Keller ISD School Board

Job descriptionSchool boards are the governing bodies of their school districts. Term is three years.
DutiesSets district goals and priorities
Adopts and reviews district policies
Publish annual educational performance report
Hires and evaluates district superintendent
Adopts district budget and monitors district finances
Approves tax rate
Annual salaryUnpaid; reimbursed for official expenses.
MeetingsMonthly board meetings; special meetings called as needed.

PLACE 1

Who’s Running?

Note: Open seat

Craig AllenEmail: callen.two@yahoo.com

PLACE 2

Who’s Running?

Karina Davis (incumbent)Email: karina.davis@kellerisd.net
Pilar FraserEmail: pilar_fraser@yahoo.com

Candidate Q&A

1. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Karina Davis
I do not have "an agenda". Instead my focus is to continue to ensure that Keller ISD is doing everything possible to ensure that we provide excellent opportunities to all of our students, take care of our teachers and administrators, and evolve to meet the needs of our graduating students to successfully move on to the next phase of their lives - regardless of what that might be
Pilar Fraser
2. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Karina Davis
Not only have I served on the Board for the past 6 years, I have also completed a rigorous 1 year training program thru Leadership TASB and earned a Master Trustee designation.
I participate in numerous committees and am also part of the pilot mentoring program in the district.
In addition, I have 25+ years of experience in Human Resources and this background provides me with the knowledge and skills to navigate complex budget, personnel and strategic planning initiatives.
I have also been an active voter for not only school board related elections, but also local and national elections while it is my understanding that my opponent has not exercised their voting rights in the same manner.
Pilar Fraser
3. PROPERTY TAXES ARE THE LARGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR LOCAL SERVICES. THE STATE LEGISLATURE MAY LIMIT PROPERTY TAX REVENUE GROWTH AT 2.5 PERCENT PER YEAR. IF THIS BECOMES LAW, HOW SHOULD THE BOARD ADDRESS THIS?
Karina Davis
The truth is that as an existing Board member, I know that we have no choice but to "deal with" whatever funding is provided...
Now that is not to say that we do not meet with legislators, support initiatives or try to have a voice... But the reality is that once something becomes law, we are simply required to figure it out until it changes. This has happened many times with public school funding and I expect that to continue.
It is also not as simple as this question may sound. School funding is a complex "beast" and has many portions. Usually each one is tied in someway to another and have off-sets, limits, etc... If regulatory changes are made to school funding, we will first have to fully understand the impact - then determine our immediate actions/requirements, before we can determine next steps. Ultimately we have to be ready for students, and provide them the best we can with what we have.
Pilar Fraser
4. HOW EFFECTIVE ARE STATE OF TEXAS ASSESSMENTS OF ACADEMIC READINESS (STARR) TEST RESULTS IN ASSESSING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND THE QUALITY OF SCHOOLS IN YOUR DISTRICT?
Karina Davis
Any test, not just STAAR, does an excellent job of showing the performance of a student on any given day... however; no test can factor in things such as the student being "under the weather", recently having some traumatic experience or just having a bad day.
As a district, we understand that there is some value to standardized testing, but we keep it in perspective and realize this is not a "tell all" snapshot of a student. Instead our accountability, and theirs - is a much broader picture. I fully support our outlook on this and we have continued to communicate with our community members to let them know that regardless of legislative actions, we do not choose to be defined by a single test and will also not allow our students to be either. Being a District of Innovations is a reflection of this belief
