VIDOR SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE CANDIDATES for MAY 7th
by Ginger Broomes
(The Brooks Report does not endorse any candidates. Statements supplied for informational purposes only)
Paul Davis: No statement before press time
Kimberly Crossley: (Incumbent - no statement provided)
Lance Loftin: Statement: Home Builder - Running for VISD school board to keep liberal policy out of our schools. My focus will be to keep liberal policy out of our schools. Specifically CRT and Gender politics. I want to make sure teachers have what they need to do their job and be happy doing it. I have no experience in public office.
David Camp (incumbent): (No statement provided - following taken from social media): I have been honored to serve the children, families and staff of the Vidor Independent School District for almost 15 years and seek your support in the upcoming May the 7th local School Board election. Early voting begins on April 25-29 8am to 5pm and again on May 2-3 7am-7pm. Our children, families and staff have suffered through many adversities including hurricanes, floods and even the global pandemic yet most still consider it a great day to be a “Vidor Pirate”. I applaud the efforts of all who have been involved in this effort as our children are certainly worth it. I am thankful that we are about to be able to place our children back into the Oak Forest Elementary and Vidor Middle Schools that we lost due to the Hurricane Harvey flooding. This comes at a cost of over 43 million dollars that we as a district have worked tirelessly to accomplish without additional expense to our district taxpayers.
I have personally attended in excess of 168 Board Meetings and received more than 140 hours of legal training to try and provide quality governance to our local district. I am thankful to also have been able to volunteer a few thousand hours of personal time to the good people of the Vidor ISD community as well. We must always strive to leave this community and this world a better place than we found it by my opinion and I would appreciate your continued support in the upcoming election. If you would like additional information or a sign to show your support please PM me and I will be glad to accommodate.
Gina VanDevender: (incumbent) I have been a Physician Assistant for 32 years.
I have served on the Vidor ISD Board of Trustees for 7 years, and during that time, our district has gone through several traumatic events including 2 major floods, a pandemic, and a massive ice storm, along with numerous other weather occurrences. The Board, together with the district administration, has led the district through these events while always presenting a balanced budget, always putting money back into our fund balance, never having to raise taxes, and giving raises to district faculty and staff. I enjoy serving on the school board and I want to continue serving the tax payers and members of our community. The goal I work toward as a trustee is transparency in all matters, but the two largest focal points are transparency of finances and transparency of information.
Not so long ago, there was no accountability regarding our school district’s finances. Faculty members were not receiving raises and the district fund balance was in the negative, but there was little to no explanation as to how this was happening and where these funds were going. I never want Vidor ISD to have to deficit-spend the way they did during that time. The people we represent deserve this fiscal transparency, and I encourage all interested citizens to attend our monthly meetings to see how their tax money is being spent.
The School Board is responsible for overseeing the budget and evaluating the superintendent (including hiring and firing superintendents when needed). We do not oversee the day-to-day operations of the district—those are the responsibility of our superintendent and our campus principals. However, for the sake of informational transparency, our current administration members often present decisions they made on their own that do not require our approval. Expenditures exceeding $25,000 require a vote among trustees, but many times we receive debriefings on spending choices that do not meet this threshold and therefore do not need a vote. Our administration’s willingness to relay this knowledge to us helps us see the smaller details of how our schools are being managed, since we truly only see a broad picture from our vantage point.
You can see how transparency across the board translates to a healthy, functional school district. It is important to point out that each individual School Board trustee does not hold much power; the true power comes from the collective 7 members. I want to remain on the Board to further the financial strides we have made over the years, and to see our 2 school construction projects come to completion 5 years after Hurricane Harvey devastated those campuses. Once those projects are completed, we will begin assessing the remaining logistical needs of our facilities so we can continue making improvements to the best of our ability.
Through emphasis on fiscal transparency, I want to continue maintaining a positive fund balance without raising taxes. I also want to continue giving raises to teachers and staff members, because the best contribution the Board can make to the education of our children is to have a competitive salary schedule that attracts the brightest and most passionate employees. Through emphasis on informational transparency, I want to help our community members have as much access to district and School Board information as possible, and for them to have a clear understanding of which concerns can be managed come to the Board versus which concerns should go to campus administrators. In summary, my desire is to continue building a better community through stronger schools.
Again, thank you so much for reaching out to me about my re-election campaign. I appreciate you taking the time to help our citizenry be informed about all of our local election candidates.
