SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 4 CANDIDATE PROFILES:
There are two good candidates for School Board Place 4. These profiles were placed in alphabetical order:
1. Name: Jesse Hunter
2. Age: 46
3. Family (spouse’s name, children’s names and ages): My wife, Rebecca Hunter; Son Chase Hunter, 13 (8th grade) and my daughter is Taylor Hunter, 10 (4th grade).
4. Education: I went to Sanger Schools from kindergarten through the 12th grade and graduated from Sanger High School in 1994. I then attended Stephen F. Austin State University where I obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. I was also commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the US Army. After graduation, I attended the Angelina Police Academy, then moved to Missouri and attended and graduated from the US Army Military Police Officer Basic Course.
5. Profession/Company: I am a Captain with the Corinth Police Department; I am the Personnel Services commander and oversee the department's training program, hiring, recruiting, and Professional Standards. I am also a former Officer in the US Army and a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
6. How long have you been a resident of Sanger? I moved to Sanger in 1981 and I left for college in 1994. After college, some Army time overseas, and a short stay in Lewisville, My wife and I moved back to Sanger in 2005 to raise our family. I have lived here a total of 30 years.
7. If elected to a seat on the School Board, what are your goals and objectives? My goals are to serve the parents, teachers and children of the district with fairness and transparency. I am a servant at heart, and I will do my best to make sure their needs are addressed in a morally and fiscally responsible manner. I don't really have any set "objectives" per-se, other than to be present, and be a productive member of the Board.
8. What motivates you to want to become a board member? I realized a long time ago that I was put on this earth to help as many people as I could, with whatever tools I was given. That fire was lit in me by Linda Tutt when I was accepted into the PALS program at Sanger High School. I transformed my desire to help into a 22+ year career in Law Enforcement. But with time comes promotions and I found myself in an office a lot. As a result of being "out of touch" from the community as a command-level staff member, I found other ways to stay involved in helping others. I was on the Board of Directors for Youth and Family Counseling of Denton County, the Texas Peace Officer Memorial Board of Directors and was a member of the Denton County United Way Speaker's Bureau. With the assistance of several friends and business owners in the Sanger community, I also facilitated several programs to assist the victims of Domestic Violence in Denton County with the Denton County Friends of the Family emergency shelter. I have decided to focus my desire to serve others here in my home town and felt that my love for the community and the school district would be best served as a School Board member.
9. What do you believe are the most important projects to be started or completed in the next two years for Sanger ISD? Regarding future "brick and mortar" type projects, I think the construction of a new High School, and the expansion and remodeling of Clear Creek Elementary as well as a few of our other facilities are past due!!! We need to upgrade our facilities to create space and to incorporate some of the latest safety features for our children. From a "concept" standpoint, I think our district needs to continue to grow the district's Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Fine Arts programs. So many of our children are leaving SHS with real-life work experience leading to better career opportunities as the result of the CTE programs. And the diverse Fine Arts programs our district offers gives so many more kids the desire to go to school and to ENJOY what they are doing when they get there. We need to cultivate their passion for whatever organization they want to be a part of. Indirectly, they get a great education the rest of the day by default!!
10. What are your thoughts on the upcoming SISD bond? I am a 110% supporter of this current Bond. I served on the Bond Committee, and I am currently a member of the committee that is working to inform the residents of Sanger regarding the positive impact this Bond will have to our district's growth. I understand some of the community's reluctance to support the bond when they don’t have the details and positive impact of the bond laid out in front of them. But I have seen, first hand, several citizens who have been against the bond, take the time to attend one of the bond information meetings and come away as supporters of the bond. I also feel that this bond is very conservative in regards to what the district needs. The district is simply out of room.
11. What 2 specific things would you most like to see changed pertaining to the school system? #1. Regarding education as a whole, I think our teachers have had a significant amount of their time and creativity taken away by the standardized testing and the supporting material that comes with it. I believe that they went into the teaching field because they love kids and love the creative challenge teaching offers. The state mandated standardized tests and the material provided to support it, has cut into their teaching time, and has cut into their ability to be fun and creative with the lessons. #2. This may be a reach, but I wish there was a way for a district to be funded based on projected growth instead of a daily roll-call. This is a problem SISD and most school districts in the DFW area are facing. People are moving to this area in record numbers and we are all trying to play catch-up in regards to classroom space.