Pilar Fraser
5. EDUCATION RESEARCHERS REPORT THAT CHILDREN OF COLOR ARE DISCIPLINED MORE OFTEN THAN THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS. HOW SHOULD YOUR DISTRICT ADDRESS THIS CONCERN WHEN SETTING CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE POLICIES?
Karina Davis
While I have seen some of these reports, as with much of anything, I think it is very important for people to carefully understand the underlying data used... often these reports come out of districts with higher percentages of colored students than white students - so it stands to reason that this would be the case...
What I will say is that I completely agree that Nothing should affect the discipline of children other than their behavior. I believe from my many years in the district that this is how we function and we strive for equity in all that we do.
Our policies focus on behavior and consequence, nothing else - and of course there is always a process to voice concerns if someone feels that they are not being treated in accordance with policy.
Pilar Fraser
6. IN RESPONSE TO MASS SHOOTING EVENTS ON SCHOOL CAMPUSES, WHAT POLICIES SHOULD YOUR DISTRICT PURSUE WITH REGARD TO SCHOOL SAFETY, AND WHAT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES, IF ANY, ARE NEEDED?
Karina Davis
Keller ISD is a leader in school safety initiates long before many of the unfortunate events that make national headlines. Other districts from around the country meet with our security team to gain knowledge and insight.
However; we do not "rest" on this. Kevin Kinley who heads this department is diligent in continued training, assessment and planning to ensure that Keller ISD reduces as much risk as possible within our schools.
All of our campuses have secure entry vestibules. cameras, trained personnel, and comprehensive collaboration with local law enforcement agencies
Pilar Fraser
7. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE ISSUE OF PRIVATIZING NUTRITION SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT?
Karina Davis
We partner with Sodexo for our food service and are happy with their partnership. Sodexo provides so much more than just standard school lunches for the district. They partner with us and create initiatives such as gardens, a food truck, and many school or district events. They also support our culinary program students and provide opportunities and internships for those students.
While we are not currently looking for other solutions, I do understand that other districts may have other priorities and make choices that best suit their needs.
Pilar Fraser
8. HOW SHOULD THE CHARTER SCHOOL MOVEMENT BE MANAGED WITHIN THE DISTRICT?
Karina Davis
These are things we can not control as a district. I do not believe there is a way to "manage them" from a district perspective. Instead I think if we continue to focus on excellence and provide the best possible environments and opportunities for our students, then this is basically a non-issue for the district.
We have had experience over the years of loosing some students when a charter school became available in the area, but almost 100% of those students returned to KISD schools within the next 12 months. I think this speaks volumes to what we provide our students, and how the community supports us.
Pilar Fraser
9. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Karina Davis
As anyone who knows me is aware - I am a huge "fan" of our district and our students. Their abilities continue to amaze me every day and I love being a part of the Board to help ensure our continued excellence.
On a personal level, I am not one to participate in social media (by choice). I much prefer to interact with people on a more personal level, instead of posting my life online.
I still have one child in the district (8th grade), and have 2 older children who are out of school. My husband and I have been married for 25 years, and we have 2 grand-daughters.
I also believe that the school board is not a place for politics or agendas - instead it is a place to collaborate for the good of the district and everyone in it.
Pilar Fraser

