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Latest updates from the campaign:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 4:51 PM

Dallas Morning News

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021 4:34 PM

League of Women Voters Questionaire

https://www.vote411.org/ballot

League of Women Voter Candidate Questionnaire 2021

 

  1. Motivation

    I believe the collaboration between Parents and the ISD is critical for the Success of our Students. Parents must have a seat at the table regarding the decisions being made. We all want what is best for our children and it starts with listening. I believe in equal access to public education across all grade levels and all students should receive daily instruction. The need for transparency is critical. Parents should be actively involved and informed about decisions being made in our schools. 

     

  2. Finance: 

    The most pressing concern is the decrease in enrollment and the financial consequences. To date about 2200 students have unenrolled from PISD and that accounts to $20 million dollar loss. That financial loss will carry over to the following years. Unfortunately, this is on top of the expected decline in numbers projected. We need to retain our students; we need to look for ways to reach the students that left the ISD that still live in Plano. 

     

  3. Goals:

    My goal is the success of our students. I am committed to being a Trustee that actively engages with the concerns of our students, parents, and staff.  Transparency, accountability, and focus on academic excellence will provide our students further opportunities to learn and then earn. The academic success of our students is the key driver of our public education system. I am committed to student development. Reaching and surpassing the reading, math and writing goals for our elementary students is critical to succeed in upper-level STEM, Language Arts, Vocational, and all other classes. The education of our students is our priority.

     

  4. Teachers: 

    Teachers can change the world for students. They are the key to academic excellence. The pandemic has shown how teachers can go above, pivot, and adjust in order to help their students. We need to attract and retain good teachers. We can do that by offering support at the campus level. We must provide opportunities for professional development and advancement. We need to also enhance the substitute teacher program which furthers supports and provides flexibility. Teachers are dedicated, caring, and chose a profession that has a lifelong impact on our students.  Teachers are the advocates for pathways to learning. 

     

  5. Diversity: How would you help the diverse population

     It is important to have a Trustee that can relate to different groups and concerns a diverse student population has. I was an ESL student. I understand how hard it is. I understand how it is difficult for parents to navigate a school system without knowing the language, policies, and procedures. I understand being a free lunch student. I understand how it is to miss out on activities because there is no money for extras. A diverse population also brings knowledge of different cultures, different ideas, diverse goals. But we all have a common goal and purpose: our children’s education. 

     

  6. Pandemic

    PISD has a 50-page pandemic safety protocol in place that explains all aspects that have been implemented. We need to focus on the health and safety of our students. As we move into the last phase and expected to return to normal school operations, we will need to focus on the pandemic learning loss. We do not know the true extent of the learning loss for this year and we will need to implement mitigating strategies to ensure our students recover from educational deficits. 

     

     

  7. Other Issues: Safety

 

All of our students should feel safe at our schools. We have policies and procedures in place yet if no one listens the policies are for naught. Active listening and an active response protocol to the concerns of students in regard to bullying is critical. Bullying has lifelong consequences and we as a district should listen to the parents and students facing bullying and help.

 

 



Tuesday, April 13, 2021 4:26 PM

Plano Star Courier Question and Answers

https://starlocalmedia.com/semida-voicu-place-1/article_d065e8ca-997b-11eb-8137-9382c4823f2e.html?fbclid=IwAR2rMiyQmCfDZ-ZpVjYoD4FLANszerHR-oWwdMxcRUqBJcqmDmlCgVGeM2Y

What are the most pressing issues facing the district, and how do you plan to address them?

The two main issues facing the district moving forward are pandemic-induced learning loss and decline in enrollment. Our students have spent the last year under the stress of the pandemic and the change in structure at school. While we do not know the extent of the learning loss, we know there are students suffering, struggling and failing. We need to focus on reading and math goals for elementary and middle school students. Some younger students will need Tier III intervention to catch up. A transparent disclosure of the true academic loss is needed. For the upper grades, we need to mitigate the loss of skills which are required for graduation, college and future employment. Plano ISD had an enrollment loss of 2,200 students this year – a $20 million impact to our current budget. That impact will carry over to the following years. We will need to find solutions.

What is your opinion on Gov. Abbott’s recent executive order?

