Weatherford Democrat

April 23, 2013

Q&A: Springtown ISD, Place 7

Weatherford Democrat

Three candidates have filed for Place 7 of the Springtown ISD board in a special election for the two-year unexpired term. Incumbent Al Garrett, who was appointed to fill the vacany left by the resignation of Kelly Mayo in July 2012 is running against challengers Gene Terry and Damon Liles. The Democrat asked candidates in local contested city council and school district races to answer questions, limiting their answers to 300 words per question with a deadline to submit their responses. Early voting begins April 29.


Name: Al Garrett

Age:  65

Occupation:  Pharmacist

Family: Wife - Jan, Children - Lisa and Chad, and four Grandsons


Why are you running for school board?

Since July I have been privileged to serve on this board in an appointed position.  I am excited to see how this district is moving forward with so many innovative programs in curriculum, testing, fine arts, technology and athletics - all aimed at graduating well rounded students adequately prepared for college.  In this day and age, more than ever before, a good education is essential for our children’s future.  I want to be a small part in helping make this happen.


Any prior experience running for office?

I served on the Springtown School Board for 12 years from 1985 to 1997 - four years as Board President. Since then I have been appointed by the Board three separate times to fill unexpired terms including the position I am in at this time. I am also a former Chamber of Commerce President.


Are there any changes you’d like to see implemented if you serve?

Springtown ISD formally adopted a resolution declaring that we believed the state’s current formulas for funding education are both inequitable and insufficient.  Along with several hundred other districts, a suit was filed and we won the case. However, it is being appealed and I would certainly like to see this through.  It is essential that the State comes up with much needed financial reforms to help districts implement programs that are mandated - without having to greatly increase school district taxes in our community.


Name: Gene Terry    

Age: 41

Occupation: Application Engineer

Family: Wife - Vanessa; Daughter - Gabby, 13; Son - Curtis, 11


Why are you running for school board? I believe everyone should show an interest in the education of their children.  I also think it is important to get involved and work in the community.  I have actively volunteered at the Springtown Lions Club for several years and currently serve as vice president. 

I have a desire to give the youth of Springtown the best education possible, while also making sure the SISD is being fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.  Many challenges face local school districts in the near future, most notably in the way the state divies out revenue to the public schools.  My primary agenda on the board would be to insure the citizens and students of the SISD are getting the best education possible in technologically advanced facilities, while doing this as economically painless on the tax payers as is feasible.


Any prior experience running for office?

I have never run for public office.


Are there any changes you’d like to see implemented if you serve?

I believe the SISD has a history of making sound financial decisions.  I would like to see that carried over for years to come and make sure the Springtown Independent School District will be an educationally sound institution for future generations of Porcupines.



Name: Damon Liles

Occupation: owner of Liles Insurance Agency, Inc.

Family: My wife, Mandy Liles, and I have been married for 18 years and have been blessed with 3 wonderful children, J.T. Liles, Jack Liles and Jada Liles.


Why are you running for school board? 

Springtown boasts one of the most diverse curriculum opportunities available in conjunction with some of the most talented and dedicated educators, administrators, and support staff among surrounding districts.  To isolate efforts and resources on one or just a few of these curriculums would be failing to offer our students and future workforce the ability to advance with the foundation and tools they need to be successful.  From sports to technology, in no respective order, a culture should be provided in which any student with any ambition be given the knowledge and confidence to excel in the ever growing competitive higher educational institutions and career industries.


Any prior experience running for office? 

Having served on the Board of Directors of other organizations, I am familiar with parliamentary procedure and the importance of carefully considering all feedback to make tough and often times controversial decisions.  I feel that it is incumbent on any board member to listen closely to the citizens, parents, teachers, administration, students, and fellow board members to assure that all decisions are being made for the betterment of the school district as a whole, not-withstanding personal agendas.


Are there any changes you’d like to see implemented if you serve? 

As a fiscally conservative business owner for 23 years, experience has given me the financial discipline, management knowledge, people skills, and undying determination to operate within the confines of regulatory and monetary constraints, effectively deal with employees and the public, and diplomatically work with individuals of opposite opinions to reach common ground.  I am of the opinion that even under continuous challenges and competition, an organization can attract and retain the best and the brightest to operate as a team to assure success.  I am also humbly aware that no one person can provide this vision and that some of the most creative and practical solutions come from the very people who are on the front lines each day.  While individually, each of us have our opinions of changes that need to be made, items that need to be added or cut, or perhaps grievances that go unresolved, I feel certain that collectively we are all on common ground when it comes to what is most important at the end of the day….The protection, happiness, and success of each and every child.