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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 19, 2017     Hays Free Press
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April 19, 2017

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DAM Buda teams up to bypass Garlic Creek beaver dam. - Page 1C Hays Free Press April 19, 2017 Page 3B BY MOSES LEOS III istrict leadership, growth and the upcoming May 2017 bond were topics addressed by four of the six can- didates battling for a seat on the Hays CISD board of trustees. District 1 incumbent trustee Teresa Tobias, along with trustee At-Large candidates Debbie Munoz, Doyla Burrell and Van- essa Petrea, fielded questions in the Hays Educators Associa- tion/Texas State Teachers As- sociation forum April 11. DISTRICT 1 Tobias, who was elected to her position in 2014, said she filed for reelection to finish what she started. She also wants to be a voice for children with special needs, as she is a mother of an autistic child. Charles McNiel, Jr. one of two candidates running against Tobias, did not attend due to a work commitment, but said through a statement that he didn't approach the position with "malice to my incumbent opponent, or anyone in Hays CISD" or didn't have "axes to grind." However, McNiel said he has concerns for underserved chil- dren and that he was "disheart- ened" by fiscal priorities within the district. Candidate Michelle Ray Carey did not respond to HEA/TSTA requests to attend. Tobias said growth, social and behavioral programs, and com- munications between teachers and administration are the three biggest issues in Hays CISD. Tobias said she believes the district is an employee friendly organization, but there is "always room for improve- ment." The district has pushed its human resources depart- ment to recruit in areas such as bilingual and special education, as well as recruit in other areas of the state, such as south Texas, Tobias said. She was in favor of both Proposition 1 and 2 in the May 2017 bond, but advocated for more community involvement in the process of crafting future proposals. "When we do this again, which will come up with our growth, we need to look at how Candidates discussing the bonds at the TSTA forum are (L-R) Teresa Tobias, "When we do this again, which will come up with our growth, we need to look at how we can better involve the community." -Teresa Tobias, HCISD board District 1 candidate, on the May 2017 bond election we can better involve the com- munity," Tobias said. But there was room for im- provement for district leader- ship, Tobias said. When asked about her familiarity with the district's budget, Tobias said there are areas that still need work, but the budget is still a work in progress. She advocated for increasing SPED in several areas and possibly improving technology. AT-LARGE A split on support of the district's May bond, along with satisfaction with district leader- ship, highlighted debate among Munoz, Burrell and Petrea. All three are vying for the seat held by outgoing trustee Sandra Bryant, who is not running for reelection. Munoz and Petrea supported Proposition 1 and 2 in the bond, but Petrea felt the district need- ed to improve how it analyzes and improves design, as well as a need for transparency about future projects. Burrell wasn't in favor of the district's $189 million Proposition 1, which calls for the construction of three new campuses. Burrell, who was on the district's Growth Impact PHOTO BY MOSES LE0S III Doyla Burrell, Vanessa Petrea and Debbie Munoz. Committee for the bond, said she was "disappointed" in how it was presented and wanted more options. "Schools can be built for less money," Burrell said. "I'm not in favor of spending that much money." But Burrell said she favored Proposition 2, which features improvements to Career and Technology Education (CTE) fa- cilities. Burrell, who is a military veteran, said she supports CTE as an option for students not seeking college. Burrell said she felt the district leadership "could be better" and felt more leadership training and improvement in communication skills is impor- tant. Munoz, a Kyle resident who served on the Kyle City Coun- cil and made an unsuccessful bid for trustee several years ago, said holding top leader- ship accountabile is key, and said transparency and visibility could be done better. Petrea, a former PTA presi- dent and manager of a law firm, said she was "disappointed lately" in the district leadership. Petrea said the district needs a visionary leader, as well as a transformative leader when it came to growth. She added with the right leadership in place, the district "could have done a better job communitafing" the bond. But she also has seen hostil- ity between the board and the district at times. "I feel like they've asked ques- tions and not gotten the an- swers. They have to push harder and harder," Petrea said. "It can be viewed as hostile or that tactics aren't professional. I've been proud of board members pushing back on the district to get the answers." Petrea said growth, a lack of vision and the need for social and behavioral programs are her top three issues in the district. Burrell said leadership, educating students and growth were her big three bullet points. Munoz cited growth, ac- countability with leadership and recruiting and retaining top educators are three issues in the district. "We want our top educators to stay and be engaged and be happy," Munoz said. "We should look at attracting educators to the district and keep stipends competitive." PHOTOS BYJIMCULLEN (Left) Capping off a brilliant program showing, the Lehman High School Lobos Varsity Treble Choir rolled to a Sweepstakes win in the Region 18 UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Assessment. Staged at the HCISD Performing Arts Center, the event brought choirs from across Central Texas, with the Andrea Baragas and Thomas Duebner-directed group scoring with a virtually flaw- less string of judges' scoresheets. (Right) Hays High School's Choir program finished up a great week. The Reb Varsity Mixed Choir taking a Sweepstakes trophy in its Region 18 UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Assessment. It was a great program showing for the week, with Director Charles Flores voicing his appreciation to all of the students in his choirs for the uncounted hours of practice that went into this year's UIL performances. New Braunfels Area Car Club Swap Meet & Sunday Car Show April 21-23, 2017 Comal County Fairgrounds 801 E. Common Street, New Braunfels www, newbraunfelscarclub,c0m, No Dogs Please APRIL 29-30 AT THE BUDA CITY PARK IN BUDA, TX (JUSTSOUTH OFAUSTIN) FOR MORE INFO, VISIT OUR WEBSITE: www.BUDALIONS.coM ii!!: ! ~i~ ii ~ .....