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Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Paige Shoven for LISD Trustee, Place 3

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2013/9/26 0:50:00 (5324 reads)
Lewisville ISD Notes

Open in new windowThe Lewisville Texan Journal invited all candidates for the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees to complete a questionnaire so that we and our readers could understand their experience, qualifications, and points of view. We will present each candidate's answers in full in their own articles here.

General Info

Candidate:Paige ShovenOpen in new window
Office Sought:LISD Board of Trustees, Place 3
Social Media:
Occupation:Optical Manager for JCP Optical in Frisco, TX
Education:High School: Longview High School, Longview Texas
College: Kilgore College 95-98 general studies TWU 98-00 studied interdisciplinary studies.

Background Questions

LTJ: Have you ever run for or served in elected office before? If so, please list campaigns and offices held:

Shoven: I ran for this seat in May 2013. I won 48% of the vote. I ran for school board, place 1 in May of 2012

LTJ: In the past year, how many public meetings for this governing body have you attended?

Shoven: 11 Regular meetings as well as special meetings for Budget, Facilities and Rezoning.

LTJ: Please list any professional certifications, personal enrichment, or continuing education related the position you're running for:
Shoven: I was planning on teaching middle school math, however, after student teaching and substitute teaching, I realized I would not be able to keep my opinions, my paycheck and my children tied so close together. It would not be good for my family. Having worked in the optical industry all through college, I took a management position where I can do the work I love and have flexibility to volunteer in my children’s schools.

LTJ: What do you do for a living?
Shoven: I am the optical manager for JCP Optical in Frisco, TX

LTJ: Do the skills from your profession apply to the position you'd like to win? How so?

Shoven: As a business manager I am responsible for budgets, cost analysis, inventory, employee evaluations, and customer service. All of which will be helpful to the school board.

LTJ: Do you, or does your employer or any immediate family member have any contracts with the governing body you are campaigning to be on?

Shoven: No.

LTJ: Do you, or does your employer or any immediate family member consider the governmental entity you are running for a potential client or customer?

Shoven: No.

LTJ: Do you have volunteer experience in any of the following? (Non-profits, Political Organizations, Governmental boards or committees, Schools, PTAs, Booster Clubs, Homeowner Associations, Other community organizations?) If so, please list.

Shoven: Mothers and More, Lakeland, Huffines, LHS, LISD, Area 16, State PTA, Golden Triangle Parliamentarians, Facilities Committee, Inside LISD, Heavenly Supply Depot, Lewisville Education Foundation (LEF), CCA, Save Texas Schools, Lions Club Sight Programs, Prevent Blindness America

Issues Questions

LTJ: How invested are you in LISD's strategic design? Do you believe that this has transformed LISD for the better? What positive attributes do you think that this transformation has brought for students in the district?

Shoven: I have supported the strategic design process from the very beginning. I participated in the open forums and was also in one of the smaller forums. I do believe It has transformed LISD for the better. It has helped our community to see LISD as a great school district. It has allowed community members to have a say in what is going on inside the school building. It has put the focus back onto our students and given them the opportunity to be successful in the future they create. The process is one we are still learning, it is not perfect, but it is much better than what we had before. I do feel more emphasis needs to be focused on the community and teacher input as the design process continues to be implemented.

LTJ: What are your thoughts about the emphasis on standardized testing in Texas for student assessment and district accountability? Do you support the district’s request as part of the Texas High Performing Schools Consortium to opt-out of the state’s accountability standards?

Shoven: As a product of Texas Public schools, I have been a part of the Texas testing for most of my life. Though I believe some testing is good, and this last legislative session lowered the number of End of Course exams from 15-5, the amount of testing currently put on our students is still the most strenuous in the nation. There are too many high stakes test placed on our children and our teachers. One test should never be the deciding factor if a child is advanced to the next grade level, or allowed to graduate high school. I do support the district in the Texas High Preforming Schools Consortium. Educators are the experts on educating children. Allow them the flexibility to do their job and trust they are doing a great one. I am proud to be a part of one of the 23 districts in the consortium. With innovative leaders like our own, I am confident the big winner will be our students.

LTJ: In your opinion, do local school districts truly have local control?

Shoven: No, sadly, schools do not have local control. The state dictates the day we start school, how many days we go to school and what days testing are on. They also dictate the amount of money a district has available to pay for teachers and programs as well as the TEKS our students are responsible for learning at what point in their school career. The district only controls the percent of funding given to each line item in their budgets. The teachers are required to teach all the TEKS as stated from TEA.

LTJ: Over the past few years, as the State of Texas has reduced funding for school districts, Lewisville ISD has taken many steps to cut back on its maintenance and operations budget, most notably, three years in a row of voluntary resignation incentives to shed teachers and staff and increase class sizes. Do you think the district has taken the right approach, or would you have done something different? What do you say to the voter who says we need to cut administration, or just “trim the fat”?

