Candidates offer voters choices in upcoming school board election

Waving+in+the+wind%2C+four+school+board+election+campaign+signs+stand+on+one+side+of+Prosper+High+School.+This+year%2C+there+are+five+candidates+running+for+Place+4%2C+and+two+candidates+running+for+Place+7.+Early+voting+is+held+April+19-27%2C+and+is+followed+by+election+day+May+1.

Maddie Moats

Waving in the wind, four school board election campaign signs stand on one side of Prosper High School. This year, there are five candidates running for Place 4, and two candidates running for Place 7. Early voting is held April 19-27, and is followed by election day May 1.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Voters will head to the polls to select between five candidates running for Place 4 and two candidates running for Place 7 in the Prosper Independent School District board election, which happens May 1. Early voting goes from April 19-27.

The Virtual Prosper Chamber of Commerce will introduce the school board candidates in a meeting, Thursday, April 15. In order to run, candidates must have lived in the state for over a year and lived in the district for at least six months. They also must be a U.S. citizen who is 18 years or older and cannot have been convicted of a felony or declared mentally incapacitated. The 2021 board candidates each submitted a picture and bio to Eagle Nation Online to inform students and community members of their stances. Voters must be registered in the state of Texas and live within Prosper ISD.

Place 4 candidates

Bill Beavers

“What a great honor it is to work with the excellent leadership and educators of Prosper ISD to make our school district one of the very best in the state of Texas. My vision for Prosper ISD is that when people around the area, state and nationally think about public education, they think about Prosper ISD. I want Prosper ISD to be the standard for excellence in public education. Our exponential growth indicates how sought-after our district has become, so I believe we are well on our way. We must prepare for and thrive in the midst of our challenges, giving our students the best possible educational experience and providing them with a solid foundation for great future success. Our kids deserve nothing less. I do not take lightly the responsibility entrusted to us by the wonderful community we serve and look forward to the task ahead of us as we prepare for and strive toward a bright future in Prosper ISD. ” (Courtesy of Bill Beavers)

Pat Cochrane

“Our family moved to Prosper from Plano in 2019 to be part of the great community we enjoy here. Like many families, we’d heard nothing but the best about what Prosper ISD had to offer, and my wife Emily and I wanted Caleb, 6, and Matthew, 4, to grow and learn in the great schools here. We loved the ‘small town, big heart’ feel we were welcomed with and were glad to meet so many families aligned to the same values and principles we wanted our boys to grow in. Prosper is rapidly growing, and while that growth is something to be celebrated, we know many families hope that we can stay true to the community of values and principles that brought many here in the first place:  explosive growth, but with that same ‘small town, big heart’ feel. I am highly invested in creating firm foundations for all the children in our community to help them succeed. Our children will be the next generation of leaders to guide our country, and I desire to serve as part of that growth and development. I have 12 years of military officer experience in the United States Army and Texas Army National Guard and have served in leadership roles in technology and retail, including a Fortune 50 beverage retailer. I want to leverage this collaborative and effective leadership experience to help serve my community in the best way possible. I have my MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and BBA from Texas Tech University. I am a 2001 graduate of Lubbock High School in Lubbock, Texas, Go Westerners!” (Courtesy of Patrick Cochrane)

Alexander Cornwallis

Alexander Cornwallis is a Senior Cloud Architect and a technology transformation expert who partners with CEOs, executives and principal engineers to grow and transform their organization into the 21st century. With two decades of working in technology for multimillion dollar brands and startups, Alex knows what truly drives a transformation and success in an organization. He understands where and how to emphasize development and transformations, and where attention is needed. Additionally, Alex has learned from experience that it’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them, is the key ingredient to true success.
Alex is a current resident of prosper since 2016, he is happily married and lives with his wife and children who attend the prosper ISD schools. In his free time, Alex loves to travel with the family, particularly to Europe. Denmark and other Scandinavian regions are his favorite destinations due to his fascination with the history of the Viking Culture.
Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, master’s degree in Software Systems, and is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Software Engineering from Harvard University.
Finally, Alex is a true believer in lifelong learning, and that is why he can truly connect to Students who are navigating towards success. His motto is: “Keep learning, keep challenging, and keep rollin’!!”.

