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Meet the Candidates: Denton ISD Place 7

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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. Election Day is Saturday, May 6, with early voting beginning Monday, April 24 running through Tuesday, May 2.

This marks the first election in several years with multiple school board candidates vying for the two open seats in the Denton ISD.

The candidates are listed in alphabetic order.

Denton ISD Place 7

Justin Bell

Justin Bell, 39

The main issues facing your district and how you would resolve them: Denton’s continued and rapid growth; the grading policy is creating a lottery ticket mentality, sending the message that success is achieved mainly by attempts, instead of diligent preparation; and, with the rise in school choice, we must make sure that Denton is the best choice.     

Why voters should elect you: I have been a band director for nine years, two years were with Denton ISD (2014-2016).  I was able to experience firsthand how recent policies effect students, parents and faculty, as well as understanding the challenges that face our district.  Denton ISD is doing many things right, however there is still room for improvement.  Denton has tremendous students and some of the best teachers in the state of Texas.  I believe that our district can grow into the premier district in Texas, not only in core academics, but in our athletic and fine arts programs as well. With school choice expanding, we must become the premier district in Texas, so that parents see Denton ISD as the choice of excellence.  

Current occupation: Trumpet Teacher

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas.

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings or civil suits? If so, please explain: I was a plaintiff in a suit seeking a declaratory judgement concerning city council members shifting places which bypassed the three, two year consecutive terms limit outlined in the Denton City Charter at that time in 2008. 

No Website or Facebook Page

Dorothy Martinez

Dorothy Martinez, 70+

The main issues facing your district and how you would resolve them: One of the main issues is growth.  We have a large amount of students moving into our district. We add about 1,000 new students each year and with all our new roof tops we should be rich.  But, the State of Texas is still funding our public schools at the 2008 rate. Which means a lot of our money is put into the general fund. What happens to it then, only God knows.

Why voters should re-elect you: I am well-educated, have vast experience in the field of education as a former Teacher, Administrator and Business owner.  I believe in public education and respect the fact that we have to educate all students and not a just a select few.  But, I do want to use your money and mine extremely well.

Current occupation:  Real Estate Agent, Business Owner.

Education: Bachelor of Science, Masters of Education and Supervision, ESL Certification,  Administrator Certificate.

Civic Involvement:  DISD Board of Trustees; Treasurer: League of United Latin American Citizens and member of Kiwanis.

Past Civic Involvement:  Girls Softball Association, LULAC, RSVP, and Hispanic Chamber.

 Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings or civil suits: No

Additional Comments: These are hard times for Education and the people that believe in it. But,  it is also very difficult for the students we educate and protect. I do this job, because I want to make a difference for parents, teachers and students.  I need your vote to continue to do this work.  Thank you

E-mail: Auroradorothy@yahoo.com

Sam Ortiz, 39

The main issues facing your district and how you would resolve them: The issue I see with Denton ISD is funding for services. We could provide better services for children and to include more interactive programs like BLAST. The second biggest expenditure facing our schools is energy costs. During the summer months when school is not in session and days are the longest we could use solar panels to receive a credit for electricity generated. That savings could then be applied to the days when school is in session. The usage would also be down when children are there because the school will be producing energy in turn lowering our energy consumption.

Why should voters elect you: Denton ISD needs a fresh pair of eyes to look at our situation. Having four children currently in our school system, I have a better understanding of how to connect with the parents, as well as the struggles facing families trying to motivate their children to achieve success in school, plus solutions to problems that might not have otherwise been addressed.

Current Occupation: Pretreatment Coordinator with the City of Gainesville

Current Civic Involvement: Health and Building Standards Commission

Past Civic Service: I was a member of the Planning and Zoning Board in Walsenburg Colorado, cub master for troop 252, coach for youth baseball and football.

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings or civil suits: No

 Additional Comments: None.

 Facebook: Sam for School Board Place 7

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