Shoven: To the voter who says we need to cut administration, I would say, we have! Three years ago, I was one screaming we had too many administrators. According to TEA, our percent of administration budget, though within legal limits was 3 times the state average. When Dr. Waddell came in over 300 jobs were eliminated due to attrition. No one lost their job, but many resigned, retired or were realigned. With these many jobs absorbed with little notice to the average employee, I support the voluntary resignation incentive. Losing great seasoned teachers is never easy, but being able to give those teachers a little something extra made a big difference for them. I also support how the district implemented the pay out of accrued vacation days. This one step will save the district millions of dollars in the future.

LTJ: Do you support the school board's decision to join the lawsuit against the State of Texas over school finance? Why or why not?

Shoven: Being a student advocate, I know firsthand that standing up for what is right is not always popular, but needed. Our state legislatures forced the hand of over 600 school districts in the state two years ago. It is our constitutional right to public education. It is also in the state constitution that we will not have a state property tax. Both of these were in question. Because of the state’s failures, I support our districts decision to join the lawsuit over school finance.

LTJ: The district’s current technology strategy, which it calls 1:X, calls for having the right device in the student’s hands at the right time. Classrooms are getting Apple products, including MacBooks and iPads. Over the next three years, the goal is to get an iPad into the hands of every student who wants one, so that they can take them home and keep them for the school year. Do you support the policy, or would you have done something differently? Why or why not?

Shoven: Though I like the idea of 1:X. I also like the idea of Bring Your Own Technology. If students can bring their own, why do we need to provide an IPAD to each and every student? Apple is great, I grew up on Apple, but for the district to go all Apple, seems to go against the 1:X concept. How is an IPAD the right device at the right time for everyone? I would like to have seen a program where parents could buy an IPAD at a contracted price should they choose to do so. I have heard the arguments that our Free and Reduced students would need assistance in purchasing. Provisions are already in place for ESD, Dual Credit, AP classes and SAT/ACT tests, similar provisions could have been put in place for technology.

The district has allocated almost $93 million dollars to technology from the 2008 bond election. Most of this is for needed improvements to our buildings to support the increased use of wireless devices. I support those expenditures, but the extra money to give every student an iPad over three years seems excessive. As the 2008 bond money runs low, and having served on the facilities committee, seeing the repairs that need to be done across the district, I feel some of this money would be better spent ensuring our students are in a safe and inviting school instead of having the latest and greatest technology.

LTJ: Do you have kids in the district? If so, what schools do they attend?

Shoven: Yes, Elizabeth is a 7th grader at Huffines Middle School and Kara is a 3rd grader at Lakeland Elementary. My family plans on spending at least the next 10 years in LISD, I am vested in the success of LISD

LTJ: Is LISD hitting the mark when it comes to communicating with parents, and involving them in their children’s education? What, if anything, do you think the district should do differently?

Shoven: I think the district is doing a good job of communicating with parents who want to be involved. Being able to subscribe to Skyward for grades, and the Daily Prides for feeder pattern information is great. Most schools are actively using Facebook, Twitter and phone call outs to keep parents up to date as well. Teachers and organizations are also using text messages to those families who opt in to receiving them.

One thing I as a parent don’t like is the School Web. School Web is where many of our teachers put information for assignments. I can see how it is helpful for teachers and students who register for the classes to manipulate, but as a parent it is cumbersome to navigate 7 classes per child to follow up on her assignments. I wish the district would allow a parent to have unique logins, similar to Skyward so parents could register for the classes and move through as easily as the students.

LTJ: Have you participated in the INSIDE LISD program? If so, did it change any of your perceptions about how the district is run?

Shoven: Yes, the INSIDE LISD program is a great program. It is like LISD 101. It has given me a better understanding on what is going on behind the doors of our LISD schools. By far my favorite class was hearing Dr. Burnett give his history lesson on school finance. I loved being invited to be “Principal for a Day” at Griffin Middle School. I gained a better understanding of what our principals handle on a daily basis and was given a first hand look at the daunting challenges of a master schedule for our secondary schools.

LTJ: What are your thoughts about school rezoning in general? How do you balance the needs of the district to keep campuses balanced and avoid having to build unnecessary capacity, while minimizing disruption to students?

Shoven: Rezoning is always emotional. While all our LISD schools are great, once a family has entered a campus, it becomes their school. They take pride and ownership, they make friends with other families as well as staff. To break apart that bond is hard. I was very excited to see the board adopt the new intra-district policy this past semester. My wish, I expressed it at all three board meetings this item was on the agenda, was for the grandfathering to push down one more grade. Currently it reads incoming 5th, 8th, and 12th graders will be grandfathered in. I was asking for it to read incoming 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 11th and 12th graders be grandfathered in. In many of our elementary schools 4th graders have been on a campus for Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. That is five years’ worth of friendships that will be severed for two years at a new school. For middle school, that age group has enough emotional baggage to carry around rezoning a middle school student should never have to be an issue. Lastly, for our high school, junior year is where many finally decide the end is near and really start buckling down on their studies.

