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Q&A with Ben McCleery, candidate for Stephenville ISD Board of Trustees.

Ben McCleery

Q. What do you believe is the most important role of a school board member?

A. The role of a school board is to hire the superintendent, adopt a budget, and to set policies for the school district. But, I believe the most important role of the school board is to represent the citizens, taxpayers, parents, students and staff of this school district.

It is important to communicate with them and give them a voice in the education of their children.

Q. What do you perceive to be the biggest challenge facing the district and how do you propose that challenge be addressed?

A. There are certainly some budget and staffing concerns for our district. Losing students to other schools is also concerning.

But, our biggest challenge is meeting the regulations and requirements of the state, while maintaining our own identity and values.

We are not Houston, Austin or San Antonio. We are Stephenville, Tx.

Q. Have you ever worked with a board? If so, describe the experience. If not, what do you envision about the experience?

A. I have been on an advisory board at Tarleton State University, and worked with several boards at churches and in engineering and construction.

First, to be effective working on a board, one must be informed. I have been meeting with SISD administrators at different campuses, our superintendent, and existing board members, as well as attending board meetings.

Secondly, to be an effective board member one must work together as a team. We won’t always agree on everything, but we must work together. We must be respectful.

Q. What are your priorities for SISD?

A. I want the very best education for our students in a safe environment.

I want SISD to be a district where the students, teachers and staff feel appreciated, respected and loved.

I want our students to know that we care for them and it’s not just about scores on a test, but we truly care.

I believe that teachers are sometimes under-valued. I want teachers to know the school board has their back and that we appreciate all that they do.

Q. What educational and career experiences in your background make you the most qualified candidate for this position?

A. I have lived in Stephenville my whole life. It’s my home. I love my town and the people in it.

My wife, Kris, taught at SISD for many years until retirement, and still helps tutor children at the school. Our daughter, Jordan, is in her 9th year of teaching school. I understand what teachers do, how much they care and how hard they work.

Throughout my career at TxDOT and pastoring a church, I have worked with budgets. I believe you don’t spend more money than you have.

Lastly, I spent 30 years in engineering and construction, and still teach construction today.

My experience will enable me to help give insight and ask questions about the design and construction of the new football stadium. I want to make a positive impact on the school board if elected.


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