12. What are your most important overall goals for Sanger ISD? 1. Attendance. I want to help grow our district to where every kid wants to be in school. In order to achieve that goal, we have to offer as many special programs that we can possibly fit inside the walls of each campus. These programs are what the kids enjoy doing and might be the only reason they show up. 2. Faculty; I also want our faculty and staff to WANT to come to work. If we can create and maintain the culture and atmosphere in our schools that foster positive growth at all levels, then we can continue to be a successful district. I know that this culture exists, and we are a successful district. I've seen it first hand with how kids respond to some of the administrators. There are tons of smiles and a lot of success. We have a great Superintendent and he leads with a Servant's heart. But maybe somewhere, someone doesn't feel wanted or a part of the "team." That is the child that I want to reach. That's the true challenge that I'd like to see us take a harder look at. No kid should ever feel as if they don't belong.
13. What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities? I think the board has two key roles, and one big responsibility. I feel that it is the Board's role to ensure that the concerns of the citizen's are heard and reflected in the board's actions. Our vote should reflect that of our community members. The second role is to provide the Superintendent with the support he needs to continue to lead a successful district. There are decisions that have to be made that shouldn't always be made by the Superintendent. The school board, a panel of elected officials, should carry the burden of these decisions with the district's guidance. That enhances transparency and trust among the community. The greatest responsibility of the school board, in my opinion, is to the tax-paying citizen. We have to ensure that we, as a district, provide the safest and most efficient place for our children to learn, and for our faculty and staff to have the tools and atmosphere they need to succeed in the most fiscally responsible manner.
14. What is your vision for education in this community? My vision is one of inclusiveness and diversity. There are so many more programs at SISD than I remember having 28 years ago. Our district has grown so much and has so many great programs. Every student should have the opportunity to be a part of something special in their time at SISD.
17. Do you understand the role of the superintendent? YES. Describe the superintendent’s role: The Superintendent is the senior staff member in charge of the School District. I do feel that there are several different ways to carry out the role of Superintendent. The Superintendent should be the liaison for the district to the School Board and community. He/she is the face of the district and reports to the School Board the needs of the district to be successful.
18. What do you think is expected of you as a board member? I believe I am expected to understand and pass along the desires and opinions of the community in the way of a vote. I am also expected to conduct business as a professional and be an active, contributing member of the Board. But most importantly, I believe I am expected to ensure the safety and education of the children in our district is the most important mission we have here at SISD.
1. Name: Debra (Debbie) Reaves
2. Age: 66
3. Family: I am single. My son - Derek Reaves has one daughter - Alexa 15. My daughter - Erica Reaves-Breeding is married to Justin Breeding and they have two children - Corbin 10 and Maggie 2. Both of my children and my grandchildren live in Sanger. So my grandchildren go to Sanger ISD which means I have a vested interest in the school system.
4. Education: Some college - actually 145 semester credit hours from various schools which were acquired over several years just never got an actual degree. I traveled a lot with my career and attended various schools along the way.
5. Profession/Company: Retired from Federal Government in 2010 after over 30 years with Naval Facilities Engineering Command and FEMA. Worked as an Acquisition Director (contracting officer) over construction, maintenance and later disasters (hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, etc). After retiring, I started my own consulting business which I still have today but I also work part-time for the Sanger Area Chamber of Commerce as the administrator.
6. How long have you been a resident of Sanger? Since January 2016. I moved to Sanger when my daughter got married and they moved to Sanger. I previously lived in Ocean Springs, MS which is where I retired from the government. I was born & raised in Denver City, TX which is a small oilfield town 80 miles due west of Lubbock so I'm a native Texan but not from Sanger. Because I was raised in a small town, I love the small town environment that Sanger offers even though it is rapidly growing.
7. If elected to a seat on the School Board, what are your goals and objectives? My main goal and objective is to make sure the school board is working with the Sanger community to ensure the students have the best education opportunities available and to enhance student achievement possibilities. Also, I look forward to working with the other school board members and the administration in developing and executing the district's budget & spending priorities.
