Questionnaire: Gilbert Sarabia

Gilbert Sarabia

Full Name:
Gilbert G Sarabia

Spouse’s name (if applicable):
Ginger Sarabia

Number of children (if applicable)—include names, ages, current school, and if applicable, graduation year/high school name:
All four of our sons attended CFISD schools from kindergarten through graduation from Cypress Creek High School: Richard (class of 2006), Jared and Justin (class of 2008) and Jacob (class of 2012).

Occupation and company:
Honorably Discharged U.S. Army in 1985; retired from AT&T in 2012 after 32 years. After retirement, with 25 years of coaching and volunteer experience within the CFISD community, I became a Certified Sports Official and the first Assistant Baseball Coach at Pope John XXIII High School and now at St. Pius High School.

Subdivision:
Cypress Forest

Years lived within CFISD:
32

Why did you choose to live in CFISD?
In my early years, I visited CFISD as a spectator and athlete. I knew this was the place to raise a family. When I became engaged, we started house hunting and we found our first and only home, in which we raised our four sons. CFISD provided the foundation our boys, who are first generation college graduates, needed for successful careers. Our family’s success is a good example of the strength and diversity of CFISD.

Are you currently a CFISD volunteer?:
Yes

What school(s)?
Matzke

List your participation in CFISD school and/or district parent clubs, business partnerships and/or committees.
When our first son entered school, we joined the PTO and were active their remaining school years. When our oldest reached high school, we joined the Cypress Creek Athletic Booster Club and participated for 10 years. In 2012, I became a member of the district Community Leadership Committee (CLC) and have made several trips to visit our legislators to advocate for our students. For the 2019 bond, I was a member of Long Range Planning Committee.

Include any other areas in which you have supported CFISD not included in the previous question.
Since our children entered CFISD, for the past 25 years, I have been a volunteer and dedicated team coach. Developing the players’ fundamentals, teaching teamwork and listening to their concerns, mentoring and helping shape their future success. I served in leadership positions with Cy-Fair Sports Association from 1997 to 2008 and was a volunteer baseball coach at Cypress Creek High School from 2005 to 2012.

List Cy-Fair organizations in which you currently participate, including offices held.
I am currently a referee with the Texas Association of Sports Officials for both HS varsity level volleyball and basketball and I have participated in Young Life for 10+ years and served 4 years on the executive board.

Considering your skills and talents, what positive contribution would you make as a member of the Board of Trustees?
I believe my 32 years at AT&T and my wide variety of coaching experiences gives me a unique perspective of the needs of diverse populations, especially those affected by poverty. I appreciate diversity of circumstances, thought and belief in others and I listen carefully to all opinions and options looking for solutions that work best for ALL. I develop relationships that are respectful and honest and I can work well with everyone.

What are the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees?
The Board of Trustees is about governance and not operations. They establish goals for academic achievement and safe school environments and providing competitive salaries and benefits for staff. They approve budgets, contracts and personnel appointments considering administrative recommendations. They hire and evaluate the Superintendent. They listen to community input and they represent the diversity and different needs of the students.

What role do positive trustee relations on the Board play in affecting student success?
Just like any sports team, a Board that puts aside personal objectives to work for the common good is more successful. Having attended CFISD Board meetings and read articles on other school boards, it’s easy to see that a team that believes all students can learn, tracks student data, and puts resources where needed most, positively impacts student achievement. The current board has been a positive force and I will fit easily with this team.

What critical challenges face the district, and what are possible solutions to address those issues?
Money is an issue for CFISD because per student funding is less than neighboring districts. Improvements were made during this past legislative session but permanent equitable funding is needed. School safety is such an important concern and the successful 2014 and 2019 bond referendums brought additional safety features to our facilities. Focusing on understanding the challenges of growing student diversity and a holistic, cohesive approach to ensuring academic success for all kids should be a priority.