Saturday, April 9, 2011

Questions and Answers - LWV

Hello everyone,

I wanted to get a chance to share information on me and what I'm all about.  Check out the following 8 questions.

1.      Please describe the training and experience that qualify you for this office.

I have a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Dallas.
I have 27 years in purchasing and contracting working for companies like MedicalEdge Healthcare, Texas Instruments and General Electric. My responsibilities included the budgeting, analysis, and negotiation of major acquisitions and service contracts.  I led acquisitions with multi-function teams.  As Purchasing Director at MedEdge, I was responsible for $ 50 million in annual purchasing.  I work well in teams and take pride in seeking continuous process improvements.  I closely followed, and was head cheerleader for my two exceptional daughters through PISD; one at PESH and Clark HS.  

2.      How should the school district cope with a budget deficit, especially if it receives reduced funding from the state?

PISD is looking at a budget reduction from $460 to 399 million.  This $60,000,000 over two years represents a 13% reduction.  The administration was assigned some preliminary targets and goals and came back with a suggested plan for Year 1.  This was presented at the public working session conducted the evening of 29 March.  The reductions achieved were $26,630,635 in Year 1. On my initial review, I liked the plan as presented.  Dr. Otto’s administration was able to identify cuts that minimized teacher reductions.  The meat of the curriculum and programs escaped gross or prorata reductions.  Kids come first.

3.      What is the best way to recruit, evaluate and retain good teachers, as well as weed out less satisfactory ones? 

PISD has long had a reputation for excellent schools in large measure due to the teachers.  PISD must seek to attract the best candidates through competitive and attractive salaries, benefits, and performance bonus, just like Texas Instruments and many other fine companies.  Keeping class sizes manageable, and paying some extra should attract the best and pay dividends over the long run.  If allowed by the legislature, PISD should use standard corporate practices to identify those unable to maintain required performance levels.  Objective measurements, standards, and evaluations should be allowed to drive needed attrition while handling employees with dignity.

4.      Is this district doing enough to meet the needs of students who are not college-bound?  What else needs to be done and how can it be funded?

An excellent school district will provide an excellent education to its entire student body.  Future employers will look to make sure that prospective employees have appropriate skills in reading and writing and arithmetic, as well as speaking.  Additional skills and vocational training are dependent on a well grounded and level headed student.  Other attributes, not learned from a book such as attitude and character, diligence and determination are additional essential ingredients sought by the hiring managers.  I would like to see a class offered with the basics of seeking and securing a job path and career following high school.

5.      What issues does the district have as a result of growth and/or changing demographics?  How would you address them?

I think this is one of the biggest challenges facing our school district and our state.  The dramatic increase is straining our abilities to provide the quality and level of education programs.  We need to look for a multi-faceted solution.  Facets include attention by Austin, and careful planning and development of bilingual and other socioeconomic programs.  I would look at additional mentoring and family facing and focused programs.  I would investigate whether the regional ROTC command and other civic agencies in the area could funnel additional resources to our programs.  Local funding from business should be sought.

6.      Would you support having live broadcasts of school board meetings and work sessions?  Explain your position. 

I am unclear on the reasoning behind making the broadcast live.  What would be the added benefit if board meetings were live versus taped?  The broadcast is already available on the PISD website.  If a clear benefit is raised I would be in favor of it.

7.      Are our schools doing enough to prevent or respond to bullying?  What else is needed?

The prevention of bullying requires the involvement of parents and the administration.  Let’s start with the basics.  Respect for others, and courtesy and kindness should be the expected behavior at all grade levels.  The administration should allocate time at a school assembly to raise the subject.  Then if an event occurs a parent should report it to the counselor.  I would recommend that the parent, being fair-minded, will ask if any behaviors of their child were involved with the event.   Given a negative answer, the counselor and ultimately the Asst Principal or Principal should seek immediate corrective action.    

8.      What are the most important issues you think will come before the school district in the next three years?  What are your views on these issues?

The most critical issue is developing a District budget that stays within our means without a property tax increase.  This will take austere measures but we must seek to live within our means.  Equally important is the establishment of school system based on what our parents choose.  I believe in the final analysis we as parents are responsible for our children including their education.  The Board / Administration should bend over backwards to ensure that parents are afforded this prominent position.  It is the Educators role to provide alternatives impartially giving the benefit of their insight and experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment