For more information about the Prosper ISD School Board election, please visit https://www.prosper-isd.net/Page/22298
Introducing your Prosper ISD School Board Candidates:
BETTYE H. OKAE, PLACE 4
My name is Dr. Bettye Holston-Okae, and I ‘m married to Robert K. Okae (Ghana) with three children: Adjowa 14 (Hayes MS), Kaden 10 and Ashleigh 6 (Spradley MS. ) I have worked for the Federal government for majority of career (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and (Department of Commerce- US Census Bureau). I am peer- viewed author who focus on employee turnover intentions within different industries. Most recently, I severed as Area Manager of Quality Assurance and Data Management for the US Census Bureau for Denver and Dallas Region. I am the owner of Okae Mobile Document Services, LLC.
I understand the important of education and making sound decision to ensure all children are value and provide the opportunities to be successful. I am first generation college student and product of a single mother. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Chemistry from Mississippi Valley State University, Master of Science in Environmental Science from Jackson State University, Master of Business from Texas Woman’s University and Doctor of Business in Organizational Leadership from Walden University.
As a Data Analytics Business professional, I will use data trends to project, forecast, and drive greater successful factors for Prosper ISD. My background in the field can be an asset for educational and economical trend analysis to make sound and feasible business decisions for the School District. This will be a catalyst for maintaining the elite status in the Prosper ISD school system. Prosper ISD should use a growth model and statistical data to determine when school are needed. We should utilize the Bond process and partner with home developers to provide grants to help with the costs of building additional schools within the subdivisions. The only other school issue that I feel needs attention is diversity and inclusion and fair hiring practices. There needs to be greater diverse representation evident with both teachers and administrators that represent the demographics of students being served.
Prosper ISD, like other districts are facing issues with school bullying on campus and in virtual classrooms. As a result, this unfortunately has contributed to some escalations and suicides. The disparity and racial undertone create negative and debilitating experiences that divide and cause many students to withdraw from their educational engagement and academic interest. I believed that we should implement programs within the districts to provide resources to students and their parents who have been negatively impacted by these cruel experiences. We should also expand the “Hope Square” program to all grade levels.
I believed we should create programs within our districts that is focused more on social and emotional intelligence developmental for students and staff. If elected this will be one of many programs that I will present to the board to implement within our schools. This pandemic has greatly impacted our students and some of the student within our district parents may not have the support or financial resources within their families. Therefore, dispute resolution programs with certified Mediators certainly would be a great addition to the Proper ISD. We should also implement a process for more transparency and open discussion for hard topics in schools, local government, and communities. Prosper parents should have more of a input regarding decision that board makes as it related to their children.
CHIANNA RODGERS, PLACE 4
I am Chianna Rodgers, a candidate for Place 4 of the Prosper ISD School Board. I am a married mother of three children in the district, and an active member of the PTOs and booster clubs at their schools as well as other organizations with which my children are affiliated.
I am a financial advisor, which requires me to be fiduciary on a regular basis. By definition, a fiduciary must put the needs of their clients first even if it doesn’t benefit the advisor. In other words, my business is to serve in the best interest of others. We elect school board members to serve and represent the taxpayers. My background makes me perfectly suited to do just that.
I have been a stay-at-home mom in the past and now work outside of the home. These experiences have helped me to better view situations from different perspectives. With my kids being in different grade levels and schools, this allows me to speak on the different issues that each educational level brings. For example, what my youngest child has experienced in elementary school is not the same as what my oldest, who is now in high school, experienced when she started in school.
As I have extensive experience on various boards, I am confident that this will allow for an easy transition onto the PISD School Board. The district is growing rapidly, and a newly elected trustee must be able to jump in and get right to work beginning on day one.
I am running for Place 4 because Prosper ISD is growing in diversity, however currently there is no one on the board who looks like me. The board should be representative of Prosper ISD’s entire student population. Also, I want to be part of the tremendous growth and exciting change occurring here. Like many families, ours moved here specifically for the outstanding schools.
If elected to Place 4, I intend to:
- Increase and improve communication. The community wants and deserves to know how and why many of the district’s most important decisions are made. Previously, the school board has made decisions, and Prosper ISD families are unsure why or how they came to those decisions. I will implement focus groups composed of teachers, parents and students so that we may have a better idea about what is needed as well as the most pressing issues.
- Be accessible. School board members should be present more in the community. I plan to regularly host “Coffee with the Board”-type meetings, where questions that have not been pre-filtered can be posed to board members.
- Boost representation. Most Prosper School Board members reside in a small handful of local subdivisions. Previously, there has not been anyone on the board who lives in Celina or elsewhere in the district’s outer boundaries. Similarly, no minorities have held a position on the board. I check both of those boxes as I am a Celina resident and a black woman with children who are students in the district.