Bettye H. Okae

“When my family was given the opportunity to relocate to Texas with my job with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, we had the option to choose any city we wanted. I fell in love with Prosper, Texas. Prosper stood out to us because of the small-town feel, and my husband and I believed it would be the perfect place to raise and educate our children. I look forward to contributing my skills and service to the board that currently leads this award-winning district. Prosper ISD has in place the foundation needed to continue modeling an exemplary education and administration systems. I understand that we have some diversity challenges, but with the right board that represents this diverse community and listening to the parent concerns and adopt policies that benefit ‘all’ students will continue to elevate this district into an elite educational system. I wanted this district to focus more on promoting diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices, enforce policies and procedures, and provide additional resources that will leave no child behind academically or emotionally.” (Courtesy of Bettye Okae)

Chianna Rodgers

“I am Chianna Rodgers, a candidate for Place 4 of the Prosper ISD School Board. I am a married mother of three children in the district, and an active member of the PTOs and booster clubs at their schools as well as other organizations with which my children are affiliated. I am a financial advisor, which requires me to be fiduciary on a regular basis. By definition, a fiduciary must put the needs of their clients first even if it doesn’t benefit the advisor. In other words, my business is to serve in the best interest of others. We elect school board members to serve and represent the taxpayers. My background makes me perfectly suited to do just that. I have been a stay-at-home mom in the past, and now work outside of the home. These experiences have helped me to better view situations from different perspectives. With my kids being in different grade levels and schools, this allows me to speak on the different issues that each educational level brings. For example, what my youngest child has experienced in elementary school is not the same as what my oldest, who is now in high school, experienced when she started in school. As I have extensive experience on various boards, I am confident that this will allow for an easy transition onto the PISD School Board. The district is growing rapidly, and a newly elected trustee must be able to jump in and get right to work beginning on day one. I am running for Place 4 because Prosper ISD is growing in diversity, however, currently, there is no one on the board who looks like me. The board should be representative of Prosper ISD’s entire student population. Also, I want to be part of the tremendous growth and exciting change occurring here. Like many families, ours moved here specifically for the outstanding schools.
If elected to Place 4, I intend to:
● Increase and improve communication. The community wants and deserves to know how and why many of the district’s most important decisions are made. Previously, the school board has made decisions, and Prosper ISD families are unsure why or how they came to those decisions. I will implement focus groups composed of teachers, parents and students so that we may have a better idea about what is needed as well as the most pressing issues.
● Be accessible. School board members should be present more in the community. I plan to regularly host “Coffee with the Board” type meetings, where questions that have not been pre-filtered can be posed to board members.
● Boost representation. Most Prosper School Board members reside in a small handful of local subdivisions. Previously, there has not been
anyone on the board who lives in Celina or elsewhere in the district’s outer boundaries. Similarly, no minorities have held a position on the board. I check both of those boxes as I am a Celina resident and a Black woman with children who are students in the district.” (Courtesy of Chianna Rodgers)

 

Place 7 candidates

Kristin Meier

“I am a wife and mother to four children; three currently in PISD schools and an adult daughter
who is an accomplished middle school science teacher. I graduated from Concordia State
University with a BA in Business Management. I spent the majority of my professional career as
a buyer/planner in the manufacturing industry. My family moved to Prosper 5 years ago from
Kansas City for my husband’s career. Like most families making their home in Prosper, we
moved here for the incredible education PISD is known for.  I have been honored to serve as PTO President at both the elementary and middle school level. Having been involved in PTO has allowed me a better understanding of student, staff, parent and administrative perspectives. I have also been actively involved in the Prosper ISD
PTO Council – currently serving as Vice President. I was selected to be a member of the 2019 PISD Political Action Committee and I currently part of the District Site Based Planning Committee. High school was many years ago for me, but as a varsity swimmer throughout high school, I am all too familiar with juggling school, sports, extracurricular activities, and a social life. My own children are busy with all of these things as well, so I see how hard it can be for students to juggle all of their responsibilities these days.  All of my experiences, past and present, have helped develop my view that PISD Board exists to serve the students and staff in the district. There are several complex issues the board is presently facing that include student and staff health, safety, rapid growth and the balance of program funding. As a board member I would invite students to voice ideas and concerns, and participate in the conversation as we shape the future of PISD. I am happiest serving others. I get great satisfaction and joy, giving back my time and talents to the school system that has given my children a solid foundation for their future.” (Courtesy of Kristin Meier)

Drew Wilborn

Drew Wilborn is an exemplary leader with nearly 20 years of experience managing multimillion-dollar
budgets for organizations including the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and his local church. Drew has
served on boards at state (Disability Rights Texas) and local (Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas) levels.
Drew has earned degrees in accounting (University of North Texas at Denton) and Christian education
(Dallas Baptist University). Drew has extensive experience in advocacy and desires to continue serving as an advocate for Prosper ISD students and teachers. He’s actively involved in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity,
Incorporated and is a volunteer coach for Miracle League Frisco. He is married to Danielle, and they have
two boys – Scyler and Dylan. (Courtesy of Drew Wilborn)