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Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

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Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

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Lewisville ISD School Board Candidate Profiles

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Place 6 Candidates

Candidate Michelle Alkhatib

Michelle Alkhatib 

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: michelle4lisd

 

 

 

Candidate Mindy Bumgarner

Mindy Bumgarner

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: BumgarnerForLISD

 

 

What is your current occupation or main source of income?

Alkhatib: I am a substitute teacher in LISD but spend most of my time serving the community by volunteering in various roles.

Bumgarner: Psychologist 

 

What is your educational background? 

Alkhatib: Bachelor of Science from Purdue University, Texas Teacher Certification

Bumgarner: High school- Big Spring High School, Bachelors in Fine Arts -Austin College, Masters in Community Mental Health -Argosy University, Masters in Clinical Psychology -Argosy University, Psychological Doctorate in Clinical Psychology- Argosy University

 

What are your current and past civic involvement/accomplishments?

Alkhatib: Lewisville Education Foundation Board Member, Committee member on various LISD district committees including Long Term Planning, Advocacy, Key Communicators, and Parent Advisory, Texas PTA Field Service Representative, Texas PTA Organizational Team Leader to establish new PTAs across the state, Committee member and Chair on Texas PTA committees, National PTA Convention and Texas PTA Launch training presenter, LISD Council of PTAs Board Member, Local PTA Board Member for 4 PTAs, Served as the Council of PTAs President for 2 years, Provide PTA training throughout the district for best practices, Served on 2 Campus Building Leadership Teams in LISD, Flower Mound High School Boys Soccer Booster Club Secretary, Girl Scout Co-leader and Cookie Mom, Former Friends of the Flower Mound Public Library Board Member, Former graduate of Inside LISD Leadership Program, Various volunteer activities throughout the community and at local schools, Organized Texas PTA Rally Day 2023 for LISD Council of PTAs, Provide volunteer tutoring services for students in LISD, Classroom Teacher, Elementary School Principal

Bumgarner: I have been active in my community through out my life. I was active in schools with teaching dating violence classes, alcohol and drug awareness class, and a shattered dreams program. I am active in my hometown as a Crisis advocate and a board member on Dora Roberts. Locally I have been part of many Middle School and High School boosters by either serving on the board or as a member. I believe in helping out groups in Flower Mound without necessarily being on a board or group such as the fire fighters, police station, library, Animal Shelter, and CPS. 

 

Why are you running for office?

Alkhatib: Lewisville ISD is a district that cares about all students, staff, and families. It is a district that empowers learning and growth. I am honored as a parent, community leader and volunteer within the district, to offer my continued service to give back to LISD as a Board of Trustees. I am going to continue to advocate for all children and staff and be a voice for them. Our community is seeking someone who can connect with them as a parent, volunteer, and advocate. With four children currently in the district in three different schools, I am able to connect on a similar level. Our Board of Trustees in LISD have done a tremendous job with education, financial responsibility and safety and security. I want to continue that growth and work alongside them as a team.

Bumgarner: I am running for office to help parents and teachers have a voice in our school. The main purpose of schools are to educate students and to help them become successful adults that can make educated decisions for their future and can give back to their community.  I have seen and overheard many of our teachers complain of feeling that they are not given proper time to teach core education while constantly battling an ever changing grading system with state testing. This has become one of the big issues that is contributing to many educators leaving the profession. While all student’s personalities are forming and evolving through their educational career some issues should be addressed at home and allow our teachers to teach.  

 

Do you currently have kids enrolled in Lewisville ISD?

Alkhatib: I currently have 4 children in Lewisville ISD: 11th grader at Flower Mound High School, 8th and 7th grader at Forestwood STEM Middle School and a 2nd grader at Donald STEM Academy

Bumgarner: Yes, I have a daughter at Flower Mound High School. 

 

If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

Alkhatib: My top 3 priorities will be to: Advocate for all students, teachers, and staff in the district; Work as a team with the Board of Trustees to ensure that all of our students have access to the best education and are safe within their schools; and Listen to the community.

