Q&A: Lisa Kolodny is running for Place 4 seat on Plano ISD board of trustees

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Lisa Kolodny is running for the Plano ISD board of trustees Place 4 seat. 

Kolodny is running against Heather Wang and Katherine Chan Goodwin.

The seat is currently held by trustee Yoram Solomon, who is not seeking re-election.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Kolodny 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 publication style.

1. Why did you decide to run for this position?

I decided to run because I heard about multiple suicides in my son’s school, and one was too many. I felt something had to be done. I saw the same students I tutored in middle school lose enthusiasm for learning by the time they reached high school. This concerned me. I wanted to run to be the voice for all students, parents and teachers regardless of their background. I also ran because I see that PISD is an excellent school district and I want to help maintain that excellence.

2. What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?

I am certified as a special education, regular education and English as a Second Language teacher. I am certified as an international destination consultant and have helped many families settle and adjust in this country. Specifically I helped them with finding schools, living arrangements and more. I have earned a GMS (Global Mobility Specialist) certification. I had a business tutoring special ed students from preschool to adulthood. Currently I am a tutor in AVID working with middle school students and high school students.

3. If elected, what are some specific policies you would like to implement in PISD?

I would like to maintain and make more consistent the program of restorative circles whereby students share their emotions with each other. I also would like to implement transparency in testing, which would involve more accurate reporting of the costs associated with standardized testing. I would like to see programs like special ed and the arts be maintained and strengthened. I would like to see more consistent ACT/SAT preparation.

4. Are there specific areas in the district’s budget that you would consider funding more or funding less?

With Robin Hood and limited state funds, there are constraints on what we can do to raise funding. I would like to see the state Legislature fix Robin Hood. Until that happens, I would advocate for taking funds from teaching to the test (with regards to STAAR test preparation) and put it towards programs that need more funds like SAT/ACT preparation and special education. However, if the state Legislature makes more funds available to the district, I would advocate for more investment in education.

5. What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?

For a year I lived in Israel where I experienced the difficulties of adjusting to a foreign country. From this experience, I decided to create a company that helps families come to this country to adjust. Given Plano’s diversity I think that my experience in this matter is an asset.

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Gavin Pugh
Gavin got his chops as a reporter when he was editor-in-chief of the Baylor Lariat. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Baylor University and has since come on board as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition. His beat includes transportation, Plano ISD and municipal government.
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