Q&A: Get to know the candidates running for Klein ISD board of trustees Position 2

Twelve candidates are competing for one of four Klein ISD board of trustees positions up for election this fall, including three incumbents. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Twelve candidates are competing for one of four Klein ISD board of trustees positions up for election this fall, including three incumbents. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Twelve candidates are competing for one of four Klein ISD board of trustees positions up for election this fall, including three incumbents. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Twelve candidates are competing for one of four Klein ISD board of trustees positions up for election this fall, including three incumbents.

This year, KISD will hold a general election for Position 3, held by Chris "CT" Todd; Position 4, held by Julie Benes, and Position 5, held by Ronnie K. Anderson. A general election will also be held for the remaining term of Position 2, held by Doug James.


The election will be held Nov. 2 after an early-voting period from Oct. 18-29. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 4.









Doug James*



Occupation: CEO/Creative Director of The D. James Group Marketing & Creative Services


Experience: In addition to owning and operating a business, and having senior management corporate experience with leadership, during the first term, Doug has had the privilege of serving as secretary and president of the KISD board of trustees. Doug was accepted in and earned the prestigious distinction of a "master trustee," a yearlong unique board development program designated to take experienced board members to a new level of service and leadership.






Why are you running for the KISD board of trustees?



DJ: I love the Klein community. I am running to continue to make a difference serving the community in which my wife and family have lived and raised our three children for almost four decades. However, my service in the Klein community humbly began over 30 years ago with reading to my daughter's second-grade class, and since that time, I've served as a parent teacher organization president and booster club leader and on a variety of district-level leadership, planning and steering committee teams. I was a founding member of the Klein Education Foundation and helped to establish the International Business Academy at Klein Forest High School. In addition, I've been recognized by the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce for my volunteer efforts within the community and my work with the chamber. I say all this to say, my service to Klein didn't start yesterday, and I have a long record of service in Klein. I will continue to ensure all 54,000+ students in 87.5 square miles of this district enters with a promise and exits with a purpose, knowing "It's impossible to lead well, unless you serve well."



What does the district's motto "Promise to Purpose" mean to you, and how would you support that mission?



DJ: As I began to articulate in the previous paragraph, we as a district have a duty, no an obligation to honor the promise of a quality education through opportunity, exposure, access and affirmation of every student. I would support that mission by knowing each child by name, strength and need while guiding them along their pathway to a great Klein education that shapes confidence in who they are as citizens and builds on their strengths as individuals.



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



DJ: Post-pandemic funding (state/local), teacher retention/burnout, repair/replace many of the district's 40+-year-old buildings











Matthew Skaggs



Occupation: self-employed (nonprofit for kids)


Experience: I am the father of triplets. I have run numerous corporations in the past 20 years and volunteer in the community as well.


Contact: 832-962-6072




Why are you running for the KISD board of trustees?



MS: I'm running for KISD board of trustees to be your voice to the board, to have an open-door policy to the parents and to help our students. To help and give support to teachers, administrators, and students. As a dad in Klein, I want to know what exactly is being taught to our kids and make sure that reading, writing and math [takes] precedence. I want to make sure that the board is not focused on race or pushing critical race theory in our kids' faces. It kills me to see that our district is being forced to read "White Fragility," "Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence" [and] "Courageous Conversations About Race."



What does the district's motto "Promise to Purpose" mean to you, and how would you support that mission?



MS: Parents can be assured that students can get a great education with a great foundation. I would support this by allowing the parents a say in what is being taught to our students. I would make sure that critical race theory and Anti-Defamation League stay out of our schools and not just change the name.



What are the most significant challenges facing KISD, and how would you address them?



MS: Lack of parent involvement/interest, overspending of taxpayer dollars [and] accountability. I would do workshops and training so that the parents can be involved in what the district does. I would do something to make sure that the parents have a voice in what is going on, ie. community workshops. I would have parents work with the school principals and administrators. I would set up a parent lead committee to go over the budget and the books of the district and report back to the board of trustees their findings and make appropriate changes. Everyone in the district needs to be accountable; I would review the process and make sure that everyone is.



By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.



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