From Staff Reports

The PISD board of trustees will have one seat in a contested race in May. The place 1 seat pits incumbent Mark McGuire against Melissa Randle. Mary Lou Smith and Jim Bridges are also running for re-election in unopposed races.

Early voting by personal appearance takes place starting on April 29 and ends on May 7, 2013. Early voting locations will include the Prosper Town Council Chambers, 108 W. Broadway, and the Denton County Elections Office for Denton County residents.

On Election Day, May 11, 2013, voting will take place at the Prosper Community Library, 700 Coleman St. in Prosper. Polls on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Press asked both candidates for place 1 to fill out a questionnaire about the upcoming election.

Here are their responses:

Mark McGuire

Occupation: Sales Director, SUMCO Corporation

Position you’re running for: Prosper ISD School Board, Place 1

Previous experience with city or school district: Currently serving as Trustee on the Prosper ISD School Board after being elected in 2010. Also my children have attended Prosper ISD schools from the grade school level through high school.

Why are you running? The past three years seem to have flown by – I feel like I’m just getting started. The Trustee position comes with a certain learning curve, and I feel I am now a valuable, contributing member of the Board.

I come from a strong education and leadership background. As a result, education has always been a passion of mine. I believe that a strong education is the foundation to becoming not only a productive member of society, but ultimately leading to success and happiness in life.

I also believe in giving back to the community. My father was a member of several Boards and Councils in our church and community. From an early age, I realized the importance of giving back of one’s time and talents.

Overall, I am proud to have been a small part of the reputation for excellence we have established at Prosper ISD, and I would like the opportunity to build upon this over the next three years.

What would you like to change? First, Prosper ISD is the place to be. We are frankly the envy of many school districts around us. We are in sound position financially – with no teacher layoffs or cutbacks the past couple of years, at a time when State funding was drastically reduced. Moreover, we’ve been in position to add staff/programs as our student population has grown. Student achievement continues to climb. The best and brightest teachers and administrators are attracted to our District, and we presently have strong leadership across the board.

With that said, the main priorities I see for the District in the next three years are:

n Managing growth: this remains our biggest challenge at all levels.

n Continuing to place Student Safety as a top priority.

n Implementing our curriculum re-build that is rooted to our Graduate Profile.

n Participating in the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium: work to minimize the burden of high-stakes testing, and thus freeing up more classroom time for learning. Work to develop a different approach.

Why are you the best candidate for the position? Experience, Honesty, Integrity, Teamwork, and most importantly Leadership: these are attributes we need in a Trustee to help guide us through the challenges we face as a District over the next three years. These are also attributes I feel I have demonstrated that I possess. My experiences on the Board coupled with 27+ years of Marketing, Sales, and Sales Management experience with Fortune 500 companies combine to position me as the best candidate for Trustee. Finally with my own children having attended Prosper ISD schools from the grade school level on, and now onto the college/university level, I bring a broad perspective and understanding of the District’s challenges.

Endorsements received: I have not sought out specific endorsements for my re-election bid overall. With that said I have received a multitude of positive feedback and input from many individuals and families in the community regarding the District and my candidacy.

Melissa Randle

Occupation: Stay at home mom. Previously a Mortgage Loan Officer and Commercial Real Estate Coordinator

Position you’re running for: School Board Place 1

Previous experience with city or school district: I have led or been involved in several community projects; including the planning and construction of the Windmill Playground and Grand Opening Events for Frontier Park. I have also been involved with the Prosper Youth Sports Association in numerous capacities. I am a graduate and alumni member of Prosper Citizens Police Academy, Former Chair of Christian Women’s Connection in Frisco, a leader in the Whispering Farms HOA and an active PTO member and room mom.

Why are you running?

To be the parents’ voice in decisions being made for our children and their education. To make a positive difference in the future and planning of the districts decisions that will effect this generation as well as those to come.

What would you like to change?

I would love to help bridge the relationship between the [Prosper] ISD and Town [of Prosper]. I have numerous relationships within the town employees, Town Council and members of the School Board and if elected I want to nurture those relationships and help the ISD and Town work together on many projects.

I would like to continue the process and be diligent in seeking creative ways to keep our children safe. I believe we need resource officers at our schools and safety should always take priority.

I firmly believe far too much emphasis is being placed on standardized tests. We are spending too much time teaching the tests at the cost of limiting students’ access to other bodies of knowledge and their own creativity. We are grading our teachers’ performance by their students’ performance on these tests. High-stakes testing limits our teachers’ flexibility. Flexibility is a necessary component to meeting the individual needs of our students and how they learn. While PISD has indicated it wishes to break away from excessive standardized testing, we as parents need to help make this happen by getting involved and contacting our state representatives.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I am a mom of two boys in the PISD school system. I am actively involved in their education and an avid volunteer at the school. Over the years, I have spoken with countless parents and teachers who have voiced their opinions about the direction of our school system. I will continue to speak to the students, parents, teachers and administration to ensure we are doing what is best for our children and their education. I have always been a woman who takes action, rather than just a person who lodges complaints. I am the "get it done girl!" I can make things happen.

Endorsements received:

First and foremost my Children: Cody and Case Randle

Tommy Randle

Shane and Stephanie Funk

Ronnie and Kathy Faulkner

Superscapes

David Huck

Kris and Trinity White

Prestige Pools

Eugene and Angie Lochman

Rick and Wendy Russell

380 Outfitters

Carol Soladay

Mark and Cristina Hackney

Maggie’s

Shawn and Erin Clayton

Laura Roach

Michael and Tasha Starks

Chris Sanchez

Von Swiderski

Maggie Gurley

Josh and Toni Kindiger

Ryan and Allison Soladay

Mike and Shannon Shell

Eric Lundquest

Allison Butler and Gary Long

Sam and Beth Owens

Drake Dunn, Prosper Little League Board Member and former PYSA President

Ben and Karen George

Chuck and Sandy Marshall

Kim and Tim Jones

Frank and Denise Walley

Chuck and Laura Washburn

Glen and Laura Lee Pirtle

Mike and Sinda Beaty