Meet the Candidates: Bryan ISD Board of Trustees, Place 5
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Bryan ISD seat for Board of Trustees, Place 5 is up for grabs and two candidates are vying for the position. Incumbent David Stasny is challenged by newcomer Alton Tiger Burton.
Stasny has served Bryan ISD’s school board for 32 years. His family has lived in Bryan for generations and he’s had four children who attended Bryan ISD schools.
“That’s one of the reasons I chose to run for the school board initially, was to basically try to keep the really great things that I saw in Bryan, keep them going, and to keep making things even better,” Stasny said.
Over the past three years, Stasny said he has helped the district update and finetune school programs such as the International Baccalaureate, and assisted with the growth of Bryan Collegiate, the Odyssey Academy, and the Inquire Academy.
“We were able to acquire land, a building is actually already on it for a very state-of-the-art career tech center,” Stasny said. “That is very exciting and has provided a really great option for students who, for one reason or another, aren’t interested in pursuing college.”
If reelected, Stasny said he plans to continue building trust between the parents and the school board as well as teachers and students.
“We do a lot of excellent things in Bryan, a lot of people don’t recognize that public schools are often the best resource for a lot of educational opportunities and so we’re going to continue to work on those and provide great education not only for those who are struggling but those who are reaching for the clouds.”
Stasny said his knowledge, experience and training make him the right candidate for the position. He said he’s testified before the Senate Finance Committee about school finance and is heavily involved with the Texas Association of School Boards.
“I have no personal agenda,” Stasny said. “I just want Bryan Schools to be the best in the state, I’d love it to be the best in the nation, I want us to be a best in the nation district. I’m committed to the job and I’m just ready to take us forward a little bit longer.”
Born and raised in Bryan, Burton attended Bryan ISD schools from K-12 and graduated from Bryan High School in 2000. Burton’s wife is an educator in the district and he has two children who are currently enrolled.
“I’ve been trying to be very active in their schools since they were in kindergarten,” Burton said. “I started off in the watchdog program helping to get that going at Mary Branch Elementary and then participating on different leadership teams over the past 10 to12 years.”
Over those 10 to 12 years Burton said he was a part of the parental leadership team and the security and safety task force which made decisions that impacted the district.
“I figured this would be an even greater platform to help foster some change,” Burton said.
Burton said his biggest priorities will be improving the relationship between the district and the City of Bryan as well as between parents.
“We can’t expect parents to show up to every meeting, and every function that the school is having, sometimes we need to go to events that are going on in the community,” Burton said. “I also want to make sure we’re visible, we’re approachable, and that no one feels they can’t approach and talk to a board member.”
Another issue Burton said he wants to address is mental health and the trauma that came from the pandemic.
“I think we can’t expect kids to perform well in the classroom when some of them can’t even describe the feelings that they’re having because they’re dealing with anxiety and other emotional issues that have surfaced from COVID,” Burton said.
On top of having students attending schools in the district, Burton said his job at Brazos Valley CASA allows him to enter schools on a daily basis where he can communicate with students, parents, and educators. Burton said he believes it’s time for someone with new thoughts and ideas.
“Kids and what they’re experiencing is different than when I was in school, and even from five years ago, then you throw the pandemic in here and so things have changed drastically,” Burton said. “We have to be able to adjust accordingly and part of that is knowing what’s going on right now on a day-to-day basis in the schools.”
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