Bumgarner: My top three priorities are allowing our parents to have a voice, transparency in educational programs, and helping our teachers get a higher allotment for materials in the classroom. 

 

What do you think is the biggest issue facing Lewisville ISD today?

Alkhatib: Funding of our schools is the biggest issue we face in Lewisville ISD. We need to continue advocating for the needed resources in our district. We currently are giving $54 million dollars of our local property tax dollars back to the state in recapture. We are having to find creative ways to fund teacher retention, classroom resources, and safety and security measures. We have some of the best programs and resources in the nation for our students. We need to be able to continue providing these options to our families. Teacher Retention is another big issue that we face today. Lewisville ISD is the best school district in Texas and voted as the top employer in Denton County. We need to make sure that our teachers, administrators, and staff are being praised as such. Our teachers have been on the frontlines of education and incurred multiple stressors professionally and personally. We need to continue to listen to our employees and find ways that will keep them wanting to stay in LISD. I am here to work as a partner alongside them to educate and grow them as leaders. I want to encourage the teachers and administrators to know that they are in the best district and want to stay and retire here.

Bumgarner: While LISD is one of the most successful schools with graduation rates we are dealing with high teacher turnaround from both our novice and experienced educators. Some recent surveys that were taken in LISD noted that while they would like a pay increase this was not the biggest reason majority were leaving the profession but rather teaching a social education. A portion of every teachers class time is being dedicated to teaching a social education while also increasing the requirements of eatery of core education. This is an impossible battle for teachers to battle and have positive outcomes and the current educational scoring in the district shows the drop in literacy and numeracy. As a school board our job is to make sure our students are prepared for the future no matter what that may be, immediately entering the work force, trade schools, or college. However, if we do not focus on ELAR, Mathematics, History, and Science we are doing each child an injustice as they graduate. 

 

How and to what extent should parents be involved in what content and curriculum are taught in Lewisville ISD?

Alkhatib: Parents are a valuable part of the content and curriculum process. LISD has processes in place. For example, parents can review any new textbooks before they are adopted and voice their opinion on the options. This allows parents to be aware and involved with what their children are learning. We also must rely on the professional expertise of our teachers. Parents currently have the right to opt out of curriculum and resources that families do not want them learning at School.

Bumgarner: Parents should have a substantial voice in the curriculum that is being teached but not to the point of “watering down” materials. I do believe that education should be based on educational age and maturity. 

 

How will you make sure Lewisville ISD is a safe and welcoming space for all students, including LGBTQ+, religious or ethnic minorities, etc.?

Alkhatib: LISD needs to continue being open and welcome to ALL students. All students within LISD deserve the same respect, learning, services, and resources throughout the district. Students need to feel safe and respected within their schools. We need to ensure that our administrators, teachers, and counselors are providing all needed guidance to ensure this. We also need to ensure that all LISD staff is equipped with the necessary training and tools to provide this Guidance.

Bumgarner: Our school district does an amazing job of welcoming various cultures and beliefs. These groups can help with student ran organizations for inclusion and allowing each voice to be heard. However, I think it is important to note “All Students” without placing one group over another. 

 

What if any additional safety measures would you like to see implemented district wide to protect students? 

Alkhatib: LISD has one of the best safety and security teams in the nation. Our safety team has been acknowledged and awarded for their efforts. We are fortunate to have been ahead of the game when it comes to ensuring that our schools had the needed resources to meet safety standards. I would like to see additional funding added to our local district to allow us to fund the additional needs that we have to make sure that all students, teachers, and staff are in the safest learning environments. LISD is a large district and changing rapidly, we must ensure that we have the resources to maintain the highest level of security.

