MetroTex Board of Realtors
Because trustees serve a three year term, I think it’s important that voters learn as much as possible about each candidate before election day. I have always believed honesty and transparency is key to effective leadership, and so have chosen to post the answers to all of the campaign interviews and questionnaires I have been asked to complete. If you have a question not asked by one of these surveys, please let me know!
This was a preinterview for MetroTex Board of Realtors, which was followed up with an all-candidate forum, where we were asked a series of questions about the issues and our personal history in front of a panel of 20 business leaders from the area. From that, I was honored to earn their endorsement for GCISD Place 1, which included a $500 donation to my campaign!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, specifically, what made you decide to run for school board? Do you have experience in a large organization? Do you have financial or budgetary experience? What experience do you have with your school district?
We moved our family to GCISD for the excellent schools and strong sense of community. As parents and business owners, we have a vested interest in ensuring our district remains one that attracts families, protects property values, and graduates successful and prepared students.
I have over 19 years of experience in non-profit management and consulting. For the last 11 years I’ve owned my own consulting practice. I’ve worked with six different boards of directors helping create and carry out strategic plans and led the re-branding efforts of two of Dallas’ largest non-profits: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and ChildCareGroup. Because of my background in strategic planning for non-profits, I immediately became an active volunteer for the schools and was appointed as 1 of 30 members of GCISD’s ten year Strategic Planning Team, called LEAD 2021. This team established a direction for the district that will significantly change how we educate our students and incorporate technology into the classroom.
Through most of my career, I’ve purposefully accepted newly created or reinvented positions, continually challenging me to define problems, create solutions, and take action. It was in this spirit that I started Grapevine-Colleyville SAGE, now an IRS recognized 501c3 charity. This non-profit parent group formed to connect gifted students, their parents, and educators to information and resources that neighboring districts have had for years. Thanks to our active board, we now serve over 1,000 parents across GCISD, many of whom have expressed that SAGE gave them access to information that they never knew existed.
The success of this parent group propelled me forward to work towards the same vision for all families. If elected as a Board Trustee, I commit to serving as a resource not only to our district, but also to our parents and community partners in an effort to increase involvement and improve communication. A focus on partnerships is in our LEAD 2021 objectives and will be especially important as we roll out various phases of plan and move away from a more traditional “one-sized fits all” approach.
I was also actively involved in our local bond election in 2011 working to keep more of our local tax dollars in our local schools. Through my involvement in school finance I know we must continue working with legislators to update the funding formula, remove the cap on revenue, and re-establish local control.
Please describe your understanding of the role of a school board member and your governing philosophy.
Because of my work with several large Boards of Directors, I understand and appreciate the important distinction between the board’s responsibility and that of senior management of an organization, as well as the varying responsibilities of a board member from visioning, fiscal responsibility, accountability, community involvement, and management. I believe the board should actively support the superintendent that they chose to run the district, or make changes accordingly, but not micro-manage professional educators. The staff should run the day-to-day operations, but the board should provide oversight by lending their individual areas of expertise and ensuring that the district is making decisions within appropriate financial parameters and in line with the board approved strategic plan. The board should provide financial oversight by reviewing and understanding budgets set forth by the superintendent, I believe both the superintendent and the board should be responsive to the community, but as elected officials, board trustees have an added responsibility to ensure two-way communication with parents and community members and serve as ambassadors across the community.
What impact do you hope to have on the mission and vision of your school district?
My sole reason for running is to realize the mission and vision of GCISD: to ensure students reach their full potential and to be the BEST. One of the reasons I was so driven to run for school board this year was because of my involvement in LEAD 2021, the district’s 10-year strategic plan. I had the honor of working first as a Strategic Planning team member, then on the Curriculum Sub-team, actually helping design the details that support the strategy. I was so proud of the work we did, and so passionate about the changes and improvements recommended, that I want to make sure we stay focused on these goals and streamline budget accordingly.
Here are some of what I feel are the most important developments to come out of LEAD 2021, and why I will fight to ensure their implementation:
I believe the one-sized fits all industrialized approach to learning should be a thing of the past. All kids are unique and should be assessed, challenged, and taught at their own level in order to meet their fullest potential. Differentiated, engaged learning for all kids is critical to changing this paradigm. (Strategy 3.9.3)
A Personal Learning Plan for every student that includes goals within the areas of academics, campus activities, and workforce/community involvement for every student supporting this plan is key. (Strategy 2) Our district will experience a shift from a teaching platform to a learning platform. (Strategy 3.1) This means that students will become more self-directed learners with teachers creating assignments that students will find more relevant and meaningful. I believe children are born with an innate love of learning and that as educators it is our duty to foster that. When we can find a student’s passion and allow him/her to follow that passion, we get more meaningful learning as a result.
I also believe learning can only take place on material that hasn’t already been mastered. If a student can prove complete mastery of a subject, he/she should be allowed to move forward. From the earliest ages, we should ensure there are guidelines, alternate curriculum, and tools in place to allow the teacher to move to out of grade-level content when necessary (Strategy 3.7.7), just as we should provide extra assistance to struggling learners without them feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Every child should be motivated, encouraged, and allowed to reach his/her full potential.
Due to the economic turndown, most school districts are struggling with decreasing local revenues and dwindling funding from the State of Texas, while simultaneously experiencing increased enrollment. This phenomenon has forced many school districts to make difficult decisions. What measures do you propose in moving forward in these tough economic times; i.e. tax rate increase, specific cuts in services, etc?
