By Christina Ulsh, Contributing Writer
Trisha Sheffield will be stepping aside come May 2018 to let another board member serve in her place.
“I’m really trying to make sure that I’m serving where I need to serve and when I need to serve,” Sheffield said concerning the decision. “I felt like my time was up, that I had served for the season I needed to be there.”
Sheffield, who has sat in Place 2 on the Board of Trustees for Lewisville ISD for nearly two terms, said she firmly believes in term limits, even self-imposed term limits. She made the decision sooner than later to encourage potential candidates to start getting ready for the upcoming election.
“This is still my community, I still live here. That’s why, for me, it’s very important who follows me,” Sheffield said. “I know that in a district this size, there’s other people out there who can serve in this capacity… I didn’t want it to fall to chance.”
LISD’s administration office said filing for school board Places 1 and 2 candidacies opens Jan. 17 and closes Feb. 16. Kronda Thimesch currently sits in Place 1 and serves as vice president.
Trustee members serve three-year terms and are elected at large.
“To me it’s important that it’s somebody who can be just a strong leader,” Sheffield said about her replacement. “Somebody that’s willing to ask questions but really is a team player.”
Sheffield said the board makes decisions as a body, which requires articulating your thoughts and opinions, working with other board members and being positive. Being pro-public education is another quality Sheffield said a candidate should have.
“We really increased our voice in advocacy,” she said. “Really kind of highlighting the impact of legislation and trying to fight back negative talking points that you hear.”
Kristi Hassett, who was re-elected to Place 6 on the board this year, said Sheffield has done an amazing job as a trustee and a leader.
“School trustee should not be a lifetime commitment,” Hassett said.
Hassett echoed Sheffield’s sentiment concerning who should serve in Sheffield’s stead.
“The person who would like to run needs to be an advocate for public education. Trustees need to strive to create policies that are beneficial to our students and teachers. Ulterior motives need not apply,” Hassett said. “You need to be an advocate for public education, otherwise you’re undermining what’s best for our students.”
Preceding Sheffield’s run for Board of Trustees originally in 2012 and again in 2015, she was a teacher in another district before working as a grant writer for LISD. When she moved on to freelance as a copywriter, she remained involved in LISD, working in PTA and the Council of PTAs.
She said she also served as PTA president and as a member of the group that planned LISD’s Strategic Design Plan, which laid out the foundation for the district’s vision, mission and goals to be implemented in 2012.
“Having served on Strategic Design, I was very passionate about the direction we were going in education and our school district and wanted to be a part of seeing that through,” Sheffield said of working on the Board of Trustees. “The politics were not my favorite but the service was.”
Sheffield said the big key decisions she helped make with the board were hiring a new superintendent and passing a successful bond, both she described as involved processes. She’s proud of the governance aspect of being on the board as well, which she said has rendered robust operating procedures and brought back board committees.
“Making sure that the decisions we make around our facilities are driven by facts and not emotions,” Sheffield said. “You know it’s always changing, it’s always going to be in flux, but with anything you do, your goal should always be to leave it better than you found it.”