All three of the incumbents on Lewisville ISD's Board of Trustees who are up for re-election this year are being challenged for their seats. Fred Placke, Tom Kim, and Kathy Duke are all from Highland Village.
Filing for the 2010 School Board elections for Lewisville ISD began Monday, and already long-time incumbent Fred Placke has drawn two challengers from Lewisville for his Place 5 seat. Placke, 58, is a real estate agent from Highland Village seeking a 5th term. Frisco Enterprise has more on Placke
Brenda Lynn Latham, 40, of Lewisville filed on Tuesday for Place 5. She lists her occupation as "Risk Infrastructure" and has lived in the district for 40 years and 9 months. Latham was one of the founders of the Lewisville Task Force.
Latham's issues: (See her platform...) - School zoning should preserve neighborhood integrity - Carefully reduce the $18 million budget deficit, but avoid impacting the classroom - Incentivize experienced teachers to stay in the district - Work to get dual-credit (high school/college)classes for college bound students. Lewisville Leader has more on Latham.
Patrick Michael Kelly, 41, of Castle Hills (Lewisville E.T.J.) filed Wednesday for Place 5. He lists his occupation as "Chief Information Officer" and has lived in the district for 11 years, 4 months. Kelly is one of the founders of the RoundTable Project in Castle Hills - a group that has pushed for accountability in the governing districts there. He will be rolling out a website by the end of this week.
Kelly's issues: (See Kelly's Facebook site...) - Stopping certain language changes in social studies textbooks - Transparency and accountability - Keeping tax increases to a minimum. - Reducing bureaucracy to increase efficiency
School Board elections are won by simple plurality, meaning that whoever gets the most votes wins the seat - even if there is no majority. This means that multiple filings tend to favor the incumbent.
Trustee Kathy Duke, 42, of Highland Village (left) has filed for re-election to Place 4. Duke is an insurance broker seeking a 3rd term on the board. Duke has lived in the area her whole life, and attended K-12 in LISD. She also serves on the Flower Mound Presbyterian Hospital Governing Board
Duke's Issues: - Finance for Education which has caused our deficit, - Hiring of a Superintendent, - Dealing with growth and changes within the district.
"These are only a few issues. There are many items that make our district outstanding and I want to make sure that all continues. We are very blessed to have the best teachers, staff and Administrators in the State!"
Collinsworth's Issues: - Hiring a new superintendent - should look inside and outside the district - Would look at allowing the Frisco portion of LISD to move to Frisco ISD - Would like to see Lewisville residents get more involved in the district, but not certain single-member districts are the way. - Open information and transparency, including videotaping board meetings. - Wants to be able to give back to the community.
Julie Linnea Foughty, 35, of Frisco filed today for Place 4. Foughty has lived in the district 4 years and 3 months, and is a former teacher who left full-time employment to take care of a special needs child. She holds a masters degree in library and information sciences from University of North Texas, as well as her bachelors in elementary education.
Foughty's Campaign Website has a lot of detail, but here are some of her issues: - Striving for Excellence in Education, so that LISD can achieve exemplary status - Improve communication between the district and the community, possibly including the use of focus groups for things like rezoning. - Being financially prudent, trying not to raise taxes in the coming year until all other options are exhausted - Searching for a new Superintendent who fills gaps in LISD's capabilities and strengths, again possibly using citizen input. - Increasing focus on health and fitness among our students.
Kim will be challenged by Jeffrey Allen Knapp of Lewisville who filed for Place 3 on February 17th. Knapp, 49, is a Certified Public Accountant who has resided in the district for 15 years, 6 months. Knapp has served with several community organizations such as YMCA, FMYSA, LBA, Upward Basketball, LHS Farmerettes Boosters, and LHS Baseball Boosters.
Knapp's Issues: - Getting the community to get involved and take ownership of their schools - Solving the district's budget deficit - Transparency in the decision-making process of the Board.
Michael Edward (Mike) McDaniel, 57, of Highland Village is also running for Place 3. McDaniel served as an LISD trustee from 1998 to 2004. McDaniel runs a self-storage business, and has lived in the district for 18 years. He serves as a deacon of his church, and is on the board of directors for Denton County Child Protective Services.
