Meet the candidates: Position 3, Katy ISD Board of Trustees

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 4/11/23

Three candidates are seeking the position 3 seat on the Katy ISD Board of Trustees. They are Bruce Bradford, a mortgage loan originator; Shawn Miller, a college professor, and Amy Thieme, a realtor.

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Meet the candidates: Position 3, Katy ISD Board of Trustees


Three candidates are seeking the position 3 seat on the Katy ISD Board of Trustees. They are Bruce Bradford, a mortgage loan originator; Shawn Miller, a college professor, and Amy Thieme, a realtor.

The winner will succeed incumbent Ashley Vann, who is not seeking re-election.

The winner needs only a plurality of votes to win the seat. Early voting begins April 24 and runs through May 2. Election Day is May 6.

About you

1. Describe your professional background and how that will help you if elected.

Bradford: I worked in telecom for 16 years in a variety of roles in management. I ran my own business for 10 years in Katy. I have been a mortgage lender for the last 10 years. Over these years I spent a lot of time interacting with a very diverse customer base with a variety of needs. I feel comfortable facing unique opportunities and solving problems with a team.

Miller: I have over 20 twenty years of experience in education and have received several awards including two Faculty Excellence Awards and the Outstanding Accounting Education Award for Teachers in Texas. I have Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), which includes research conducted on finances for nonprofits. I am currently a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and I have accounting experience auditing public corporations. My teaching and accounting background will help me to be an effective Katy ISD school board member.

Thieme: My extensive teaching experience makes me ideally suited to creating solutions that will improve student outcomes. With a focus on advanced mathematics, my skills in the classroom helped students enjoy remarkable success in the course curriculum and on end-of-year testing. Furthermore, as a successful small business owner, I will bring financial management experience to the areas of budget creation and oversight.

2. Do you have children enrolled in Katy ISD schools? If you have children that are not enrolled in Katy ISD schools, where are they enrolled and why not Katy ISD?

Bradford: We had three kids graduate from Cinco Ranch High School.

Miller: I have three children, who have all been enrolled in Katy ISD schools from kindergarten until now. One child has graduated and the other two are in high school.

Thieme: My husband and I are proud parents of two adult children. Our son graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in biochemistry, and our daughter is studying nursing at Samford University.

About your positions

3. What would your top three priorities be if elected, and why?

Bradford: Foundational excellence. Presenting best of class curriculum and best of class teaching strategies K-3. Ensuring K-3 children have the solid literacy foundational and number sense skills.

Vocational victories. We need to double capacity of Miller Career Center and expand programs to fit our student population needs.

Miller: My top three priorities are safety, student success and support teachers. The first component is safety; all students, teachers, and staff should feel safe. Secondly, my priority is for student success. Students should be prepared for their goals, whether that is college, career, or military. The third area is to support teachers. Our teachers should be well paid and given the resources they need to teach.

Thieme: It is critical that we concentrate on returning to the basics of reading, writing, math, science and history. The mastery of core courses and critical thinking will create a foundation for students to excel throughout their educational careers and are vital for success in college, trade school, the military and the workforce. Additionally, the recruitment of passionate teachers will inspire our children to achieve their goals. Lastly, in light of current events, I would like to revisit compiling a safety audit for all campuses in our district and implementing further safety protocols.

4. Did you support the recent Katy ISD tax ratification election? Why or why not?

Bradford: Yes, it was essential to giving our teachers the raise they deserve.

Miller: I do support increases for teacher pay. I believe Katy ISD has some of the best teachers in Texas, and therefore should be paid accordingly. As a teacher for over 20 years, I believe we are not paid enough. Many teachers and I have taken a pay cut to accept a teaching position.

Thieme: I fully support funding our public schools to address growth in our district so that we can maximize student achievement for all Katy ISD students. The recent failed proposal probably indicates that voters are concerned about higher taxes in an inflationary period.

5. What measures would you support to improve teacher retention and recruitment?

Bradford: For retention, we need to make sure we give proper respect and support to our teachers. Recognize and celebrate the good days as much or more than the tough ones. For recruitment, we may need to consider signing bonuses based on a sliding scale of qualifications.

For all teachers I visualize a defined education/community partnership offering “soft” benefits to teachers of Katy ISD. This program would include increased volunteer participation to reduce the stress on our teachers in the area of “non-teaching duties.”

Miller: I believe that to recruit and retain high-quality teachers in Katy ISD we must pay teachers a higher salary and provide better benefits. Teachers should also be supported in the classroom through technology and classroom support resources. In addition, teachers should be provided with quality professional development opportunities, mentoring and other programs that support high-quality teachers.

Thieme: Practical steps to address teacher recruitment and retention could include smaller class sizes, half-day teaching positions for retired teachers, competitive compensation and benefits, advocating for increasing TRS cost of living adjustment, protecting teacher planning periods and campus administrations that support classroom management to reduce behaviors that disrupt the learning environment.

6. Do you support vouchers under consideration by the Legislature? If vouchers are adopted, how would you keep the district from losing that funding?

Bradford: I do not support vouchers or the voucher programs as they are currently being considered by the legislature. If adopted we need to push legislators to establish a balancing fund for public education.

Miller: School boards do not make decisions about vouchers. It is up to the state legislators. If vouchers were passed, I would continue to keep my kids in Katy ISD schools. Depending on which bill was passed, there may be opportunities to increase enrollment by marketing to families that live outside of Katy ISD to use their voucher to attend a Katy ISD school.

Thieme: Trustees are not able to legislate. They abide by legislation passed by legislators and signed by the governor. They should recognize, however, that creating a superior student environment is the best remedy against students leaving our schools. I support measures that increase state funding to Katy ISD.

7. Do you agree with the district’s policy on removing certain books from school library shelves? If not, would you repeal the policy, or how would you change it?

Bradford: As I understand the current policy, I agree with it. I like the fact that there are standards and a community committee to review publications in question. Let’s be cautious here and fact-based.

Miller: I believe textbooks should be age appropriate. Just as we have standards for movies, school libraries should only provide books that are age appropriate. This provides a safe learning environment for our students. Parents that do not agree with this policy can always purchase these books themselves or check them out from a public library for their children.

Thieme: The goal is to foster an environment where learning is optimized. Books that contain graphic, sexualized content divert student achievement and should not be in public school libraries. Public funds should be used for academic curriculum, teacher/classroom resources, etc. that fully align with course objectives and TEKS.

8. Do you, or would you, accept campaign donations from interest groups from outside the district?

Bradford: This is our community. I will be 100% funded by family, friends and neighbors. If you want to partner with me, please go to

Miller: I have not accepted campaign donations from outside interest groups.

Thieme: I have not received any donations from interest groups or from outside the district and do not intend to solicit donations from such.

election, Katy ISD Board of Trustees