Bumgarner: We are very blessed in LISD to have safety measures that have worked well for us. In our ever changing climate there will always be a hindsight reaction. However, being able to report suspicious activity and limiting entrances to the school can help

 

 

 

Place 7 Candidates

Dr. Staci Barker

Email: [email protected]

FaceBook: drstacibarker 

 

 

 

Ashley Jones

Email: [email protected] 

Website: www.ashley4lisd.com 

 

 

 

 

Jacob Anderson

Email: [email protected]

Website: JacobandersonforLISD

 

What is your current occupation?

Barker: I am a Research and Strategic Priorities Analyst at the Region 10 Education Service Center

Jones: I am a stay at home mom 

Anderson: I am a Real Estate agent with Keller Williams. If anyone at Marcus is interested in pursuing a career in Real Estate, reach out. My office is always looking for outgoing, smart, aspiring agents to join the team and we may be able to assist with the cost of pre-licensing course work through our K-score program.

 

What is your educational background? 

Barker: I was raised in public schools Kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating from Granbury High School. I then received my BA in English from Texas Tech University, an MA in English Education from New York University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jones: I am a Licensed Vocational Nurse 

Anderson: I attended Abilene Christian University and the University of North Texas for my bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I obtained my masters degree in Education Leadership from Concordia University. I taught special education at Central Elementary (LISD) for four years and 3rd grade dual language for three years. I was a campus Vice Principal at Lakeland Elementary (LISD) for two years, ending my time as a professional educator on June 10, 2022.

 

What are your current and past civic involvement/accomplishments?

Barker: I currently serve as the Secretary for my daughter’s Choir Booster Club (at McKamy Middle School). I’m also a member of McKamy’s PTA. In addition, I serve on the vestry (governing board) of my church, The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Lewisville, and as a lector during service and a Youth Formation teacher.

Jones: During the pandemic our family was moved to do something for all the people that were sitting in long lines for the food bank. We sacrificed birthdays to give and not receive.  My kids and I also volunteered at the LISD Angel Tree Christmas Wrapping event.  In addition, we volunteered to help with Keep Flower Mound Beautiful.  I have also volunteered in my kids classrooms and with the PTA. 

Anderson: In the past I have volunteered as a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters; picked up litter from the streets of Denton with Keep Denton Beautiful; drove a shuttle bus, led a home group and taught a weekly 2nd grade Sunday-school class for the Village Church; mentored teenagers; assisted at food banks; hosted neighborhood food collections to support Communities in Schools; delivered food for Meals on Wheels, served on short-term mission trips teams to Kenya; currently serving as foster and adoptive parents; served at assisted living & nursing homes as a Senior Buddy. Professionally I served as a Dallas County CPS (Child Protective Services) Investigator and taught in LISD strictly on Title 1 campuses. Everything listed above I have done as a ministry and service to my community. 

 

Why are you running for office?

Barker: I am passionate about and dedicated to public education. I am a product of public education, and I believe in its power to provide limitless opportunity to students regardless of their background. My mom always told me that education is the one thing no one can take away from you. With a daughter in LISD, I know what a great district it is. As an educator, I know that we can always make things better. That’s my goal, to celebrate what is working well in the district and problem-solve around challenges the district faces.

Jones: I am a wife, mom, and a nurse with medical experience and in an environment as such we are in, I believe medical expertise would be useful. I decided to run to bring awareness that we are seeing an exodus of great teachers that we must invest in. Secondly, I am running to protect academic excellence and protect instructional materials that our kids are being exposed to during school hours. 

Anderson: As a CPS investigator, interviewing caregivers in their homes, I quickly realized there were very few dads in the homes I visited. Most often kids were being raised by a single mother or their grandparents. Knowing many of these children were growing up fatherless, I felt compelled to become a teachers and be that stable male role model for my community. I taught for a while and then pursued campus administration to hopefully amplify my effect on my campus. Instead, as a campus administrator, my initial purpose in education diminished and eventually disappeared with so many “extra” state mandated responsibilities. Therefore I left the field of education to pursue other life aspirations. My heart is still with my LISD family and running for a school board position allows me to continue utilize my knowledge, skills and experience to serve. I love LISD and I want to see our students, our staff, and our families continue to thrive. We don’t deserve to have a politician in the board seat, we deserve to have a highly qualified and knowledgeable servant leader in the seat.

