Education

Meet the candidates for Fort Worth school board District 6

There are four seats up for election on the Fort Worth school board. The election is May 4.
There are four seats up for election on the Fort Worth school board. The election is May 4. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Three candidates are vying for the District 6 post on the nine-member Fort Worth school board.

The post is a four-year, unpaid term.

The candidate who gets 50 percent or more of the total votes on election night wins. However, if none of the candidates reach the 50 percent mark, the candidates who garner the highest votes head to a runoff election scheduled for June 8.

Anne Darr

Office sought: District 6 Trustee, FWISD School Board

Name: Anne Darr

Occupation: Educational Consultant & Instructional Coach, Education Service Center Region 11

Age: 51

Website: darrforschools.com

Anne Darr
Educator Anne Darr is one of three candidates running for District 6 on the Fort Worth school board. Courtesy Anne Darr Campaign

Best way for voters to reach you: anne@darrforschools.com

Public offices held/sought: This is the first time I have run for public office.

What organizations are you affiliated with? Current: Education Service Center Region 11, Texas PTA, McLean Middle School, Paschal High School, University Christian Church, Brite Divinity School, Abydos Literacy and Learning Writing Project. Past: Tanglewood Elementary School, UCC Weekday School, Academy 4 Mentor Program at Daggett Elementary School

What is the most pressing issue facing Fort Worth students? Creating school climates where teachers want to teach and students want to learn is the most pressing issue facing the FWISD. This can be accomplished by allocating human and financial resources prudently, enforcing safety procedures and effective discipline policies, and recruiting and retaining excellent staff.

What is the role of a school board trustee? The role of a school board trustee is to set policy for the district and to grade the performance of the superintendent in light of the district’s goals. The board can improve the quality of education by listening to ALL stakeholders; researching, asking questions, and requesting substantive data that supports student learning and faculty/staff satisfaction and effectiveness; building relationships & fostering unity so that consensus and collaboration are possible; working to find a balance between what is best for students, best for the budget, and best for the community; and focusing on student learning as the primary motivation to serve.

How important is government and board transparency and how will you show your commitment to transparency? Transparency in government is imperative. Government leaders are elected by the constituents that they represent and serve; therefore, leaders are obligated to share information honestly and serve with integrity. Transparency is central to the citizens’ right to holding elected officials accountable. I will commit to transparency as a leader by seeking input from constituents, sharing news and updates in a timely manner, respecting confidentiality, and by making myself available to the public and journalists in order to explain my decisions positively and forthrightly.

How is Fort Worth ISD doing on providing equity of opportunity to all students, regardless of race? How could it do better? FWISD is working to increase equity and decrease disproportionality by “honoring and embracing diversity; listening first and seeking to understand; and speaking up when current practices appear to be inequitable.” FWISD is the only local education agency in Texas that has created a Division of Equity and Excellence and spearheaded programs such as My Brother’s Keeper, Eastside Alliance Community Partnership, Morningside Children’s Partnership, Historic Stop Six Initiative, and the annual Equity Summit. The FWISD should increase its commitment to equity by allocating financial and human resources more broadly for additional programming in all parts of the district.

Lisa Saucedo

Office sought: Fort Worth ISD Board of Trustees, District 6

Name: Lisa Saucedo

Occupation: Business Growth and Strategy Analyst at Texas Health Resources

Age: 39

Website: Lisaforfwisd.com

Lisa Saucedo
Lisa Saucedo is one of three candidates seeking the District 6 seat on the Fort Worth school board. The election is May 4. Courtesy Lisa Saucedo Campaign

Best way for voters to reach you: Email: lisa@lisasaucedo.com or Facebook Messenger

Public offices held/sought: N/A

What organizations are you affiliated with? I currently serve on the FWISD District Advisory Committee, the Citizens’ Oversight Committee, and the Committee for FW Young Life. I also serve on the FWISD Council of PTAs as 1st Vice President, Paschal High School PTA as President, Paschal High School Booster Club as Webmaster/Communications, Paschal High School SBDMT (Site Based Decision Making Team). I am a fellow of Leadership ISD. Lastly, I am the Secretary of the Westcliff Neighborhood Association.