McDaniel's Issues: - Performing an exhausitve outside search for a new superintendent when Dr. Roy retires - Cutting back on extravagant spending, such as $295 per square foot athletic field houses. - Putting building projects on hold until the economy recovers.
Ryan Collinsworth, a real estate agent from Flower Mound has filed late yesterday for place 4, currently held by Kathy Duke.
I'll post more info when I get it. I've reached out to Mr. Collinsworth to get more info. The school district is closed again today due to the Snowpocalypse, so I'm not sure whether I'll get more info from them today or not.
Re: LISD Board Races - Placke Draws Two Challengers
A quick clarification - while it is true my mailing address is indeed Lewisville, I live in Castle Hills which is not currently part of Lewisville (or any other city). Most Castle Hills residents, myself included, look forward to the day in which Castle Hills will be annexed into the great city of Lewisville. However, I am aware of the intense interest many Lewisville residents have in ensuring Lewisville is represented in the upcoming election. Although I am confident in my abilities to represent the populace of LISD, I feel it is in keeping with my promise of complete transparency to make this distinction.
The most interesting thing to me in looking at the different candidates is that although Kim and Duke both graduated from Lewisville High School and laud the great educations they received in LISD, neither of them chose to settle in an area where their kids would attend Lewisville High School or its underprivileged feeder schools. Instead, their children attend some of the most privileged schools in our district: Heritage Elementary, Briarhill Middle School, and Marcus High School.
We need Board members whose children attend schools like Hedrick Elementary, Hedrick Middle School, Central Elementary, Lakeland Elementary, DeLay Middle School, and Lewisville High School. These schools are not equal to others in the district (regardless of the school board's official position that all the schools in LISD are equal to one another, which is blatantly untrue) and they do not have the representation they need to improve or to become equal. This is most likely due to the fact that these schools are located in a less-affluent part of the district, where parents work full-time and/or do not speak English. The cold hard truth is that those who can afford to live in a Marcus High School zone can afford the luxury of time to serve on the LISD school board, representing the concerns of affluent students in an affluent part of town. They are not connected enough to the concerns of working class parents who live on the proverbial "wrong side of the tracks," otherwise known as Old Orchard Road in Lewisville!
A school board member whose kids attend these less-privileged schools would care enough about their own children's educational inequities to effect critical change for these underrepresented families and students. If there is no such person able to step forward from this underbelly part of LISD, then I would like to see what the current, more privileged candidates have to say about the obvious educational inequities that exist in our district, which are coupled with a draconian school transfer policy, and a smug, superior attitude from LISD Student Services towards parents who simply seek to have their children attend the best possible schools.
I agree 100% we need board members who have kids or have had kids or will recognize the needs of any of the schools going into LHS. Someone who will have LHS kids and the schools best interest! I have said I want TAMELA BOWIE for school board! :) She's gonna kill me! hahaha
I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Brenda Campbell Latham and I am running for LISD Board, Place 5. My husband and I both grew up in LISD as did both of our boys. All four of us are LHS graduates (1984, 1987, 2004 and 2009). Please visit my website and click on the email button to send me a message. www.Latham4LISD.com.
I wholeheartedly agree! This year I will be sure to NOT vote for any incumbents on this Board.
We faced this Board when dealing with a potential Bullying Issue at a school. I never thought in a million years I would have gotten the resistance I did when looking to transfer my child. They would not even allow me to complete my side of the story. Unfortunately, they took it behind closed doors - now I know why. This incident was eerily similiar to the recent Phoebe Prince issue and it's time these School Boards realize this is a serious issue.
And Ms. Duke made condescending comments about the rich people over in Flower Mound - very unprofessional. The other Board Memembers did correct her when she did that. Still, damage was done. I especially like the gentlemen who is running who want full transparency - very much needed.
I am most curious to read what specific educational inequities exist between the Lewisville HS feeder system and the others in the district. The poster seems to know but does not cite any--you need to supply specifics to strengthen your claim. Otherwise, you are just more vacuous hot air on this blog.
Go ahead and open each of those links in a new window, and look at them side-by-side for a comparison. There are many more programs and course offerings at Marcus. The feeder zones would seem to be skewed towards keeping racial minorities and lower income levels at Lewisville High School.
