Candidates in the Clear Creek ISD District 4 race took part in a debate April 11 held by the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

For this race, which features incumbent Jeff Larson and challenger Albert Wittliff for Position 4, early voting begins April 22, and election day is May 4.

What they’re saying

The CCISD board of trustees candidates discussed topics such as roles on the school board, knowledge of public education and the issues that affect the district.

In regard to financial challenges CCISD has faced, Wittliff said he believed it was important to prioritize resources and collaboration with district community members.

“We want to make certain those funds are available for all the great programs that we’ve got, and if it does come time to have to make decisions, that we make them very judiciously and very carefully in full collaboration with the board, with our teachers and obviously with the parents and families in the community,” Wittliff said.

Larson said it was important to prioritize enrollment and attendance.

“We took a hard look at this about a year ago—we had a budget committee that I was privileged to serve on,” Larson said. “We came up with a number of means to enhance our revenue and cut our costs. We’ve got a nice prioritized list of things to do, and we should just press right down that list as the crunch develops, and of course the Legislature could help us out, too.”

Also of note

Both candidates also discussed the importance of strategic planning in regard to Vision 2030, which is a plan that outlines objectives for student learning, such as access to full-day prekindergarten for all and reimagining the intermediate school experience, according to the district’s website.

Wittliff said it’s important to use Vision 2030 to stay in the right direction of “keeping things modern ... and never changing [the] public school environment.”

“You want to follow that path to adjust when you need to but not get into a position where you’re going completely off track because that time frame is really not that far out,” Wittliff said. “Strategic planning is one of those processes where you always have to look at, ‘What steps can we adjust,’ and ‘What things can we not get away from?’”

Larson recalled when Vision 2030 was created, and said he believes it has been and should be the district’s guide to follow strategic goals aligned throughout the district.

“When we created Vision 2030 ... we [reached out to] industry leaders because we wanted to make sure our graduates would be successful and would have the skills they needed when they would start looking for success later in life, ... and Vision [2030] is built around that,” Larson said.

What else?

Since both Jay Cunningham and Jonathan Cottrell, who are incumbents for CCISD’s District 5 position and At-Large A position, respectively, were unopposed during the application period, both will continue to serve on the CCISD board of trustees for additional three-year terms, according to the district’s website.

More details

The full debate can be viewed on the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel.