Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

May 8, 2013

Mineral Wells ISD School Board Place 4 Candidates


Mineral Wells Index

— The Index asked Mineral Wells ISD candidates for Place 4, incumbent Scott Aaron and challenger Paul Harrison, five questions to help voters decide which candidate to support. They were asked to limit their responses to 300 words per question.



Election day voting is Saturday, May 11, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All MWISD and City of Mineral Wells elections take place at the Palo Pinto County Annex/Poston Building, located at 107 North Oak Ave. in Mineral Wells.

Paul Harrison



Background information

Paul Harrison, 33, graduated from Mineral Wells High School in 1999. He works for Baker Hughes Incorporated as a senior equipment operator. His daughter, Journey Harrison, is a first-grader at Lamar Elementary. Harrison is an active member of Mineral Wells Church of God working in media. I have worked with Mineral Wells ISD for about five years.



Q: What is the importance of Mineral Wells ISD to this community and what can a school board trustee do to strengthen the district's functionality?



A: MWISD is our future in Mineral Wells. I believe that our community shares the same high level of commitment and vision for our schools. We can strengthen by listening to our teachers and staff with their concerns and work as team member within the board.



Q: Student academic achievement is always an issue, especially in light of the new STAAR tests and state measuring system. What would you do, if elected, to ensure the district improves in academics and raises the bar enough so students are prepared for college, work and a successful life?



A: If elected, I would keep the CSCOPE curriculum intact within the ISD. We would try to do more research to have tougher classes for High School and provide more opportunities with developing more classes with area colleges and workplaces within our community. Most importantly all students need to be ready whether they are going to college or not.



Q: The district is currently undergoing a facilities assessment. With decreasing state revenues for public schools, how would you approach generating revenue to address facility needs?



A: I’m unable to answer this question without gathering all resources on the subject.



Q: How has your experience and background uniquely prepared you for the duties of a school board member?



A: Lived in Mineral Wells all my life and am a taxpayer. I am a former student in the district, a father and have worked within the school district for five years.



Q: What are other issues facing the district and what would you most like to accomplish as a Mineral Wells ISD trustee during your term, if elected?



 A: I worked with teachers and staff and saw their frustration. Our teachers work so hard with little pay. If elected, I believe that we can find ways to increase their pay putting them above the state minimum.

Scott Aaron



Background information:

Scott Aaron was born in Weatherford and has lived in Mineral Wells for over 35 years, attending Mineral Wells ISD schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. He has been married for 18 years to a MWISD graduate. We have three children – a daughter who attends Mineral Wells High School, a son who will be in junior high next year, and a daughter who attends Lamar Elementary. My mother taught for MWISD for years and recently retired and still lives in Mineral Wells. I work in the oilfield industry as a co-owner of an oilfield construction business and am very active in youth programs in our community. I enjoy playing golf, watching football, playing softball, hunting, fishing and most of all – activities with my family and friends.



Q: What is the importance of Mineral Wells ISD to this community and what can a school board trustee do to strengthen the district's functionality?



A: MWISD is responsible for the education of our community’s children. I think it is our responsibility to provide the very best opportunity for a quality education by providing the highest quality teachers, facilities, curriculum, programs and administration possible. Graduating educated, productive members of society will only strengthen our community and continue to make Mineral Wells a great place to live and work. By staying up to date with current legislation concerning schools and with news from other school districts nationwide and trying to maintain a proactive rather than reactive stance, a board trustee can strengthen the district’s functionality. A school board trustee can serve as a liaison between the community, businesses, parents, teachers, students and the district’s administration by listening to opinions and concerns and filtering the information to the administration. This process can help guide the district in a positive direction.



Q: Student academic achievement is always an issue, especially in light of the new STAAR tests and state measuring system. What would you do, if elected, to ensure the district improves in academics and raises the bar enough so students are prepared for college, work and a successful life?

A: Teachers are the backbone of any educational system, by providing high standards and expectations for our educators and listening to their wants, needs, desires and opinions in relation to preparing our students for adult life and then using this information in a manner that allows our district to tailor a program that provides the best infrastructure possible including technology, curriculum, personnel, programs and every aspect that it takes to prepare students for successful careers and productive lives. The difficulty lies in doing all these things while following the guidelines provided by our government. Meshing these two ideas together in the best possible manner is one way we can continue to improve our district’s quality of education.



Q: The district is currently undergoing a facilities assessment. With decreasing state revenues for public schools, how would you approach generating revenue to address facility needs?



A: One purpose of a facility needs assessment is to bring in an outside party to gather facts about our district’s facilities and future growth, an “objective” opinion from someone outside MWISD with experience from districts all over the state and nation that will look at our district with an open mind, gathering information from past experience and applying it to our district’s needs. As a district we have to be very financial conscientious and keep the quality of education for our students a top priority. An important part of quality education is facilities, and in order to build new facilities and improve existing ones, we have to spend money. Since 2007-2008 MWISD has been able to reduce our budget by 1.9 million dollars without effecting our student’s education. A bond election is one possible way to generate revenue to improve our district. If we focus on education and the results of the needs assessment as the purpose of the bond, I think it could be a successful endeavor for the district.



Q: How has your experience and background uniquely prepared you for the duties of a school board member?



A: My experience and training in sales for the last 15-plus years has given me the ability to deal with different personalities on a daily basis. I was lucky enough to learn from a very driven, successful, respected and dedicated leader in our community that I worked for about 16 years. I believe in respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for your actions and accountability for decisions made. These are traits that my parents believed in and passed on to me, these are traits that I try to pass on to my children, and traits that I try to apply to MWISD. The best interest of the students in our district, our children, is and will remain my top priority.



Q: What are other issues facing the district and what would you most like to accomplish as a Mineral Wells ISD trustee during your term, if elected?



A: Parental involvement is one of the main issues that concern me. Parents mold their children in so many ways and sometimes don’t realize the effects they have on their children on a daily basis. The more positive parental involvement in our children’s education, the better off our community and society in general will be. Drug testing is another issue that needs to be addressed. If random testing can stop just one child from drug abuse, our community is better off. Facilities, curriculum, financial stability, life skills, athletics, extracurricular activities, the list goes on and on. I believe in trying to repair the holes in our ship rather than searching for life preservers. Let’s fix the problems that we have rather than abandoning ship and starting over.