Meet the Candidates: Argyle ISD Place 4

Southern Denton County residents will head to the polls this spring to decide a plethora of municipal and school board contests.

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 1, with early voting April 19-27.

In Argyle ISD, Places 4 and 5 on the Board of Trustees are expiring in May, but only one of those seats is being challenged. Place 5 Trustee Leona McDade is unopposed for reelection, but Place 4 incumbent Ritchie Deffenbaugh’s reelection bid is being challenged by Phyllis Clark.

The candidates for Place 4 on Argyle ISD Board of Trustees are listed in alphabetic order below:

Phyllis Clark, 59

Occupation: Educator

Education: Masters in Educational Technology Leadership – Lamar University
Secondary Math Certification – Sul Ross University
BS Elementary Education – Texas Tech University

Public service: Argyle United Methodist Church member

What motivated you to run for this position, and why are you the best choice?I have 27 years of experience in education. 25 years have been in a high school classroom with 13 of those being in Argyle ISD. I am currently the lead for secondary math at TTU K-12 and adjunct math professor at some local colleges. While the needs of the students should be the main focus of the board, we also need to consider the teachers in district decisions. I feel that I can bring the best perspective to these decisions.

What is your mission statement?I will apply my teacher mission statement to this position as best as I am able. Teacher Mission Statement: To make a difference in someone’s life each day so they may find the positive in their own life. I will do this by listening closely, helping in any way I can, and seeing the best in everyone.

Email: [email protected]

Ritchie Deffenbaugh (i), 52

Occupation: Business owner

Education: University of Tulsa
Bachelor of Science in Business (Marketing emphasis)

Public service: Argyle ISD Board of Trustees, 2018 – present
Argyle Economic Development Corporation (EDC). 2017 – 2021

What motivated you to run for this position, and why are you the best choice?My kids have all benefitted from the Argyle school system and the extra curricular activities that they have participated in and I want to give back by serving the ISD. We have such a special situation here with excellent academics and unparalleled success in sports, cheer, band, fine arts and other UIL competitions. We owe our success to the excellent teachers, administration and coaches we have, but also the parents in the district. This is truly what separates us from other districts. I am proud to be part of the leadership team in this district and want to continue to work with our community to focus on the current and future success of our students.

What is your mission statement? Priority number one is to get ALL of our students back in school next fall in a much more “normal environment”. I want us to get in the habit of “beginning with the end in mind” in both the school build strategy as well as providing resources for students so they can individualize their educational pathway to best fit their goals.

Email: [email protected]

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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