There is a need to return to a sense of normalcy. The pandemic has created many difficult situations in different ways for our students. The mental and emotional health of our students is critical. The need for social interaction with peers, structure at school and academic success are paramount for the emotional and social health of our students. Our schools should look at ways to mediate the stressors for our children while safely providing the much needed educational and social interaction needs. Safety is always a concern. We now have a year’s worth of data to provide an implementation plan for next year. The students should be the priority in our planning.

What all does the Board of Trustees owe to students, parents, faculty and staff, and what would you do to help fulfill these obligations? (If you're an incumbent, what have you already done to help fulfill them?)

The school board is elected by constituents to serve the needs of the students first. Texas Education Code Chapter 26 states parents are partners with educators, administrators and school district boards. The board has a responsibility to provide the best education possible, make decisions on priorities, policies, personnel, expenditures, textbook and financial management to maintain and operate the schools efficiently and effectively. I believe in open dialogue and transparency in decision making. The board also owes accountability to students, parents and teachers. One of the benefits of Plano is our schools and we need to maintain what is working well and work on areas that need improvement. This requires communication, transparency and accountability and I am committed to being a trustee that actively engages with our stakeholders to achieve these goals.

What do you identify as core competencies for you and your campaign?

My core competencies are active listening to parents and active involvement in our schools and community. I have three children currently at Plano ISD. I understand what a high school senior is going through trying to graduate during a pandemic. A 10th grader worried about not seeing friends, a middle school child trying to find her way. I understand planning for college. I have two students in college. I can see what worked and what needs to be addressed to have successful college students. Having students in school is a reason parents reach out to me. They know I can understand. I have set up meetings with parents I have never met, parents who have heard of me just through word of mouth and parents who could not get heard. They trusted me to tell me their story and seek help for their children. I am humbled by that. I am on the Career and Technical Committee for Plano ISD looking at ways to expand vocational classes and student awareness of the paths offered. I have been on multiple PTAs for many years to keep involved and aware of our local schools. I have attended the Board of Trustees meetings and work sessions for two years. I read and keep informed of agenda items. It is important to understand and the best way to do so is to attend these meetings. I am Vice Chair of Community Relations for the City of Plano focusing on the needs of the disadvantaged in our community. Plano has changed and daily involvement and engagement in our school and community is critical to ensuring the success and safety of our stu



Monday, March 8, 2021 2:06 PM

Community Impact Candidate Questions Plano ISD School Board Place !

My Candidate Answers for Community Impact: Plano Independent School District Place 1.

Why did you decide to run for the Plano ISD board of trustees?
SV: I believe the success of our students should be the mission of PISD. We have a diverse population of students, and we need to facilitate academic success and growth for all. High school students are just as important as K-8th grade. Parents are concerned that the hybrid model of two days a week direct instruction instituted at the beginning of the school year is not sufficient, causing academic loss, and is not equitable in choice. We should be responding to the hopes of the children [and] the concerns of parents, the teachers and the community to insure a viable, prosperous and healthy school and future. PISD needs to provide an equal path for academic success for all students. I want to work to maintain and surpass those goals. This school year has been very difficult due to the pandemic. Everyone has been affected. The need of academic support, social interaction with peers, equal access to return to school and parentalchoice should be the cornerstone of PISD policy. We need transparency and open communication with parents. Parental choice should be equal for all students in all grades.
How has your experience prepared you for board service?
SV: I am invested in PISD and education on a daily basis. I have three students currently in PISD. Two are in high school on the hybrid, two-day, face-to-face instruction model, and one is a virtual student in middle school. I am a member of the career and technical education committee for PISD. I am vice chairman of the Community Relation Commission for the City of Plano. I have been involved in Rasor, Hendrick, Clark and Plano Senior PTAs. I am a small-business owner who works to negotiate the best outcome for my clients. I have a fiduciary duty to put the needs of my clients first, and I will hold to the same standard of care for the students of PISD.
What changes, if any, do you think should be made to the state's recapture system, which redistributes tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts to those with lower property values, and why?
SV: I agree with PISD’s position that we need to reduce the recapture burden. 34% of PISD property taxes goes to the state. This issue is a legislative priority for PISD. HB 3 was a positive step, and we need to maintain that funding. Texas Legislature needs to make this a priority.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Plano ISD today, and how do you plan to address them if elected?
SV: One of the biggest challenges facing PISD is declining enrollment numbers. 2,045 students have unenrolled so far this school year. That is a cost of $20 million dollars. Forty percent of those students were prekindergarten and kindergarten students. The district expecteda decline per previous projections due to the natural cycle of cities. A loss of this magnitude has a major impact on the budget in the short term and the long term. The issue is, how do we get those students to come back? Do we know why they left? What model of education did they choose if they unenrolled but still live in Plano? An exit interview might be a method of obtaining some information. Asking what the concerns were for the parents is critical. Asking what the school could have done to alleviate the desire to withdraw is important information. Asking what measures we could take to return these students to our ISD needs to be a major discussion and focus. I believe open dialogue with parents, active listening to parental and student concerns, and clear communication could have alleviated some of the loss. We need to retain our students, and we need to retain our teachers.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
SV: My husband and I are both immigrants from Romania.My parents instilled the belief that education will create opportunities. I worked full-time during high school, paid my own way through college, where I graduated with a B.S. in psychology. I have an MBA in management. We are raising five children in Plano because we chose to live in a safe city, a city with abundant and unique resources for our children and an excellent education system. I believe Plano is a "City of Excellence," and we need to ... continue to be the leader in academic standards in PISD.

