Martin McKissack and Sandra Brady will face each other in the Sept. 16 Vilonia Board of Education election. McKissack is currently serving on the board with nine years of experience. Brady recently retired from working in the district’s administration office with 33 years of experience. Both candidates were posed the same questions. Here are their responses:
Here are Martin McKissack’s responses:
What motivates you to want to become a board member? As a Vilonia resident, who grew up in the school district, I have always looked for ways to volunteer in the community, and serving on the board is an opportunity to give back. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity.
How would you describe an effective school board member? An effective board member represents the district’s constituents by listening to the needs of the district and basing decisions on the students’ best interest.
What do you see as the educational gaps or weaknesses in the district? Vilonia’s success and reputation has attracted many families and students to the district. This situation presents challenges with facilities, which the opening of the intermediate school next fall will help alleviate.
What are the educational strengths in the district? Educational strengths for the district include a strong administration, teachers who are committed to excellence and take a personal interest in each of their students and a very high level of community and parental support.
What do you see as the primary work of the board? The primary role of the board is to establish policy that assists the district in achieving its goals and vision.
How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? I contribute to successful board meetings by relying on business knowledge and experience to apply to decisions facing the board of education. This process also involves considering the impact of a decision from a student, teacher and parent perspective.
What is your vision for education in this community? Education is a collaborative effort between student, teacher, and family, along with support of administration and board that provides the student with an opportunity to succeed in curricular and extra-curricular activities. Process should help prepare student for life after Vilonia Public Schools.
Please tell me a little about you: My wife, Kelly, and I graduated from Vilonia High School and the University of Central Arkansas. We have four children: Kelsey, Macy, Evy and Wesley. We are members of Vilonia First Baptist Church and serve in many church ministries. I am an accountant at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I have served on the Vilonia Board of Education for 9 years and I also help coach youth sports.
Responses of Sandra Brady include:
What motivates you to want to become a board member? After working in Vilonia School District for the past 33 years, I think I have gained a great insight into the daily operations within the district.
How would you describe an effective school board member? An effective school board member will represent their community and not their personal interests.
What do you see as the educational gaps or weaknesses in the district? A long-term strategy of acquiring state-of-the-art technology for all schools is imperative. Student learning should become a strong priority within the district.
What are the educational strengths in the district? Each of the schools within VSD is blessed with a strong administrative staff, faculty and support staff. The district gifted and talented department, high school art department and band are to be complimented!
What do you see as the primary work of the board? I believe it is extremely important to work as a team representing the community. I would also like to see district expenditures being more equal. No excessive spending in any specific area.
How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? The reading and preparation prior to the board meeting is imperative. Understanding budgets, reasoning behind ideas, and knowing your community constituents thoughts is imperative.
What is your vision for education in this community? Vilonia School District has become an example within the state in so many various aspects.
My desire is to do everything possible, allowing the district to continue to grow both academically and in the arts.
Please tell me a little about you: I have been married to Johnny Brady for 47 years. We have three grown children, each of which is a graduate of Vilonia School District. Johnny and I have been blessed with 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild and another one to be born this December.
My husband and I are both members of Oak Bowery Baptist Church in Saltillo.
As a life-long resident of Vilonia I look forward to sharing my thoughts, goals and dreams, as well as those of District 17 with the Vilonia School Board.