Midlothian ISD Place 6 Candidate: Will Marks
We reached out to Will Marks, David Thomas and Tami Tobey with the same set of questions, to give voters a chance to learn more about each candidate. We encourage you to also check the candidates Facebook or campaign pages to learn more or to contact them with any questions.
For the purpose of transparency we’re publishing the questions and answers as submitted.
We asked Mr. Marks what changes he was looking forward to if elected?
I have always said that I am not running on any specific change or even one main principle. My number one priority would be to support the superintendent and further the vision that he and our faculty and staff have for our students. I believe that as a board member, your job should be to equip, encourage, and enhance. I think if you can do that, while being transparent, exhibiting honest communication, and working to have a unity within that team, I think you have a chance to be a really great board member.
What will be the challenges to overcome in your role?
I think one of the biggest challenges any board member faces, or any board in general, is accepting that you will not be able to always please everybody. We have a lot of tough conversations, and I have to make tough decisions. It’s our job to represent the voice of the people in what we feel is best for the students and faculty of MISD.
With COVID still present and schools being cautious how do you think the ISD is best served moving forward and is there anything else you believe should be implemented?
I think our administrative Team has done an exceptional job planning and implementing all of our different processes thus far. Hearing the intentionality behind each and every thing we are doing to not only prevent, but neutralize any cases of COVID-19 is remarkable. When speaking of moving forward, I would urge our district to maintain the idea of not being an early adapter. What I mean is, I think taking the cautious approach during these uncertain times serves us well.
Is there another District in the DFW area you feel is doing things better than MISD and lessons MISD can learn from/implement in the future?
I would honestly say that our district is right there at the top when speaking of our face to face and virtual learning platforms during COVID-19. You would be hard pressed to find a district that’s doing it better than we are. Now, we can always get better but I’m very proud of how well we’ve served our parents, students, and staff through it all.
In what areas/ ways do you think the board can improve their working relationship with each other & the community?
I think if you have watched a couple board meetings, or even attended a few in person, you can see that there is a level of dysfunction and disunity among some of the members. I am not referring to disagreeing, disagreement among the board can be healthy. But there still needs to be a high level of unity where all eight members are buying into the same vision and doing everything they can to push it forward. I think that is something that I would strive to help fix and maintain.
Some of the school board candidates have been having public meetings with the community at local restaurants, parks, etc. to give students/parents an opportunity to ask questions or share their concerns. Do you have any plans to do this before the election or would you do this if elected to make yourself more accessible?
Prior to COVID-19 we had several of these types of meet and greet scheduled. Obviously that changed during the first couple months following the outbreaks. At this moment we are not doing any face-to-face meetings, not so much out of concern with COVID-19 but more so our current life situation. My wife and I are parents to three children (10, 2, and 1 years old). My wife had ankle surgery roughly 4 weeks ago, so most of my physical time these past couple weeks have been spent making sure our kids are good and present at their different functions.
Now obviously, that is just seasonal, if elected I would love to make myself as available as possible to different members of the community. I’ve always been very transparent and open in that regard. My personal information is listed on our Facebook page, and I encourage anybody to reach out whenever they have any questions or concerns.
In reviewing campaign finance disclosure forms, you received donations from a sitting board member-do you feel like this could hurt morale on the board? Does it send the right message for current board members to support candidates running for the board?
One of the great things about our country is that people can freely say and believe what they want. It’s a constitutional right that we have as Americans. I encourage everybody to speak up, and contribute to whatever it is that they believe in. Whether that be monetarily, or giving of your time or other resources. If a current school board member believes in a specific candidate, and wants to contribute to them in anyway, I think it would be unfair to ask or expect them not to.
Early voting in Ellis County has started and runs through October 30, for more information we have early voting locations as well as candidate forum recaps, and a general Midlothian election article.