What is the most pressing issue facing Fort Worth students? Our school board needs to lead its students by example, and right now there is dysfunction in the board’s communication and poor leadership. The lack of cohesion on the board is directly reflected in the quality of our schools. I’m a fellow of Leadership ISD and I’ve gone through Lone Star Governance training, which is the framework that the board is supposed to adhere to, so I am well versed in the expectation of the school board. The board needs to function as a team and the communication must improve; only then can it refocus the energy on improving education and student outcomes.

What is the role of a school board trustee? The focus of any school board trustee should be policy. School board members need to make sure that every student is represented in the policies that the board is evaluating. Apart from that, trustees are responsible for the district budget, setting goals for the district, hiring the superintendent, and acting as a representative for the parents, teachers, and students in his/her district.

How important is government and board transparency and how will you show your commitment to transparency? Improving government and board transparency is one of my top priorities. I strongly believe that we need more transparency and stronger ethics on our school board. If elected, I would support the expansion of our ethics policy in order to bring it back to something that looks similar to the 7-page ethics policy that was adopted and then rescinded. I understand the importance of public discussion and transparency, and so I will ensure that we are following the Texas Open Meetings Act, rather than using the loopholes and legal exceptions that specifically avoid public discussion.

How is Fort Worth ISD doing on providing equity of opportunity to all students, regardless of race? How could it do better? In order for this equity policy to work, it’s going to need the support from all of the trustees, and from what I’ve seen, not every school member has bought into it yet. We have some really incredible programs that I want to see replicated throughout the district at schools that I think would benefit. However, I understand that the schools in our district will never be entirely equal. That being said, we need to ensure that we are treating our teachers, faculty, and students equitably. If we treat people equitably, then everyone will have more opportunities for success.

Sandra Shelton

Office sought: FWISD Trustee – District 6

Name: Sandra A. Shelton

Occupation: Consultant

Age: 72

Website: www.electsandrashelton.com

Sandra Shelton
Consultant and educator Sandra Shelton is one of three candidates seeking the District 6 seat on the Fort Worth school board. The election is May 4. Courtesy Sandra Shelton Campaign

Best way for voters to reach you: Email: Shelton@electSandraShelton.com or 469-751-7774

Public offices held/sought: None

What organizations are you affiliated with? Coach Training Alliance; StrengthBank Inc.; Wedgwood Square Neighborhood Assn; Compassion International; Travis Ave Baptist Church Koinonia Bible Study; PraiSingers; Trinity Valley School; Aledo ISD; All Saints Episcopal School; Fort Worth Country Day.

What is the most pressing issue facing Fort Worth students? Focus funding on the 66% 3rd graders who do not read on level - leads to poor attendance, suspensions, bad behaviors, dropouts, and poor workforce. In fact, prisons use literacy levels to determine future prison guard needs. FWISD needs to stop the cash flow to current programs that are not teaching our kids to read!! Stop a problem at its root! Phonics, an 80% successful reading approach, is in the curriculum per SBOE fall 2019! Some may need whole language or another approach. Let teachers have successful tools to teach our kids to read! FWISD’s decline here is unacceptable.

What is the role of a school board trustee?

To govern and oversee the management of the school district

To levy and collect taxes

To set the policies for the FWISD

To develop and improve the educational system

To secure adequate financing

To select the superintendent of schools

To foster good community relations

How important is government and board transparency and how will you show your commitment to transparency? Government and Board transparency is imperative because both entities are spending taxpayer dollars. I will blog after every board meeting to inform my constituents of what is happening with details and documents as appropriate. I will return emails and phone calls in an expedient manner and post on social media and next-door chat groups as appropriate. I will attend community meetings to be open to questions or concerns and to inform of Board activity.

How is Fort Worth ISD doing on providing equity of opportunity to all students, regardless of race? How could it do better? FWISD is doing well on providing equity of opportunity to all students but must continue focus on all students having equity of opportunity, the most crucial being that all have the opportunity to read on 3rd grade level while they are in 3rd grade.

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