Community Impact Newspaper sent Sperry a set of questions about her candidacy. This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. Her answers have been edited for style.
Why are you running for re-election for McKinney ISD Place 5?
I believe that my background as an educator, my 35 years as a school board member, all the hours of training [and] earning the distinction of a “Master Trustee” have given me the tools to fulfill the obligations of a school board member. I believe that I am as vitally interested in the position now as I was 35 years ago when I first ran. I believe the continuity of my service on the board and having at least one board member who knows a lot of history [about] our district are valuable assets. I am strongly dedicated to the education of the children in our MISD district. I feel that I still have an important contribution to make. I look forward to serving the next four years.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
My background is a degree in Music Education from Ohio State University. I taught public school music in Ohio for three years before moving to Texas and staying at home to raise our three children. I have directed church choirs, taught private lessons and assisted in directing the Collin County Community Choir here in McKinney.
I have been diligent each of my 35 years in acquiring the hours of training required for school board members by the State of Texas.
In 2000, I spent nine months in the course called Leadership TASB. Upon finishing the course, I have the training that designates me as a Master Trustee.
My involvement in our McKinney schools started when my children [attended] Webb Elementary School. I was very active in the [Parent Teacher Organization] there and served as its president for four years.
My 35 years on the MISD board of trustees speaks to my dedication to the education of our students in McKinney.
I believe that all the above involvement has prepared me to be a good board member.
If re-elected, what would be your top priorities for the district?
My top priority [is to] continue to ensure that our McKinney school district maintains the distinction and designation as a high performing district. It takes a lot of hard work to become an outstanding district in all facets of education [and] to have a well-balanced district that is recognized in all areas, [including] academics, sports, the arts, [career technical education], etc. It is even more difficult to keep standards and results high once you are recognized. We have students excelling in all areas as shown by the number of awards and recognitions received by our students on state and national levels.
If re-elected, how would you help address those issues?
These issues I listed above are not new, but rather ongoing challenges that our team of eight must monitor. The school board’s job is to hire the best-qualified superintendent to lead our district. As a board, we work with the superintendent to plan the district’s direction though goals and objectives and evaluate the progress in meeting those goals and objectives.
As a district, we are going in the correct direction. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must keep on striving for improvement and reaching the needs of all students. In education, the work is never done. Goals are something you strive to reach, but you never reach a point where you can stop trying to better yourself.
What do you see as the biggest challenges the district will face in the coming years?
The financial challenge has been around since I got on the school board 35 years ago. Texas does not do its share in financing our education system. Unfortunately, the way it works, the more our district is able to raise in taxes, the more the state takes from us each year to share with other, less prosperous districts. Our district has been fiscally responsible in how we have planned and used our tax dollars. Many districts are not so fortunate. But as the state continues to squeeze down on us, school funding will truly be a problem until the state figures a way to solve the problem of school finance.