Candidate Q&A – Geoff Seibel – Hays CISD Board of Trustees At-Large

What is your educational background? 

I have a Bachelor’s in Math with Teaching Certification from Texas State University and am an Associate of the Society of Actuaries.

What is your experience participating with the Hays school district or at a particular campus?

I am a former middle school and high school math teacher, two of which I spent as a 7th grade math teacher at Barton Middle School. Since leaving education, I have volunteered on a number of campus and district-wide committees, including: PTA, Watch DOGS, school site selection committee, and FBOC for over five years. I have also mentored and tutored students in the district. My wife, Kristin, has also been a Hays CISD educator for 18 years and is currently the Assistant Principal at Kyle Elementary. I have two amazing daughters that are currently in 8th and 5th grade in this district.

What is your motivation to become a school board member?

We live in an incredible community and I have been an active participant in our school district for a number of years because I am fiercely devoted to public education. I believe that all students can be successful and I am motivated to ensure that all students in Hays CISD are successful and prepared for life after graduation. As a former teacher and spouse of an educator, I know the difficulties of the education profession and I want to ensure we are able to retain the amazing educators in our district through high compensation and by being an employee-friendly district. But overall, my motivation is simple: do what is best for students.

What will you do to fight the epidemic of fentanyl in HCISD?

The fentanyl epidemic is frightening and having conversations about fentanyl safety with my daughters is a regular occurrence. As a Trustee, fighting the fentanyl epidemic involves working with other public and community entities as it takes all of us working together to keep our students safe. The district has done a great job of tackling the issue head-on and communicating the real threat fentanyl poses to our community. We have a dedicated website that addresses what the district is doing, but we have to do more to help the social/emotional health of our students. Having social-emotional learning initiatives on every campus is a positive start, and I am excited about the introduction of PALS and peer counseling. As a Trustee, I will continue promoting these initiatives, along with our 100% Hays initiative and Hays Hopeline so we can all work together to improve the physical and emotional safety of our students.

What is your plan for reducing the threat of gun violence in our schools?

Gun violence continues to be a threat in our schools, but the underlying issue is the emotional health of our students. The district Chief Safety & Security Officer, Jeri Skrocki, has done a great job ensuring the physical safety by securing the exterior of our campuses and implementing a number of safety protocols on campuses. These include safety drills so our students understand how to react in situations to help keep our students safe. But we have to continue to fight for the emotional health of our students. PALS will be a great program for helping give students peer counselors, and the SEL initiatives on each campus will help our campuses be more in touch with the emotional health of our students. As a trustee, I plan to dedicate resources necessary to ensure the physical and emotional safety of our students.

Please explain your stance on book bans happening in public schools across Texas.

I am not in favor of book bans.

Describe how you will make sure diverse voices from the LGBTQIA+, economically disadvantaged, and culturally diverse communities will be heard and supported in the district?

Part of the mission statement of Hays CISD is to “celebrate our diversity.” We are blessed to live in a diverse district that is well representative of Texas as a whole. By celebrating this diversity and honoring our cultural differences, our students will be better prepared for life after graduation. In this diverse world that we live in, the one thing that we can all be is kind to one another. And at the end of the day, our students and campuses are all unique, and have unique needs, so it is a simple matter of just meeting the needs so we can ensure all students in our district are successful.

If elected, how will you work to address the disproportionately high concentration of economically disadvantaged and minority students in some areas that the district serves? 

Each campus in our district is unique and has unique needs. We cannot use a formulaic approach and assume it will be successful at all campuses and for all students. We have to identify the needs of each campus and each student population and efficiently use the resources entrusted to us by the community to meet those needs. As a Trustee, I will continue our district expectation of high achievement for all of our campuses. We simply have to ensure all of our students and campuses have what they need to be successful because they are all capable of great things!

How should Hays CISD approach the new "outcomes based" school rating system that emphasizes job preparation and is this a fair metric use to in evaluating Texas schools?

The mission statement of Hays CISD “is to educate, value, and nurture students” and that all Hays CISD “learners will be: highly sought-after for college, career, or military.” Although I understand the need for an accountability system, reducing our campuses to a simple letter grade removes all context from the performance of a campus. We have a singular goal of ensuring every student in Hays CISD is successful and prepared for life after graduation. If we do the work in meeting the needs of our students and focus on that singular goal, then any evaluation system will reflect positively on our district. But this is not a simple goal. It takes all of us working together to understand the unique needs of each campus and each student to bring about that success.

How can the Board of Trustees help address the limited financial support schools are getting from the state to recruit and retain school professionals?

The Board of Trustees, through our relationship with TASB, will continue to advocate on our community’s behalf for public education at the state and national level. The state has put public education in a difficult position, but I will continue calling my state legislators and I will continue asking the community to call their legislators to fund our public schools adequately so that we can continue to pay all of our Hays CISD employees adequately. We have done a great job in this district increasing teacher pay, but we have to keep working for all of our employees, including bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and office staff. Every employee in our district is critical to student success and the primary way we demonstrate our community’s appreciation for their work is by offering competitive compensation.

Are there other issues or ideas you have to improve the future of Hays CISD and help our students?

Dr. Wright and the current Board of Trustees have worked hard to demonstrate to the community that our district is doing everything possible to ensure the success of every student in our district. The transparency and cohesiveness between the Board of Trustees and Dr. Wright has helped improve the trust between the community and the district. Every parent wants what is best for their students and their schools and I want to do my part in continuing to build that trust between the community and the district. We are also dealing with explosive growth so the Board of Trustees has to be fiscally responsible and proactive in identifying the needs of our community to make sure our students are learning in a stable environment. My experience in this district has prepared me to be able to make challenging decisions to meet the needs of our community on day 1.


Geoff Seibel_web

At-Large Trustees can be voted on for the entire Hays CISD voting district.

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