8. What motivates you to want to become a board member? I believe any and every board being school, sports, chamber, city, government, political office, etc becomes stagnated if the members do not change on a regular basis. I feel I can bring new ideas, suggestions, insights, perspectives, etc to the board because I have not been a board member here at Sanger ISD. In addition, as I previously stated, I have a vested interest in what happens with the school system. That starts with the school board. My heart and soul are with the children which is why I've stayed involved in Girl Scouts for over 30 years; been on PTO boards, committees, etc; am an active member of the band booster club and am a CASA volunteer. I believe the students need a strong voice for them and as part of the school board, I want to be that voice.
9. What do you believe are the most important projects to be started or completed in the next two years for Sanger ISD? Statistically, the majority of Sanger students do not go on to higher education opportunities, instead they go out into the workforce. So we need to make sure the school system has provided the best possible opportunity they can have for learning a trade or career to go out into the workforce with. There are many obstacles and hardships that exist in the world as an adult. We need to better prepare our future generation for those barriers. We can do that through education opportunities and preparing them for going on to higher education or going out into the workforce whichever path they choose to follow.
10. What are your thoughts on the upcoming SISD bond? I am 100% for it. I was part of the previous committee that worked on the bond proposal in 2018 which was never released. As part of that committee just as with the current committee, we were afforded an opportunity to tour all of the different campuses. Because of that, I know full well what condition the current school facilities are in. Is it because of poor maintenance, maybe so 25 years ago. But the current administration is working towards correcting that problem. Most of the facilities are just old and they need to be replaced or extensive renovation needs to be done. The girls in all sports need to have adequate locker rooms with showers/toilets, etc. The FFA desperately needs a new facility so those children who take pride in raising and showing animals can do so with satisfaction of knowing they have had the best facility to accomplish that. The elementary schools are very overcrowded due to the influx of new residents here in Sanger. Changing the demographics of the current elementary facilities will definitely help alleviate that overcrowding. Will approving the bond create an increase to personal property tax? - most certainly. But I honestly believe that being able to provide the best environment, educational opportunities and facilities for our future generations is definitely worth the extra money it will cost. I know full well how it will make people who live paycheck to paycheck strain even more in today's current economy but it's for the kids.
11. What 2 specific things would you most like to see changed pertaining to the school system? Better facilities, security and safety for all campuses and better pay for the teachers.
12. What are your most important overall goals for Sanger ISD? To keep the mission of Sanger ISD going strong and resilient by continuing to create a learning community that engages, challenges, and inspires all students. My goals for Sanger ISD is ensure that we continue to educate - inspire - elevate the students of Sanger ISD.
13. What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities? The school board’s responsibilities are to implement goals and monitor their success as well as approve policies and review those policies for effectiveness. The board is also responsible for hiring and evaluating the superintendent. Then there is the financial side of the board’s responsibility which is to adopt a budget and set a tax rate. But one of the most important school board’s responsibilities is to communicate with the community. Due to Sanger’s growth, there are more residents here and they, along with everyone else, need to know and hear what the school board is doing in their best interests. That should be done through open communication.
14. What is your vision for education in this community? The education system needs to help students develop into responsible and productive citizens. The Sanger education system needs to attract and retain highly qualified personnel. We need to have safe and secure facilities. Our education system needs to hold higher learning standards and continue to challenge the students so they can achieve the uppermost level possible.
17. Do you understand the role of the superintendent? Yes Describe the superintendent’s role: The superintendent is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the school district. He/She is responsible for implementing the school board's objectives and goals by making day-to-day decisions about educational programs, spending, staff, and facilities. The superintendent is responsible for hiring, supervising and managing all the administration staff as well as each of the principals at the different campuses. Basically, the superintendent is liable for the effective operation of the district; for the general administration of all instructional, business and/or other operations of the district
18. What do you think is expected of you as a board member? The Sanger community and ISD will expect me to be held accountable for upholding policies, programs, priorities, and progress accurately. I should be responsive to the community by reaching out through open communication for the community's input, priorities and concerns. I'm expected to base my decisions on fact rather than supposition, opinion, or public favor because those decisions are to be made in the best interest of the students. I am expected to be dependable, responsible and timely in all matters concerning the school district. I am to be a voice for the community as well as the students. For me personally - It's all about the kids!!