Election Q&A: Candidates for Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees Place 2

Early voting runs April 19-27 for the May 1 election. (Community Impact staff)
Early voting runs April 19-27 for the May 1 election. (Community Impact staff)

Early voting runs April 19-27 for the May 1 election. (Community Impact staff)

Learn more about the candidates running for the Lewisville ISD Place 2 seat ahead of the May 1 election. Early voting is from April 19-27.


Editor's note: An asterisk (*) indicates the candidate is an incumbent.


DALLAS-FORT WORTH



Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees Place 2











Allison Lassahn*








Why are you running to represent this area on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees?



AL: I have learned so much in my first term in office, and now is the time for proven leadership on the board. I believe that the next 3 to 5 years in LISD will be pivotal. The state legislature is currently in session, and we will be waiting to see what types of changes are in store for school districts and how this will affect funding. The district will also need to hold a new bond election within this time frame to keep up with 20-year updates on campuses and to replace aging technology. Lewisville ISD is heading into a new decade, with many challenges ahead. From local issues like ensuring each of LISD’s 50,000 students is equipped to thrive in a future they create, to state issues like rising property taxes and shrinking state funding, Texas public education has never been more complicated. It is more important than ever for local school boards to be involved and engaged at the local and state level, with experienced leadership and collaboration.



What will you bring to this office in terms of your qualifications or perspective?



AL: As the incumbent candidate, I will bring the knowledge that I gained over the past three years. Not only did I learn from fellow board members and the leadership team, but I also completed over 120 hours of school board related training. Before being elected to the board in 2018, I was on three different district level committees (Facilities Advisory, District Leadership Team & Community Bond). I am a parent of a special education student and the daughter of a teacher. These relationships greatly influence my perspective.



If elected, what would your top priorities be over the coming term?



AL: Over the next few months, we will begin to see what the ramifications will be from the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect to see education gaps from all students, potentially greater gaps among students who are already at risk. There will also be possible gaps in funding due to the pandemic. A priority for me will be to make sure that we identify these gaps for our students and find ways to catch them up.










Sheila P. Taylor








Why are you running to represent this area on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees?



ST: I think it is important for Lewisville to have a seat at the LISD board table. While it’s true that every board member represents every child, I believe having a child at a Title One school here in Lewisville gives me a unique perspective on the challenges facing this part of the district. LISD is very diverse and covers 127 square miles; what works in the Central Zone may not work in the East Zone, for example. I think having diversity on the board, in thought and ideas, will make our district stronger. My platform is built on my passion for children and education and includes wanting to make improvements with mental health for our students and our educators; increasing anti-bullying programs and awareness; giving our students more input through the establishment of a student advisory council that meets periodically with the board; curriculum innovation including a focus on entrepreneurship so our children know that they can create their own opportunities and increasing the focus on skills that will make our children more competitive in this increasingly technological and global world; and furtherance of the important work being done in diversity. I also want to bridge the gap for our lower-performing schools. The whole district does well when we all do well and both our children and our community benefit.



What will you bring to this office in terms of your qualifications or perspective?



ST: My background is steeped in community service, board service, board leadership, advocacy, strategic planning, evaluations and budget management and responsibility. I have served on the PTA Board at my child’s school (a STEM academy) for 5 of the 6 years she’s been there including as president and treasurer. I’ve served as a room mom and classroom volunteer. I’ve also worked in the classroom with Junior Achievement. I was appointed to serve on the LISD School Health Advisory Council. I am a product of a Title One school and understand some of the unique challenges with low-performing schools. I have served on numerous boards in many leadership roles, am a graduate of Citizen’s University (Lewisville) and was appointed to the Housing Finance Commission. As a parent, I have been actively involved in my child’s education because I know how important that foundation is. I bring that passion for children and education to this office. I have also always supported our educators and plan to continue that in this role if elected.



If elected, what would your top priorities be over the coming term?



ST: My top priorities would be mental health, anti-bullying, curriculum innovation, diversity, the improvement of our lower-performing schools, which will strengthen our entire district, and the establishment of a student advisory council that meets with the board. I will be an advocate for our children and responsive to the needs of our educators, our parents, and our community as we build our next generation of leaders. As Benjamin Franklin once said, an investment in education pays the best dividends. I am a product of a similar investment and want to pay that forward in my community and LISD.


By Valerie Wigglesworth
Valerie has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She is currently managing editor for DFW Metro for Community Impact Newspaper.