PAT COCHRANE, PLACE 4
My name is Pat Cochrane and I look forward to serving as the next Prosper ISD Board of Trustees in Place 4. I will provide the courageous leadership that will represent YOUR voice on the Prosper ISD Board. Our family moved to Prosper from Plano in 2019 to be part of the great community we enjoy here. Like many families, we’d heard nothing but the best about what Prosper ISD had to offer, and my wife Emily and I wanted Caleb (6) and Matthew (4) to grow and learn in the great schools here. We loved the “small town, big heart” feel we were welcomed with and were glad to meet so many families aligned to the same values and principles we wanted our boys to grow in.
Prosper is rapidly growing and while that growth is something to be celebrated, we know many families hope that we can stay true to the community of values and principles that brought many here in the first place. Explosive growth, but with that same small town, big heart feel. I am highly invested in creating firm foundations for all the children in our community to help them succeed. Our children will be the next generation of leaders to guide our country and I desire to serve as part of that growth and development.
I have 12 years of military officer experience in the United States Army and Texas Army National Guard and have served in leadership roles in technology and retail, including a Fortune 50 beverage retailer. I want to leverage this collaborative and effective leadership experience to help serve my community in the best way possible. I also have my MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and my BBA from Texas Tech University, Guns up!
My platform is simple:
➢Serve, partner with, and represent parents in this district to ensure childhood success is the top priority for Prosper ISD
➢Create a roadmap for getting our district back to business as usual
➢Ensure financial accountability and stewardship of YOUR tax dollars
➢Keep the lines of communication open with my constituents and help represent their values.
➢Maintain transparency in my role. Who I am in a private conversation is who I am in public.
As parents, we all want the best outcomes for our children, and we know the local school district plays a significant, formative part of our child’s growth and development. I am invested in maintaining Prosper’s excellence in all areas of education. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is quoted as saying, “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” I have no doubt that I am ready for the responsibility to represent parents and their children effectively in this district. Children First! Prosper Strong!
ALEXANDER E. CORNWALLIS, PLACE 4
I have decided to run for the Prosper School Board to bring the following major changes in a step-by-step collaborative way:
- Stop the uncontrolled spending of our taxpayer money on projects and buildings that do not directly contribute to our children’s education.
- Bring about a balanced and a consistent mechanism to address parents’ concerns and complaints. Currently, parents’ concerns get summarily dismissed by the school officials routinely without any meaningful dialogue.
- Move quickly to build consensus in the Prosper ISD Board to establish meaningful programs to address serious issues of mental health support and suicide prevention among our students.
- Work collaboratively to bring effective change to address rampant bullying of students because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
- Currently, there is ZERO minority representation on the Prosper ISD Board of Trustees.
Alex is a Senior Cloud Architect and a technology transformation expert who partners with CEOs, senior executives and principal engineers to grow and transform their organization in the 21st century. With two decades of working in technology for multimillion dollar brands and startups, Alex knows what truly drives a collaborative transformation and success in a complex organization. Alex has learned from experience that it’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them, is the key ingredient to true success.
Alex is happily married to Scarlett, a software professional and they live in Prosper since 2016. They have five beautiful children who attend the prosper ISD schools. In his free time, Alex loves to engage in the community and travel with the family due to his fascination with the history of the Viking Culture.
Finally, Alex is a true believer in lifelong learning. That is why he can truly connect to students, community members, teachers, administrators and fellow ISD Board members in navigating Prosper ISD towards success.
BILL BEAVERS, PLACE 4
The Prosper ISD Board of Trustees has accomplished so much within my current term while encountering and overcoming unprecedented challenges. Exponential growth has continued, giving us the unique opportunity to positively impact the lives of thousands of children. I have had the honor of working with Dr. Drew Watkins and witnessing the great work he has done in bringing our district to this point. I had the privilege of being a member of the board that hired our current outstanding leader, Dr. Holly Ferguson.
My focus moving forward will continue to include:
- Our COVID-19 recovery, specifically as it relates to how this pandemic has impacted our district academically as well as supporting the overall well-being of our students, teachers and staff as we emerge from these unprecedented times. I am so proud of our district for opening on time and in-person for the 2020-2021 school year before many other districts. The commitment of our teachers and staff is unmatched.
- Safety and security will remain of utmost importance to me. I am one of two board members who sit on this sub-committee. One of the achievements of which I am most proud is the board’s decision to have an officer at every campus.
- The financial stability of our district is crucial, and I will continue to be a good steward of our tax dollars.
- Maintaining and strengthening our sense of community has become personally important to me as we have progressed through this campaign season. “We are Prosper. We are One.” is not just an expression, it is our commitment. Prosper ISD is such a special place. It’s why so many people move to our wonderful community. As we welcome our new neighbors, I want for them to see this commitment of ours as truth. I am eager for all residents of Prosper ISD to know that they are valued in our community.
