Life-long Burleson resident making bid for school board
Jerri Hoaldridge McNair is a retired educator who taught more than 20 years and also had two children graduate from Burleson High School. McNair said she’s ready to give back to the district by running for school board.
“I have a real passion for our schools and school districts, especially this one,” McNair said. “School districts need to be state-of-the-art and I think Burleson is doing a great job of that.”
McNair started her teaching career at Frazier Elementary as a kindergarten teacher. She taught there for two yeas and then went on to Burleson High School where she taught family consumer science and childhood development. McNair helped start an internship program for high school students interested in teaching that enabled them to work at elementary schools.
“I then became an administrator at Burleson High School and was involved in starting new programs such as the career academy,” McNair said. “I loved being an administrator and eventually became an assistant principal.”
McNair also worked in the Mansfield school district and was an assistant principal. While in Mansfield, McNair helped open two high schools, which she said served as a learning experience.
“What I got from that was the experience working with bond elections, the community and the innovative programs we were wanting to implement,” McNair said. “I am a strong believer in innovation and change for the better in schools.”
McNair wanted to give back after she retired and is on the board of Imgaination Fort Worth, a nonprofit organization that provides funding for field trips and in-school programs by targeting educational needs and introducing students to diverse, mind-opening experiences.
“We put together puppetry and language arts, history and dance, science and theater, math and musical events,” McNair said. “We have hosted students at Bass Hall, Log Cabin Village, Kimbell and Sid Richardson Museums, and Deaf Education projects. Those were some of the experiences we provided for BISD elementary schools. I’m proud that this organization partners with Bransom, Brock, Mound and Norwood elementary schools.”
McNair is also an advocate for teachers and giving them the tools they need in the classroom to succeed.
“I saw myself as a teacher even when I was an administrator,” McNair said. “That’s why we need to keep praising not just our teachers, but also our coaches and band directors, because no one entered this field to get rich and famous, they do it because they care about the kids.”
Every child needs to find their ‘space’ within BISD, McNair said. As mentioned above, two of McNair’s children graduated from Burleson High School and pursued different career paths - ones they found while at BHS.
“I have a real strong place in my heart for all school programs, if it is sports or fine arts or anything else,” McNair said. “Every program is so important. Every single child should have a place in our school, if it’s dyslexia or autism, gifted and talented students. I think that is so important for social and emotional growth.”