Pat Cochrane Makes a Bid for PISD, Place 4

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
Pat Cochrane

Pat Cochrane is one of the five candidates running for Prosper ISD, Place Four.  His motto is direct: “Courageous Leadership for our Kids.”  He has been an active citizen in school board meetings during the 2020-2021 school year, making public comments at meetings.  Cochrane feels that position is a good fit for his skill set and leadership style.

“I have been serving in leadership positions, both in the military and in retail,” Cochrane said. “I know children are the future and I want to be a part of that future.  I led soldiers both in Iraq and in response to Hurricane Harvey.  Because of this experience,  I have a unique experience to understand the ambiguity of leadership and how to make the difficult decisions.  I am able to examine the risk factors and make decisions that benefit those I represent.” 

Cochrane has experience making compromises and difficult decisions in his career.  “I have had to think creatively to protect those I serve.  I look at all the factors and make the brave decision to make the hard choices to protect the people I lead.  In this case, this is the children.  I want to be a part of the growth and development of children.  I want to be able to serve in a capacity of growing and developing young leaders.  I want to help shape children into being their authentic selves.”  

“I am very people focused,” Cochrane said.  “Being able to serve people brings me bliss. I want to serve my family, serve my employees, and serve others.  I am driven by being a servant leader.  When it comes to school districts, there is no better indicator of a success metric of a community than how the children are doing.  The children show how we are doing.” 

Cochrane plans to increase the feedback from staff if he is elected to the school board.  “I think there should be clarity in leadership.  Staff will not be able to be aligned with the growth if they do not understand why each program or vote is happening.  I think there is an opportunity to get  a better feedback loop between staff, administrators, and parents.  I know there is so much growth, we know that Prosper is growing so much, but I do not see the project plans.  I see the drone flyovers of the construction of the schools, which is great, but I want to know what the plans are, and if the construction is on time, etc.  These schools' openings impact people’s decisions on where to live, and I think that the staff, administrators, and parents should have access to this information.”  

Cochrane proposes that the online applications used by the district be consolidated.  “There is an app for transportation, another one for lunch money, another for the newsletter,” Cochrane said.  “There is user fatigue from all of the information on all the apps.  The technology is there, but some parents may not feel comfortable navigating all of these applications.  I think we need to focus on the parent experience.  This will allow parents to be pulled into the engagement loop within the school district.”  

Fiscal responsibility, especially with the growth in Prosper, is a concern for Cochrane.  “I do not know how the bonds are managed but I want to ensure that these are managed correctly,” Cochrane said.  “It is important for the district to pay the debt.  I also hear from parents that the Special Education department and resources is not adequately funded.  We are spending money on infrastructure, but we are not spending money on those students who need additional support.  It is important to increase the spending in this department as we continue to grow.  We know there will be more students that will need more of these resources.”  

“We need cooperation and receive feedback from the community, especially the parents,” Cochrane said. “In my time in Prosper ISD as a parent, I have only had the chance to speak at the district, which was largely ignored, and one survey.  We need to have the space for parents to be heard, and for the feedback from the parents to be interpreted and understood.”