Questionnaire: Natalie Blasingame

Natalie Blasingame

Full Name: 
Natalie Kagan Blasingame

Number of children (if applicable)—include names, ages, current school, and if applicable, graduation year/high school name: 
Madeleine, 13, Aragon Middle School (CFISD Student of the Week - Feb. 4, 2019)

Occupation and company:
Talent Management Officer, BakerRipley

Subdivision:
Copperfield Southdown Village

Years lived within CFISD:
18

Why did you choose to live in CFISD?
We purchased a family home in CFISD 18 years ago because it offered great housing value in a safe, family-oriented community with good schools. 

Are you currently a CFISD volunteer?
Yes.

What school(s)?
VIPS at Aragon Middle School; Langham Creek High School Mentor; and Hairgrove Elementary Global Volunteer (in the community partnership with Calvary Community Church, Copperfield Church and the Credit Union)  

List your participation in CFISD school and/or district parent clubs, business partnerships and/or committees.
I am a “VIPS” at Aragon MS where volunteering includes chairing the Color Run, bulletin boards, teacher appreciation, Wildcat Den, Veterans Day, flu shots, band, etc. Aragon is a great school with a student-centered staff that I am privileged to support.

I serve as a parent representative for the Langham Creek feeder pattern on the District-wide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) which advises the district on evaluation, planning, and supervision.

I serve as a CFISD Mentor for a wonderful young woman at Langham Creek HS.

Include any other areas in which you have supported CFISD not included in the previous question.
I am a CFISD Global Volunteer supporting the active partnership between Calvary Community Church, Copperfield Church, and Hairgrove Elementary. Projects I have supported include first day of school help, preparing meals for Academic Camps, clothing/school supply drives, adopting families, flu shots, and more. Hairgrove is led by amazing CFISD Elementary Principal of the Year Darynda Klein, who has built a partnership that allows the community to partner in meaningful ways to help the school outperform.

List Cy-Fair organizations in which you currently participate, including offices held.
I have invested in youth development as a Girl Scout troop leader, Sunday school teacher, on the PTO Executive Board, Copperfield Dolphins Swim Team board, along with being on the Women’s Ministry Council at church. I have served as a public-school teacher, principal, and district leader in Houston for 27 years. I understand firsthand how school boards impact student achievement. The “office” of mother helps me understand the hopes and dreams of parents in CFISD schools.  

Considering your skills and talents, what positive contribution would you make as a member of the Board of Trustees?
Our local district has significant latitude in shaping the educational programs of our schools. Our district faces a 55% economically-disadvantaged population which brings significant challenges to becoming an "A" rated district. I offer 27 years of experience fostering strong educational outcomes for students in Title-I schools.

The Board should operate as a conduit between our local schools and our community. I have experience engaging parents from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, supported by being a Spanish speaker. 

What are the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees?

  • Provide citizen governance/oversight for education at a point closest to the parent/child, acting for our district citizens.
  • Advocate for educational excellence for our youth, putting those interests first, ensuring that the district is moving in a positive direction, with a clear shared vision for our students, schools, staff and supporting community.
  • Adopt comprehensive goals giving the system clear direction and monitoring the progress of the administration.
  • Adopt policy that provides a framework for district operations.

What role do positive trustee relations on the Board play in affecting student success?
Trustees should bring time, energy, talent and a spirit of teamwork to the role to make decisions that will help the children of our community. Trustees should actively seek and listen to the voices of our citizens-hearing celebrations and concerns- allowing trends to be surfaced. We should then respond as a team to expand the positive and address the negative. Cooperation is critical to success, with room for diversity of opinion and critical questioning. 

What critical challenges face the district, and what are possible solutions to address those issues? : 

We Must:

  • Hold high expectations for ALL students, and increase choice/personalization WITHIN our public school system to meet the needs of all learners and become an “A” rated district despite challenges.
  • Actively engage more parents as partners with a voice to maintain enrollment in an increasingly competitive educational landscape.
  • Clarify policy around the rights of people of faith in public schools, creating a safer environment in which to develop ethical citizens able to work across lines of difference and be productive in our economy.