As we look to the future, my goal is to strengthen our outreach to Austin by building our relationships with state elected officials and keeping them informed of our district’s interests. This mindful representation is critical as our unique growth requires funding for both facilities and staff. This differentiates us from other districts in our state.
We must prepare for and thrive in the midst of our challenges, giving our students the best possible educational experience and providing them with a solid foundation for great future success. Our kids deserve nothing less. I do not take lightly the responsibility entrusted to us by the wonderful community we serve and look forward to the task ahead of us as we prepare for and strive toward a bright future in Prosper ISD. My vision for Prosper ISD is that when people think of public education in the great state of Texas (and around the country), they think of Prosper ISD as the standard. We are well on our way. Please feel free to call me at 972-890-2451 or follow me at http://www.facebook.com/Bill-Beavers-Prosper-ISD-School-Board-Trustee-Place-4-1676277795944626.
DREW WILBORN, PLACE 7
Greetings Prosper ISD Family. You may remember that I ran for Prosper ISD School Board during the previous election cycle. Although I lost that election, I still desire to serve our community in this capacity. Our children are, indeed, our future. As we advocate for our children and invest in them, we must put aside our own agendas and, in some cases, ambitions to do what is in their best interest.
Several years ago, it was time for us to consider where our son, who has special needs, would attend elementary school. We were living in Cedar Hill at the time. After an extensive and exhaustive search, we determined there was only one place for our son and our family; Prosper ISD. We packed up and moved from Cedar Hill to Prosper—and the rest is history.
As we approach the upcoming school board election, I want to make sure that you have a thorough understanding of who I am and why I want to serve our Prosper ISD community. When asked why I believe I’d be a good fit to serve on our school board, it is fitting that I share my qualifications and background. I’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting Control Systems from University of North Texas. Additionally, I have a master’s degree in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University. I’ve spent time working for the Nation’s Central Bank at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. For the past 15 years, I’ve served as chief financial officer of a megachurch with a multimillion-dollar budget. I’ve served on the board of directors for organizations like Disability Rights Texas and Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas who have similar goals and objectives. I have experience with review of organizational budgets, board oversight and policy review/compliance. My educational background coupled with my working knowledge and board service experience will provide a firm foundation for this role within our amazing school district.
When asked to identify 3 priority factors on my mind as our district continues to grow, know that I’m mindful of:
- Diversity of thought – getting ahead of the divisive topics that can easily divide us. Engage in conversations and be relational in an effort to avoid unnecessarily offensive confrontation. Enhanced communication is key.
- Keep the main thing – what DREW you here will keep you here.
- Fiscal responsibility and accountability.
Our son is currently in the 3rd grade. I have a high probability of remaining connected to our district for the foreseeable future and for the right reason. Its all about our kids; yours and mine.
KRISTIN MEIER, PLACE 7
- Proud wife and mother to four children; three currently in PISD schools and an adult daughter who is an accomplished middle school science teacher
- Graduated from Concordia State University with a BA in Business Management
- Spent majority of processional career as a materials buyer for consumer products and industrial manufacturers.
- Prosper resident for 5 years
- Tenured PTO President at both the elementary and middle school level
- 4 years of PISD PTO involvement allowing me to better understand student, staff, parent and administrative perspectives
- Actively involved in the Prosper ISD PTO Council – currently serving as Vice President
- Selected member of the 2019 PISD Bond Political Action Committee
- Currently part of the District Site Based Planning Committee
My family moved to Prosper, from Kansas City, in May 2016, which makes us representative of the influx of great families making their home on the west side of the district. Like most families moving to Prosper, – we chose PISD for the caliber of public education it provides, along with the reputation of the top-notch administration and staff. We are thrilled to be part of a vibrant community focused on families and aligned with values rooted in faith.
PISD has been a preferred district for parents and professional educators alike for many years. Our district provides special programs not available elsewhere. It maintains high expectations of our students and staff, and it strives to prepare students with the strength of character to make future contributions to our society.
Rapid growth in the district and surrounding area is celebrated by all of us. At the same time, that growth coupled with our changing society can threaten our local culture and academic excellence. As we grow in numbers, our community wants to be open to new inputs and ideas while welcoming the diversity that will make us stronger. We also endeavor to remain steadfast in the moral foundation that our students depend on, as well as provide an open and caring atmosphere where our children can thrive.
The PISD Board has an important role in developing the educational vision for the district. As community representatives, every decision we make should involve thoughtful consideration and care to ensure the best outcome for students, while balancing resources and proving accountability.
As your Place 7 Trustee, I will dedicate myself,on behalf of Prosper ISD students and families, to preserve the culture of excellence our District is known for, and I will be a voice of the community in shaping the direction of our children’s education into the future.