 

Do you currently have kids enrolled in Lewisville ISD?

Barker: I have a daughter who attends McKamy Middle School.

Jones: Temporarily we do not, but are accepted into Collegiate Academy for 2023. 

Anderson: Not currently. I have in the past and I will again shortly, but no, not currently. My wife and I are foster parents. Our home has been open to children in crisis for the last 5 or so years. We’ve had several placements where the parents get the help they need to provide a safe environment for their children return to and family reunification occurred. Praise God, amen. However, the last two children we fostered needed a forever home and we happily were able to provide that for them. Praise God, amen! My wife and I adopted our beautiful boy (Nov. of 2021) and our precious baby girl (Oct. of 2022) from the foster system. The need for quality foster homes is extreme and urgent. It’s difficult and it’s emotion, but there’s nothing more hands-on and effective to change lives than fostering and adoption. I would highly encourage others, if they are able, to consider serving in this important and rewarding role. We are excited to send our young pups to the elementary school in our backyard, Memorial, as soon as they are of age.

 

If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

Barker: My first priority is student safety. I want students to feel like they are safe, in all the definitions of safe, when they walk into LISD buildings, because if they do not feel safe, it is very hard to learn. My second priority is student opportunity. Every student, regardless of their zipcode, should have the opportunity to pursue any life beyond graduation that they desire. This means access to a variety of high-quality core classes, extension and advancement options, career-focused experiences, and extracurricular activities. My third priority is teacher support. We have to recruit and retain the best teaching force to provide students with the best possible education. To do that, we have to think about support from all sides, from pay, to training, to working conditions, to schedules, and so on. 

Jones: Invest in our teachers, review the budget to accomplish first priority and bring back the focus of Getting Back to the Basic  

Anderson: Teacher recruitment and retention, budget and student achievement 

 

What do you think is the biggest issue facing Lewisville ISD today?

Barker: I believe the biggest issue facing LISD is a similar issue facing the education field in general. How do we recruit and retain high-quality teachers? Teaching has been one of the hardest and most rewarding roles I’ve held within my career, and I want to listen to teachers in the classroom today to find out how can we continue to reap those rewards, but make the job a little less hard.

Jones: As a Mom, I am concerned about the lack of transparency within LISD. I also am concerned with the LISD budget deficit and I am concerned we are losing great teachers.  

Anderson: The teacher shortage is a major issue. Some colleges and universities have recently closed their education programs due to the lack of interest and enrollment. This is a multifaceted issue which involves more than just teacher pay. I believe Dr. Rapp has a good grasp of this issue and I appreciate her efforts to focus on the culture of the district and the amount of “extra items” proposed to be on a teacher’s already full plates (two important and research-based strategies for improvement). As a campus administrator last school year, I know we were offering teachers the highest hourly pay rate in history to tutor small groups after school per HB4545. It didn’t help. Teachers were disinterested not because they don’t care, rather, when they pour out everything they have each day, and then they are required to complete STR (the science of teaching reading) certification course work in the evenings and weekends, on top of their normal lesson planning, prep, data tracking and differentiation, on top of their targeted interventions for their struggling students, it is easy to see why they must politely decline a sizable bonus. These teachers share a giant heart for their students but no amount of money is worth more than spending a quality moment with their family at home. Asking teachers to sacrifice so much for the sake of an endless amount of unfunded state mandates only exasperates the teacher shortage issue we face today. COVID on top of that… what else can we throw at them? A lot of talented educators are leaving the field unfortunately and less people are interested in stepping into their empty classrooms. This is a major issue.

 

How and to what extent should parents be involved in what content and curriculum are taught in Lewisville ISD?