PLACE 3

Who’s Running?

Cindy Lotton (incumbent)Email: cmlotton424@gmail.com
Dr Kris Kittlehttp://Kittle4Kids.com
https://www.facebook.com/Kittle4Kids
Email: dr.kris.kittle@adoptionsurvival.com
Jon RodriguezEmail: jonathandrodriguez@hotmail.com

Candidate Q&A

1. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
The loss of teachers and principals last year is concerning. We need to understand why they are leaving and address those concerns. We need to listen to our teachers and value them as professionals with knowledge of the educational needs of the community. We need to update outdated facilities by prioritizing needs on older campuses.
Jon Rodriguez
2. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
I completed the Community Ambassadors program. I have participated on a variety of district committees: District of Innovation Committee (DOI), Heritage Elementary’s Campus Education Improvement Committee (CEIC) and I am finishing my 2-year term on the District Education Improvement Committee (DEIC). I also served as PTA secretary at Heritage Elementary. I have a PhD in higher education from UNT. I am a university professor and former university administrator.
Jon Rodriguez
3. PROPERTY TAXES ARE THE LARGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR LOCAL SERVICES. THE STATE LEGISLATURE MAY LIMIT PROPERTY TAX REVENUE GROWTH AT 2.5 PERCENT PER YEAR. IF THIS BECOMES LAW, HOW SHOULD THE BOARD ADDRESS THIS?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
With the passage of the TRE, the district cannot raise the tax rate at all for maintenance and operations since the district already taxes at the highest level allowed by the state. Consequently, additional tax revenue is limited regardless of what the state legislature determines. However, the board needs to be able to keep teacher salaries competitive despite limited tax revenues. Retaining quality teachers needs to be our priority.
Jon Rodriguez
4. HOW EFFECTIVE ARE STATE OF TEXAS ASSESSMENTS OF ACADEMIC READINESS (STARR) TEST RESULTS IN ASSESSING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND THE QUALITY OF SCHOOLS IN YOUR DISTRICT?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
The current design of the STAAR test does not measure what they claim the test measures. The questions are on content above grade level which was never introduced to students. Consequently, I believe the test is poorly designed and should be eliminated. As a parent of an ESL student, I repeatedly had conversations with TEA’s STAAR team about the purpose of my non-English speaking child taking the test she could neither read nor understand. There must be a better way to truly assess student achievement. Unfortunately, currently STAAR testing does not measure that.
Jon Rodriguez
5. EDUCATION RESEARCHERS REPORT THAT CHILDREN OF COLOR ARE DISCIPLINED MORE OFTEN THAN THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS. HOW SHOULD YOUR DISTRICT ADDRESS THIS CONCERN WHEN SETTING CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE POLICIES?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
This is an important issue to me and my family. My immediate family is a transracial family as is my extended family with my bi-racial nephew and niece. Discipline policies need to be implemented fairly in all circumstances regardless of those involved.
Jon Rodriguez
6. IN RESPONSE TO MASS SHOOTING EVENTS ON SCHOOL CAMPUSES, WHAT POLICIES SHOULD YOUR DISTRICT PURSUE WITH REGARD TO SCHOOL SAFETY, AND WHAT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES, IF ANY, ARE NEEDED?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
I believe KISD needs to look at security especially at our middle schools and high schools. KISD now requires all students to wear badges, however, enforcement is spotty at best. Unfortunately, wearing badges is not enough. We need to provide more safety training to our students on the importance of not letting other students in through locked doors. We need our halls regularly and routinely patrolled by security as well as campus administration.
Jon Rodriguez
7. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE ISSUE OF PRIVATIZING NUTRITION SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
It is my understanding that KISD’s nutrition services is run independently from the district. Our food services department is actively involved in improving campus lunchrooms and cafeteria services. I appreciate that they serve locally grown produce and homemade menu items. Additionally, they purchase new tables and chairs to improve the campus lunchroom experience with their additional revenue.
Jon Rodriguez
8. HOW SHOULD THE CHARTER SCHOOL MOVEMENT BE MANAGED WITHIN THE DISTRICT?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
I benefit from KISD’s open transfer policy since my daughter attends a school outside of the feeder pattern where we live. I am so grateful that we can send her to a school that we believe better meets her needs. I believe parents should get to choose the best school for their child. As KISD continues to provide a quality education to all students, parents will continue to choose our schools over any other. Therefore, the need for charter schools will diminish in KISD.
Jon Rodriguez
9. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Cindy Lotton
Dr Kris Kittle
We need to take care of our teachers. Last year, we lost exceptional, experienced teachers and principals which is concerning. I want to improve the district so teachers can focus on teaching rather than on unnecessary meetings and duplicate paperwork. Making our teachers feel appreciated both on the campus level and at the district level is one of my priorities. I desire to bring change to the board’s culture where questions and independent thought are valued. I believe the purpose of the board is to represent the community through dialogue and discussion to find the best solutions. I would like to see that happening on the board.
Jon Rodriguez