance for any form of bullying or discrimination in our community or schools. I do not believe CCAP is the solution. In fact, this document, which I have studied closely, will create more problems than solutions. I am committed to positive and open dialogue and will work with the community and district administration to find solutions to problems that are cost-effective, benefit all students and include a normalized means to evaluate success. I believe equal enforcement of the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct (SHCOC) by our teachers and administrators should be a key element to any recommended action plan. The SHCOC has recently undergone a major overhaul with over 340 updates since 2019. The SHCOC sets clear expectations for student behavior while applying various levels of consequences when those expectations are not met. We must find solutions soon so that we can reunite this great community and turn our focus back to our award-winning academic curriculum.



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



CB: After speaking with many parents and teachers and reflecting on my own experience, most agree their overall experience was not excellent in the beginning. Like all districts, ours had a daunting task when faced with educating our students in a worldwide pandemic. CISD was juggling ever-changing recommendations from the CDC, the Governor’s Emergency Orders and TEA decisions in a new and unfamiliar environment. Unfortunately, it was discovered the CISD administration was not solely focused on a successful hybrid education model. Teachers have spoken out about not receiving adequate resources. Parents are understandably demanding the choice of in-person and Dragon Virtual Academy for those with immune-compromised children. The task at hand is for CISD to deliver quality education in this new hybrid model. I’d love to see us all get back to 100% in-person but that is not possible for immune-compromised populations, and it is our job to serve all of our populations. It is very important that we start planning now in order to be ready for the 2021-22 school year. I believe with hard work and better leadership in both our School Board and Administration we can successfully deliver the quality education Dragons deserve.


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.


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