Jalissa Green-Droddy: I hold a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Baylor University and for the past 8 years have gained a wealth of experience and expertise by serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities both in clinical and school settings as a certified behavior analyst.
I have been privileged to serve my community in various aspects including autism walks, GriefShare, leading worship at my local church assembly, and Light Up Vidor.
As a fellow Vidorian and school board trustee, my mission is to utilize my experiences and expertise to serve the students of VISD and their families.
I aim to support the teachers and paraprofessionals who work with our students who have behavioral and special needs, and encourage an inclusive environment for those students when applicable.
I desire to ensure the students of VISD continue to access quality education and resources within our district.
My goal is to be an asset to Vidor ISD by adding additional perspective and knowledge to our school board, thus enabling Vidor ISD to become the best school district it can be.
Rodney White: No statement provided. Statement from social media - My name is Rodney White. I am a long time resident of the city of Vidor, and am running for a position on the VISD School Board. If given the opportunity to serve, I look forward to building upon the good work that our trustees have done over the last several years. I will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective in an effort to preserve the conservative values established throughout our community. Our children are our most valuable asset and deserve the best education that we can provide them. I appreciate your support and ask for your vote in this election.
Mike Marion: (incumbent) Statement: My name is Mike Marion. I have had the privilege of serving on the Vidor ISD Board of Trustees for the past nine years. During this time we have had to overcome many challenges no other board in the history of Vidor has had to overcome. We have had unprecedented flooding which has affected almost every campus in the district. Fortunately most campuses and buildings were repairable. However, two campuses were a total loss and new ones are currently being built. This process has been very challenging in that FEMA has not been very cooperative. I am proud to be part of the board that has fought against FEMA and ultimately within the next year or so we will have two new modern campuses without a tax increase. I would like to see those projects to completion.
We have also endured what was hopefully once in a lifetime worldwide pandemic. This has required much from our district and employees. We were able to place Chromebook computers in the hands of almost every student to facilitate remote learning while being unable to hold in person classes. Many other adjustments were needed and I am proud to have been a part of getting those things done.
Despite all these challenges we were able to establish and maintain a healthy fund balance while still providing raises for employees and many tools for our teacher and students.
I am running for re-election in part because I would like to continue to be a part of all these projects that I was involved in getting started, and see them through completion. I love my community. I am a fourth generation resident of the Vidor community. I graduated from Vidor High School in 1986, along with my wife of twenty-eight years, Cindy Marion. Our four children attended and graduated from Vidor as well. This is our home and I enjoy serving my fellow Vidorians.
I have been serving my community professionally for over thirty years. I began by working for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. During my time there I worked in many positions including: jail, crime prevention, DARE Instructor for Vidor ISD, Vidor ISD school resource officer, K-9, Investigations, Administration and others. During this time I also served on the Orange County Child Fatality Review Team, represented the Sheriff’s Office with the Mikey Mahaeffy Children’s Advocacy Center (Garth House) and did many community and out reach programs for children and adults.
Because education has always been very important to me I went to Lamar University at night while working at the Sheriff’s Office and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. I also attended South Texas College of Law at night and obtained my Juris Doctorate in 2006. That same year I passed the Texas Bar Exam. I have received a Master Peace Officer Certification, a Master Jailer Certification, an Instructor’s Certification and an Academic Recognition Award. I was promoted to the position Chief Deputy at the Sheriff’s Office in 2006.
A few years later left the Sheriff’s Office to gain experience as an attorney and begin working as a prosecutor for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. I now have over fourteen years of experience practicing law full-time.
I believe that my education and professional experience provide me with a much different and needed perspective to contribute to the board. With the safety and other similar issues affecting our children in the schools I am able to provide insight others cannot. Because of this I currently serve on the district’s safety committee.
I am also currently serving on the Spindletop Center’s Board of Directors as one of two Orange County representatives. This too helps in providing insight into the many mental health challenges facing our community and different services that may be provided. I have also served and continue to serve in various capacities with my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have served as a youth teacher, scout master, adult teacher, early morning seminary teacher and various admirative capacities. I believe that serving my community is the best way I can pay it forward for all those that have helped me over the years. With so much of my immediate and extending family in the Vidor Community I have a deep commitment to see it be successful and overcome the difficulties of the past.