The Healthy Choice for Our Schools
Healthy communities start with healthy families and children. As the father of three daughters who attend public school, I know how important healthy minds, healthy bodies, and healthy environments are to our children’s growth and development. As an experienced School Board Trustee, I have worked to ensure our community’s schools provide our students — your children and mine — with every opportunity to thrive in the classroom, in the community, and in the world beyond. Because I believe that Every Student Deserves an Exceptional Education. Garland ISD has made impressive gains over the past five years that I have served as Trustee-Place 6, and I need your vote to continue this important work on behalf of our children.
Student achievement is a top priority for Garland ISD. As a board member and board president, I have helped adopt significant academic programs and worked with administration to set and exceed goals that resulted in an improved school district rating from an 81 to an 88. Achieving student progress targets means more students in Garland ISD are college, career, and military ready (CCMR) when they leave our schools.
I’m committed to ensuring our schools provide a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that develops the knowledge, experiences, and skills critical to our students’ success. This includes making sure educators and teachers have the support, tools, and resources they need to not only deliver the curriculum in a way that reaches each child where they are, but also teaches them how to think — critically, creatively, and confidently.
COVID-19 has been a difficult situation for many districts to manage. Whether face-to-face or virtual, students are experiencing many different challenges associated with this global pandemic. Providing social and emotional learning opportunities is an important element in helping to combat the impact of this and in the development of a healthy mind. Equipping our students with the ability to be more self and socially aware, have better relationship skills, greater decision making capacity, and self-management will help them to become more well-rounded and responsible human beings.
Addressing both the academic and emotional needs of our students is vital. We must develop the whole child and prepare them for life outside the four walls of our schools. Health students become healthy adults.
Like many communities across the country, COVID-19 has exposed and forced us to confront a number of areas we may have unintentionally neglected. A growing national epidemic: childhood obesity and the medical implications that come with it, is still a major issue. Some students thrive in a face-to-face environment; for others, a virtual learning space works better. COVID-19 has caused many of us to be inactive. As a result, we have seen increased weight gain and poorer health. This is true of both adults and children.
Despite the learner setting, there are ways to counteract this health crisis and measures we can take to ensure a healthier future for our entire community. Students should have opportunities throughout the school day to engage physically as well as mentally — in play, in sports, and in activities that translate directly to improved academic performance, mental health, and socialization. That is why I have supported additional extracurricular activities such as Step and extending soccer to middle school students. It's important to make sure students have access to movement, and healthy nutrition as part of the curriculum and on-campus food service.
Studies have shown that children who participate in physical activities and adopt good nutrition habits perform better in the classroom and on tests, and they are healthier and happier. By helping our children stay healthy, we reduce sick days while exposing students to more opportunities to learn, grow and become outstanding citizens in our community.
Like all parents, I’m concerned about the safety and wellbeing of students in our schools. I want to send my children to a school I can be sure will provide a safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment to learn and develop. The 2014 GISD Bond, which I voted for as a tax paying citizen, made provisions for creating safer learning environments for our children with secured entries and classrooms. I have supported funding for additional School Resource Officers (SROs) and the efforts to build stronger relationships within our tri-cities to ensure our students are safe.
Since becoming a School Board Trustee in 2015, I’ve worked with my colleagues and Garland ISD district leadership and staff to make sure our Bond projects were fiscally responsible, met timeline objectives, and provided the school district with an end product that added value for years to come. I strongly believe it's important that we must provide spaces where students and administrators feel comfortable, cared for, supported, and above all, secure.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s parents, business owners, professionals, and community leaders. By investing in our children today, I believe we are preparing the next generation of engaged citizens. One example of this is the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center (GRCTC), which is the result of the 2014 Bond Program. The courses, training and certifications available to students at this campus are groundbreaking and have provided a true community partnership with local businesses.
We have created a pipeline of training and good job opportunities for Garland ISD students, helping them remain in the area. I am proud to have supported this effort and even more proud of the opportunities this facility offers our students to find local, high paying jobs and our tri-city businesses to hire well-trained employees who will, in turn, contribute to the health and vitality of our local economy.
Make the Right, Healthy Choice
Vote for me during Early Voting, April 19th – 27th, or Election Day, May 1st, to ensure our schools continue to provide ALL of our children with state of the art learning experiences in safe facilities with access to a variety of enriching activities and opportunities, so they can be healthy children with healthy minds, as a part of our healthy community. Thank you for your support and your vote!