About the Election:

It’s not too early to start researching issues and candidates in the next election!

Early voting is April 22-30

Election Day is May 4


Thank you so much to the candidates for taking the time on April 10 to share at SAGE’s annual GCISD school board candidate forum that focuses solely on gifted and advanced academics questions.

PLACE 4 Candidates:

  • Mike McCoy
  • Lisa Pardo (represented at this forum by Karen Deakin)

PLACE 3 Candidates:

  • Tommy Snyder
  • Louie Sullins


Forum Questions

On Video Part 1 of 2

(Time 00:00) Opening statements.

Three questions from the SAGE Board were given ahead of time to the candidates.

(Time 04:12) Q1) Do you think the current levels of district spending should be different? If so, at what priority level would you place gifted services? What is your commitment to continuing the current level of support for GT students in GCISD?

(Time 09:29) Q2) What are your ideas for ways the district can support the social and emotional intensities of gifted students?

(Time 14:15) Q3) Legislation for school funding is currently in the Texas House & Senate. What are your opinions about Texas lawmakers’ proposal to fund Gifted Education from the General Allotment? How would you as a local Trustee make a decision on how to fund GT programs without a State-funded GT Allotment? (Please be up to date on this issue the day of this candidate forum; it changes daily).

Audience questions:

(Time 11:46) Audience Q4) How do you prepare GT children today to work in the organizations (of tomorrow) that stifle creative and independent thought?

On Video Part 2 of 2

(Time 00:00) Audience Q5) Our AP teachers are some of the lowest paid in the area. Over the past 10 years their salary increases have not even kept up with inflation. How can we move a greater percentage of budget to our teachers? Will you commit to doing this?

(Time 03:19) Audience Q6) How do you propose giving AP teachers more money; where will that money come from?

(Time 05:53) Audience Q7) Some of the AP classes have more than 50% of the students failing the AP exam at the end of the course. These kids are taking the course for “exposure” only and still receiving good grades in the course. Do you have any concerns about these high failure rates?

(Time 09:03) Audience Q8) Do you have any ideas/proposals about GT testing for eligibility to happen outside regular school hours?

(Time 11:48) Audience Q9) Are you familiar with EA Young Academy and special services they offer to highly gifted, e.g., dedicated college-track counselors and social-emotional advocates? Do you envision ASPIRE Academy can evolve to that level? What do you see as immediate improvements to ASPIRE Academy, especially for high school?

(Time 14:41) Audience Q10) Not all ASPIRE students start at elementary/middle school. Any thoughts to what we should do to improve the experience and adaptation for ASPIRE students who are new to the program in high school?

(Time 17:17) Audience Q11) Do you think there should even be ASPIRE at the high school level, or maybe just Advanced Academics in general?

(Time 19:09) Audience Q12) Experience tells us that often substitute teachers may not have the same experience or maybe even understanding of gifted/highly gifted students. How do we ensure these students receive the same level of instruction when a long-term substitute is required?

(Time 21:14) Audience Q13) We all can agree students are 2e (twice exceptional). What would you do about students in special services who are also GT but not tested.

End of forum

We had technical difficulties with the video during the session. The video disk space ran out and our videographer had to change disks mid-forum, so we were unable to record the candidates’ answers to the following questions from the audience:

Audience Q14) Have you ever been to Austin to advocate for public education or gifted education?



Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Community room @ Stacy’s Furniture, Grapevine

  • 11:30 a.m. Brown bag & meet and greet
  • Noon start

We have given the candidates 3 questions ahead of time from our board, related to gifted — funding, services provided, and social-emotional support. The audience can submit additional questions on index cards. We’ll only use questions about gifted, advanced academics, acceleration. We’ll get to as many questions as we can. Typically we’ve given leftover questions to the candidates to answer later in writing if they choose.


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