Because I am for extra grandfathering, I feel the district needs to be more proactive in rezoning. The process should start at least two years prior to an issue arising. With our current demographics study, and future ones planned, I see no reason to work on redistricting only one year in advance. The community work done in the Flower Mound High School feeder pattern this year was a big step in the right direction, but it was a far cry from perfect. Instead, in future rezoning, I would like to see the district hold a public meeting first, tell the community what the issues are, why we are needing to rezone. Then the district should come up with 2-4 plans based solely on numbers. Afterwards, bring in a committee to look at the maps of their communities and tell us how to better it. Let the district know about cut troughs, walking routes, crossing guards or the lack thereof and tweak the maps to fit the community.

LTJ: Occasionally, particularly when parents are upset about school re-zoning, people will suggest that LISD de-annex some part of the district such as Flower Mound or Frisco, and let them form their own district or join another. What is your take on these ideas? Would you ever vote to allow the district to be split?

Shoven: I think these are knee jerk reactions to change. I can understand the parents’ frustrations, I have been there myself, but when you look at the practicability of separating from the district, I don’t think you can get everyone to agree at the same time. Brick and Mortar, technology, and land have to be agreed on by all municipalities involved. As well as, the consideration for the teachers and the entire student body on those campuses. Though it sounds good at first thought, unless there is true consensus in a community, I don’t see any changes coming to the LISD boundaries in the near future.

LTJ: What are your thoughts on private school vouchers and the expansion of charter schools?

Shoven: Again, private school vouchers sound great until you start looking at the details. I have heard legislators say they must think of children for the entire state. They are concerned about our inner city school kids who are stuck in a failing system. They deserve better. The legislators are right, those kids do deserve better, but I do not believe vouchers are the way to make it better. For starters, private schools are not required to take in every student that walks through their doors. Private schools only allow an invitation to students who are successful in school, have good attendance and behavior. How many of our inner city kids can meet those three requirements? Let’s assume that 5% of the students would qualify and get into a better private school, how are they going to get to the campus? Private schools are not required to transport students to campus. Most children in our inner city schools are also on free and reduced meals, private schools aren’t required to feed them. How long can a student thrive when they are hungry at school?

Now, let's assume a small fraction meet the requirements, can get to school and get there ready to learn, how many private schools are willing to take vouchers from the state? What requirements are going to be attached to the state money? How many private schools in Texas will accept $5,100 as a full year’s tuition? Doing a Google search found that private schools around the state average about $10,000 a year. Lastly, if the state cannot adequately fund public education, why would they try to stretch the money they have to fund private education as well?

LTJ: What is your opinion on the value of cooperation between the school district and its municipalities? Is there any aspect that you would improve?

Shoven: Cooperation is vital between the district and all 13 municipalities. The district is essentially a business inside their community. We should be actively reaching out to the communities and working hand in hand in all aspects. Some areas we are lacking cooperation in would be sharing of school buildings. We need to find a common ground on allowing the public to have access to district property after school hours. Tennis courts, auditoriums, and football fields are just a small example of property we should be able to share. We should also be working hand in hand with our law enforcement officers. Truancy cases should be handled in the community where the child lives, forcing parents to come to court outside their municipalities is unreasonable. We also have a drug problem on some of our secondary campuses. It is time we stop turning a blind eye to these offenses and allow local police to help us protect our children.

LTJ: Do you have a preferred approach when it comes to capital improvements and bond programs for the district?

Shoven: Having served on the Facilities Committee, a committee set up to take note of all the buildings in our district and to come up with a plan to repair or replace them on a timely basis, I saw first hand the work that many of our campuses need. I have not been bashful in my opposition to the 697 million dollar 2008 bond package that will be completely spent in the very near future. I feel it was too much money, with too long of a time frame to spend and the money ultimately was not all spent the way the public was told it would be spent. Instead, I would support more detailed smaller bond packages. Our tax payers deserve the opportunity to know and understand where their tax dollars will be spent. When researching the bond package of 2008, I looked at many districts across the state. I saw many packages similar to ours asking for large sums of money with very little detail, but the bonds that passed with the highest ratings, were detailed, some all the way to blueprints of the buildings they would be supporting. Our community is asking for transparency and this is one area we can easily provide transparency for them!

Background Check

LTJ: Have you ever been convicted of a felony, or have you been convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic offense in the past 10 years?

Shoven: No.
LTJ has conducted a criminal background check as we do for all local candidates, and it confirms no history.

LTJ: Have you been a defendant in a lawsuit in the past 10 years? If so, please provide a brief description.

Shoven: No.
LTJ has conducted a civil background check as we do for all local candidates, and it confirms no history.

- MunicipalElection2013
- Lewisville ISD

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