Q&A: Get to know the sole candidate for Spring ISD board of trustees Position 2, Kelly P. Hodges

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Spring ISD board of trustees Position 2

Kelly P. Hodges
Phone number:
832-865-4722
Website: www.bestcandidates4springisd.com

Occupation: nonprofit executive, marketing and public relations professional

Experience: over 16 years of operations management experience in the areas of communications, public health, advocacy and nonprofit; I am a master of sponsorship activation, community engagement, partnership development, capacity building, professional development, board development and team building

Community experience: As a loyal, driven, creative, energetic and industrious individual, I believe that “Faith without works is dead.” Nationally, I have served on the Centers for Disease Control Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women. Locally, I have loaned my time and talents to several boards: Planned Parenthood of Southeast Texas (2006-14), The African American Health Coalition (president 2003-08), The National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer (co-chair 2003-14), The Ethel Hedgeman Lyle Foundation (2010-12), Janine’s Sarcoidosis Outreach Foundation (2007-17), YWCA of Greater Houston (2016-17), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (1995-present). I am an active member of Brookhollow, The Church Without Walls (1997-present).

I am a proud alumnus of Grambling State University, where I received both a bachelor of arts and a master of science degree.

Top priorities:

  • assure that parents and students have access to all services offered by their school—including special services for underserved/special needs students;
  • make certain that schools and teachers have the materials, technology and tools needed to produce well-educated students;
  • assure policies are implemented, which give the district direction to set priorities and achieve its goals; and
  • assure the budget is balanced as well as used in ways which enhance and support the education of students.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing SISD, and how will you work to address them?
One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that parents/guardians and students have access to all services offered by the district—including special services for underserved/special needs students. As a guardian of a student with special needs, it has truly been a struggle navigating through the system. However, as an advocate, I worked to gain access to the resources available in the district. As a board member, I will work to ensure that we meet parents/guardians and students where they are and provide them with the resources needed to be successful.

Diversity in schools is also a challenge. As the community changes and becomes more diverse, we must work to engage all ethnicities and provide an inclusive environment for students and parents/guardians. As a board member, I will work to ensure that we employ staff who look like the community we serve but who are also sensitive to the needs of the entire community.

What will you do to keep SISD a competitive public school option as charter schools continue to become more prevalent in northwest Harris County?
As a new board member, I plan to learn from my peers and continue to move SISD in the right direction. I believe the district has made great strides. I also believe if we continue to provide superlative opportunities for our students, SISD will continue to be a competitive public option.

How will you work to improve A-F accountability ratings in SISD schools that have received low ratings?
One of the major keys to student success are the educators. As a board member, I will work to recruit and retain great and qualified educators for our students. Also, students must attend school. In partnership with the district’s parent and community engagement department, I will work to implement programs that not only engage parents but students as well. Taking a holistic approach in evaluating the entire scope of absenteeism and truancy brings us several steps closer to 100% attendance and moves the needle significantly in the right direction.

As SISD’s enrollment has slightly declined in recent years, how will you work to receive adequate funding from the state?
In review of district reports, I know the district has implemented successful tactics addressing the issue of the decline in enrollment. Evaluating existing programs and identifying areas of improvement are key strategies. As a board, we will work to make the necessary enhancements to increase enrollment.

How will you improve enrollment numbers in terms of student retention and dropout rates?
Student retention is a critical issue faced by many school districts. SISD has launched several initiatives to address this issue. SISD is working to meet parents and students where they are. This includes, but is not limited to, implementing new technologies like the SISD app. Parents are able to track student attendance, and this increases parental engagement. The district also hosts the “Success Walk.” Staff and administrators travel door-to-door and invite students back to school as well as their parents/guardians. This has been a successful method in decreasing dropout rates and retaining students.

As a new board member and 22-year resident of SISD, I am excited to serve as a member of the board of trustees. I will work for the achievement of our scholars, parents/guardians and the community.

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Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.
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