Three candidates seeking Katy ISD trustee position 2

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 4/6/22

Lance Redmon, who works in building material sales, is seeking his second term on the Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees, position 2.

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Three candidates seeking Katy ISD trustee position 2

Posted

Lance Redmon, who works in building material sales, is seeking his second term on the Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees, position 2.

He has drawn two challengers. Bonnie Anderson is an IT manager who is making her second bid for office. Patricia Haggard is a stay-at-home parent who is making her first bid for office.

April 7 is the last day to register to vote in the election. To check voter registration, or to register, visit the website https://bit.ly/3vf2bEL.

April 25 is the first day to vote early in person. May 3 is the last day to vote early in person.

May 7 is election day.

Why do you want this job?

Anderson: This is more of an “I feel compelled” than “I want” situation. I am inspired to run for the school board after watching the exposure of indoctrination in our schools over the last few years. Parents are the first line of defense in preventing indoctrination and supporting their children’s education. As such, I feel compelled to do my best to help this district steer clear of the politics and dangerous ideologies that do not belong in classrooms.

Haggard: Every child has the fundamental right to quality public education. I consider this an opportunity to improve and preserve the quality of our public schools and ensure that others (parents, teachers, staff, and students) have a voice in making the decisions that directly impact them. In doing so, I hope to help create unity and build trust between board members and the community.

Redmon: The three biggest factors that influenced my decision to serve on the school board are my faith, my family, and the need. My faith teaches that I should consider others better than myself and look out for their interests. I have three children in Katy ISD school and my wife taught at three different campuses. My family has lived out the service of others in many ways. Finally, if good people do not step up and serve, our community will lose everything that makes it special.

Briefly discuss your professional background, and how that will help you if elected.

Anderson: Over 20 years in corporate finance enables me to serve my fiduciary duties as trustee. As an involved parent and community volunteer I am well versed in our school system and its role in children’s education. Finally, I’ve spent years on project management teams as a cohesive team player as well as the outspoken voice of reason when ideology stands in the way of facts and reason. I have never hesitated to speak up during project meetings to be the voice of reason, which has served me and my project teams well over the years.

Haggard: Fortunately, an effective school board is made of members with different work, education, and life experiences. I am a mother of eight children from Pre-K to college. The experiences and perspectives I have gained by being a mom to eight kids helps me understand and relate to children and parents in the community. I am an educator with more than 15 years of experience teaching children ages 2-16 in different learning environments. I believe a school board member with a background in education can draw on experience with different approaches used in different situations. Having educators on the board is a necessity because we can advocate for the community members that we directly serve. My degree in Psychology includes extensive work in early childhood and adolescent development and my degree in Social Work (which I will finish in May) includes work in social justice and with marginalized groups. I believe my own education provides the insight needed to implement plans and programs that ensure students’ academic and psychological needs are met so learning can occur successfully.

Redmon: I’ve had a diverse professional career. As a pastor in the community, I oversaw Sunday school programs, started small groups, lead volunteers and influenced strategic decisions. As a local small business owner, I’m responsible for HR, payroll, benefits, contracts, finances, and more. When issues come before the board, many times I’ve already had experience dealing with a similar issue that helps me understand the best way to respond.

If elected, what would your top three priorities for the district be, and why?

Anderson: 1.) Educate. Back to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Stop the indoctrination.

2.) Teacher pay. Value our teachers. Close the pay gap between Katy and neighboring districts and lead the state in closing the gap between public school teaching and private industry.

3.) Restore parental rights: School districts will not mandate health choices for your children. No forced masks, vaccines, sex ed or indoctrination.

Haggard: 1.) Accountability and transparency are among my top priorities. When board members are dishonest, unresponsive to parents, disrespectful to others, and spending obscene amounts of time and money on matters unrelated to the education of our kids, we have dysfunction. A dysfunctional school board is not an effective school board. We must have trustees that earn and deserve the trust of other board members, parents, students, and teachers.

2.) We must allow parents to have a voice and we must listen to their voices. We must work together in a respectful manner and come up with practical solutions to issues such as banning books. At a certain age children rely on their parents for their basic needs. By the teen years we hope that, as parents, we have given our kids the foundation and guidance needed to make their own decisions about the materials they choose to read. Keeping our students away from reading material that may help them emotionally, socially, or academically is doing a huge disservice to them.

3.) We must let teachers teach and let children learn. Balanced literacy and STAAR testing are detrimental to our students. Special needs students, such as those with dyslexia, are more hurt than helped by a balanced literacy approach. Additionally, students incur learning loss when they aren’t learning. Teachers spending months teaching kids to memorize a standardized test is doing our kids a great disservice. It limits their access to information, stifles their creativity and inquisitiveness, and creates and encourages disparities in learning for the most vulnerable students.

Redmon: 1.) Advocacy. 2.) Hiring and retaining great talent. 3.) Being prepared for growth.

Advocacy in Austin has moved towards the top of my priorities as I have seen that much of what frustrates people in Katy is dictated from the state. While our people in Austin want the best for our schools, they need to know how to do it. We, the people of Katy ISD, need to be informed and empowered to communicate with them.

People are the single greatest factor that make Katy ISD great. As we add schools and more and more educators are leaving the profession, we need to keep the great teachers we have and find new ones.

If you haven’t heard Katy ISD is still growing, the community support to pass a bond this past year was very encouraging. We just passed 90,000 students. That’s more than 2,000 students above our projections for this time period. We must continue to be forward looking and smart about how we grow.

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