Ask yourself - and I don't know which H.S. zone you're in, but if LISD told you tomorrow that your kids would be bussed to LHS for the remainder of their schooling, would that freak you out? The point is that if the schools were truly equal, it wouldn't.
What I would like to know is why the students at Lewisville High School don't have the same opportunities as those at Marcus or FM. High?
To the district's credit, LHS does have the more experienced teachers. But there is an achievement gap there that we need to eliminate - not by bringing down the achievers, but by lifting up LHS.
Posted: 2010/2/23 0:12 Updated: 2010/2/23 0:46
Re: Inequities with Lewisville High School
Your comparison of LHS and MHS data sheets is not a good place to start. A quick review of the Outstanding Programs at the schools finds that both have commensurate offerings for the most part. Both schools also have unique student accomplishments listed based on the great things at which students at LHS and MHS excel. Simple differences in student achievement in no way supports the argument that one is better than the other or “preferred” by the Board of Trustees. In fact, we should be celebrating the diverse accomplishments of our kids.
To carry this conversation further, I pulled data from the TEA and LISD website on all schools constructed since 2000. Those schools include the following: Hebron HS 9th grade Center Durham Middle School Vickery Elementary New Vocational Campus on 121 Shadow Ridge Middle School Castle Hills Elementary Lewisville Elementary School Killian Middle School Liberty Elementary Killough LHS North Independence Elem School Tom Hicks Elementary Creek Valley Middle School Lillie Jackson Childhood Center Bluebonnet Elementary Downing Middle School Rockbrook Elementary School Coyote Ridge Elementary
The data does not support any preference by the Board of Trustees over one school or the other. Consider the following; 1. Since 2000, eighteen schools have been constructed or are under construction. Those include 6 schools in the Lewisville HS feeder pattern, 7 schools in the Hebron HS feeder pattern, 3 schools in the Flower Mound HS feeder pattern, 1 school in the Marcus HS feeder pattern, and 0 schools in The Colony HS feeder pattern. This construction pattern hardly suggests that the LHS feeder pattern is being overlooked as this blog constantly suggests. In fact, if anyone is being overlooked, it is the MHS and TCHS feeder patterns. If you keep throwing rocks at other schools, at least start throwing them to the east and Hebron High School. Apparently they are the darling of the district! 2. Of the fifteen schools built since 2000 and currently in operation, 9 of those campuses have majority-minority student population, with at least 51% of students being identified as African American, Hispanic or Other by TEA. (5 in the Lewisville HS feeder pattern and 4 in the Hebron HS feed pattern). Hardly a circumstance whereby Lewisville HS is being ignored by the Board of Trustees. 3. Composite student demographics of all schools constructed and in operation since 2000 include the following: African American – 10.7% Hispanic – 22.3% White – 51.3% Other – 15.9%
So, what does all this mean? I believe the following is clear: 1. The District builds schools where the student population is located. Most recently that growth has increasingly been in the areas of higher diversity including both Lewisville HS and Hebron HS. 2. Most recent growth since 2000 is almost majority-minority with only 51% of those students being White. Review of TEA data indicates that this trend has occurred over time with African Americans holding steady, Hispanics (mostly) and Asians (lesser) increasing and Whites decreasing percentage wise. This trend is reflected across the demographics of the state and will continue in LISD until we become a majority-minority district sometime in the 2020s. You should really cease pushing the liberal and politicized agenda on this blog as the facts do not bear out your arguments. The current Board has done a commendable job providing resources to ALL students. If you want to vote some of them out, run a candidate, collect the votes and turn the incumbents out, but at least be honest about it and do not imply that the current Board members and Administration have played racial and economic politics to the detriment of children.
You've posted some interesting data here. Lets find and link the data you found so the rest of us can learn.
Here's what I know: Buildings do not teach kids. Construction is nice, and it ensures our kids have decent facilities - without which it is hard to learn. But equity goes beyond square footage. Simply put, any child in any school in the district should have exactly the same opportunity to participate and learn and excel, and feel secure in their personal safety. People from Lewisville had to fight to get the asbestos removal and fire sprinklers for Lewisville H.S., even as a board member who should have known better tried to squash it.
