Voting

Voters cast their ballots. File photo.

Dena Dixon

Dena Dixon

Dena Dixon

Insurance agent

Number of years you’ve lived in the district: 17

What is the most important issue facing the school district and how would you help solve it? I think there are many challenges to consider with the rapid and continuous growth of our district: construction of new schools, hiring and retaining great teachers and staff, rezoning, capacity and safety concerns, maintaining a focus on a positive school climate, staying up to date with innovative curriculum and academic programs and of course, funding. It is important for board members to ensure the leaders within the district are equipped in every way possible to ensure our teachers and students can be successful.  I want to partner with current board members to make policy decisions that are in the best interest of all students, commit to develop the “whole child” through the promotion of programs that enrich every student’s education, help create a culture of respect and kindness among students, and continue and develop vital relationships to serve as an advocate at the local and state level for public education.

Are there any existing programs in the district that should be expanded or enhanced? Please give examples.

I would love to see PISD’s RISE (Research Impacting Student Excellence) Program expanded and encouraged throughout the district. This program earned the district accolades in the Texas School Business magazine’s Bragging Rights edition. RISE provides an opportunity for innovative teachers to research and pilot cutting-edge, innovative instructional strategies, teaching styles, or new educational approaches and rewards teachers for going above and beyond. When exceptional teachers are given freedom to expand the realm of traditional learning in a controlled and guided environment, it not only gives a sense of pride and accomplishment for the teacher, lending to greater teacher satisfaction and retention, but also allows students to get a more thorough understanding of the subject’s material in relation to the outside world and their own future, lending to greater future success as well.  PISD is breaking ground for districts across the state!

Are there any new programs you think the district should consider implementing? Please give examples.

As our district continues to grow, the necessity for additional programs to meet the educational needs of more students grows as well. I would love to see our district consider a JROTC, (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) program to help encourage successful futures for more students, including those that may not be interested in the college path. JROTC is not only for students considering a military future, students in the program build skills such as leadership, self-confidence and discipline-qualities that are necessary to thrive in any career. Personal skills are also emphasized: health, nutrition and financial management. The advantage of JROTC participation while in high school has can increase a student’s chances of a more fulfilling academic career as well as better employment after graduation.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is another program that I would love to see considered in our district. AVID has had tremendous success across the nation in preparing students for four-year college eligibility. Although AVID serves all students, it focuses on college-bound students desiring support in mastering college readiness tools and strategies- in other words, it gives bright, hard-working students who need some assistance, the tools to truly maximize their potential. This program accelerates student learning using research based methods of effective instruction, and provides meaningful and motivational professional development. 

Do you feel the district is making the right decisions financially? Please explain.

Yes, PISD has shown fiscal responsibility both in management of the Maintenance and Operations budget as well as the Interest and Sinking Funds budget. They have successfully continued to not only meet the needs of our students during a time of unprecedented growth, but have remained committed to creating a first class learning environment for our students, as evidenced by all of the campuses, but most recently the new Rock Hill High School. Despite continued challenges in reduced state funding, Prosper ISD has prioritized funds to support the instructional needs of all students and has also maintained competitive salaries to attract the best teachers and staff to effectively staff all campuses. Additionally, Prosper ISD is rare among districts by prioritizing student safety and security within the budget by having a School Resource Officer on every campus. 

What is your history of involvement with the district/community?

We moved to Prosper in 2003 with our four children. This is our 18th consecutive year to have a child attend a Prosper ISD school. I have been a youth coach, school and classroom volunteer at several campuses, class representative and board member for three high school booster clubs for over ten years, as well as a substitute teacher within PISD.  I have also supported and volunteered for many of the benevolence organizations that benefit the families of our community and school district, such as Prosper Open Foundation, Bed Start, Prosper Ladies Association, Light Lunch, Love Pacs, and Cornerstone. I helped with the initial PISD Bond Program in 2007and also supported the PISD Bond of 2019. I have taught preschool in Prosper and also volunteer weekly in the Children’s Ministry of our church’s Prosper Campus. The experience and relationships I have built over the years with families and staff of PISD and Town and local leadership are instrumental in meeting the needs of the our families and maintaining effective communication and a beneficial working relationship between all for the betterment of the entire community.

Chianna Rodgers

Chianna Rodgers

Chianna Rodgers

Financial planner and licensed insurance agent 

Number of years you’ve lived in the district: 3

What is the most important issue facing the school district and how would you help solve it?