Barker: Parents, of course, have every right to know what is being taught to their students, and I have had the pleasure of collaborating with parents when I was in the classroom and collaborating with teachers as a parent myself. To me, this is the best involvement, a collaboration and communication between parents and teachers. As far as curriculum, the State Board of Education determines the standards (TEKS) that teachers must teach in the state of Texas, and I support the teaching of that state-adopted content. 

Jones: Texas Education Code Chapter 26 Section 26.001 states that parents are partners with educators, administrators, and school district boards of trustees in their children’s education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for their children. 

Anderson: As a previous LISD Title 1 educator, I longed for nothing more than to have a single parent volunteer in my classroom or on my campus. The partnership between a parent and school is extremely important and all of our campuses would benefit to have parental involvement to the maximum extent possible. I believe parents, if they are willing, can be part of the curriculum (career day guests, being interviewed as a veteran, be a guest expert presenter, pull; a reading group). I would also like to see volunteers to serve as part of a district curriculum cadre when adopting new curriculum.

 

How will you make sure Lewisville ISD is a safe and welcoming space for all students, including LGBTQ+, religious or ethnic minorities, etc.?

Barker: I believe that everyone deserves a chance to be heard, to be seen, to be listened to, and to be acknowledged as fellow humans. I will always advocate that we listen to all of our stakeholders, authentically hear their concerns, and seek reasonable solutions to problems that arise. As I mentioned above, I believe without safety, we cannot have academic success.

Jones: Our country was founded on the belief that all are created equal and that we are all given the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by our creator. These simple truths are a guiding principle that I would want to make sure are at the center of any policy that would allow LISD to protect all of our students. 

Anderson: Every student is important and valuable. As a Christian, regardless of preferences, practices, cultures or identities, I believe every human being created carries the Imago Dei which in itself warrants dignity and respect. I know from experience as an LISD campus administrator, we follow the current laws and policies that prohibit harassment and bullying in our schools and we take allegations of such seriously with a prompt investigation. Students feeling safe at school not only affects their social/emotional wellbeing but it also directly affects daily attendance rates and student achievement. Morning check-ins are an easy way our teachers can gain a glimpse of how kids are arriving to class each day. The first time I did this in my classroom I learned one of my 3rd grade girls came late to my class right after she and her parents made a police report because someone jumped her fence and stabbed her dog to death. It became obvious this student was snuggling, needed to see a counselor and she wasn’t going to learn a single thing from me or my meticulously created lesson plans. This quick and easy check-in became a daily practice and was instrumental in improving multiple areas of my class.

 

What if any additional safety measures would you like to see implemented district wide to protect students?

Barker: I am thankful for the safety measures I already see in place at LISD, including protocols for front door entry, locked door protocols, School Resource Officers, anti-bullying measures, etc. I believe that one root cause of safety concerns is mental health, and we could investigate our resources in that area to see if we could improve those supports, examining the possibility of additional counselors or mentors for students across the district. 

Jones: I am hoping to find a way in the Lewisville ISD Budget to be able to afford a dedicated School Resource Officer per campus. 

Anderson: Our district does a great job with safety and security at this time. We are fortunate to have Matt Garrett as our Director of Safety and Security. He is so talented and effective that many other entities seek to learn his systems and strategies, many of which are not advertised or shared with the public. At this time I would not add anything however, as a data-driven educator, once I’m a board member I would like to see evidence of the effectiveness of our strategies and explore ways for continued improvement. 

 

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About the Contributor
Owen Oppenheimer, Reporter
Owen Oppenheimer is a senior and this is his first year on staff. He’s ready to write and dive deep into the biggest issues in the community. He has driven all the way down to Austin in one day just to get a story. Outside of school, he works for the Town of Flower Mound, reads and is involved with local politics.

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    Mark EhrlichApr 20, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for posting these. It’s nice to be able to study where everyone stands on these important issues.

    Reply