To say that the student accomplishments are simply "different" rather than better, and to imply that racial diversity is reason to give up on demanding excellence is a cop out in my book.
If I saw even an iota of leadership by this board on this or ANY subject, I'd be very happy with them. But the fact is that each and every one of them, by their lack of action, and by their monthly stone-faced silence as they sit on the dais and spend millions of dollars with nary a discussion, by their refusal to open up the process or even follow state open meetings law is a failure.
We demand more from trustees than milque-toast rubberstamping and sycophancy. They can trumpet accomplishments all they want, but the truth seems to me that they're being carried by professional educators in the classroom who pull it off despite the utter contempt that the trustees and superintendent show to anyone who dares to seek involvement in the education of our community's greatest resource.
I don't think I've claimed here that anyone is playing racial and economic politics. If you want to look at the fact that 5 of the 7 trustees hail from affluent cities in the district and draw conclusions, that's up to you. Truthfully, I don't even give them that much credit. They seem content to rest on the laurels of being among the top districts in a well under-performing state.
Posted: 2010/2/25 0:25 Updated: 2010/2/25 0:40
Re: Construction is not equity
Thanks for the nod on the data. Facts are always better than raw emotion when addressing concerns. The data is available on the district website at or the Texas Education Agency website at
Please do not misunderstand or misconstrue that "different" accomplishments at the school you cited indicates that district patrons should ever give up on pursuing excellence in every nook and cranny of school.
As I said in my initial post, if district patrons are dissatisfied with board members, run a candidate, marshall the vote and turn them out. I really get the feeling from the general district contents on this blog, however, that the joy derived by most posters is stirring the pot and not working hard to effect change.
If you were talking about different achievements like "Girls Softball: 2007 State Semi-finalists" that one school has, and not the other, then yes - I misunderstood. We can and should make sure that all the high schools have the same opportunity for AP and honors classes, electives, and sports.
But my major concerns relate to academic achievement. I want our kids in Lewisville to stay in school and achieve greater things. I have concerns about the 9/10 and 11/12 split campus idea and what that does for kids and their ability to have good peer influence, and good relationships with their teachers and counselors. I wonder what happens when a kid leaves 10th grade, and doesn't show up for 11th grade. I wonder why LISD is doing this. I wonder why we don't just have 2 full high schools.
I really don't have answers. I'm not an educator, and I'm not an expert. But I do know that we can't solve problems that we can't have open and honest discussions about. We can't solve problems that we can't get data about. We can't judge the effectiveness of our school administrators and board if they refuse to communicate with the community and be honest and forthright in addressing concerns.
I hate that you think we're pot-stirring. But perhaps we are. I think that is what people do when they feel powerless. I'd much rather find ways to address problems.
The bottom line is balanced representation. That's how we do things in our great representative republic.
It's simply a matter of math and equal representation. We need to demand district representation. LISD is too large to continue at-large places.
If you disagree with that, then you disagree with the US Constitution and the principles of equal representation. Article 1, Section 2.3: Representative and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states... The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative...
Anyone who believes the current whopping imbalance on LISD is fair on principle must also agree that it would be fair for Rhode Island to have more reps in Congress than Texas. Sound like a good deal? I'm sure Rhode Island wouldn't complain.
Posted: 2010/2/25 0:35 Updated: 2010/2/25 0:41
Re: Inequities with Lewisville High School
I appreciate you referencing the USC and not relying solely on passionate emotion like many posters to this blog.
One might argue that the current board representation, with each of the members representing all district patrons, provides more "protection" than single member districts. Under its current construction, if a student, parent, community member or employee has a concern, they can contact any one or all seven board members. I assure you, if the district had single member districts, board members would only be concerned with those issues arising out of their own particular voting district. If you would like to see the effects of that sort of operation, please look to the south and embrace Dallas ISD.
The system currently in place, because it is a poltical system, is going to have warts. Your solution would exacerbate the situation and erode district equity as each single member district would strive to take care of their own to the exclusion of the other six areas and their patrons. Wholly bad idea.
