Q&A: Vanessa Pacheco seeks election to the Richardson ISD board of trustees

Vanessa Pacheco is running for the RISD board of trustees.

Vanessa Pacheco is running for the RISD board of trustees.

Vanessa Pacheco is running for the Richardson ISD board of trustees District 2 seat. She faces incumbent Eron Linn.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Pacheco a set of questions about her candidacy. This article is part of ongoing Nov. 5 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. Her answers have been edited for publication style.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

When I learned of the transition plan for a district election process, I was excited about the opportunity to represent District 2. In  my many years in Richardson, with my children attending RISD schools, the commitment I’ve seen by the teachers and administrators to education and the encouragement they provide to all the students has been inspiring. It takes a lot of planning, work and dedication for RISD to remain a high-performing district. By representing District 2, I hope to further encourage our community to become more involved within RISD and to promote continued success in the education of our students. 

What experience—professional or otherwise—do you have that would prepare you for this position?

As a parent, I’ve learned of the many challenges and accomplishments RISD schools experience from the elementary level to high school. I’ve been involved with PTAs [Parent Teacher Associations], many fundraisers, and I have stayed in contact with teachers over the years. As a professional, I’ve worked on multiple successful projects with large budgets and have been involved in the planning and implementation of high-level plans. I am prepared with a unique set of analytical and organizational skills to transform ideas into plans with adequate strategies and leadership that will benefit our diverse demographics in District 2.

If elected, what are some specific policies you would advocate in RISD?

In today’s environment, school safety is on top of the list. Our students, teachers and administrators must be safe and calm to encourage a positive learning environment. Teacher pay and our special education programs have also concerned me. Recently, the state provided schools and districts additional funding to increase salaries, thus benefiting the compensation plan that the current board approved. The district policy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has been implemented—it is important to continuously develop this policy as well as to provide opportunities to educate throughout the district and our communities. 

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

As a representative of District 2, I’d be fiscally conscious and work toward an efficient and effective district budget. I’d promote funding for fine arts, foreign languages and academic programs. From year to year, I have seen differences in the availability of these programs reducing our students’ educational experiences and perspectives for future careers. It is important that programs for college and career readiness are planned, managed and funded appropriately to ensure the success of our students. 

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

We can support our teachers and invest in our students with programs and extracurricular activities that will help them contribute on a global scale. Helping to promote a well-rounded education opens the minds of our students that will lead them to successful careers. I would be proud to represent District 2 and take on this opportunity with respect to accomplishing effective outcomes for RISD. 

Regarding my background, I received my Master of Business Administration in Global Leadership from the University of Texas at Dallas, am a Phi Kappa Phi honor society member and a supporting member of the XIX Society for the Texas Women’s Foundation. I am married and have two children attending Berkner High School— one a freshman, and the other a senior. 
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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