Q&A: Katherine Chan Goodwin is running for Place 4 seat on Plano ISD board of trustees

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Katherine Chan Goodwin is running for the Plano ISD board of trustees Place 4 seat.

Goodwin is running against Lisa Kolodny and Heather Wang.

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

Community Impact Newspaper sent Goodwin 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’m running to protect the excellence of Plano schools. I believe in growing every child to their fullest potential. It is our responsibility to meet them where they are and provide the resources for them to reach their brightest future.

However, our ability to fulfill this commitment is jeopardized by inadequate school finance and taxation reform. Beyond the already weighty trustee responsibilities, I can and will focus my energy on advocating for our students—bringing back every dollar to protect their futures.

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

I served on the executive board of every PISD school’s PTA that my children attended, volunteering and holding various positions, including president, treasurer, vice president of membership, vice president of ways and means, and vice president of volunteers. I’m the proud recipient of the Texas PTA Lifetime Membership Award.

Additionally, I served as treasurer multiple years for the Young Men’s Service League, Plano Senior High School JROTC Booster Club and Plano Future Farmers of America Buyers Club. I am currently a member of the city of Plano Senior Advisory Board, and I am also certified as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Texas residents of assisted living and nursing facilities.

My education includes a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of California and a master’s degree in dispute resolution from Southern Methodist University. Following my career at Electronic Data Systems Corp., I founded and served as CEO of my own commercial real estate company.

I have experiences and skills making me uniquely qualified to tackle the complex, weighty and sometimes emotionally charged concerns of PISD with intellect, diplomacy and compassion.

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

I am committed to the PISD mission of growing equity by closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for every student.

We must invest in innovative programs that meet the needs of our students and in our teachers and staff to attract, develop and retain the best talent in every role.

We must nurture continuous learning and reinvention as a joyful habit for our students to equip them to thrive in the future—establishing links to training, certification, internship and apprenticeship programs as viable alternatives or enhancements to the pursuit of a college degree.

We face financial challenges. I will work with my fellow trustees to find ways to be good stewards of our resources while never losing sight of our mission to grow every child to their fullest potential.

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

A good leader and teammate comes to the table with an open heart and open ears. I cannot presume to know enough about the details, and perhaps painful, choices made by those who put together the district’s budget to propose changes right now. I do know Plano has the highest stand-alone credit rating carried by any school district in Texas and a [Texas Education Agency] School [Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas] top rating of “superior achievement.”

However, I am committed to hear all input and reasons from our community as to why it should be adjusted going forward.

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

My husband, Thomas, and I met while both working for EDS Corp. We bought our first home in Plano as newlyweds 30 years ago. Our children, Chloe and Ben, were born in Plano and attended Plano schools through their graduations from Plano Senior High School.

I learned the value of education from my father. When he came to this country, he could barely speak English. With hard work and perseverance he earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. and went on to lead research for the [United States Department of Agriculture]. Education was the key to his success—essential to our family’s American dream.

We are challenged with divisiveness, fear and anger in our society. I still believe that when we focus on the mission of growing every student to their fullest potential, we can come together. I’ve seen it in countless PTA and parent volunteer meetings and events despite our different life experiences and priorities, we can all agree to do whatever it takes for the kids.

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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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