Born and raised in Conroe, John Husbands has only lived outside of the city and Conroe ISD for four years—the time he spent at the University of Texas in Austin while earning a bachelor’s degree in business.
Husbands graduated from Conroe High School in 1978 and began working in the financial and insurance industries in 1985. He serves as vice president and partner at Soules Insurance Agency Inc. in Conroe.
CISD is a family affair for Husbands—his wife and three daughters also attended Conroe schools.
However, he said his involvement in the district and area youth-oriented organizations—from Montgomery County Youth Services to Young Life—had more to do with service than giving his daughters a “leg up.”
“It’s my way of giving back,” he said. “It’s all about the kids to me. I don’t have kids anywhere in the district anymore. I’m just for all of the kids—all 58,000.”
What motivated you to run for a position on the CISD board of trustees?
A close friend, Bob Rabuck, ran for and served on the school board. He told me when I was 15, ‘John, if you have a chance to serve on the school board, you should do it.’
I had a lot of faith in him and knew he was wise. He was a Young Life volunteer leader and committed a lot of his time—along with his wife—to children, so I knew that it was possible for me to do the same. He told me it was the ultimate service to children, so I decided to do that a long time ago.
When the time was right for me, I decided to run. It wasn’t when I wasn’t happy with the district or my children weren’t succeeding. I was very content with the district and just wanted to give back.
What areas do you focus your attention on the most?
I am not a teacher so my only way to give back is to support those that do [teach]. Not only can I go to a choir concert and a band concert or a football game and show them that we care and want them to succeed in all aspects, but I can also support the teachers and give them the tools necessary to teach the children [along with] quality facilities so they enjoy being at school. It’s not so that they have the best of everything, but that they have no limitations and nothing is in their way.
Why is it important for voters to approve the November bond referendum?
CISD is a fast-growth district. We average 1,500 to 1,700 new students a year. If all of those were elementary students, that would be two elementary [schools] a year. Of course there are some [older kids], but the growth is there so we have to build the schools to keep up with them. The voters need to [approve the bond] because good facilities play an integral part in the kids having a safe and conducive learning environment. We can’t control growth, we can’t stop growth. All we can do is manage it.
What challenges does the district face when dealing with rapid growth?
We have an awesome community and a very blended and diversified tax base. Unlike some fast-growth school districts, we are not strictly residential—we have great industry. We realize our school district continues to grow, and sometimes it’s hard to make sure everybody understands it is real growth. We are spending more money every year, but when we are spending more money we are growing—we are building another building, hiring more teachers. It’s not just an increase in the cost of doing business. So it’s always a challenge to blend what’s best for children and what’s best for taxpayers.
Who was an educator who made the biggest influence on you?
I moved here during Christmas of ’69. I was in fifth grade and started at Washington Intermediate. Conroe was a much smaller town then.
My first teacher was Imogene Giesinger, and she just absolutely did her part in making me feel a part of the community and welcome. She was my teacher that made a difference, so of course I’m very glad she’s honored in having a school named after her.
Why is it important to you to invest time in students and local youth?
[Kids] are our future. It is cheaper to educate them than it is to incarcerate them. And what I mean by that is children don’t go bad. If they [make bad choices] they are either led that way or left to drift.
It takes a village to raise them, and it takes every single responsible adult.