Manvel’s Pickren newest AISD Trustee

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Manvel resident Julie Pickren will become the newest Trustee for the Alvin Independent School District (AISD). Three seats were up for election this May but all seats were uncontested and no formal election was conducted. In addition to Pickren assuming the Position 1 seat to be vacated by Mike Lansford, two incumbents return for second terms. Cheryl Harris will maintain the Position 3 seat and Regan Metoyer the Position 2 seat. Both are residents of Alvin.

Pickren had considered running for the school board for over a year and explains her desire to be on the Board: “I believe it is a great opportunity to serve our community. Because I have a passion for business and for children this seemed to be a wonderful way to combine the two.” She has lived in the Pearland area all her life and has been on the west side for 8 years. She brings a variety of experience: “First, I am a business owner and tax payer. Because of this, I will do due diligence when working with the board and administrators concerning budgets. I understand the responsibility we have as a district to our tax payers to provide the best education possible for our children while being responsible with their tax dollars. Second, my husband and I have worked/traveled extensively around the world. Because of the growth on the west side of the district, we need to have a world view that embraces people of different cultures. One thing that I have learned in my travels is no matter where you are from, we all love our children and want the best for them. Third, I am nursery director at my church. My love for children is evident in the hours I volunteer in our church’s children’s ministry. Last, but most important, I am a mom. I know when my little boys leave to go to school in the morning that I expect for them to have a safe, structured, and exciting learning environment to prepare them for the future.”

Pickren thinks the greatest opportunity for the district is its rapid growth: “In the short term, the growth on the west side presents the opportunity for us to create an exciting culture of learning and new opportunities for athletics and fine arts. It is wonderful to see the pride in our schools from the administrators, teachers, parents, and students. Long term, we need to consider the growth that will be happening on the east side of the district with the expansion of the grand parkway. As a school board we need to work cohesively with the administrators and community to make sure we are doing all we can to build schools, recruit and train staff, and foster classroom learning so we can be the best district in Texas.”

She describes her representation on the school board as being filtered through three core beliefs: “All kids matter, empowering teachers with the tools and resources necessary to have a successful classroom, and responsible spending in our district.” She believes in “servant leadership and will welcome parent and community input concerning the district because we all want to see our children succeed.”

Cheryl Harris graduated from Alvin High School in1984 and received an Associates Degree from Alvin Community College in 1987. She says she is passionate about education and is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community and the school district as a trustee for the past three years. She considers herself a unique trustee as she served as Secretary to the Director of Special Education at AISD for nine years. As she explains it, “I gained experience working with students with disabilities, the school district budget process, and an understanding of federal funds and special program applications.” Being the daughter of a 25-year AISD teacher provides the viewpoint from a teacher’s perspective and being a parent to two former AISD students provides a perspective from parents, alumni, and taxpayers. “With these experiences I believe my input is valuable and will benefit the district as the decisions the board makes reach far, affecting jobs, resources and most importantly, the education of all children.”

Harris considers the greatest challenge facing the district is “keeping up with the fast-paced growth and providing permanent seats for each student as well as ensure that existing campuses are equitable to the newly constructed campuses so that all students have access to quality learning environments.” She would like to continue the expansion of the career and technology center course offerings at the high schools and annex because “CTE is not all about learning trade skills but rather it is the cornerstone for bachelor and master degrees with classes that set the foundation for careers in nursing, education, veterinary medicine, and many others. I also believe that equipping students with skills to graduate with marketable trades, if they choose not to pursue a four year degree, is a commitment to success for every student at every school.” She is “proud that the CTE is expanding its master plan to include course offerings in oil and gas, medical, and the re-investment into the automotive trades.”

Regan Metoyer says she has “proudly served (as a Trustee) for the past three years and cherish all of the relationships I have made with the staff, students, parents, and community members in Alvin ISD.” She looks forward to continuing to serve the community saying, “Student success is my focus and will continue to be.” Metoyer has worked in higher education for over 17 years. She is the mother to two AISD students, one graduating this year from Alvin High School and another at Passmore Elementary.

Metoyer says she has learned valuable lessons during her first term as a Trustee, “mainly that the board establishes the tone, direction and goals for the district. The school board, the team of seven, sets policy, approves the budget, approves contract, and hires and evaluates the superintendent. I believe that our board and our new superintendent have established a trusting working relationship and I want to remain a part of the team.” She would like to see “continued focus on academic performance, retaining quality teachers and staff, and keeping up with the fast-paced growth of the district.”

All three candidates will be sworn in at the June 9 regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.

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