Jennifer Huffman appointed to school board
Monday night’s school board meeting was a celebration as students, staff and trustees were honored for their work and dedication to Burleson ISD.
Jennifer Huffman, a 13-year resident of Burleson and a local business leader, was selected to replace Beverley Powell, who is running for state senate.
School Board President Andy Pickens shared this statement upon the unanimous vote:
“I am going to read a statement on behalf of the board so that I can thoroughly and accurately communicate the qualities that contributed to our decision to select Jennifer Huffman as the final candidate for the Place 6 seat,” Pickens said.
“She is a prominent and respected leader of the business community.
“Additionally, she is an active BISD parent with four children who have attended, or are currently attending, our schools.
“Jennifer has been a longtime volunteer and supporter in BISD. She served as a volunteer for the Parent Teacher Organization for five years, two of which she was PTO president. Currently, Jennifer is the parent representative for the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee where she works with our teachers and administrators to review the progress of our bilingual/ESL students.
“Most recently, Jennifer was a part of the facilities advisory committee where she and other members spent the last year immersed in district finance, facilities and school programs.
“She spent hours over several months, assessing every facet of our district, truly digging into the needs of our facilities and learning what today’s students need,” Perkinds prepared statement continued.
“It’s important to note that the facility advisory committee didn’t just take the word of architects, demographers and financial advisors: they spent hours visiting campuses well into the night, riding buses to multiple schools, walking in and out of classrooms, gyms, libraries, and locker rooms.
“Jennifer compared demographic reports against growth projection maps of Burleson that showed current and future development in the district.
“She combed through spreadsheets and forecasts, analyzing five and 10-year enrollment projections by campus.
“She listened to feedback from principals, teachers and students.
“She learned about academic programs and trends. How are students inspired to stay in school? How can they participate?
“Over the course of the year, Jennifer learned school finance: how district funding is determined, and the difference between Maintenance and Operations, and Interest and Sinking.
“After she interpreted and discussed the information from outside experts and district administrators, she and the other members spent many nights reviewing the recommendations from architects in order to rank needs in order of importance.
“She was part of tough committee discussions about which projects were absolutely necessary and, most important, fair.
“She analyzed months of data to develop a bond recommendation that she wholeheartedly believed in and supported as the best solution to prepare the district for years to come. Our voters of Burleson agreed.
“Not only does she know the district, she showed us a lot about herself and her dedication to BISD throughout this process. She is up to speed on the current state of the district.
“In the course of her time as a parent in BISD, Jennifer has become well-versed in facilities, finance and programs. She knows our educational environment, understands our vision and seeks to be a part of our success.
“Jennifer comes from a family of educators, and brings not only a parent perspective, but also one on children with special needs – a perspective our board finds valuable.
“As you get to know her, and you hear her passion, you will quickly learn why Jennifer was selected to join our team of eight.
“We believe that Jennifer brings an energy and dynamic way of thinking to our team that is inspiring and contagious.
“We know she is the best candidate to join our board and to serve the students and educators of Burleson ISD.”
Huffman will serve in Place 6 for the remaining term and plans to run for a three-year term in the May 2018 municipal election.
Pickens also sang the praises of Powell.
“She is going to be missed,” Pickens said. “We certainly wish nothing but the best for her and running for Texas state senate. Thank you for your leadership and your years of service.”
Powell was given a commemorative plague for the 10 years she served on the school board.
“It is up to you to elect leaders that embrace all of the tenants of education that we hold dear,” Powell said. “It is our responsibility as voters to recognize who our legislators are at the state level and the national level, who believe in what we do as public educators and believe in the cause of public education in this state and across the nation.”
Powell received a standing ovation after her speech.
Chad Chappotin was announced as the new principle of STEAM Middle School.
“We put a lot of time and effort into this decision and we feel very confident that Chad will take over leadership at STEAM,” Pickens said.