School Board District 3 race

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Interim Frost and candidate Kelly vie for seat in upcoming election

A seat on the Bossier Parish School Board is up for grabs on the Oct. 19 ballot.

Interim Jill Frost and candidate Frank Kelly are vying for the District 3 seat, which encompasses Benton Elementary, Middle and High Schools, Legacy and Princeton Elementary Schools.

Frost was appointed as interim board member in May following the resignation of Dr. Allison Brigham.

Early voting hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at the courthouse in Benton. The polls will open again on Saturday, Oct. 19, to District 3 voters.

Below is a Q&A with both candidates:

 

Frost
Frost

Jill Frost, a Benton resident for 18 years, is a wife, mother of two and a speech-language pathologist and rehab director for Therapy Management Corporation (3 years).

 

Tell me about yourself. I have been married to Robert Frost for 20 years. We have two children: Trey, who is a freshman at LSU, and Katie, who is a junior at Benton High School. I am Methodist. I am a registered Independent.

 

Do you have a personal connection to Bossier Schools? When my son started kindergarten at Benton Elementary in 2000, I wasn’t sure I wanted him to go to public school. I wanted him to have a good education and wasn’t sure that public schools in Louisiana would give him that. But I have always believed that if you find something wrong, try to be part of the solution rather than criticize. I wasn’t working full-time at that time and I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer a lot of time to the schools. There was a need. I organized a tutoring program, a celebration of reading and I pushed for the Accelerated Reader program to be utilized more effectively. Along with other parents, we painted murals on the playground and in the bathrooms. We re-vamped an overgrown courtyard and made it a reading courtyard. As an officer of the PTO, I was instrumental in fundraising and we purchased air conditioning for our gym. We have never regretted enrolling our kids in public schools. I have substituted in Benton and Plain Dealing schools. I have served on the parish’s Pupil Progression Committee as well as the Community Advisory Board for the Bond Election last spring. I have made a substantial investment (of time, energy and talent) in Bossier Parish Schools and it continues through my position on the BPSB as well as my continued volunteerism (this week I am currently working at the Red River Revel with the BHS band boosters). In addition to board meetings, I have attended most committee meetings as well as a five-hour seminar on legislative updates since I was appointed in May. I have visited schools and met with most of the administrators in District 3.

 

Kelly
Kelly

Why do you want to be the District 3 School Board representative? I have witnessed a renewed energy within the school board since 2000 when my oldest entered kindergarten. Bossier Parish schools have improved substantially since then and I want to see that our schools continue to exceed standards. My commitment is unique since I never really decided to run for school board. Because Allison Brigham knew my investment in the schools and because she felt we had similar aspirations she asked if she could recommend me to the board. She felt I could possibly transition into the position more easily than others. I was then appointed to fulfill the five months until the special election October 19th. I have made the transition these last five months and I am the most qualified to complete the vacated term. The future year is an important one with three schools breaking ground and additions to others beginning.

 

What is your vision for education in this community? My vision for our schools centers around a belief that we need to prepare every student to be a productive citizen. Everyone is not destined for college. The world needs graphic designers, web technicians, HVAC workers, electricians and child care workers too. As a manager in my field and with my husband being a business owner, I understand the importance of qualified applicants and it is the school’s role to prepare all students for their future.

 

What strengths can you bring to the school board? I feel like I have already proven my dedication through volunteering over the years. I also work well with others and I have common sense. I am passionate about education, reading and keeping our schools safe. Having a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders and with my own children in the gifted and talented and honors program I understand the diverse needs and programs that schools require to fit curriculum with learning styles.

 

How will you engage yourself in the community you represent? I haven’t changed much over the years. I have volunteered at church, in schools and in civic organizations since I moved to Bossier Parish. I will continue that.

 

What do you see in the future for Bossier Schools? I see continued growth. And with growth, comes more bulging schools and a need for more teachers and more classrooms. Our building projects are important ones. Citizens of Bossier Parish expect solid education and we will continue to meet those expectations. We are in the first year of a 10-year $210,000,000 construction bond project. It will be important that those projects are overseen to completion, and within budget.

 

Frank Kelly, a resident of Woodlake South in Benton, is a husband and father of five children, one of which is a student at Legacy Elementary School. He made his home in Bossier Parish in 1995 after 16 years as a medical service officer in the U.S. Army, serving two combat theaters in Panama and Kuwait.

 

Tell me about yourself. I am married to Teri Middlebrooks Kelly. I have five children; four are grown and I have one in Bossier Schools. I am an active member of Cypress Baptist Church (long-time Sunday School teacher, twice elected chairman of the deacons, leads annual mission trip to Honduras). I am a retired Army Officer with service in two combat theaters (Operation Just Cause {liberation of Panama} and Operation Desert Storm {liberation of Kuwait}). I am self-employed in healthcare administration.

 

Do you have a personal connection to Bossier Schools? My daughter is in third grade at Legacy Elementary. I have been very actively engaged at her school. I’ve read to students, I’m part of the PTO and I’ve helped with special events throughout the years. I also have grandchildren that I expect to come through Bossier Schools as well.

 

Why do you want to be the District 3 School Board representative? First and foremost, I’m a Christian. I believe as Christians that we need to be in the public square, be where the conversations are held and where the decisions are made or else we are going to get steamrolled. We’ve already been to some extent. The kind of thing that happened to Sheriff Whittington and the Young Marines program is something I believe is going to happen more and more. I will stand for what I believe in as a Christian. Secondly, I can bring professional experience with business principles like accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility. The Bossier Parish School Board is the second largest employer in the parish behind Barksdale. I can bring strategic planning and due diligence decision making to the board. I think Bossier Schools are great, but I also think every good and every great organization examines the way they do business to not just be great, but to be the best. The people that know me know that when I undertake something, I work hard at it. What I hope is that people will know I’ve done my research and that I will do a great job.

 

What is your vision for education in this community? To improve and grow through strategic planning and providing the resources needed to keep moving forward.

 

What strengths can you bring to the school board? I have the business experience and significant board experience with Armed Services YMCA; Heart of Hope – A Sanctuary for Women, a local Christian maternity home for girls who need help; Loving and Caring, a pro life ministry designed to support and provide resources to other pro life ministries. If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I want to have two advisory boards in place to give me feedback of what’s happening in the community. One will have parents and the other will have teachers. Those would be informal, unsanctioned groups that are just there to capture feedback. I’m thorough and look at both sides of an issue. Before I make decisions, I want to hear the contrasting position and find out why someone is for or against it.

 

How will you engage yourself in the community you represent? First of all, I’m already engaged. When I walk into schools, they know me. I am out in the community doing volunteer work. I volunteered at the soup kitchen at Airline Church of Christ for several months. While I was there, I heard about their backpack program and how not every school was covered. I looked at what was going on in north Bossier and with the elementary schools close to where I live. There wasn’t a program at Legacy, Benton or Apollo. I approached my church (Cypress Baptist Church) and asked if we could start a program. They started one and we still have it today. In those three schools, we call them Power Packs and fill them with enough food to get the child through the weekend. I can also be contacted through my website (www.electfrankkelly.com).

 

What do you see in the future for Bossier Schools? My vision for the future of Bossier Parish schools is to be the best. Why can’t we be the best in northwest Louisiana? Why can’t we be the best in the state or even in the country? We might not be, but we can certainly pursue that. We can find what the best are doing and emulate certain parts of that. Part of that starts right in the classroom by having high expectations for every student. It’s not going to be the same for every student, but set expectations for each student based on their own situations. What’s great about education is what happens between the student and the teacher. What we have to do is focus the resources there in order to make that the best possible environment.