Place you are seeking: Place 6
Number of years in the district: 20-year resident; seven years of board service
Occupation: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional with Bell Financial Group of Frisco
What is the biggest issue facing the district right now, and how would you help to solve it?
Moving forward, our primary focus is recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhaustive effort of our teachers and staff kept our doors open this year and provided a safe environment for learning to continue – both on campus and in our virtual academy. They are all to be commended. In the post-vaccine world, it is imperative that we assess the effect this year has had on our students academically and continue to identify mental and emotional support needs for our staff and students.
In order to keep pace with growth and continue enhancing student achievement, we remain focused on the 87th Texas Legislature now underway. Significant progress was made in the 86th to provide much-needed support to Texas public schools and to relieve overburdened taxpayers. We will continue to engage our legislative partners to continue the momentum generated in the previous session.
How should FISD handle future growth in its student population?
In Frisco ISD, we pride ourselves on the “student opportunity” model – keeping our high school campuses smaller, and providing more opportunity for our students to engage in what interests them most. Since joining the board in 2014, we have opened 17 campuses to accommodate 19,000 new students, introduced highly requested programs like IB and the Navy National Defense Cadet Corps, expanded AP and dual credit course offerings, added new CTE industry certifications, implemented a full-day Pre-K expansion, and focused additional resources to Special Education. As Frisco ISD continues to grow, we will continue to focus additional resources on the expansion of choice programs such as these.
Do you think the district is heading in the right direction? Why or why not?
Frisco ISD continues to serve as a destination district for those relocating to the Metroplex from around the world. New residents are voting with their dollars as they choose Frisco ISD as the place to raise their families. The success of the district is attributable to the superior educational opportunities Frisco ISD provides its students and to the desirable learning community that has developed through stable leadership. I am proud that Frisco ISD has consistently achieved a Superior ‘A’ rating in the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) and has earned the Transparency Star from the Texas Comptroller. Working together with lawmakers, we have allocated more resources to students and teachers while also reducing our tax rate three years in a row to the lowest it has been in over 20 years. By many measures, Frisco ISD is an exemplary public school system.
Are there any existing programs in the district that should be expanded or enhanced? Please give examples.
During the past several years, we have focused additional resources on the social/emotional health of our community -- adding additional members to our guidance and counseling team in an effort to expand the bandwidth of the department and better support our students and their safety. We have done the same in the special education department. As this community of students grows, we have enhanced focus on their needs through additional teachers, training, and a third-party review of district efforts. Lastly, we have added a strategist to our administrative team whose focus is diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working in partnership with our diversity task force, we are equipping Frisco ISD educators to better serve the diverse community that exists in our district.
Are there any new programs you think the district should consider implementing?
As Frisco ISD continues to grow, we will continue to focus additional resources on the expansion of choice programs such as those listed above.
What is your history of involvement in the district community?
A 20-year Frisco resident, I have had the pleasure of spending the past 15 of those years in service to the city, Frisco ISD, and their respective residents. I first joined the board of trustees in 2014 and was elected president by my colleagues in both 2017 and 2018.
A Dallas native, I am a graduate of Leadership Frisco Class XVI – a program of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce – and a Leadership TASB Master Trustee – a distinction granted by the Texas Association of School Boards. I currently have the honor of serving as the Frisco ISD representative to the Frisco Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, I have served as an ex-officio board member of the Frisco Education Foundation, a board member of the Frisco Community Development Corporation, a commissioner on the City of Frisco 2013 Charter Review Commission, a delegate director for the City of Frisco to the Arts of Collin County board, and a member and chair of the Frisco Parks and Recreation Board.
My wife, Melanie, and I have been married for 20 years. We have two daughters who attend Frisco ISD schools in 10th and 7th grade.