Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Meet the Candidates: Northwest ISD Board Place 6

Southern Denton County residents will head to the polls starting next month to decide a plethora of municipal and school board contests.

The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested local race to answer a brief questionnaire to help voters make an informed decision at the polls this May.

In Northwest ISD, three seats are expiring in May. In Place 5, Amanda Smith and Jennifer Stephens are challenging Incumbent Steve Sprowls’ reelection bid. In Place 6, Jon Pendergrass is challenging Incumbent Lillian Rauch, and in Place 7, Michelle Slater is challenging Incumbent Jennifer Murphy.

The district also called a special election for a $2 billion bond referendum to build 12 new schools, three new stadiums and lots of other upgrades.

Election Day is May 6, and early voting will run April 24 through May 2. The last day to register to vote is April 6, and the last day to apply for ballot by mail is April 25. Click here for more information about voting in Denton County.

The candidates for Place 6 on Northwest ISD Board of Trustees are listed in alphabetic order below.

Place 6 (3-year-term)

Jon Pendergrass, 44

Town of residence: Northlake

How long have you resided in the school district you wish to represent? 2 years

Occupation: Director, The Center for Career and Professional Development at Dallas Baptist University

Education: Master of Business Administration- Dallas Baptist University
BBA Management- Texas Tech University

Previous public service: D-Group: Advisory Board
Initiative Network: Board of Directors
Harvest America, Dallas: Advisory Board
Cadence Church, Frisco: Trustee
The Village Church, Flower Mound: Deacon

What motivated you to run for this position, and why are you the best choice? I have spent the last 18 years investing in the lives of thousands of students and young adults. I love it so much; I chose a career in Higher education to work with and influence our next generation of leaders. I am also running because I am witnessing a culture shift taking place within school districts all around our region. It is my chief aim to protect students and teachers from outside distractions or political ideologies that would distract our students rather than teach our students. I am dedicated to ensuring that every student in our district can achieve their full potential. I believe that I have the skills, experience, and vision necessary to make a positive impact on our school system.

Mission statement: Attract top educators: With 66 new home developments in progress, our district will require 121 new teachers. Our district is facing a teacher shortage due to competition with 32 surrounding school districts and an entry-level pay rate ranking 18th in entry level pay. We must attract and retain the best teachers by offering competitive salaries.

Do you have children enrolled in the school district you wish to represent? I have a young son who will soon be enrolled at Daniel elementary.

Website: JonPendergrass.com

Facebook page: Jon Pendergrass for NISD

Dr. Lillian Rauch

Dr. Lillian Rauch, 73

Town of residence: Trophy Club

How long have you resided in the school district you wish to represent? 25 years

Occupation: Retired Educator

Education: Ph.D. in Reading Education
Adjunct Reading Professor, TWU
Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Certification-18 Doctoral Hours
Principal Certification (Early Childhood -12), Additional to M.Ed.
Master’s Degree in Educational Curriculum & Instruction, Emphasis Reading
ESL Certification
Early Childhood Certification
Teaching Certification
Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude

Previous public service: I have been proud to serve as a member of the Northwest I.S.D. School Board in place 6 for almost nine years. I have served as a board member for Communities In Schools of North Texas for eight years. Over several years, I have served on various committees for the Trophy Club Women’s Club, and I belong to the Creative Christian Women’s group at my church.

What motivated you to run for this position, and why are you the best choice? I am seeking re-election to the NISD School Board Trustee 6 position, because I want to continue to contribute to the community and educational system by being a responsible steward, taking a reasoned, and researched approach to maintain, as well as, improve the quality of the schools in NISD in a way that best serves the students, teachers, and the communities served by the district. I believe my educational background and experience qualify me to continue to make a positive impact on the NISD School Board, students, staff and the communities served by the NISD School Board. I have been proud to serve as a member of the NISD School Board in place 6 for almost nine years and during those nine years I have completed 315.75 hours of continuing education for school board members through the Texas Association of Schools Boards. It has been an educational and rewarding experience.

Mission statement: I would continue to be a dedicated public servant, and as an active part of our district team, address the current and anticipated issues, including the Covid gaps in reading and math, providing our students with a quality education in a safe learning environment in the face of challenges created by rapid growth and decreased funding.

Do you have children enrolled in the school district you wish to represent? My three grandchildren attend NISD. The oldest is at Northwest HS, one is at Medlin, and the youngest is at Justin Elementary.

Website: rauchfornisd.com

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

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