UPDATED Q&A: Klein ISD board of trustees positions 1, 2 candidates discuss goals

There are four candidates on the ballot for two positions on the Klein ISD board of trustees. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
There are four candidates on the ballot for two positions on the Klein ISD board of trustees. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

There are four candidates on the ballot for two positions on the Klein ISD board of trustees. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)



HOUSTON



Klein ISD board of trustees Position 1







*Indicates incumbent






Georgan Reitmeier*




Occupation: retired educator


Experience: former Early Childhood Intervention Keep Pace director; reading specialist; KISD trustee for 15 years; Gulf Coast Association of School Boards past president and current board member; Texas Association of School Boards board member






If elected, I would change...



GR: With the pandemic, school districts have had an abundance of change. We are addressing the needs of “every” student with equitable and adequate services. My personal interest is building and expanding partnerships that provide career choices and pathways with challenging and innovative opportunities and curriculum.



Why are you running for the KISD board of trustees?



GR: I am running to continue my 15-year commitment as a trustee in championing the mission and the accountability of the district. My experience has prepared me to advocate: for personalized learning to be creative and innovative, for career pathways to be expanded and for special education services to be adequate and equitable. I pledge continued accountability to parents, teachers and administrators with a student-first mentality.



What do you think is the most important duty of a KISD trustee?



GR: Of primary importance is to actively listen to educators, staff, students and community in order to make decisions through the lens of the learner. Additionally, our responsibility is to hire and support the strongest superintendent to lead the district, to review and approve the budget, to review and establish appropriate policy.



Has the district made the right decisions when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic? If not, what would you like the district to do instead?



GR: In my opinion, Klein has made the best decisions in the midst of constantly changing health information and has remained flexible and willing to modify plans as conditions have changed and/or warranted.









Lannie McKelvin Milon Jr.




Occupation: college professor at University of St. Thomas; field supervisor at Lamar University; faculty at Columbia University; entrepreneur


Experience: Association of Texas Professional Educators former board member; court appointed Guardian Ad Litems in Harris County; member of National Association of the Advancement of Colored People; member of German Marshall Fund; friend of child advocacy groups






If elected, I would change...



LM: The urgency of innovation. COVID-19 has demanded that dynamic innovation take place in All Aspects of Human Resources, District Culture, District Structures and District Governance. Each area will require innovative, futuristic and applicable amendments to many of KISD’s existing policies & regulations.



Why are you running for the KISD board of trustees?



LM: I am running to service as the “Thought Partner” who has the vivid lens and modern expertise of education law, ethics and social justices, who is nationally coveted for being innovative in K12 and higher education, and who has a global, national, state and local footprint of community galvanizing.


What do you think is the most important duty of a KISD trustee?



LM: The most important duty of a KISD trustee is to adopt the governing policies and regulations that afford the superintendent and the entire KISD to function at optimal potential.


Has the district made the right decisions when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic? If not, what would you like the district to do instead?



LM: The coronavirus pandemic came as a sudden shock to the globe. Ongoing communication is the primary catalyst applied during any emergency. KISD’s communication has been stellar. The only remaining decision is to elect an innovative-and-dynamic “thought partner” as we enter into this unchartered new way of K12.







HOUSTON



Klein ISD board of trustees Position 2




*Indicates incumbent






Doug James*




Occupation: CEO and creative director of The D. James Group marketing firm


Experience: business owner of 18 years; Fortune 500 corporate management experience; KISD board president; Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards delegate and legislative advocacy committee representative; Leadership Texas Association of School Boards






If elected, I will change...



DJ: In the midst of so many changes that have already been undertaken due to this COVID-19 pandemic, school districts across the state and nation have had to adjust. Delivering education as we know it has changed and taken on a new normal. So, we have got to reimagine not only how it might look but how we pay for it. what School Finance under COVID -19 looks like, is what I would change.



Why are you running for the KISD board of trustees?



DJ: I am running to continue to serve Klein ISD and our students, just like I served some 35 years ago when I first became involved—reading to my daughter’s 2nd grade class. More specifically, I am committed as a trustee to be a catalyst for accountability and positive change in the district. Moreover, continuing to make real the mantra that EVERY student entering Klein will enter with a promise and exiting with a purpose!



What do you think is the most important duty of a KISD trustee?



DJ: It is the primary responsibility of the trustees to hire, support and set the stage for our superintendent to successfully lead Klein to the next level distinction. In addition, but equally as important is to review and establish appropriate district policy, as well set and maintain fiscally responsible practices, as we review/approve the budget.



Has the district made the right decisions when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic? If not, what would you like the district to do instead?



DJ: My unbridled answer is yes! In the midst of constant continual change, not only did the status and information coming from health authorities change, but the “official” authority either changed or defaulted to another authority without much warning. Being proactive in how we converse with the health officials has help some, but in my opinion, Klein has made the best decisions with the information available. We continue to remain flexible enough to modify plans as conditions are warranted.









Alvin Vaughn



Occupation: IT Worker


Experience: Bachelors in Business Administration, Masters in Health Science Informatics


Contact: N/A




If elected, I would change...



AV: My goal is not to pursue change for the sake of change, but to be an ear willing to listen to others, and to be a representative willing to communicate the perspectives of different backgrounds. If an opportunity to make a positive change arises I will certainly welcome and pursue it. If an opportunity to validate the the success of hard work from past efforts arise, I will gladly do so as well.



Why are you running for the KISD board of trustees?



AV: Hope to bring to the table the prospective and knowledge I have gained working with educators such as I my wife and my experience in information technology to help solve today's challenges and disparities that can be equalized through the proper application of technology.



What do you think is the most important duty of a KISD trustee?



AV: To listen, be informed, and partner with the school district to implement policies that educational opportunities that will benefit our community and equip our children for the steps in their educational aspirations and/or career goals.



Has the district made the right decisions when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic? If not, what would you like the district to do instead?



AV: I believe that district under, Dr Jenny McGown's leadership, has responded very well, particularly in communicating the plans and efforts related opening schools and keep children and staff safe.


By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


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