Early voting continues in the District 1 runoff for Midland ISD school board.
James Fuller and Michael Booker were the top-2 vote-getters from the Nov. 3 election and the winner of the Dec. 15 runoff will represent the east Midland area that includes areas around the following campuses: Milam Elementary, Lee Freshman High School, Pease Communications and Technology, Coleman High School, Gen. Tommy Franks Elementary (the former Crockett Elementary), Washington STEM Academy and Carver Center.
Those in precincts 201, 203, 305, 308 and 310 are eligible to vote.
The following is a recap of comments made from both men during the Reporter-Telegram Facebook Forum held in October.
About questions they would ask during upcoming superintendent interviews.
Fuller: He would focus primarily on a candidate’s vision for the district and philosophy in regards to education and working with a school board. Specifically, he would ask about familiarity with Lone Star Governance as Fuller said during the form the he believes in the program. “That is where we are and (the candidate’s response) will tell me whether they will be a good fit.”
Fuller also said he will ask about a candidate’s history in working with communities and how to build a “productive relationship” with the community in Midland.
Booker: He said he will ask about where a candidate standards on academics, the person’s vision for academics for Midland ISD and what motivates the person to be a superintendent for Midland ISD.
About what they think the board can improve on and where the district is lagging
Booker: He said teacher morale was a big issue and that the district needed to get their trust back. “They have to trust us not to retaliate in a negative way.” Booker said he worried this impacts motivation in the classroom.
Fuller: While Fuller said there is a morale issue, he said he didn’t believe it was an “across-the-board phenomenon that continues to stifle progress.” He said if that were the case, the district wouldn’t have seen turnaround taking place. He said board members have a goal of providing more autonomy to the campuses. That transition, he said, will take time. He also said that there is a morale problem from top down and bottom up in the district, but that the community asked for change and innovation and leadership has brought that to the table.
Fuller also took the opportunity to say that no board member can turn anything around by himself or herself – a “naïve notion” that some candidates have, he said. “It is what you do in concert with the board members and superintendent that make up the team of eight.”
About whether the System of Great Schools in working in Midland
Booker: The System of Great Schools is not working as nine schools are failing, including five campuses in District 1, he said. “I think we need to find something different. We need to go to the teachers to see if they can figure out something that will work.”