We are fortunate in that our past and present Boards of Trustees were financially conservative and planned well for our future. It is because of those carefully planned funding choices that we are not experiencing the wholesale cuts in services that other districts are experiencing. We have a fund balance that can protect our immediate needs while we find other sources of funding, streamline spending, and most importantly work with legislators to change the state of funding for public schools.
Our district established a team in 2011 that looked at sources of revenue and also at streamlining services to students. These are all viable options, but must be made in accordance with our strategic plan. Most importantly, we must work with legislators and other districts like ours to remedy this inequitable and outdated funding model.
When faced with difficult financial decisions, what functions will you prioritize?
LEAD 2021 (Leading Excellence – Action Driven) is providing the structure for our school district for the next 10 years. We developed targeted strategies and action steps designed to meet specified objectives. With financial concerns looming, we must make all financial decisions thoughtfully and in line with this strategic vision. I believe in the Covey statement, “Begin with the end in mind.” In this case, our group envisioned the skills that our graduates will need in ten years and worked backwards. All of the identified strategies for achieving that vision should be prioritized.
While considering the relationship between local taxing jurisdictions (city, county or school) and the Central Appraisal District, what role do you feel the Chief Appraisal/ Central Appraisal District should play in budgeting process for your School District?
My understanding is that TAD sets the assessed value upon which we base the tax rate that determines school district revenue. I believe that the staff should set the budget with thorough review by the board and in consideration of any major changes forecasted by TAD.
What are the top three challenges within your district? How do you as a trustee plan to handle those challenges?
1. The current state of funding for Texas public schools is our biggest challenge as a district right now. Thanks to our previous boards of trustees, we have a healthy fund balance, or savings account, that is helping us currently, but if nothing changes in the next legislative session, we won’t have a choice but to make drastic changes. The current funding formulas are outdated, unfairly cap our revenue and take away our local control. Our district is looking at alternative sources of revenue for the district but nothing can make up for a $14 million dollar hit, if that projected number becomes our reality. We must work with legislators and other districts like ours to remedy this inequitable and outdated funding model. As a concerned parent of students in the 7th largest district contributor to “Robin Hood,” I have spoken on several occasions with State Representative Vicki Truitt among other legislators. Most recently, I shared my hope that her appointment on the Joint Interim Committee to Study Public School Finance would make an impact on our current budget situation by remedying the inequitable and outdated funding formula. I would continue this work as a Trustee within the acceptable guidelines of serving as a district representative.
2. We need to deliver the promises of LEAD 2021. I was honored to be 1 of only 30 members of our district’s LEAD 2021 10-year Strategic Planning Team that team set the strategic objectives and strategies for our district. Hundreds of other members joined the various sub-teams. At that stage I joined the Curriculum sub-team researching best practices in other districts and the latest proven learning models utilizing student engagement. The process resulted in what I believe is a very strong plan for our district to remain competitive in the years ahead and a great excitement for what this means for our students. My goal for being on the board is to ensure that we use the community’s resources strategically and in line with that plan. Parents need to be aware of LEAD 2021 and hold the district and board accountable for its implementation.
3. Technology is probably the biggest variable in education right now. As more publishers switch away from print versions of textbooks, parents demand individualized instruction, schools compete globally thanks to online courses, and tech savvy students expect instant access to information, our district will have to evolve quickly to keep up. Privacy and control issues will become paramount as students create their online identities at increasingly younger ages. On the educator’s side, technology now gives us the tools to assess every child so that we can teach them based on their own individual needs. All kids are unique and should be assessed, instructed, challenged and measured for growth to ensure they reach their greatest potential. Student engagement is key to learning, but they can’t be engaged unless they are treated as unique individuals. LEAD 2021 brings us this individualized learning model, which will enable us to compete with area districts.
This committee is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Directors and Political Action Committee about whether the MetroTex will support a candidate’s bid for election. What level and type of support would you want from the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® to assist in your campaign?
Having moved here in 2008, I am a relative newcomer to the area. While I’ve gotten heavily involved in the district, I am not affiliated politically nor do I view this election as a stepping-stone to a future office. As a result, I would love help getting my name out there and telling my story as an involved parent and business person who wants to protect our excellent district while serving as a voice for our kids.
Have you been a party to a lawsuit (civil or criminal) anytime during the last 10 years? ___yes x no If yes, please explain the circumstances and the final disposition.
Have you filed bankruptcy or been party to any lawsuit in the last 10 years? ___yes x no If yes, please explain the circumstances and the final disposition. In addition, for consideration of endorsement, I’m certain that a title search on my properties (current and previous) will not show any foreclosure or liens other than our original loan(s) and that you will find that I am also financial very conservative and proudly maintain a high credit score.
Kimberley Barber Davis
-Corporate Consultant with 19 Years of Business Experience
-Founder and President of SAGE, a Non-Profit GCISD Parent Group
-LEAD 2021 Strategic Planning Team & GCISD Curriculum Team Member
-PTA Officer, Girl Scout Leader, Classroom & Campus Volunteer
-Member of Grapevine & Colleyville Chambers of Commerce
-Endorsed by MetroTex Board of Realtors for GCISD Place 1
Have a question or concern, or an issue you’d like to see addressed? I’d love to hear from you!
firstname.lastname@example.org or 817.999.5465
Kimberley Barber Davis Campaign Fund
2140 Hall Johnson Road
Suite 102 Box # 112
Grapevine, TX 76051
Donations can also be made via Paypal on this website under Donate. Thank you so much for your support!