YEARS IN CFISD: 45
SUBDIVISION: Wortham Villages
OCCUPATION: Owner, Cy-Fair Insurance Group
SPOUSE: Julie Ryan
CHILDREN: Wesley, 27, Cy-Fair HS and Texas A&M graduate Allie, 23, Cy-Fair HS and Texas A&M graduate Tanner, 19, Cy-Fair HS graduate and current student at Texas A&M Galveston
Why did you choose to live in CFISD?
I am a graduate of our district (Cy-Fair HS, 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 experienced the highest quality public education in Texas with CFISD, and our district continues to provide opportunities to every student with teachers who are encouraging and schools that have nurturing environments.
Are you currently a CFISD volunteer? If so, what school(s)?
I have served as a volunteer CFISD board member for 17 years and am a CFISD global volunteer. I have served as a student mentor at various campuses during my tenure on the board as well as a campus volunteer “guest reader” at numerous campuses.
List your participation in CFISD school and/or district parent clubs, business partnerships and/or committees.
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. I am a lifetime member of the Cy-Fair High School Athletic Booster Club. As stated earlier, I have served as a volunteer Board Member in CFISD for 17 years.
Include any other areas in which you have supported CFISD not included in previous question.
With our current and previous equitable funding issues I have made trips to Austin with my peers on the board 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 vital over the last several years. I have also served as a Texas Association School Board member and Gulf Coast Area School Board members
List Cy-Fair organizations in which you currently participate, including offices held.
CFISD Board of Trustees (17 years), President (5 years), Vice-President (6 years), Secretary (4 years), CFISD Global Volunteer, Cy-Fair High School Athletic Booster Club.
Considering your skills and talents, what positive contribution would you make as a member of the Board of Trustees?
I’ve worked with fellow Board members to help balance our budget and remain fiscally sound while keeping our focus on providing relevant learning experiences for every child. I contributed to providing teachers and employees with well deserved pay raises. Additionally, I voted to keep our optional homestead exemption. I approach every issue and decision with two concerns: will it make a positive impact on our students? Is it fiscally responsible for our taxpayers?
What are the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees?
The role of the Board is to approve the budget, set and review goals, hire and evaluate the Superintendent, and work as a team of 8 to make sure every child in our district receives the highest quality education possible.
What role do positive trustee relations on the Board play in affecting student success?
Positive Board relations allow us to set educational priorities and appraise the work to see that it is done competently and economically. We have a cohesive and diverse Board committed to student success and fiscal responsibility. I, along with my fellow board members, make 10-15 campus visits per semester, allowing firsthand perspective into what is occurring in our classrooms. These visits provide an opportunity for campus staff to share insights on issues impacting student’s success.
What critical challenges face the district, and what are possible solutions to address those issues?
Equitable funding continues to be an issue with student population growth. The solution is to maintain positive dialogue with elected officials and continue best practices. Another challenge is monitoring neighboring districts to keep competitive salaries and benefits. School safety is a priority and bond funds keep our learning environments safe and secure. Finally, we will continue to focus on career readiness and embrace the digital learning environment so our students are college and/or career ready.