Breckenridge Texan

Early voting for BISD board begins Monday; candidates answer profile questions

Early voting for BISD board begins Monday; candidates answer profile questions
April 21
16:23 2019

Early voting in the upcoming Breckenridge Independent School District’s Board of Trustees election will begin Monday at the school district office.

Voters may cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays from Monday, April 22, through Tuesday April 30, at the BISD Administration office, 208 N. Miller St. Even though Monday, April 22, is a school holiday, the office will be open for early voting. Election Day voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.Saturday May 4, at the Administration office.

There are three positions up for election  — Place 3, currently held by Carey Woodward; Place 4, currently held by Patrick Escalon; and Place 5, currently held by Russell Creager.

Slated to be on the ballot are:

  • Place 3 – Roy Russell
  • Place 4 – Patrick Escalon and Cody Wimberley
  • Place 5 – Russell Creager and Carrol Kanady

All three positions are for three-year terms.

For more information about the BISD Board of Trustees election, call the BISD office at 254-522-9600.

Candidate Profiles

The Breckenridge Texan sent questionnaires to all of the school board candidates. Below are the answers to the questions, as provided by the candidates. They are listed in the order that they will appear on the ballot, which was chosen by a random drawing by school district personnel.


Cody Wimberley


Name: Cody Wimberley

What office are you seeking?
– BISD Board of Trustees Place 4

What is your current occupation?
– Pharmacy Manager at the Breckenridge Wal-Mart

Tell us a little bit about your family.
– Married to my wife, Michelle, BHS Class of 1996, for 14 years. We have 3 children, Matthew ,21, Sawyer ,12, and Wyatt, 7. We moved back to Breckenridge after I graduated from Texas Tech in 2016.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
– West Texas Pharmacy Association
– When not at work I try to help coach my kids’ sports teams when needed.

What is your education/military service?
– Breckenridge High School Class of 1998
– Associate’s in Pharmacy, Cisco College
– Bachelor of Science, Major Biology, Minor Biochemistry, Hardin-Simmons University
– Doctor of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University
– United States Marine Corps, 1999-2004 (active duty), 2005-2006 (reserve duty)

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?
– My military and educational background has given me very extensive critical thinking skills that I believe will be an asset to the Board. It’s not that I question every single issue but I will bring a common sense approach to help resolve the issue. I do not know entirely what will be asked of me but I am a quick learner and can adapt to any situation.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the Breckenridge school district and what would you do to address them, if elected?
1. Bullying, to me, will always be at the top of the list. It is an issue that every school in our town, state, and country face. We will never be able to fully eradicate bullying from school systems but we can hold the person(s) involved more accountable with stricter punishments for repeated violations.

2. School population. When I see a bus from a neighboring school district waiting for children to take to a school other than BISD, then there is a problem. Without being in the school and talking to those parents directly then I cannot even begin to recommend a way to address the problem. I do believe that we need to reach out to those parents and see what the issue is and work towards a resolution.

3. Teacher pay is an issue for most schools. These men and women are responsible for preparing our kids for higher education. I believe that most times they do feel appreciated but when their pay does not reflect their effort then it can make them look outside our school district for higher paying jobs. We should review any federal programs that may assist in being able to increase the compensation for our teachers. We should also review our budget with a little more scrutiny and see if there is a way to save some funding for increased pay for our children’s educators.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?
– My faith and family will always be my greatest accomplishments. My education comes in 3rd. I started back into school after being away for 9 years. I already had 2 children and had my 3rd child during pharmacy school. I finished my associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and Doctor of Pharmacy in 8 years. Myself and my younger brother are the only 2 from both sides of our family to receive a college degree and I am the only one to have a doctorate degree. It was a struggle and there were many obstacles but I am not one to give up easily. My determination to get through any task put in front of me will help me to work through any issue that may arise while being a part of the Board, if I am voted in.


Patrick Escalon


Name: Patrick Escalon

What office are you seeking?
School Board Place 4

What is your current occupation?
I own Escalon’s Buck N’ Hog Processing in Albany and Throckmorton. We process wild game. I also rent and sell office furniture as a furniture broker for Monarch Office Furniture.

Tell us a little bit about your family.
My wife, Chelsea, teaches art and 8th grade science at Breckenridge Junior High. We have 2 boys. Jake, age 17, is a junior at Breckenridge High School and Jaxon, age 11, is a 6th grader at South Elementary.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
I have been a volunteer in youth sports since I was 15 years old. I have been investing in the youth of the community for many years. For 20 years I lived in the metroplex and came to Breckenridge on Sundays to help my dad with free baseball lessons on Sunday afternoons. I have continued this investment in our youth since moving back to Breckenridge 5 years ago. As a business owner, I sponsor many of our youth activities and I donate hundreds of pounds of deer meat each year to the local communities of Breckenridge, Throckmorton, and Albany through the Hunters for the Hungry program. I also run the Friends of Breckenridge Baseball program which provides supplemental funding to the Breckenridge High School Baseball program. And, of course, I also have served as a voluntary school board member for the last 3 years.

