(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Cedar Hill Independent School District Trustees Robert Riggs and Reverend Cheryl Wesley are reflecting upon what is the end of an era.
The two CHISD Board past presidents are the district’s longest serving trustees. They’ve served since 2015, spanning nine years and three superintendents.
Neither Riggs nor Wesley will seek another term this spring. Thus, their time on the board will conclude in May, opening two seats.
“I have enjoyed being part of the school district for a long time,” Riggs said. “It’s been a great joy and opportunity. It’s been a very positive experience. The last few years have stretched our staff immensely in a plethora of ways, yet they have continued to show that when you capture kids’ hearts, learning occurs, even in exhaustion.”
Wesley said she’ll always remember the Trustee relationships with staff, community and each other.
“Although we may disagree in making decisions, we are never unkind, disrespectful or mean spirited,” Wesley said. “We all genuinely desire to do what’s best for our scholars and staff. Because of our transparency and growing relationship with stakeholders, the voters passed the VATRE for our staff.”
Riggs moved to Cedar Hill with his wife and three young sons in 2003. All three seasons graduated from Cedar Hill High School between 2013 and 2019 and Texas A&M University – the alma mater of Riggs and his wife, Patti.
As a loyal Aggie, it was an adjustment for Riggs to flash the “Horns Up” sign, but he got there eventually.
“If you look at photos from my first few years on the Board, I was always doing the Gig ‘Em sign while everyone else was doing ‘Horns Up’,” Riggs said.
Riggs, a higher education administration at Dallas Theological Seminary, served as Board President from 2021-2023. He said the highlight of his time on the Board was the passage of the Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE) last November.
Prior to joining the Board, Riggs volunteered in CHISD but did not have a formal role with the district.
He is looking forward to spending more time with his family. Riggs said he’ll always be a strong advocate for CHISD.
“Cedar Hill is an incredible city,” Riggs said. “It’s beautiful with the hills and the trees. The community really makes it special. The citizens have a strong faith and you see that worked out in their care for the kids.”
Wesley served as Board President from 2019 through 2021, which included the challenging times of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Wesleys moved to Cedar Hill in 1988, with their three young sons, who grew up attending CHISD schools.
Wesley, a retired CHISD administrator, was encouraged to run for the Board by a former Trustee in 2015.
“I prayed and spoke with my husband (the late Dr. Karry D. Wesley Sr.), who encouraged me,” Wesley said.
Wesley, who earned a Master’s Degree from East Texas State University (now, Texas A&M Commerce), cites the hiring of current CHISD Superintendent Dr. Gerald Hudson in 2019, and the adoption of Lone Star Governance among the highlights of her time on the Board.
“I was blessed with the opportunity as Board President to lead our team through the process and ultimately hire the best fit for CHISD,” Wesley said. “Little did we know that this Superintendent would have the needed temperament and skill to lead the district through the COVID crises that surfaced eight months after he was hired.”
Wesley said she will continue to work in ministry at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, while she completes a Master’s Degree at Brite Divinity School on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She will continue advocating for CHISD and spend more time with her three sons, four grandchildren and her 85-year-old father.