Cedar Hill ISD Board Candidate Gayle Sims

Focus Daily News has sent the following questions to ALL candidates running for the Midlothian ISD School Board. We do not modify the answers in any way and publish them exactly as they were submitted to us.

Cedar Hill ISD School Board Place 1 Candidate/incumbent: Gayle Sims (running unopposed)

Please provide a high-level overview of your past commitments/experiences, and those of your children, with respect to the school district for which you are attending school board trustee.

I have been a board member since 2017. My husband and I moved to
Cedar Hill in 2000. Our children graduated from Kansas public schools.

What is your vision for education in our district/community? More financial investment, develop academic programs like JROTC & CTE, be specific.

My vision first and foremost for Cedar Hill ISD that we, as Trustees with the Superintendent, is to provide the best educational programs that ensure academic success for all students. CHISD’s vision for the district is to “unleash the potential of every longhorn”.

What does advocacy mean to you and how will you advocate for students and teachers?

As a board, we work with our superintendent to bring the best
education possible for our students and that our teachers have the tools they need to
they can provide the best teaching programs. We meet production challenges
ways that result in the best interests of our students and staff.

In such a competitive market, how will you approach the recruitment of teachers and staff and retention? Have you spoken with teachers in the district about their concerns/challenges
and do you feel they are being heard?

CHISD has an ongoing recruitment process and offers competitive salaries and benefits to teachers and staff. A mentor/mentee program has been put in place to help all new recruits acclimate to CHISD. This program gives employees a sense of belonging which contributes to their retention.

When it comes to managing school finances, approving a budget and setting tax rates, how honor the taxpayer when considering the district fund balance.

My main goal when it comes to school finances is that we as a district stick to our budget. The district is required to set a tax rate sufficient to ensure maintenance and operation and to guarantee the payment of interest on the bonds. The balance of the fund is provided to protect the district.

What is your position on equity in education? In addition to the role of the DEI, what additional steps should be taken to meet the needs of EVERY Student in this District?

Equity and equality are vitally important to ensure that all student needs are met. Provide
opportunities for every student is essential to the well-being of all students.

Do you agree with how the district has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and if not, with what would you have done it differently?


What do you plan to do to address training at the campus level to ensure that the IEP and/or 504 are implemented?

As trustees, we offer support to parents, teachers, counselors
and administrators to identify, evaluate, and develop a 504 hosting plan designed to
support eligible services.

What do you think of the banning of certain books in classrooms and libraries? What in your opinion, makes a book “ok” to ban?

It is essential that age-appropriate books are in the classrooms. Age-appropriate books should be provided to critically challenge a student’s thinking.

How do you rank social-emotional learning as a school board priority, specifically given the struggles due to covid?

SEL is a primary goal along with student outcome goals. The district secures opportunities through classroom instruction, monthly training, staff professional development, and lunchrooms on all campuses.

Our country has recently seen a movement to introduce politics into all facets of society, including public education and school board campaigns and operations, which are traditionally non-partisan. What role, if any, do you believe politics plays in
the role of a school counselor?

The academic success of students and their emotional well-being are above all politics. Students, faculty and staff will always take priority over politics.

School trustees are elected to be leaders and to manage what can be difficult sometimes decisions. Please describe your leadership style – give an example.

As Trustee, my role is to hire and oversee our sole employee, the Superintendent. I expect him to implement the vision and mission set by the board and to keep the board informed of how this is being accomplished.

Early voting begins April 25, Election Day is May 7, 2022.

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