Q&A: Meet the candidates running for Conroe ISD board of trustees Position 6

Learn more about the candidates running in the November general election. (Community Impact staff)
Learn more about the candidates running in the November general election. (Community Impact staff)

Learn more about the candidates running in the November general election. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



Conroe ISD board of trustees Position 6










Stacey Chase




Occupation: senior manager of internal audit


Experience: certified public accountant; Conroe ISD parent






What are the main challenges now facing the district, and how would you plan to address them?



SC: Conroe ISD is operating in unprecedented times right now. The impact the coronavirus has created is the main challenge for the district. Beyond the obvious health and safety risk to our staff and students, the district and school board will also need to contend with the academic risk and budget risk. It's vital we make the right decisions now and [in the] short term to limit the consequences [in the] longer term. I plan to make decisions considering these risk areas and would like to implement a scorecard to transparently communicate to the community how the district is performing in these three risk pillars: health and safety, academic, and budget.



Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent district residents on the board of trustees?



SC: My professional career as a senior manager of internal audit for a large global company has honed my skills in financial stewardship and oversight, leadership and mentoring, integrity and discretion, building consensus to drive change and excelling in difficult situations. I will bring these skills to the school board as it carries out its responsibilities setting visions and priorities, adopting policies and budgets, and performing oversight. I'm passionate about student achievement, staff development and preparing our children for the future. I'm also mindful of doing this in a fiscally responsible way.



If elected, are there any new projects or policies you'd like to see introduced in the district? Are there any existing items you'd like to see changed?



SC: Conroe ISD has a lot of good programs and initiatives and some of the best teachers and staff around. I would like to see a structured approach to collecting best practices and lessons learned in order to share that knowledge across the district so our entire student body and staff can benefit. I would also like to see more community and alumni engagement, leveraging the incredible resources we have in our community to the benefit for our students. We have to remain an employer of choice, and we have to be the district teachers want to be at, so I would like to see more emphasis on providing our teachers professional development support, like mentoring, coaching, sponsorship and more.



Do you feel the bond passed in 2019 will adequately address the district's needs, and when you do anticipate future bond elections might be considered?



SC: The 2019 bond package that passed in November was based on reasonable forecasts and analysis, and I believe without the impacts from coronavirus, it would've been sufficient to cover the needs, mainly new schools, of the district. However, the scenarios the bond was calculated on just do not exist anymore and may not come back. It will take some strong financial oversight to make sure we are mindful in our use of debt and funds and that it is in line with the reality of now and not based on an outdated strategic plan.









Ashley Fehrle




Occupation: licensed social worker; homemaker


Experience: National Charity League grade-level advisor; former court-appointed special advocate; medical hospice social worker






What are the main challenges now facing the district, and how would you plan to address them?



AF: The main challenges currently facing our district are COVID-19 and the hybrid learning environment. The learning deficit due to a prolonged summer is exacerbated by hybrid teaching, which makes leveling the playing field even more challenging for students with learning differences. There are still many challenges with that, and we must adopt a position of continuous learning and improvements as we refine remote teaching techniques and methods while keeping the safety and health of everyone a priority.



Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent district residents on the board of trustees?



AF: First, I am a product of CISD and a long-term resident of Montgomery County. My education in social work and experience as an advocate for the children of Montgomery County have prepared me for this role. I served as PTO president for multiple terms and achieved success in leading parents and teachers in collaborative development projects that became a model for schools in CISD and other Texas districts.



If elected, are there any new projects or policies you'd like to see introduced in the district? Are there any existing items you'd like to see changed?



AF: Reading is the foundation of learning, but it is more challenging for dyslexic children. CISD has improved its efforts to serve this group, but more needs to be done, especially in the area of diagnostic testing. Serving all students means regardless of individual circumstances, whether in special education or [gifted] and talented.



Do you feel the bond passed in 2019 will adequately address the district's needs, and when you do anticipate future bond elections might be considered?



AF: Yes, the bond that was passed in 2019 was sufficient to fund the district's needs for the foreseeable future.


By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 and is a reporter for The Woodlands edition.


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