The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested race to answer a brief questionnaire to help voters make an informed decision at the polls this May. Candidates seeking the Lewisville ISD Place 5 seat currently held by Brenda Latham, who is not seeking re-election, are Will Ferson of Flower Mound; Allison Lassahn of Highland Village; and, Jenny Proznik of Frisco.
Town of residence: Flower Mound
Current Occupation: Retired
Education: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, University of Florida – 1963; 21-hours toward an MBA, University of Detroit;
Current civic involvement: Summit Club, 7 years
Past civic service: North Shore Water Supply Corp.– water supply entity for the Franklin Hills area of Flower Mound; Mayor, Flavet I– married student housing at the University of Florida.
Why voters should elect you: I have been working with people since I became a paperboy in 1949. I spent 42-years as a field salesman in the electrical industry, working with electrical engineers, electrical contractors and owners to build new facilities. I think my work history makes me uniquely qualified to help bring the LISD and the communities they serve closer together for the mutual benefit of both parties.
The main issues facing your district and how you would resolve them: Currently, the LISD has a public relations problem with the communities they serve. Most people I have talked to think they are doing a good job in educating our children and grandchildren. However, most also think they do a poor job building relationships with the tax payers. 2. The policy (Policy GKD Local) whereby the district locks their outdoor recreational facilities, such as the tracks, playgrounds, tennis courts, and the like whenever school is not in session. I would work with the district and the communities involved to find a solution that both parties could be happy with. 3. Fiscal irresponsibility in regards to the districts $1.1 billion debt burden. I would be a conservative voice on the Board of Trustees to pay down the debt at a faster rate.
Any additional comments: Our oldest daughter lives in Flower Mound with her four sons. The boys were educated by the LISD. Two are in college, one will graduate from FMHS this year and one will be a junior next year. We have been very pleased with the fine education the boys have received.
Address of your candidate Website and/or Facebook Page: None. I can be contacted by phone at 214-364-8266 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
City of residence: Highland Village
Current Occupation: Hospitality and Event Coordinator at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church (part-time)
Education: B.S. from Texas A&M University, College Station; M.S. from University of Texas at Dallas
Current civic involvement: City of Highland Village Board of Ethics 2012-present; Board member of Heritage Elementary PTA; LISD Inside
Past civic service: Board member of Flower Mound Elementary PTA, President & VP of Membership of Greater Lewisville Early Childhood PTA; Solid Waste Advisory Committee, City of Highland Village; President and board member of the South Central Arc Users Group.
Why voters should elect you: If I am elected, I want to truly be the representative of the constituents of LISD. I promise to listen to the people I am representing and address their concerns, treating them with the respect they deserve. I have many skills that I believe have prepared me for being a trustee and I am a servant at heart and I really want to serve my community. I intend to make sure that all of the students, staff and teachers feel valued by providing them with the tools they need to succeed.
The main issues facing your town/district and how you would resolve them: Our district is the greatest in North Texas, but as with any organization, there is always room for improvement. Since Dr. Rogers has taken over as Superintendent, he has been working tirelessly to identify these areas. First and foremost, any board member must be willing to work constructively with the Superintendent, other board members and LISD staff. A few of the issues that I feel strongly about include: Openly addressing drug use in our schools. I believe this can be accomplished by an open discussion between parents, teachers, law enforcement and STUDENTS! The local group, Winning the Fight (WTF) has a great documentary called “Not Me” that would be very beneficial for all of our students to see. Meeting the needs of our economically disadvantaged students. These students make up approximately 30-percent of our student population and it is so important that we help them. There are also great community groups already in place such as Communities in Schools (CISNT) and Christian Community Action (CCA) that we can continue to partner with. Managing our facilities for growth on the East side and maintaining older facilities throughout the district. We need a strong facility improvement plan to keep on track. Technology. There seem to be as many people who don’t like iPads as those who do. I believe the solution is somewhere in the middle. We must continue to use technology in innovative ways in the classroom, but research should be done to see what works best for our schools.
Any additional comments: I am a native Texan and 17-year resident of LISD. My husband Lloyd and I have two young sons in LISD schools. If elected, I pledge to serve with honor and integrity. I will be YOUR trustee!
City of residence: Frisco, Texas
Current Occupation: Community Volunteer
Education: University of Oklahoma
Current civic involvement: LISD Council of PTAs Legislative Chair; Hebron High School PTA Feeder Liaison; Hour Lunch Buddy Mentor at Creek Valley Middle School/Killian Middle School; Frisco Mayor Youth Council; Independence Garden Executive Board Member; Member of the LISD Strategic Design Review Committee; and, Member of the High School Scheduling Committee
Past civic service: Texas PTA Lifetime Award Winner; Graduate of LISD INSIDE program; Hebron High School PTSA, President; Hebron High School PTSA, Treasurer; Arbor Creek PTA, Vice-President; Arbor Creek PTA – Staff Appreciation Chair; LISD Council of PTAs, Legislative Chair; Frisco Mayor Youth Council Liaison; Founder of the Hebron Feeder Pattern Roundtable
Why voters should elect you: I have made a commitment to become more involved in our District attending every Board meeting and District workshops, 48 to date. I have served on leadership and volunteer positions within my local PTA and the LISD Council of PTA, Liaison for the Frisco Mayor Youth Council, along with serving on parent-led organizations like Independence Gardens. I want to work for the communities that LISD serves. LISD needs to create better standards and systems, which will provide continued growth and transparency, making the Dual Language Program more impactful, a District-wide Facilities plan that is budget responsible, and increasing collaboration with the cities LISD serves, a top priority. We must do more with less. I know what it takes to find solutions. I represent a positive direction of getting things done on the Board. I have advocated for children and teachers on the local, state and national level. My own children are what got me involved with the schools in LISD, but it’s the 54,000+ students that keep me here in service day-after-day. Their future matters to me and we only get one chance to get it right for each and every one of them. I take that responsibility very seriously. As a parent, I have experienced LISD from the first day of kindergarten through a high school graduation and have built countless relationships with staff and parents along the way. Being an influential part of the board or team of eight, requires relationship-building skills and I have spent the last few years building those relationships with current board members, as well as senior staff. I know them by name and more importantly, they know mine. I want to take my relationship building skills to the 13 communities LISD serves. We have a common goal and interest and the district needs to be involved in those decisions that affect them. LISD needs to be a part of the communities it serves. Your children are your most important personal investment and your home is your most important financial investment. The school district that your children attend and where your home sits impacts both of those investments in critical ways. I take the responsibility of watching over those precious investments very seriously.
The main issues facing your town/district and how you would resolve them: The main issue facing LISD is planning. Having a transparent plan for many parts of the District would make it only better. All too often the District has taken a leap without a plan only to backtrack and try to put one in place. This is not only irresponsible, but is not budget-friendly and is frustrating for teachers, students and parents. I do not want to stand in concrete shoes and the best way to have thoughtful progress is with a plan. If LISD can implement clear and structured standards and systems throughout the District, then facilities would be in better condition, some of our programs such as GT and Dual Language more impactful, we would have stronger communication with the 13 cities LISD serves, and most importantly we could make sure that students who get caught in gaps are not lost in the shuffle, but brought to their highest potential. I have no desire to reinvent the wheel, but I want LISD to run fast, smoother and more collaboratively with all that it serves.
Any additional comments: LISD has a young board and does not have time to educate someone on the issues they have encountered over the past few years. I am the only candidate who has been in the past 48 Board meetings listening, learning and questioning so that I will be ready day one.