2. How do you see your experiences up to this point helping you as a trustee?
My experience in business, labor and civic involvement will definitely help me as a trustee. I ran a company for seven years. I was appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings to serve as a board member for Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas. In my 14 years working in the Labor movement, I was an advocate for children, families, teachers, hotel workers, laundry workers and city of Dallas employees. Being able to communicate and negotiate are essential skills I developed in my career.
3. Do you see any difficulties in working with the other board members? If so, how do you plan to overcome them?
No. I believe in communication, I believe in respecting one another and I believe that we all want what is best for all of the children of DISD. As a Trustee of District 2, I will definitely work hard to get our district what it needs, keeping in mind DISD as a whole.
4. Can you think of a teacher that made a difference in your life?
I can think of many, but the best teacher in my life has been my mother. My mother raised my brother and I as a single mother. My mother is a retired teacher now, her passion is contagious and her knowledge is immense.
*At W. T. White High School many teachers and staff that helped me and prepared me for college and beyond with their compassion and knowledge:
Ms. Friedman – Logic
Coach Hargis – Never Give Up
Ms. Wilcox (Counselor) – She believed in me
Mr. Coy (VP) – Told me to be the example
Mr. Ward (Principal) – Tough me to lead by example
5. Why do students struggle? When you were a student, did you? Why or why not?
There are many factors for why a student struggles; poverty, hunger, homelessness, finances, language, single parent home, neglect and abuse.
I struggled internally with not having a father. Academically I struggled with learning English. I came from Mexico when I was 12 years old without knowing a word of English. I attended TJ Rusk for a few months right before summer and I was placed in an ESL class. I learned very little English and my mother decided to send me to Catholic school. At Holy Trinity Catholic School I was placed in an English only class where by the time I finish 8th grade, my reading and writing were at freshman grade level.
I then attended W.T. White High School where I was allowed to go only as an M&M (Majority Minority) transfer. My home school was North Dallas High School and at the time it was a low preforming campus and not a safe as W. T. White. At White I was able to flourish not only in the classroom, in athletics and in school government. I was elected class president by my peers and graduated with honors in 1990. So thanks to great teachers, counselor, administrators and staff, I was admitted and graduated in 1995 from the University of Michigan.
6. How did you get past those difficult times during your academic career?
I got past those difficult times with the help from many great teachers and the support from my mother and bother.
7. What is DISD doing well now and where can we improve?
Doing well now are the magnet schools, pre-K,
I think DISD can and should improve in transitioning ESL students into regular classes. If we are going to prepare students for college, then we must prepare them and equip them with the vocabulary they will need in order to take the ACT or SAT’s. I am proof that it works!
8. If you were the Superintendent today, what, if anything, would you do differently and why?
I would find a way to balance the discrepancies between the schools. I would invest in our teachers, support staff and administrators.
I would support an annual cost-of-living raise. I would support a 3 year contract and I would not cap the salaries of our veteran teachers who are needed to mentor the new incoming teachers.
9. What do you see as the role and responsibility of a trustee?
The role of a trustee is to take care of its district, to monitor the policies it sets, to find out its needs of the schools and to advocate for all the children in DISD.
10. What role do you think charter schools play in Dallas education? What role should they play?
Charter schools give choices and create competition.
Charter school’s role will continue to create competition for DISD. It will be up to the Board to figure out how to make our DISD schools better in order to attract the students back into the district.
11. Identify an issue your constituents are passionate about. What would your ideal solution be to that issue?
The bond – The distribution should have been discussed more by the board.
12. Why should voters on Election Day choose you?
Voters on Election Day have a few more choices than they first thought. There are four great candidates that got into this race for the right reasons. First of all, I am not a career politician! I am a substitute teacher who has been in the trenches with the children and the teachers of District 2.
I would like the voters of District 2 to honor me with their vote, because I will be a trustee who will represent and will listen to everyone. I am someone who has personally experienced Dallas public schools and I have experience in the classroom. District 2 deservers someone who understands its constituents, parents, teachers and the demographics of its school population. District 2 deserves a trustee who really understands the struggles that our students face every day. District 2 needs someone who can communicate with all and who will listen and advocate for the children and for the community.
Together we can!
Together we will!
¡Juntos lo haremos!
¡Si Se Puede!
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Dallas ISD Elections 2016
Dallas ISD Elections 2016 Candidate Forum Debrief
Dallas ISD Elections 2016: Suzanne Smith - D2
Dallas ISD Elections 2016: Dustin Marshall - D2
Dallas ISD Elections 2016: Omar Jimenez - D4
Dallas ISD Elections 2016: Dr. Lew Blackburn - D5