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.
MeetingsTwice monthly board meetings; special meetings called as needed.

Who’s Running?

Lillian Rauch (incumbent)schoolboard@nisdtx.org
Jennifer ZazulaFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/votejenniferz/
Email: jnstephens79@gmail.com

Candidate Q&A

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Lillian Rauch
I have over six years of experience as a Northwest I.S.D. School Board Trustee, completed 216 hours of continuing education for school board members through the Texas Association of School Boards, over 40 years in education, and worked for NISD for 13 years as a classroom teacher, ESL, reading, dyslexia, and math interventionist. I also was the district dyslexia assessment administrator. I have a Master’s Degree in Education in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Ph.D. in Reading Education. In addition, I have the following certifications; Teaching, Principal, ESL, Early Childhood Education, Dyslexia, Reading Recovery Teacher, and Reading Recovery Teacher Leader.
As a result of my School Board experience and working for the district in various roles, I believe that I am very familiar with the students, faculty, schools, community, culture, and the needs of Northwest I.S.D.
Jennifer Zazula
I have been in education for over 10 years. I have 2 Masters Degrees in Education and am a Ph.D candidate finishing my dissertation to receive my Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree at the University of North Texas in May. I have been a teacher and am currently an Educational Diagnostician. I have been a writer on 3 published Educational articles and have presented at a National educational conference in Houston. I am the best candidate because not only am I a mother of an NISD student, but I am involved in the direct day in and day out educational day WITH students. I know first hand how the decisions that are made effect the students and teachers. This is a different classroom than ever before and it is important to have educators who are currently working in the field on our board.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Lillian Rauch
My top priorities are working proactively with the other board members, superintendent, district administrators, and communities to provide a safe, quality education for all of our students and staff during this pandemic, accommodating our rapid growth and changes, while dealing with unfunded legislative mandates, and decreased state funding.
Jennifer Zazula
Creating an equal educational opportunity for all students
Growth of our school district
Ensuring we have educational programs that reach all learners
Enhance the online educational system during COVID
Ensuring that our students, teachers and community feel safe
Updating schools that need renovations
3. THE CURRENT PANDEMIC IS MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT HOW TO OPEN SCHOOLS VERY DIFFICULT. HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE BOARD'S RESPONSE THUS FAR, AND HOW MIGHT YOU DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY?
Lillian Rauch
I believe that we have responded in the best way possible considering we have never been in this situation before and having to interact with, and react to, many federal, state, and county agencies. In addition to training our staff and students in remote learning, we might consider offering remote learning training to our parents also.
Jennifer Zazula
I work for a different school district and have the luxury of being able to compare NISD to other districts and while I believe that the board is doing the best they can, one of the biggest problems I see is that we have a board that consists of retired educators and members who have never been in education. It is crucial that our education boards have current educators to brain storm and to give their educational expertise so that the best decisions can be made. I do not know what the board has done to bring the expertise of our educators in the decision making process of this situation but I believe their voices are a very important tool in this unprecedented time.
4. WHAT POLICIES SHOULD YOUR DISTRICT PURSUE WITH REGARD TO SCHOOL SAFETY?
Lillian Rauch
Our student and staff safety is our highest priority. We have a comprehensive emergency operations plan that addresses emergency mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery procedures relevant to natural and human-caused disasters. The plan is updated annually and includes specific steps to take in an emergency situation. Each campus practices fire, evacuation, reverse evacuation, exterior lockdown, full lockdown, safe shelter, and bad weather drills throughout the year. We have a safety and security audit team that conducts safety and security audits on every campus. NISD partners with local law enforcement agencies who provide school resource officers. NISD has an emergency response coordinator and safety teams, visitor check-in software, cameras, ID badges, campus crime stoppers, emergency call lists, and emergency supplies and equipment.
NISD has a COVID dashboard. Everyone is required to wear masks and practice social distancing. We have implemented staggered release times, different entrances for arrival and dismissal, frequent hand washing, and desks are cleaned several times per day. Custodians clean desks and buildings daily using electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. Cafeterias are cleaned after each period. Plexiglas dividers were installed. Buses are cleaned after each run. Bus windows are opened. Hand sanitizer is used in buildings, on buses, and on playgrounds.
Jennifer Zazula
Policies for both staff and students in regards to CDC alignment
Policies for what to do if someone gets ill
Preparation should the need arise to shut down school again
Its also important to start preparing for two different educational programs for all student, including those in special education and 504. Face to face and online instruction need to be strong
5. HOW SHOULD THE BOARD ADDRESS DISPARITIES IN ACCESS TO EDUCATION, TECHONOLOGY, AND RESOURCES FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS AND PARTICULARLY STUDENTS OF COLOR?
Lillian Rauch
I believe our district has addressed these disparities very well, however in any situation there is always room for improvement. We believe in addressing the needs of every child every day and providing rigorous and equitable access to high levels of teaching and learning for every student to reach their fullest potential. Northwest ISD has an Equity Committee and Framework that addresses equity, inclusion and diversity awareness across all aspects of the district. We strive to provide learning opportunities that support and engage all students while embracing our diverse culture and eliminating bias. All of our students have been provided chromebooks and students that did not have internet access have been provided with hotspots. We also provided food, school supplies, and books to all of our students who needed them. If a family was unable to pick up the needed materials or food, district employees took them to homes during the school closure and summer.
Jennifer Zazula
Students with disabilities need to IEP's that address both virtual and face to face instruction to ensure that their educational needs are provided.
Schools are more than just places of academic instruction. They provide food, shelter and even showers to some students. Schools should not assume that these situations change because our educational environment does. Creating situations in which we must meet the needs of diverse students is what I have been doing for over 10 years. Assessing the students and the needs of those students should be done and then money and investment should be made to provide those needs.
6. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Lillian Rauch
I am honored and proud to have served as a member of the Northwest I.S.D. School Board for over 6 years. It has been a very educational and exciting experience for me. I am asking the voters to vote for me so that I may continue to serve the students, staff, families, and communities of Northwest I.S.D.
Jennifer Zazula
I have been in the field of special education for over a decade and what I have learned this far is that EVERY student is an individual. Assessing the needs of students and parents and determining how to meet those needs is my strength and what makes me so good at my job. That is a skill that is desperately needed on our board. Its easy as a board member who is not involved in the day to day processes of our classrooms to make decisions lumping students into a one size fits all situation but as we can all see, that does not work. I am ready to represent students and families as individuals in order to create a stronger district together.