Q&A: Meet the candidates for Cy-Fair ISD school board Position 6

(Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper staff)
(Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper staff)

(Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper staff)

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Irving
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Ryan
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Harrison
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Henry
Fourteen candidates are competing for one of three Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees positions up for election this fall.

Positions 5, 6 and 7 will be on the ballot. John Ogletree, Don Ryan and Bob R. Covey hold those respective seats and are all running for re-election. The election will be held Nov. 2 after an early-voting period from Oct. 18-29.


We asked each candidate why they were running and how they would address challenges in the district if elected. Some responses may have been edited for clarity.









Ryan C. Irving, Jr.



Occupation: senior honor student at the University of Houston


Experience: 2016 CFISD graduate and all 12 years as a CFISD student; interned for Mayor Sylvester Turner back in 2017; former CFISD candidate back in 2019; member of the Community Leadership Committee (CLC) since 2020; registered thousands of local Houstonians to vote for the 2020 election; CFISD Bus Buddy






Why are you running for the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees?



RCIJ: I am running for CFISD board of trustees because of my passion and calling to public service. CFISD had the biggest impression on my life as a student growing up. I am a direct product of the school district’s amazing teachers who played a large role in my current success, nurturing my mind and shaping my character. I have the skills and drive to serve the community that served me in ways most will never understand. My own life experience taught me that teachers are the backbone of public education. I believe it is now my time to serve CFISD.



What does the district’s motto “Opportunity for All” mean to you, and how would you support that mission?



RCIJ: The district’s motto means to me an opportunity for every student no matter your gender, religion, ethnicity, economic status and sexual orientation. I can say this because I have witnessed this firsthand. CFISD cares about all its students and will do whatever necessary for them to succeed because failure is never an option. Our teachers, staff and administration have always gone above and beyond for our kids. I hope to soon build on progress that has already been made by including all voices of the community.



What are the most significant challenges facing the school district, and how would you address those issues?



RCIJ: Classroom sizes, school safety and [Teacher Retirement System of Texas] insurance are the most significant challenges that currently face our district. I would address these issues by working with my fellow board members, Superintendent [Mark] Henry and the administration on a successful plan for each one of these issues. I would also include teachers and staff as well as the public and gain feedback on what would be the best course of action regarding each one of these challenges that we face.











Don Ryan*



Occupation: owner of Cy-Fair Insurance Group


Experience: Cy-Fair graduate and 21 years of board experience






Why are you running for the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees?



DR: I am running to serve the community in which I was raised and where my wife and I chose to raise our children. I have been a part of a team that has guided our district through some difficult times and unprecedented growth. We’ve dealt with hurricanes, floods, ice storms and a pandemic while remaining one of the top tier public school districts in the nation. I want to continue to be a part of a team that expects excellence in education and provides an opportunity for every student to be successful in their future endeavors.



What does the district’s motto “Opportunity for All” mean to you, and how would you support that mission?



DR: Opportunity for All means that we offer each of our students and employees the opportunities they need to be personally successful. It means that every student will have rigorous curriculum, first-class facilities, cutting-edge technology and an abundance of extra-curricular activities regardless of where they live in our district or what CFISD school they attend.



What are the most significant challenges facing the school district, and how would you address those issues?



DR: The most recent significant challenges facing CFISD has been COVID-19 and how it has impacted our campuses, employees and students. We addressed this issue by having our schools continuously deep cleaned and protocols were coordinated and implemented to protect our staff and students from COVID outbreaks at campuses and support facilities. We also approved a COVID-19 leave policy for our employees. Thankfully all of those safety measures resulted in no campuses being closed due to COVID-19. Another challenge our district is facing is catching kids up from virtual instruction. By offering free summer programs to our students and ongoing tutorials CFISD is committed to helping those students catch up and succeed.











Chris Harrison



Occupation: president at SAS Facility Management


Experience: a great listener of the people






Why are you running for the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees?



CH: To ensure the district continues to exceed expectations in student achievement. My role as a board member will be to listen to the community of CFISD, monitor success and review effectiveness of the district. The district will continue to grow and will need the succeeding generation of trustees to steer that next phase of growth.



What does the district’s motto “Opportunity for All” mean to you, and how would you support that mission?



CH: “Opportunity for all” means regardless of status, learning aptitude, influence, gender, race and many more, the district’s emphasis is student achievement. We understand there will be obstacles, but our motivation is excellence above all.



What are the most significant challenges facing the school district, and how would you address those issues?



CH: COVID-19, future variants, and its impact on the learning environment. My initiative is utilizing the technological resources more in classrooms today to prepare students for managing time and becoming proficient computer users. We must establish key performance indicators that ensure student readiness for virtual learning. Education = success. Every voice. Every student. Every day.











Scott Henry



Occupation: sales engineering manager


Experience: over 20 years management experience; current MUD director; eight years on HOA board






Why are you running for the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees?



SH: I am running for school board because I have a kiddo in school and care about her future and her experience in school. It is important for every board member to have some vested interest in order to make decisions on the direction for their children. I also believe I have better ideas. We should have term limits for board members and no trustee should be on the board for 20 or more years.



What does the district’s motto “Opportunity for All” mean to you, and how would you support that mission?



SH: The motto means every student is provided with the ability to achieve and perform to their full potential. We as a district should empower our teachers and staff to find innovative ways to reach out and help our students.



What are the most significant challenges facing the school district, and how would you address those issues?



SH: Our teachers need more freedom in the classroom so they can empower and connect with students to inspire academic excellence, and be passionate about teaching again. The current curriculum has been a real challenge for teachers and needs a top to bottom review with more flexibility at the class level.



By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.



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