Election Q&A's: Alvin ISD board of trustees Position 3

Meet the candidates running for Alvin ISD board of trustees Position 3. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Meet the candidates running for Alvin ISD board of trustees Position 3. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Meet the candidates running for Alvin ISD board of trustees Position 3. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

*Indicates incumbent




HOUSTON



Alvin ISD board of trustees Position 3










Cheryl B. Harris*



Occupation: Social work






Why did you choose to run for the position?



CH: I am thrilled to announce that I have filed for re-election to the Alvin ISD board, trustee Position 3. I filed for re-election because I strongly believe that the education of the youth today builds a strong future for our communities. Alvin ISD has been strengthened by my service through leadership with energy and focus to establish a common purpose of shifting our organizational culture, which requires a true commitment and vision. A sense of a common purpose is clearly evidenced by observing the working operations of the Alvin ISD board of trustees. Staff and community members remark that everything we do is student focused; every conversation, decision and penny spent is done for kids.



What is one thing you think Alvin ISD excelled at during this unprecedented school year? What is one thing you would like to see changed next year?



CH: Alvin ISD was a leader in Texas for COVID instructional implementation. School districts sought our Forward 2020 implementation plan that offers choice to families with on campus learning and virtual learning program named Alvin Virtual Learning (AVL). Alvin ISD also recognized that students need a well-rounded school experience and provided opportunities with safe distancing practices with after school and extracurricular activities. Next year, continued work on student success is key for Alvin ISD. Expansion of prekindergarten this year by offering full-day classes was key, as research shows that crucial learning takes place before age 5. Further expansion of the Hensler College and Career Academy to include more certifications in high demand career fields is a priority. This is important work because preparing students for their future careers with coursework that meets certification demands is essential to prepare them for their careers of choice or college.



What are your priorities for term, if elected?



CH: My continued focus for Alvin ISD is a rich and meaningful education for each student that prepares them for their future, hiring and retaining the best educators and staff, keeping up with our fast growth district to ensure facilities for the increasing student growth and balancing the needs of the students with the financial impact to taxpayers.



What can board members do to ensure Alvin ISD students and families from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds have equitable access to the resources they need for success?



CH: Alvin ISD’s Belief Statements were created several years ago by community members, Trustees and staff: “We believe students achieve their maximum potential when provided engaging learning opportunities.” The decisions made by trustees continue to ensure that every student has an engaging learning experience through curriculum that aligns with the [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills] and that teachers are provided the autonomy to use education resources to craft unique learning opportunities for their students. Equitable learning facilities are also a top priority for the district, and this is visible through constructing new campuses for growth and replacement campuses when needed, as well as remodeling existing campuses.



Anything else to add?



CH: It’s a privilege to serve the students, staff and community members of this incredible school district for nine years, and it would be an honor to continue this work. Please vote Cheryl Harris, Alvin ISD school board, Position 3.









Ron Lockett, II



Occupation: managing director of an engineering, IT project management consulting firm


Contact: 281-772-0185 www.ronlockett.com




Why did you choose to run for the position?



RL: The key reason that I chose to run for Alvin ISD board of trustees is my passion for preserving and improving quality public education for our students. I want to contribute my expertise in collaboration with the other board members, superintendent, parents, teachers, district staff and local legislatures to serve Alvin ISD’s committed to excellence for each student.



What is one thing you think Alvin ISD excelled at during this unprecedented school year?



RL: Alvin ISD was able to pivot and excel in numerous areas during the unprecedented school year, but I was most impressed by the remarkable level of communication and safety concerns that the administration, teachers and staff exemplified by calling each student to find out what their needs were. They called to inquire about food needs, living conditions, technology assessments and remote online capability.



What is one thing you would like to see changed next year?



RL: One thing that I would like to see changed next year is for Alvin ISD to diligently work to achieve an increased TEA accountability rating. The current Alvin ISD rating is a “B” and 44% of students are considered at-risk of dropping out of school. The district must work to improve its accountability rating to an “A” and lower the dropout risk to under 25%. This is attainable by closing the student performance gaps, increasing school progress and improving student achievement.



What are your priorities for term, if elected?



RL: My priorities and major focuses are: (1) Enhance academic performance for each of the 27,000 students in the district; (2)Support teacher & staff professional growth through training and continuous education; (3)Expand technology and access throughout the district; (4) Ensure fiscal responsibility of the $312,000 annual district budget to guarantee voter taxpayer money is utilized appropriately; (5)Encourage & create stronger ties with parental & community involvement in every program; (6) Employ innovative facility expansion as the district continues to grow by over 750 students annually.



What can board members do to ensure Alvin ISD students and families from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds have equitable access to the resources they need for success?



RL: Alvin ISD Board Members must support programs to reduce student and parent challenges. This includes implementation of full-day pre-K at all 19 elementary schools; continuing the free and reduced-rate breakfast and lunches on all campuses; ensuring technology services are available to students that need a device or network support to ensure an equal opportunity of success for all students.



Anything else to add?



RL: Candidate did not provide a response to this question.









Shirley Dill Brothers



Occupation: retired educator






Why did you choose to run for the position?



SDB: I retired from Alvin ISD in 2012 after 40 years with the district as a teacher and administrator. Almost every year since then, people have asked me to run for the school board, but the time never seemed right. When I was asked this year, I thought, I do have some things to offer: time, experience, history and a passion for kids and public education. With my background and knowledge of our district, I believe I can help to provide the necessary leadership the district needs and deserves.



What is one thing you think Alvin ISD excelled at during this unprecedented school year?



SDB: Alvin ISD has stepped up for students and families again and again over the last year. I strongly believe that we have great teachers and staff working with our children. It has been a rough year, and we must continue to build morale among all district employees and harmony throughout the district. Education takes place in the classroom, and the board's efforts must continue to focus on enhancing and enriching what goes on there, whether it is delivered virtually or face-to-face.



What is one thing you would like to see changed next year?



SDB: One thing I would like to see changed next year is more concentrated efforts to address the mental health of our students. Every day, students report to classrooms bearing emotional weight that would crush most adults. Sexual assault, domestic violence, death and even pandemics carry the power to rob children of their sense of safety and derail their development. I think we need to learn how the needs of students of all ages, who struggle with life situations beyond their control, can be addressed. We need to learn more about childhood trauma and provide our staff the resources for supporting students who need help.



What are your priorities for term, if elected?



SDB: One priority would be to advocate more consistently at the state level on behalf of Alvin ISD students, staff and communities. This year, the pandemic presents major budget challenges for public schools. A priority we can address right now is communicating to state lawmakers that federal stimulus dollars intended for education actually go to education. That money could be used for costs associated with student and teacher mental health support, PPE, sanitation, teacher training, academic interventions and technology.



What can board members do to ensure Alvin ISD students and families from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds have equitable access to the resources they need for success?



SDB: Board members can ensure that students and families from all backgrounds receive equitable access to the resources they need for success by being responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and the community at large, encouraging an open dialog and providing information about all the outstanding programs that are available. In addition, a school board member must seek out and take input from all groups as well as weigh all the facts before making a decision.



Anything else to add?



SDB: Great student and parents who want to be involved, a highly motivated staff and supportive communities are what it takes to be a successful school district. Alvin ISD is fortunate to have all three. I hope to be able to continue the legacy of excellence that Alvin ISD has enjoyed for many years.


By Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. She was promoted to editor in February 2019. Haley primarily covers city government.


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