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Q&A with Rick Gann, candidate for Stephenville ISD board of trustees, place 2.

Updated: May 3


Rick Gann

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


A: I believe the most important role is being fiscally responsible with budgets and taxpayer funds while providing the opportunity for the children of Stephenville ISD to grow into "Champions" who become outstanding role models and productive citizens of our community.


Change is inevitable and thinking outside the box needs to become the norm. 


An effective leader is one that communicates, makes sound business decisions and promotes all aspects of the educational process in the community. 


The youth of SISD are our future, and it is important that SISD Board Trustees create an environment where they are prepared for the next stage of their lives.



Q:  What are the biggest challenges currently facing Stephenville ISD?


A: As trustees, several challenges require priority to ensure the health of our district.  


One of the primary concerns should be retaining our best educators. We continue to lose them, which hinders our district's progress.  


Stephenville ISD is an A-rated school district, but it must continue to strive for excellence. With the ESSER grant set to expire on September 30, 2024, we must take immediate action to prevent any negative consequences for our teachers and students.  


Another issue is the loss of students to private or home schooling, so it is crucial that we offer a well-rounded program that appeals to both parents and children.  


Finally, the Stephenville stadium is a significant financial undertaking, narrowly supported by the voting populace, and we must ensure the community receives precisely what was promised under the $39 million bond.



Q:  What are the SISD’s greatest strengths?


A: Stephenville has earned the title of 'City of Champions' due to the exceptional talent across its school district.  


This achievement is a result of the dedication of educators and the unwavering support of the community.


I would be proud and humbled to be a part of the Stephenville ISD board.



Q: What do you see as your priorities for SISD?


First, I plan to embrace local and traditional values that can benefit not only the students but also their parents and the community. Our students are the future leaders, and we must have them assimilate into this special community with an appreciation of its greatness. The result will be strong community leadership for years to come.


Second, financial health is crucial for the success of any organization. Budgets must be adhered to and savings obtained where possible. This will help maximize the funds for future champions of the Stephenville School District and make the most of our tax dollars.


Third, I would develop a plan to properly resource our dedicated educators so Stephenville ISD can reach its full potential. 


Lastly, the community must continue to have a conservative mindset to safeguard the future of Stephenville. I am that conservative voice. Our students are the future leaders of our city, and we must ensure they are protected and provided with various avenues to succeed during their educational years. 



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 had the privilege of serving on multiple boards over the years, one of which is the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) for 12 years.  

 

During my time with the club, I have been honored to be elected to various positions, including President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, and board of director.  

 

ASCA is a non-profit corporation which maintains the largest single-breed registry in the US, boasting an impressive international membership of 10,000 individuals and providing nine competitive programs. 

 

The Board of Directors consists of nine members from different parts of the country and conducts business using Robert's Rules of Order. 

 

Through my involvement with ASCA, I gained valuable experience working collaboratively with others from varied backgrounds to benefit the organization as a whole. 

 

As President, I followed a policy of transparency, and I strove to keep lines of communication open and flowing between the board and the membership. The second time I was elected President was at a time of financial crisis for the organization.

 

By conducting a careful business operations audit and a financial analysis of our situation, I was able to identify and make difficult cuts and guide the organization back to a profitable path.

 

Today I am proud to say ASCA is back on stable financial ground. I'm confident my twelve years of experience on this board will enable me to make meaningful contributions as a member of the Stephenville School Board and help pave the way for future Champions.



Q: When you find yourself with a minority opinion while discussing a board topic, how do you proceed through the process once a decision has been made?


A: Throughout my experience, I have found myself on the minority side on many occasions.  


I approach these discussions with passion and clarity, always striving to ensure that my counterparts fully understand alternative options based on reason and logic.  


Furthermore, I believe it is essential for the public to witness my position for accountability purposes.  


However, as an effective leader, I also understand that once a majority decision has been made, it is time to move forward. 



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