Note: The following information was submitted by the candidate in preparation for the school board election.
Current Board term expires: 11/2017
Responses as of: 09/2013
Spouse's name:Julie Ryan
Children: Wesley Ryan-Age 23 Texas A&M Class of 2013, Allison Ryan-Age 19 Texas A&M Class of 2016, Tanner Ryan-Age 15 9th Grade at Cy-Fair High School
Occupation: Owner of Insurance Agency: Cy-Fair Insurance Group
Subdivision: Wortham Villages
Years lived within CFISD: 42 years
(7) Why did you choose to live in CFISD? I am a graduate of the district (Cy-Fair High School Class of 1981) and my decision to live in our district is based on the experiences that I had as a student in CFISD. I had teachers and coaches who were challenging, caring, and community oriented. My children have experienced the highest quality education, and our district continues to provide that opportunity with teachers who are encouraging and schools that have nurturing environments.
(8) Describe your involvement in CFISD (i.e. PTO, district-level committees): I currently serve on the CFISD Board and over the past several years have had the opportunity to visit and volunteer at approximately 40 of our campuses. I have also mentored students at Lamkin Elementary, and I am a volunteer and lifetime member of the Cy-Fair High School Athletic Booster Club. Finally, I am a CFISD Global Volunteer.
(9) Community organizations in which you participate: I am a member of the Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce that is a fantastic and vital partner with CFISD. I have also been a member of the PTO organizations at Adam Elementary, Arnold Middle School, and Cy-Fair High School. As stated earlier, I am a lifetime member of the Cy-Fair High School Athletic Booster Club.
(10) Considering your skills and talents, what positive contribution would you make as a member of the Board of Trustees? With our previous funding issues, I have consistently made trips to Austin, with other board members, to visit with our local Representatives and share the needs and concerns of our community. Having a strong relationship with our local Representatives has been critical over the last several years. I have also served as a Texas Association School Board Member and Gulf Coast Area School Board Member.
(11) In your opinion, what are the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees? CFISD Board of Trustees (13 Years), President (3 Years), Vice-President (4 Years), Secretary (4 Years); CFISD Global Volunteer; Cy-Fair Athletic Booster Club
I’ve worked with Board members to help balance our budget and remain fiscally sound while keeping focus on providing relevant learning experiences for every child. I contributed to providing teachers and employees with a well-deserved pay raise. Additionally, I voted to keep our optional homestead exemption. I’ve made sure to approach every issue and decision with two concerns: will it make a positive impact on our students? And is it fiscally responsible for our taxpayers?
The role of the Board is to approve the budget, set and review goals, hire and evaluate the Superintendent, and work as a team to make sure every child in our district receives the highest quality education possible.
(13) The state does not fund CFISD at the same level as surrounding districts, which has resulted in budget reductions of nearly $70 million in recent years. Given this information, what are your recommendations for recruiting and retaining quality staff? Positive Board relations allow us to set educational priorities and appraise the work to see that it is done competently and economically. Currently, we have a cohesive and diverse Board committed to student success and fiscal responsibility. Our Board also makes 10-15 campus visits per semester allowing us to see firsthand what occurs in our classrooms. These visits provide an opportunity for campus administrators and teachers to share their insight on issues impacting student success.
(14) Funding will continue to be an issue with continuous growth in student population. The solution is to maintain positive and open dialogue with Austin’s elected officials and continue best practices. Another challenge is remaining competitive with surrounding school districts with salaries and benefits. Monitoring what districts offer allows us to remain competitive. Also, focusing on career readiness and the use of current technology to embrace the Digital Learning Environment will address challenges students currently face.