The points you make here are quite valid. You wouldn't want to have several little fiefdoms with entrenched incumbents meting out favors. But if we continue to have two cities with the vast majority of representation, we might have to do something like that.
We do have a problem that we need to figure out how to address: Because the district's elections go concurrent with the city elections, and each city has its own character and voter turnout (I would argue possibly inversely proportional to city government effectiveness), we're going to end up with situations like our current one with disproportionate representation.
I can think of several options - and I'm not sure what state law would require with this: - A few seats with districts and a few seats at large - More seats - maybe move from 7 to 9 - Election by highest number of votes - where all candidates compete for 3 seats per year, and the top 3 vote-getters get the seats. (I'm not sure how this would turn out though. You might end up getting more polarization along ideological lines.
Another idea that I think goes a LONG way toward ensuring that each city gets input - we're about to see in action next Tuesday: The Joint Board/Council meeting with the city in question. I think we ought to consider doing this when school rezoning is in question, and have the board ask each affected city to pass a resolution of support. Ultimately, the authority is with the school board, who must weigh the needs of all of the cities, but it doesn't hurt to get that input.
Posted: 2010/2/23 14:04 Updated: 2010/2/23 14:10
Re: Inequities with Lewisville High School
Your post clearly shows three things: 1. you are a LISD administrator 2. or a current LISD school board member 3. and do not have or had any children attending schools in the city of Lewisville.
Why not come down off your high horse and talk to the parents and the students in the Lewisville schools about equality. In addition, take the time to read previous comments in newspaper articles made by the current board president about the students in the Lewisville schools and you will see the reason for the comments about unequality, bias and discrimination. Your data does not eradicate the subtle socio-economic and racial discrimination that LISD practices on a daily basis.
I am sorry, but LISD can and should no longer hide their discriminatory practices behind data.
Posted: 2010/2/25 0:15 Updated: 2010/2/25 0:43
Re: Inequities with Lewisville High School
Would it really matter what my identity is? I am most interested in presenting facts and not prejudging opinions based on assumed identity. Truly, such tactics are the last refuge of those whose arguments have run shallow and grounded on the shoals.
I am not sure what news comments you are referencing but would enjoy reviewing the comments to see your concerns, so please provide a link here.
Hiding discriminatory practices behind data? Do you realize how crazy that sounds? Sure would not wish to let the facts of the matter get in the way of a good unfounded arguement.
It is discouraging to read about concerns with "subtle socio-economic and racial discrimination that LISD practices on a daily basis." If you truly have concerns there you should spend your time complaining to school administrators or Board members (I am neither by the way, nor do I have a child in the LHS feeder but I did live over there for almost 15 years) rather than wasting it by posting on this blog.
Re: Mike McDaniel (Tommy Kim challenger) raises alarming ...
I was just reading the Lewisville Leader version of that, and was thinking I need to update the article to include McDaniel's information. It's been a busy week for me...
Anyhow, YES - I had heard that from others, but I don't have any confirmation from the board. It might be worth it to make some calls because I think it's an important issue. You don't have a district as big as ours and limit your search. We need a regular influx of outside knowledge and expertise at every level.
In fairness, the idea of having a new tax (if needed) expire after a period of time was an idea I picked up from Mike McDaniel, Place 3 candidate. I heard Mr. McDaniel’s idea at a forum we mutually attended and thought it was great. I regret not being clear about this during my interview and apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
I'm sick and tired of the rich Flower Mound and Highland Village Residents ruining the LEWISVILLE ISD. I'm not saying I want Lewisville schools to be any better, but the Gerrymandering is absurd.
Things like breaking LHS into 4 different campuses instead of just BUILDING ANOTHER SCHOOL makes no sense. BUT because the new Marcus football stadium was placed on the same referendum, and Lewisvillians DEFINITELY want them OUT of their parking lot, it passed.
It goes against Farmer Pride to do the things to that campus that this board is doing. A school of 100+ years should get a little more respect for being the flagship school of the district.
But it's all Lewisville's fault if they don't get out and vote.
I want to say thanks to Flower Mound for the support they gave to Knapp, Foughty, and Latham. Sometimes things seem to divide our cities, but yesterday showed that lots of Flower Mound voters want change at LISD, just like the people in Lewisville do.