Como-Pickton CISD Board of Trustees Candidate Profiles, Part 1

Early voting by personal appearance begins Monday morning, for the May 4 school and municipal elections.

Voters within Como-Pickton Consolidated Independent School District will have plenty of candidates to choose from when casting ballots in the school board election.

Seven candidates have filed, seeking candidacy for one of four full-term at-large seats on the school board; they include D.J. Carr, JJ Cummings, James R. “Jim” Murray, Lee Skidmore, Brittney Smith, Felecia Smith and Shane Wilton. Only one candidate is unchallenged in his bid for the unexpired term seat. Shiloh Childress was appointed to fill the seat following trustee Greg Anglin’s resignation in December, to become the commissioner for Precinct 2 starting January; Childress has filed to serve out the remained of that term.

Ballots in the CPCISD Board of Trustees Election may be cast in person from 8 a.m. To 4 pm. April 22-April 30 and Como-Pickton Administration Office. Voting hours will be extended to 8 p.m. April 22 April 25. Election Day voting will be conducted from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in Room 114 at Como-Pickton School (in front of building where general election was held).

To help voters learn a little more about the candidates,each candidate was asked to provide information about themselves and their candidacy, including their reasons for seeking a seat on the school board. Those responses are shared here, in no particular order, in two separate posts.

JAMES R. “JIM” MURRAY

James R. “Jim” Murray, candidate for a full-term seat on Como-Pickton CISD Board of Trustees
  • Family: Wife, Jean, retired after 34 years with Texas Instruments; grandson Shawn, majoring in mechanical engineering at Blinn College in College Station.
  • Occupation, job description: Retired January 2000 from the City of Mesquite (32 years service) as Director of Purchasing and Telecommunications
  • How many years have you lived in the district? Nineteen years
  • Education, training or special skills: Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences, president of the National Purchasing Institute, president of the National Association of Chamber and Ambassadors, served as Como-Pickton School Board president for 2 years.
  • Why are you seeking this office? I have no agenda. My goal is to serve, uphold and promote a learning educational opportunity for all students in our district to prepare them for their future. We have a “Great” Administration and Staff at CPCISD, which I look forward to working with as well as the other Board members and a new superintendent, if elected; to encourage that CPCISD personnel and the students excel into the future. Thanks for your vote.
  • Experience/qualifications: Served 9 years on the Como-Pickton School Board 2008-2017, served two years as the President (2013-2014 and 2015-2016)
  • What do you consider the most significant area(s) of interest, need or concern in the office you are seeking, and your plan(s) to address the concern(s): With students as my priority, the most significant responsibility of this office is seeking to always do the right thing for all concerned. As a former board member and a team of seven school board members, we accomplished this through in-depth discussions, lots of questions, and input from the district staff, parents, and the community. My primary interest is the achievement and success of our students. Also, security is a major concern for students and staff at the Como-Pickton campus. I believe our past and future Board members have and will continue to address this concern.
  • What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? I value honesty, fairness, loyalty and strong dedication. When I have a job to do, I tackle it with the best of my abilities, giving it my all from start to finish. I am 100 percent in favor of Senate Bill 3 that will give our teachers the raise that they deserve.

LEE SKIDMORE

Lee Skidmore, candidate for a full-term seat on Como-Pickton CISD Board of Trustees.
  • Family: five children, ranging in age from 20 to 11 years, including two who are enrolled at Como-Pickton CISD.
  • Occupation, job description: retired police chief/law enforcement; national sales manager for 1 on 1 Nutrition.
  • How many years have lived in the district? 50 years off/on except for college and out-of- town work.
  • Education, training or special skills: Associate of Applied Science from DeVry.
  • Why are you seeking this office? To better the education for my kids and others.
  • Experience/qualifications: working in fields with others to accomplish our ultimate goals.
  • What do you consider the most significant area(s) of interest need or concern in the office you are seeking, and your plan(s) to address the concern(s)? Safety and environment for our student while being educated.
  • What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? I am completely honest about knowing and sharing my opinion about how our kids should be educated and being the best they can be after having the best education we can give them.

FELECIA SMITH

Felecia Smith, candidate for a full-term seat on Como-Pickton CISD Board of Trustees.
  • Occupation, job description: Worked at Custom Shutters for 32 years, until it closed in December 2018.
  • How many years you have lived in the district? 39+ years (June 1979)
  • Education, training, special skills: High School graduate
  • Why are you seeking this office? Our 3 kids attended and graduated from Como-Pickton and we have three grandkids enrolled now. I want to make the school the best for all of our kids.
  • Experience/qualifications: I am currently on the Como Housing Board and have been for several years.
  • What do you consider the most significant area(s) of interest, need or concern in the office you are seeking, and your plan(s) to address the concern(s)? I would like to employ the highest qualified, most professional employees that will work well with our kids, build relationships and a rapport with each student to make them feel welcomed and loved at school.
  • What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? I’m a member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Como and I’ve taught the 3-6-year-olds on Wednesday nights for the last 16 years.

SHANE WILTON

Shane Wilton, candidate for a full-term seat on Como-Pickton CISD Board of Trustees.
  • Family:
  • Wife, Misty, employed at CPCISD as s diagnostician; son Cash, age 14, 8th grader at CPCISD; daughter Landri, 10 years, 4th grade at CPCISD.
  • Occupation, job description: Real estate and commercial inspections, finance
  • How many years have you lived in the district? 2 years in school district (4 years in the area), 2 Children attend school district
  • Education, training or special skills: B.B.A-Sul Ross State University 1996, Bachelor of Arts-History Angelo State University 1999, Master’s Degree: Educational Administration-Lamar University 2012
  • Why are you seeking this office? To ensure that all stakeholders (students, Faculty, Administrators, parents) are allocated the proper resources that will be beneficial to student success in our district. This in turn will allow students to be successful in their present and future endeavors.
  • Experience/qualifications: 16 years of public education experience as a teacher, coach and school administrator. Experience in school finance, curriculum (including college, Vocational readiness), special education, personnel, ESL programs, and athletics.
  • What do you consider the most significant area(s) of interest need or concern in the office you are seeking, and your plan(s) to address the concern(s)? The Texas legislature is currently reviewing and proposing major changes to school finance laws that could adversely affect the budgeting process of our school district. I believe that is important that you have school board members that have experience and understanding to work with Community members, School administrators, and district employees to ensure our district’s success.
  • What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? This is an important position that can’t be taken lightly. I believe that having experience and knowledge is an asset for this position. But most importantly, I will do whatever it takes to work with others to ensure that ALL students will be successful. Whether, it be in the classroom, extra curricular activities, stock shows, robotics, band or any other student events/ programs, at CPCISD. I also want to work with others to help All students(including my own children) to have the base and education gained at our district to be successful in future endeavors as they proceed in their lives.

Author: Faith Huffman

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