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Meet the Candidates: Katy ISD School Board Position 7, Dawn Champagne and Don Massey

April 19, 2018  

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

Jennifer Skelton  

 

We asked position 7 Board of Trustees candidates Dawn Champagne and Don Massey some questions to help voters learn more about these Board of Trustee candidates.

 ABOUT DAWN CHAMPAGNE

Dawn, her husband, Brett, and three children have lived in Katy for 17 years, currently residing in Kelliwood. Their three children attend and/or graduated from Taylor High School. Dawn has volunteered in Katy ISD  for over a decade at the school and district level. She also volunteers at her church, St. Peter’s UMC, and other organizations. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Houston with a Consumer Science Degree and also holds a Masters of Business Administration from University of Houston.

 

Why did you choose to run?

I feel that this is the next step for me. I am ready to be a voice for our community of students, parents and teachers.  I have spent a vast amount of my time during the last 16 years as a full time volunteer with not only Katy ISD, but also with Scouts, my church, and National Charity League. I am there, nearly on a daily basis, with the people most important to the district: the children and teachers.

What qualifies you for this position?

I have a vast amount of experience working with parents, teachers and children and a broad understanding of our district because of my involvement not only with my kids’ schools but also with numerous community organizations. I would speculate that about 80% of my time is spent working with parents, teachers, administrators or children.  I know these people (parents, teachers and children), and these are the people that the decisions made by the school board affect the most.  I am with the people who are directly involved in the day to day occurrences at our schools. I understand what the people of our district need, because I am with them on a daily basis.

What changes and improvements do you hope to implement?

The Safety and Security of our children is #1. I don’t want our kids being scared to go to school!  I want to help build a stronger relationship with the community at large. The school district is the center of the community, and therefore all community members should be heard.  I want to make sure that all kids are given equal opportunity. I want to make sure that we maintain great communication between parents, teachers and staff. Good communication is key to all problem solving.

Why do you think are you a better candidate than your opponent?

 I think that I am more qualified because I have lived in Katy for 17 years and have volunteered, on a continuous basis, with the schools in Katy ISD, and many other community organizations.  I understand the daily struggles of teachers, parents and students. I know what it’s like to run a carnival, to decorate for 8th grade dances, to raise $60,000 for project prom, to find volunteers for every single event there could ever be at every level of schools, to work with kids in every capacity you could imagine, and much more! And, I know what it’s like working with administration of every level.  I have gotten along with the principals and assistant principals at every level. I am not only experienced, I am passionate, I am knowledgeable, I have a history of leadership within the district, and I have been very active in our community at large for 16 years.

Have you volunteered in the Katy ISD school district before and if so in what capacity?

-Taylor HS: president of the PTO, 2016-present; VP of Project Grad 2017/2018; Counselors’ volunteer coordinator 2014-2016; Project Grad 2014/2015 committee; Choir chaperone to nearly every event since 2011.

-Keys Mentoring 2014-present.

-Katy ISD Bond Committee 2017.

-Secretary Katy ISD Council of PTAs 2016/2017 (5) McMeans JH: PTA Board 2012-2016 (Fundraising VP, Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) VP, band director’s aide, choir teacher’s aide, 8th Grade Dance Coordinator; Volunteer of the year 2015/2016.

-Exley Elementary: PTA Board 2008-2013 (President, 1st VP of Programs, VIPS VP)

-PTA Officer Training: 2008, 2014 and 2015.

-Leadership Katy 2010/2011 and 2016/2017.

Any final comments?

I am a Texas native. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Houston with a Consumer Science Degree and I have a Masters of Business Administration from University of Houston as well. When I am on the Katy ISD School Board, I will be an advocate for you.  This is not a stepping stone for me to go on to something else later.  Being on the Katy ISD school board is what I want to do. I will not just go along with the flow.  I will vote and stand up for what the community wants. I am ready to listen to all parents and teachers and am willing to work on behalf of everyone in our community to grow excellence. Please visit me on my FB page at Dawn Champagne for Katy ISD Board of Trustees.

