Learn more about the candidates running for Coppell ISD board of trustees Place 5 ahead of the May 6 election. Early voting will occur from April 24-May 2.

Read the Q&A's with each candidate below. Candidates were asked to keep responses under 75 words, answer the question provided and avoid attacking opponents. Answers may have been edited or cut to adhere to those guidelines, or for style and clarity.

* indicates incumbent

David Caviness*

Experience: Certified financial planner practitioner

Occupation: CISD board of trustees, president; CISD board of trustees, vice-president (2018-2020); 2016 CISD Bond Oversight Committee, co-chair; Pinkerton PTO board; Pinkerton Dad's Club chairman; CISD iLead Leadership Training; CISD Safety & Security Committee; CISD District Educational Improvement Council; CISD Strategic Design Committee; Coppell Education Foundation, Board Member; Coppell Youth Football Association, Assistant Coach; Coppell Baseball Association, coach and assistant coach; Coppell Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee; Coppell 2030 Business Prosperity Sub-Committee; Keep Coppell Beautiful board

Candidate Website: https://davidcaviness.com

Contact Information: 972-383-9058

Why are you running for office?

I'm running for re-election to ensure that our kids today, and those attending in the future, receive the same opportunities and high-quality education that CISD is known for. Maintaining our high standards can only be done with our great teachers and providing them with the support and resources necessary to do their jobs in a safe and secure environment. I have the experience and temperament to continue leading our district to accomplish these goals.

What are the biggest challenges facing the district?

There is a significant shortage of teachers nationwide, and attracting and retaining great teachers has become a major challenge. Compounding this issue with the additional workload that teachers are bearing as we work to recover from the pandemic and close the gaps due to learning loss. Working through those challenges requires extra time and resources, forcing the district to do more with less, as state funding has yet to keep pace with inflation.

If elected, what would be your top priorities?

Students and staff need and deserve the support and resources necessary to be successful. This action includes a cohesive learning environment that is safe and secure, up-to-date, and in good physical condition. The 2023 bond program addresses these issues, which is why I support it. My experience leading during the previous bond has given me the expertise to accomplish this priority while remaining fiscally responsible to the taxpayers.

What are some new ideas or programs you would like CISD to explore?

As a district of innovation, we need to continuously examine and evaluate our district's programs and offerings, which is a board priority. For example, our middle and high school STEM courses are in high demand from our families and the community. I would support expanding STEM, as a dedicated class in every elementary would enhance our course offerings and prepare our younger students for the future.

Julie Waters

Experience: Texas A&M University, BA; Boston University School of Law, JD; Dallas Theological Seminary, Masters of Theology; Community involvement: Irving Bible Church (second grade Sunday school teacher), HOA committee member and event organizer, Pinkerton Elementary PTO (Room parent, SpiritWear Lead, Kinder Playdate Lead, gardening club), Pinkerton Elementary UIL Academics coordinator and coach; CASA

Occupation: Attorney

Why are you running for office?

I am a mother of three, with my youngest being 4 years old. I will be involved in Coppell schools for the next 14 years. I want the best education for not just my three kids but for all CISD students. Also, I am an attorney that rescues teenaged sex trafficking victims. I started my anti-trafficking nonprofit over a decade ago and can bring leadership, advocacy skills and vision to the district. Just add Waters!

What are the biggest challenges facing the district?

Our biggest challenge is teachers leaving the profession in droves. To retain our teachers, I would advocate for higher pay at the state level, explore subsidized day care for teachers’ children, provide teachers with more planning time by utilizing PTO members to cover recess and lunch duty, and create an environment where teachers feel heard and supported. I have also started substitute teaching in CISD so that I can better understand our students’ and teachers’ needs.

If elected, what would be your top priorities?

I am fiscally conservative. I want to make sure our school district is not wasting taxpayer dollars. In this current financial situation, where inflation has caused basics like groceries to skyrocket, I would propose a maintenance only bond and fix the essentials like roofing and HVAC in our schools. I would also include funding in the bond for extra security measures. Families must be confident in our ability to protect all of our children.

What are some new ideas or programs you would like CISD to explore?

In terms of teacher retention, I believe that subsidized day care is a much needed benefit. Providing day care for teachers' children at $600 per month like Grapevine-Colleyville ISD would give our teachers the support they need. Additionally, utilizing my past anti-trafficking advocacy experience, I can mobilize thousands of people to effectively lobby the state Legislature for higher pay for teachers and change how funding works. We need the public engaged now more than ever.