What is your education/military service?
I graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1992 and then attended the University of Texas in Arlington.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?
I’ve been in sales for 25 years. Being self employed and being in sales has given me experience in communicating with people and solving problems. I have been on the board for 3 years and have attended many trainings on school finance, legal policies, curriculum requirements, public relations and testing.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the Breckenridge school district and what would you do to address them, if elected?
The district budget is always one of the top priorities. The school board’s job is to approve the budget, hire the superintendent and create and uphold school policy. I would like to budget for more vocational classes for our students to take. I am currently researching other districts’ teacher retention and incentive programs. I think that it is imperative that we find a way to bring good teachers to Breckenridge and keep great teachers in Breckenridge.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?
In my tenure as a school board member, we have been able to move BISD into a good financial position. We have been able to improve our facilities on all campuses with renovations and new facilities, like the new building at South Elementary. We also brought back important vocational programs like woodworking and we have expanded the agricultural program. Over the last three years, we have been able to find money in the budget to provide our employees with a insurance stipend to help with the financial burden of ever rising insurance premiums. We also approved a significant upgrade to our Band facilities at the high school.


Russell Creager


Name: Russell Clay Creager

What office are you seeking?
– Breckenridge Independent School Board Trustee Place 5

What is your current occupation?
– CNC Machinist – R. E. Dye Manufacturing, worked here since 2004.

Tell us a little bit about your family.
– I have been married to my wonderful wife, Ashley, for 10 years this May. I am a proud StepFather to my son Braden who is a Senior that has excelled in the classroom as well as in Extra Curricular activities.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
– I am an active Master Mason of Breckenridge Masonic Lodge #492.
– When my wife served on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce, I assisted and helped with many community events.

What is your education/military service?
– I graduated from BISD Class of 1998 and spent 1.5 years at Western Texas College in Snyder.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?
– Training as a School Board Trustee consists of: Texas Associations of School Boards (TASB) training Seminars, Texas Rural Education Association (TREA) Conference, multiple in house training hours.

– Experiences: The last two years as a member of the BISD School Board has allowed me to be involved in the growth of this District through the leadership of Tim Seymore and the Current Board of Trustees. With the TASB and TREA training, I have learned so much that was completely unknown to me prior to running for this office.

– Characteristics: I pride myself on being Level Headed and Calm. I am willing to look at all sides of a situation to make an Honest and Unbiased decision for this District that will help and evolve every Student, Teacher, Administrator and Campus. I am capable of taking what is presented to me to see that it will improve this community in some way.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the Breckenridge school district and what would you do to address them, if elected?
– Bullying is always a critical issue I believe with any and all School Districts. I would like to find ways to identify and prevent events from happening.

– Standardized Testing has always been a thorn in every student, teacher, and parent’s sides. I would love to get the community involved in contacting their State Representatives to abolish or at least restructure these tests.

– Bills that will criminalize our teachers for having and posting political opinions on social media. This is another issue where our community needs to pull together and reach out to our Representatives to get them to vote this down.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?
– I am proud to have served this community as a School Board Trustee for the past few years. I have always been willing to listen and talk with anyone that needs help or direction with any problems or concerns that they are facing within BISD. If I can’t answer a question or know where to look, I will do everything within my power to find the answer or lead them in the right direction.


Carrol Kanady


Name: Carrol Grider Kanady

What office are you seeking?
I am seeking the position of School Board Place 5.

What is your current occupation?
I am a Personal Banker at InterBank.

Tell us a little bit about your family.
I was born and raised in Breckenridge and graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1997. My husband, Jeff, and I moved back home to raise our two children, Kinley and Kyler. Kinley is a junior this year and Kyler is in the Seventh grade. Much of our life is devoted to our children and their success. Whether it be rodeo, volleyball, softball, football, basketball, track or academics we encourage our children to be the best they can be.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
I am a former President of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce (2015), a current Board Member of the Woman’s Forum, member of the Parks and Recreations Board through the City of Breckenridge, and am very involved in each of my children’s graduating class groups.

What is your education/military service?
I graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1997. After graduating I attended Cisco Junior College and received my associate’s degree. I then attended Tarleton State University.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?
Having gone to school in Breckenridge K-12 and raising my two children here, I feel that I understand the strengths and downfalls of each campus and our school district as a whole. I am the daughter of a retired educator and I fully understand the trials that our teachers and students face on a day to day basis. Having served on many executive committees throughout the community I understand the importance of a budget and infrastructure. I am very active in the community which gives many parents and citizens opportunity to voice their concerns to me and opportunity for me to advocate for our school system. Most importantly, as a mother I understand the struggles that our children are facing growing up in an age of technology and social media. I understand that parents are the strongest advocates for their children, and I will be a voice for those that don’t feel they are heard.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the Breckenridge school district and what would you do to address them, if elected?
There are many critical issues facing Breckenridge Independent School District, and school districts state wide. I understand that the role of the school board can be limited by certain laws and state regulations. With that being said I believe that we are in need of more accountability from the administration all the way down to the students. Through support from the Superintendent to each individual principal, each principal to their staff, the staff to the students, and students to their teachers I believe this can be accomplished. I know that our teachers are doing their best to keep the students involved and motivated, and if our teachers aren’t supported then our students won’t be successful. Another critical issue facing our school is our test scores. We are consistently scoring below the state average in most core subjects. Through smaller class sizes in core subjects, and the implementation of an academic mentorship program we can tackle the issues that come with standardized testing. I also believe that giving the teachers more rein to teach successfully, not successfully teach a test. We have a problem of suicide in our youth that can be mitigated by the placement of counselors at every campus and not making those testing coordinators after they are hired.  I hope to work with the board and administration to compensate veteran teachers and those that go above and beyond their job description, many at their own cost.  I believe the school needs to make sure we are making every attempt to disburse funds to all departments in a way that they can all succeed.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?
My biggest accomplishment in life is my family. I am not a mother that is blinded by the successes or the failures of my kids, and I feel that they make me most qualified for this position.

 

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