In speaking with parents within the district, the most important issue facing the school district is the inequality of test scores for the SAT, ACT and STAAR within different ethnic groups. While the district performs well above the state scores, there is room to improve the scores within our various ethnic groups. Currently, the majority of our students don’t perform as well on the ACT vs the SAT. I would like to see that improve. In addition, our ethnic students do not perform at similar levels to their counterparts even though they have greater attendance levels. I would like to see the all of the student population scoring within a similar above average range. To solve the problem I would create focus groups consisting of parents, educators, administrators and students. The focus groups would ensure everyone has a voice as this is not a monolithic problem.

Are there any existing programs in the district that should be expanded or enhanced? Please give examples.

I believe a program should be created for children who are/have been bullied. When a child has been bullied it can greatly affect their self esteem. Having a monthly meet-up for the children after school to discuss feelings, create friendships with other children among other things could definitely benefit the parents and children.

Are there any new programs you think the district should consider implementing? Please give examples.

I would like to see the district implement a dual language program that allows parents to pay for their children to participate. Currently, if your child is not chosen in kindergarten they have to wait until eight grade to take a foreign language. Studies show children who speak more than one language test better and perform better overall in school. The district does an excellent job with the children who make it into the program. I believe if given the opportunity many parents in our community would pay to have their children take part in the excellence they are providing the current participants.

Do you feel the district is making the right decisions financially? Please explain.

I do believe the school district is making the right decisions financially. This district is growing at an exponentially fast rate. As a regular attendee of the board meetings I see & hear how they learn from and work with other districts who have had similar growth. I am very pleased with the decisions they have made thus far financially.

What is your history of involvement with the district/community?

I have three children [15,12 & 7] in the PISD school system. I have worked with Bernadette

Gerace [Director of Recruitment & Retention] to put her in touch with resources to increase the diversity of the staff.

I am currently a PTO member of Boyer Elementary, Rushing MIddle School and Prosper High School. Prior to my oldest

moving to high school I was a PTO member of Reynolds middle school.

I am currently working with the superintendent to develop a diversity committee of parents, students and teachers of all races.

I am also a member of the high school Swim & Track team booster clubs where I volunteer.  In addition to the aforementioned I am a regular attendee of the

monthly school board meetings.

Drew Wilborn

Drew Wilborn

Drew Wilborn

Pastor

Number of years you’ve lived in the district: 3

What is the most important issue facing the school district and how would you help solve it?

One of the most important issues facing Prosper Independent School District is fiscal accountability and responsibility associated with increased revenues and expenses due to unprecedented growth in student population. I have a degree in Accounting Control Systems from University of North Texas, have worked at the Nation’s Central Bank (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas) and for the past 14 plus years. I have served as chief financial officer for a local church with a multimillion dollar annual budget. I plan to use my educational credentials and professional experience to review, approve and monitor the budget of our District.

Are there any existing programs in the district that should be expanded or enhanced? Please give examples.

Prosper ISD is a district of more than 19,000 students. The district has 18 campuses including twelve elementary schools, four middle schools, and two high schools. Recently, the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA), the largest state professional organization for art educators in the Unites States, named Prosper as one of the 42 winners of the 2020 District of Distinction Award. This is exciting as we encourage our young people to be both expressive and culturally awake. Additionally, I MUST brag on the Special Education Department of Prosper Independent School District! Our son, who has special needs, is the reason we chose Prosper ISD. After an extensive search of local school districts, we determined that the special education program in Proser was unmatched. As the district continues to grow, I would like to see this program keep its excellence and to see it expanded to new campuses.

Are there any new programs you think the district should consider implementing? Please give examples.

As an advocate of the advancement of mental health concerns, I’m always mindful of ways to embrace and encourage our friends who deal with mental health issues. Our district has groups such as HOPE Squad that seeks to address this matter. I love that! At the same time, I’m not sure that you can ever do enough in this area. For that reason, I would like to see us work together to implement more opportunities for our students to engage here.

Do you feel the district is making the right decisions financially? Please explain.

Yes, I feel that the district is making the right decisions financially. In fact, this is one of the reasons I desire to serve on the board – fiscal responsibility and accountability. In 2019, residents voted to pass a $1.3 billion dollar bond package for Prosper ISD. As a member of that bond committee, I would be honored to serve as a member of the Board that provides oversight to the use of those funds.

What is your history of involvement with the district/community?

I served on the most recent strategic plan committee that worked to outline the path of our district for the next several years. I also served on the most recent bond committee that worked to help pass a $1.3 billion-dollar bond to help fund new schools (84%), support facilities & transportation (7%), capital improvements (5%) and land (4%). I’m a volunteer coach for Miracle League. I’m involved on the campus level where our son attends.

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