A total of six candidates have come forward to vie for a seat in the upcoming Glen Rose ISD school board election, and those seeking office have been asked by the Reporter to answer several questions to allow citizens the opportunity to get to know them.

Before voters head to the polls, beginning April 28 for the early voting period, and on Saturday, May 10 for election day, we would like to present the candidates to our readers.

Registered voters residing within the GRISD will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for three candidates to fill the seats on the board of trustees. Of the six school board hopefuls, three are incumbents seeking re-election.

Each candidate’s response to the following questions appear below:

1). What prompted you to sign up as a candidate for Glen Rose ISD’s board of trustees?

2). What do you feel are the two most important issues facing the local school district, and why? What do you believe can be improved at GRISD?

3). How long have you been a resident of GRISD? Do you have, or have you had, any children that attended the local schools?

4). What local civic or community organizations/clubs are you involved in (past and present)? List any leadership roles you have assumed in those organizations/committees.

5). List your educational background and any degrees or educational-related certificates and training you have received. Provide some insight into your current profession.

6). If you are an incumbent seeking re-election, when were you first elected and how many terms have you served? Have you ever been appointed as a school board officer (president or vice president)?

Dr. Mike Davis

Dr. Mike Davis was not able to respond to questions sent by the Reporter due to an out-of-town trip.

Lewis Keese

1). “What prompted me to run for GRISD school board of trustees is my dedication to the community. I feel the school staff and administration is top-notch and I am excited to keep it that way. I have been a part of this community for more than 30 years. I first enrolled in the GRISD in 1976 and graduated from Glen Rose High School in 1987. It would be an honor to serve on the GRISD board of trustees.”

2). As we all know, every school district faces issues and concerns. If i were elected to serve on the GRISD school board I would work with fellow board members and the administration to achieve the best solutions for the school district.”

3). “I have been a resident of Glen Rose ISD for 32 years. I have one child attending the local schools and one that will be attending GRISD in the near future.”

4). “I have been involved in this community for many years. My most recent contributions have been working with the local youth basketball association and I am currently serving on the Glen Rose Youth Baseball Association.”

5). “My education began in the GRISD in 1976. After graduating from Glen Rose High School I attended Tarleton State University and received a bachelor of business administration degree. Currently, my profession is in sales.”

Marilyn Phillips

1). “I have a concern for the youth in our community and a passion to give them every available educational opportunity; a deep appreciation for the exemplary teachers and employees who work with our children; and a desire to give back to this community that has given so much to me and my family.”

2). “One of my top issues affects not only Glen Rose, but districts on a state, and even national, level - the pressures of standardized testing. As a school board trustee, I expect districts to be held accountable, but personally feel the current method of the TAKS test and the pressure of the testing have both our students and teachers under too much pressure. Teachers begin to feel robotic and lose their creativity and personality in their teaching. Students dread and fear the test they hear so much about. As board members, I feel that it is our responsibility to be advocates for our children and employees and press for this issue to be addressed at a higher state level. Long range planning is hard to do in a community such as ours, but it has to be done. Over the years we have experienced slow and steady growth that we have been able to easily to manage. However, as more commercial business and developments move into Glen Rose we must to plan for the explosive growth that promises to come with those developments. It is our duty as a board to balance the planning of that growth with initiatives that benefit the district but, at the same time, act as good stewards of tax dollars and be respectful to our taxpayers in the way we manage our funds. I also feel there is always room to improve. I would love to see our district number one in everything, with academics being first on the list. I think more open communication between our district, parents and community would be a positive move in the right direction. Any successful organization can attest to the fact that feedback from employees and clients is beneficial and even crucial to its success.”

3). “I have been a resident of Glen Rose for almost 40 years. I moved here at the beginning of my sophomore year at Glen Rose High School. I graduated here in 1971 and have two daughters, Erica (class of 1999) and Amanda (class of 2001) who attended GRISD, K-12.

4). “I have had the honor and privilege of being involved in the past as a Girl Scout Leader, PTA president, 4H leader and Somervell County Operation Paintbrush. Currently I serve on the Hood/Somervell County Child Welfare Board as vice president, the Hood/Somervell County Child Advocacy Center Board, a member and past president of the Optimist Club, secretary of the Somervell County Development Commission, a member of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Ambassador member (past president), president of the GRISD Board of Trustees, and a board member of the Somervell County Crimestoppers.”

5). “I graduated from Glen Rose High School in 1973; attended Hill Junior College and completed coursework for real estate license. I currently work as a licensed Realtor and insurance broker. My husband, Wayne, and I founded Sunrise Properties Real Estate and Marilyn Phillips Insurance Agency in 1985 and continue to operate these businesses.”

6). “I was first elected to the school board in May 1998 and served three three-year terms, as well as a one year term to fulfill a vacancy on the board. I served as board secretary for two years, vice president for one year, and president for seven years. I commit to, and enjoy, attending conferences, seminars and conventions to stay abreast of issues affecting our district and Texas’ education system and maintain more than the minimum required continuing education hours for school board members.”