For more information about Dawn Champagne, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/160538218075918/

ABOUT DON MASSEY

Don and his wife Carrie, married for 12 years, have three children that attend Katy ISD schools.  Don has a Masters degree in Criminal Justice, and was previously a law enforcement officer before becoming General Manager at Kay Mills and now COO at Rothchild Commercial. Don Massey was named one of Katy Magazine’s 2017 People of the Year for his efforts implementing Katy Mills as an emergency station for Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts, pet rescue , and FEMA.

Why did you choose to run?

My family and I have been super blessed by Katy and Katy ISD and we love to serve our community. I have a heart to serve the community and since the position of School Board is a volunteer position, it is a perfect match for my experience and allows me to Serve the entire Community. My goal is to help Katy ISD continue to be the best School District in Houston and Texas.

What qualifies you for this position?

My unique experience as a Law Enforcement Officer and Business Leader gives me the skills needed to address the real issues facing our schools today. Safety and Security along with Financial Accountability are the highest levels of priority for our district. As a former police officer and as the GM at Katy Mills, I have the real life experiences to address today’s issues. As an Officer, I have worn the badge, I have arrested bad guys and I have saved lives. As a COO and GM, I have managed multi-million dollar budgets and built collaborative relationships with many community stake holders. I think this combination will be a great addition to the skills that are already on the School Board.  

What changes and improvements do you hope to implement?

My main focus is on Safety and Security for our Students, Teachers, and Staff. I would address this by challenging the way we use CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) for our schools.  Some of the items that we can explore are:  3M Safety Film, Bollards and Advanced Door Locks. The 3M film will slow down an active shooter offering our emergency responders precious time to save lives.  Using bollards at entrances and raising the fences throughout the district will also slow down active shooters. All of these are items need to be implemented or explored quickly to deter an active shooter in our schools. I also would hold our administration accountable for the policies that are in place. Oversight and governance are the responsibility of the board and I will take that responsibility seriously.

Why do you think are you a better candidate than your opponent?

I have a great deal of respect for my opponent for her volunteer service, but I believe that my community relationships, business strengths, and law enforcement leadership make me the best candidate. With all of the school shootings and violence in schools, my law enforcement background and expertise is a much needed asset to helping the board implement new and innovative programs to protect our children. The world is changing and I want Katy ISD to be forward thinking and proactive. I also have a reputation for “action” and “innovation” and for successfully and quickly implementing programs that make Katy a better place. An example of this is Katy ISD’s Simon Youth Academy, which is a smaller more hands-on learning center at Katy Mills that is helping at-risk Katy teens get their diplomas and graduate. Not every child in Katy ISD learns the same way and we have to meet children where they are so we can help them succeed.

Have you volunteered in the Katy ISD school district before and if so in what capacity?

I spearheaded bringing the Simon Youth Foundation to Katy ISD to help at-risk students graduate from high school and reduce drop out rates. This was only possible by bringing multiple organizations together including Katy ISD, Katy Mills, Simon Property Group, and the Simon Youth Foundation.

I have also volunteered in the following capacities:

– Katy ISD Strategic Design Committee.
– Superintendent’s Round Table.

– Career and Technical Education Advisory Board.

– Miller Career Center Mentor and Internship Host.

– Katy Elementary Advisory Board and PTO.

– Leadership Katy 2014.

– The 2014 Bond Committee.

Any final comments?

I will take my position very seriously and plan to do all I can to take care of our students, teachers and staff and ensure they have the resources and support needed to help prepare our children for the future. I will also be proactive in helping to implement safety and security measures to keep our schools safe from violence; whether it’s violence from outside intruders or other students. It would be my honor to serve the Katy community as a Katy ISD Board of Trustee.  Please Vote Don Massey for Position 7.

For more information about Don Massey, visit https://www.facebook.com/Massey4Katy/

 EDITOR’S NOTE: We ran a similar Meet the Candidates story for Susan Gesoff and Scott Martin, position 6 on Tuesday, April 17. CLICK TO READ 

HOW TO VOTE

EARLY VOTING IS APRIL 23 – MAY 1: INFORMATION HERE CLICK

ELECTION DAY IS MAY 5 – VOTING INFO HERE CLICK

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