VISD School Board District 1 candidate: Kevin VanHook
May 1, 2011 at 5:01 a.m.
Name: The Rev. Kevin VanHook
Age: Did not provide
City of residence: Victoria
Occupation: Pastor of St. Peter's Missionary Baptist Church
Why will you make a good asset to the district as a member of the school board?
Since being selected by the board to serve as representative for District 1, I have gained valuable working experience with the current board members and staff. Working together we have helped facilitate the transition of new schools opening and new staff with superior results. My previous working experience as medical support administrator, and as pastor, has given me knowledge concerning budgets, effective communication, task analysis and leadership, which has prepared me to make valuable contributions as a board member. Accessibility and availability are essential for continuous communication with the community and district you serve, and I can provide both.
What is the most serious issue facing the school board?
Handling the resources given to the district to ensure quality education for the students of VISD. Maintaining high student performance and achievement. Continue to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing learning environment. Keeping experience teachers on staff, and continuing to hire highly qualified and effective personnel. Do all we can to make it attractive for the current superintendent to stay for at least two more years to allow for adjustments in current transitions that are taking place and future changes that may occur because of budget cuts, because of his outstanding ability to continue to move the district forward, and his excellent leadership.
What are your ideas to handle the state's budget cuts to education and how will you ensure students still maintain a quality education?
I personally don't anticipate large cuts in the state's budget for education. Texas has always been a state that has placed education as a priority. Texas lawmakers have proposed tapping $3.2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund. If we face budget cuts, I would like to see us to continue to focus on primary and secondary education, and if any cuts are to be made we will make those cuts in pre-school programs. We must maintain quality education in the primary and secondary education, and keep student-teacher ratio low. Our community and our churches must step up and assist parents with pre-school age students, and their needs. I would urge the district to continue to make wise resourceful choices to conserve in all areas. Our superintendent and staff has done an outstanding job managing the resources of the district.