Early Voting Begins October 13
On October 8, 2020 the Red Oak Area Chamber along with the Red Oak ISD PTAs hosted a candidate forum for the ROISD Candidates. The Chamber asked the candidates questions and gave their opponents an opportunity to respond. This is a recap from the Chamber’s candidate forum Place 6 candidates, we encourage you to watch the forum in its entirety to stay informed. You can find a recap of Place 5 candidates here.
Questions were taken from the Texas PTA sample questionnaire. Candidates were given a 2 minute timeframe for response, and opponents had 1 minute for rebuttal.
Before the question portion each candidate was given the opportunity to introduce themselves. There are four candidates running for Place 6, the following candidates will be placed on the Red Oak Independent School District Special Election (Board of Trustees Place 6 – Unexpired One-Year Term) ballot.
- Donna Reiszner-was unable to make the candidate forum and we were unable to find a FB page for her.
- Michelle Porter
- Sherelle Shaw
- Margo L. Spencer
ROISD Place 6 Candidate Introductions
Michelle Porter: She’s lived in Red Oak for 8 years and works as a certified occupational therapy assistant. Porter said her job gives her the opportunity to be a giver and help people on a daily basis, she feels that’s a good trait for a board member. She’s the mom of a 9 year old, volunteers on the PTA, her son is involved in red Oak Pee Wee Football Assoc. and she’s also on that board. Ms. Porter has served on the Superintendent Advisory Council for 2 years and looks forward to hopefully serving as a Trustee.
Sherelle Shaw: Ms. Shaw wants an opportunity to impact the future of the students in ROISD. She’s served in many volunteer roles. She’s the parent of two ROISD students, one in middle school and one in elementary school. Shaw says she’s demonstrated the ability to be a servant leader by rolling up her sleeves and pitching in where needed. Her vision is to assist with the continued growth as needed and the challenges that are presented.
Margo Spencer: Ms. Spencer said her kids are grown, and she’s currently a resident of Glenn Heights. She lived in Red Oak previously, loves kids and is dedicated to the academic success of all children. Spencer believes in educating the whole child. She comes with experience as an educator and a passion for education.
Questions & Answers
Note: We did not include all questions and answers from the forum, please watch the video to see all of the questions, answers, etc.
QUESTION 1: How do you feel about Head Start or Pre-K and how should it be funded?
Ms. Porter: She says her feelings on the programs is pretty basic. She finds that its necessary and feels like the earlier you can start with a child’s learning is vital to their success. It should be funded the way other things are funded, academics come first and Pre-K is part of that. These programs provide opportunities to catch underlying issues like dyslexia, and the earlier they are caught, the better.
Ms. Shaw: Early child programs are important and research supports this, as far as funding she references the recent legislation that was passed that provides funding for these programs. Ms. Shaw also points out ROISD schools are Title One and there’s additional funding for that as well.
Ms. Spencer: Ms. Spencer says she thinks both are important. Head Start is federally funded, and there are some Head Start campuses in the district which have worked well. She added that while House bills mandated Pre K4 would be fully funded for a full day, she’d also like to see a Pre-K3 half day, stressing the importance of an early start and the impact it has on a child’s success.
QUESTION 4: If elected, once the ROISD School Board votes to approve an action/policy what do you believe is your responsibility to that action/policy, especially if you did not support that action/policy?
Ms. Porter: She stated there are seven individuals on the board, and thus potentially seven different views. But its important to stand together once a decision is made. She believes the board needs to be cohesive so parents know their children are in good hands. Porter continues, if we want students, staff and teachers to get along we must demonstrate good leadership.
Ms. Shaw: Shaw noted that before we get to that point, board members have a chance to ask questions, and part of having a diverse board, means everyone has different opinions. She feels like if there’s an action/policy that passes she doesn’t agree with, the board can still show collaboration. Her role, she says, is to advocate for our students.
Ms. Spencer: She feels like it’s important for each voice on the board to be heard. Differences can be hashed out in executive session. She also believer, regardless of whether she’s for or against the action, they should support the winning action/policy as a board as a whole. The board should work together as a whole to meet the needs of our children.
Other topics included a question about homeschool/private/charter school kids being able to participate in ROISD extracurricular activities, and the role of schools in educating students about child abuse.
Each candidate also offered final remarks in their closing statements, to see those and the other topics, please watch the video.
We encourage everyone to get out and vote, and we have information on early voting in Ellis County, how to check on your mail in ballot, and more.