Elgin ISD District 7
What made you want to run for this position?
I chose to run for many reasons. The main reason is due to the schools ratings. I feel we need to focus in on academics as many of our schools have concerning ratings. Our children deserve a better education, our teachers deserve more support and I'd like to be a part of making that happen. Also, as everyone knows we are approaching an incredible amount of growth. I want to see our schools become "the school" parents want their kids in.
What kind of experience - educational, professional or personal - do you bring to this position?
I would bring a very unique position to this board. I think I'm one of the only candidates running that isn't from Elgin. I am from a very small town in Texas, so I know and want to keep the small-town feel and togetherness that we have. I also bring to the table my military background. The military is the most diverse, challenging and yet rewarding opportunities I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. My time in the military taught me a lot about being prepared for anything. Relearning my ways of life and how I think, to how to follow rules and guidelines for essentially everything. I currently work in technical adult learning and education. I have a passion for learning as I have worked in the field for 15 years.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Elgin ISD?
The biggest challenge will be the rebuilding the school's reputation. Already in the community the schools have a bad reputation for specifically the academics and teacher retention. With the coming growth, we need to ensure we are focusing on improving our children's academics. I believe that begins with our teachers. We should find out where our teachers are needing more support, identify the areas and how to improve them and re-assess mid-year or even on a quarterly basis to make sure the schools will meet the goals set for the school year. Supporting the teachers and what they need will then essentially have a trickle down effect, as one of the candidates pointed out at the candidate forum. Once we identify the things to address with the teachers, hopefully our retention will be much higher and therefore will help improve our reputation. We have new elementary schools being built with our bonds, and those schools will need new teachers. Fixing our issues now with staffing will ensure we can draw the best teachers to our district which will then in turn help in turning our academics around long term, again, helping with the current reputation of our schools.
How do you expect Elgin ISD to adapt as Bastrop County’s population grows? Where do you see the school district in five years?
Our schools will be exploding in the next five years. I am grateful to Dr. Duron and the current board for having foreseen all of the growth along with assessing and determining that our current schools are reaching max capacity. We need to ensure whomever is elected is overseeing the bonds and getting the most for our money as inflation continues to increase. I also expect to potentially continue to assess and plan for further expansions in our schools to make sure we have the space required for the incoming students.
What is one issue you want to fix or improve if you take office?
Again I would say our reputation. I say reputation as it is sort of the umbrella over other issues I believe strongly that need to be improved such as academics which in my opinion begins with supporting our teachers. Identify the areas where teachers need help, implement the required assistance we find is necessary, re-assess on a regular basis to ensure we are on the right path, and the rest I believe will really follow through. Teachers do their job because they love kids, they love teaching and seeing our kids develop over the school year. What an incredible job they have. I really truly believe all changes begin by supporting our teachers.
Why should the voters choose you? What sets you apart from your opponent?
I am willing and ready to go in and do the needed. I am incredibly passionate about running for this position and I will make sure to do what is right for the staff and students of EISD. I live in District 7, I am the proud Mom of a Wildcat and I want to see her, her classmates and teachers have the absolute best. I want to work with the board and bring our ideas together in order to come up with best possible solutions for our staff and children.
Facebook: Jennifer Culver for EISD School Board