To see all candidates:

https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort-worth/plano/education/2021/03/08/election-qa-candidates-for-plano-isd-place-1/


Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:02 PM

Plano Moms Blog Questionaire

Semida Voicu

What motivates you to want to become a board member?

I am a mom of five ranging from 14 years old to 21. I am involved in many levels of schooling and they are all important. Each grade comes with its own unique challenges and benefits. I want to be able to represent the many different stages in learning. 

All grade levels are important, and parents should have an equal voice in the decisions for their students. All parents should have the same equal choice. For example: the choice to select virtual or face to face 5 days a week instruction this school year. Grades 9-12thwere only allowed the choice for virtual or 2 days a week direct face to face instruction when the schools opened. All other grades were allowed to select virtual or 5 days at school.  We need a voice that hears our challenges and our hopes. A voice that listens and gives parental choice to all students across all grades.  

Our kids spend 12 years in school and the PISD statement resonates with me: “Powered by Learning.” We need to increase access to dual credit classes and vocational classes. These classes provide for learning and earning potential. We need to focus on the success of our students.

What Particular skills or experiences in education qualify you to serve as a school board Member?

I believe parents know what is best for their children. We as parents see what is working, what is not, what the major issues are, and parents should have a voice in the decisions being made. That parental input and guidance is critical to the school board. Being a current parent of students in multiple grades will provide for a better understanding of what is happening on a day-to-day basis. 

I have two students in high school in the hybrid model of 2 days a week at school and one child in middle school in the virtual classes. Experience in both models is important to understand the implications. I have been involved in Plano’s PTAs at various schools for many years. That parental experience is critical to the school board.

I own my own independent real estate brokerage. I talk to people who want to move here. I listen to their needs and goals.  I facilitate and negotiate outcomes. I have a fiduciary duty to my clients to put their needs above anyone else’s and I will follow that fiduciary care for all of the PISD students.

I have an MBA in Management and have taken supplemental classes in Education. I am currently on the Career and Technical committee for PISD. CTE courses create the ability for students to obtain certifications in vocational trades while in high school. 

This serves those students who are not planning to attend university to further their education and earning potential. 

I am the Vice Chair for the Community Relations Commission for the City of Plano that oversees the Community Development Block Grant, Community Service Grants and provides recommendations on problems impacting the quality of life of Plano residents. I am invested in PISD and our students in Plano on a daily basis.  

How long have you lived in the District?

 I have lived in the PISD district for 21 years.

What do you see as the current challenges facing public education in our district? One of the biggest challenges facing PISD is declining enrollment numbers. 2045 students have unenrolled so far this school year. 

That is a cost of $20 million dollars. 40% of those students were prekindergarten and kindergarten students. The district expected a decline per previous projections due to the natural cycle of cities. A loss of this magnitude has a major impact on the budget in the short term and the long term.  The issue is how do we get those students to come back? Do we know why they left? What model of education did they choose if they unenrolled but still live in Plano?   

An exit interview might be a method of obtaining some information. Asking what the concerns were for the parents is critical. Asking what the school could have done to alleviate the desire to withdraw is important information. 

Asking what measures we could take to return these students to our ISD needs to be a major discussion and focus. I believe open dialogue with parents, active listening to parental and student concerns, and clear communication could have alleviated some of the loss. We need to retain our students and we need to retain our teachers.


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