Kari Quinlan

1). “Several weeks ago I was reading the paper and I saw the openings in city government and on the school board. Something in my spirit said ‘Think about this.’ I smiled and thought to myself, ‘No way, not me Lord.’ Then, I walked into an office several weeks later and was talking with several people and out of the blue, someone that I really respect asked me if I had ever considered running for the school board. What a surprise! Well, I prayed about it and asked the Lord. He gave me a scripture to confirm what he wanted me to do. So, I did what he asked and went down to the administration building and picked up an application.”

2). “All my friends laugh at me because I cry at every school function, yes, even Field Day. Do you know why? Because I am so amazed and overwhelmed by the excellence of our school system. We are so blessed. We have so much and our children get to be a part of all this. Honestly, I think the current system is unbelievable. I just want to be more involved. What an opportunity. It’s hard to comment on any issues that are currently before the board because I have not seen all the information, but I will say that I am very conservative and I will always bring every issue before the Lord. I already pray for our entire school system and our children. They are our most important issue and I will always put their interests first, whether on the Board of Trustees or just as a mom.”

3). “My husband and I have been residents of the GRISD for nine years. We have one daughter in the elementary school and a son that attends the Methodist Preschool who can’t wait to go to the ‘big school.’”

4. “We attend Spirit Wind Church and were youth leaders there for several years before our children were born. I’ve been part of several ladies’ bible studies in the community. My husband and I both volunteer in the Glen Rose Youth Soccer Association. I also volunteer at the Cleburne Pregnancy Center. I am a member of the PTO and try to help in my daughter’s classroom some, but most of the time I just try to keep up with my 4-year-old son.”

5. “I graduated from Loveland High School in Loveland, Colo. From there, I went to Central Christian College in McPherson, Kans. where I earned an associate in arts degree. Then I went on to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kans. and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Horticulture. I currently own my own landscaping business in which I do mostly design work. This is wonderful because it allows me to be home most of the time with my children. We waited a long time for them and they come first.”

Kelley Snodgrass

1). “We in Somervell County are blessed with a great community, school district and student body. I would like to continue serving those listed above as one of seven board trustees.”

2). “Challenge one involves the evolving ethnic/cultural/socio-economic makeup of the student population regarding best educational practices. Challenge two involves the business complexities that face each school district. Make no mistake, school districts are businesses with the product (student education) being the most important business in existence. With the above said, I believe we as a district can continually improve the educational experience and effectiveness by making appropriate adjustments while navigating the governing and financial complexities that make up our public educational system.”

3). “I have been a Somervell County resident for the past 24 years. My wife Patty (of 25 years), and I have raised two children, Sloan and Kas, who attended GRISD from Kindergarten through 12th grade.”

4). “I currently serve on the GRISD board of trustees, the Somervell County Youth Fair Association and the FFA Alumni Association.”

5). “I received my bachelor of science degree from Tarleton State University in Agricultural Education. As a board member, I have attended many training and continuing education courses associated with the Texas Association of School Boards. I have been employed at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center for the past 24 years (I started young), where I am the Director of Animal Care. Through my profession, I serve on several national wildlife conservation steering committees.”

6). “As an incumbent, I am seeking election for my third term and currently serve as the board secretary.”

Andy Snow

1). “A little over a year ago, I began to consider the possibility of running for a seat on the GRISD board of trustees. After completing the sale of my business, I re-visited the idea of filing as a candidate this spring, and decided to follow through with it. The academic and accountability expectations are high here, and I’m compelled to help contribute to the overall progress of our district. My wife and I could not imagine raising our kids anywhere else.”

2). Managing a budget in the face of recapture (Robinhood) will always be a consistent challenge. We lose about 45 cents of every Maintenance & Operation tax dollar to recapture. Secondly, I feel we need to be cognizant of our long-term population growth. Observing the demographics of the Barnett Shale, I believe the next 10 years will bring more people to our county than did the last 10. We are not out-growing our facilities at the moment but that could change.”

3). “My family and I moved to Glen Rose in the spring of 2004. I have two children in the district. My daughter, Leah, is a sophomore, my son, Weston, is an eighth grader and my wife, Kristy, teaches seventh grade math.”

4). “Presently, my life away from work pretty much revolves around my family, church and friends. With two teens, we are never without an opportunity to be present at their activities. I also serve as a deacon in my church and am active in the Sunday School department.”

5). “After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Industrial Distribution, I spent 20 years in the chemical industry where I worked in marketing and hazardous materials management. As a business owner, I have managed personnel, accounting, sales, facility construction, payroll and regulatory compliance. I have also received firefighter certification from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and Texas Fireman’s and Fire Marshall’s Association. Currently, I office in Granbury and am a manager in the drilling division of a service company here in the Barnett Shale. If elected, I’ll take a proactive approach to resource management with the intent of doing what is right and absolutely best for all the kids of our district.”

Dates to remember

The last day to register as a voter for the upcoming local elections is Thursday, April 10.

Early voting will begin for the GRISD school board elections on Monday, April 28 and continue through Tuesday, May 6. Polls will be open at the GRISD Administration Building for early voting from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day.

On Election Day, Saturday, May 10, polls will be open at Glen Rose Town Hall for 12 hours, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The last day to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Friday, May 2, for those voters who will be out of town during the voting period. Mail-in ballots must be received by the election judge on May 10.