COMMUNITY : Jessica Davila-Burnett

BISD Seat 3 Board Member

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There are seven BISD Trustee places (seats) that make up the school board. Each seat is an At-Large position, so it doesn’t represent a particular zone or targeted district. Collectively, the board serves the entire Boerne Independent School District. Each board member serves a three-year term and may seek re-election.


 

What’s your background and district
representation?
I’ve been involved in the Boerne community since I moved here from Corpus Christi in 2014. I started my volunteerism in BISD as a room parent for my youngest daughter (Brooklyn) at Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary and Van Raub Elementary School, including volunteering with the PTOs. I also served as the Choir Booster Club president at Champion High School for two years and served as a theatre parent volunteer with my oldest daughter (Skyler).

In 2018, I served as co-chair of the food allergies committee on the Student Health Advisory Council, also known as SHAC. Darcy Moore (co-chair), Brooke Ball (committee member), and BISD Nurse Carole Gish helped revise the District’s food allergy response policies and procedures. Darcy and I attended the BISD school board meeting, where we witnessed our committee’s hard work approved by the BISD Trustees. I also served as a director on the Boerne Education Foundation Board. I recently resigned from BEF before being sworn-in as a new Trustee on May 17th.

What motivated you to get involved with the School Board?
As an active BISD parent volunteer in the District, I am passionate about serving others and making a difference in the lives of our students. I love the Boerne community and share many of the same values and principles that make Boerne a beautiful city to contribute to my community service, and proudly, a place to call home.

Being involved with BISD as a parent volunteer on the campuses and serving on district committees prepared me for my next step in leadership. I am passionate about supporting our students, teachers, staff, and families. As a family, we prayed and discussed my opportunity to run for office, and if elected, serve as a Trustee. I am blessed to have my family’s unwavering support. I want to thank my friends, neighbors, and those who participated in the election for sharing their voices, concerns, and encouragement with me. And more importantly, everyone who voted in the May general election, thank you for getting involved and caring so deeply about our students and our community.

What issues do you feel were the most pressing this past school year?
For the coming year, I am concerned that, with Covid impacting our education so dramatically during the 2020-21 school year, our students need to recover from gaps in student learning. that they lost. Addressing these educational gaps will be a big step in the right direction for the 2021-2022 school year.

I am grateful that our schools opened successfully and that our students could participate in academic activities, sports, fine arts, clubs, and other events. One thing I missed was volunteering on the campuses. With the 2020-2021 COVID safety protocols, the District needed to scale back on the outside visitors on campus. Having our PTO’s and other booster club volunteers back on campus this coming school year will help bring normalcy back to our schools.

What do you feel you bring to the School Board?
I believe I will make a difference on the board through my background as a leader with a proven track record. I plan to demonstrate my transparent communication and conservative approach to solving problems and issues while standing up for what’s right. Serving the community is my lifeblood, and through my parents’ examples, I learned the importance of servant leadership. I’ve been involved in the District as a dedicated and committed BISD mom and parent volunteer for several years, serving on various committees and boards supporting students, teachers and parents. Whenever I see a need, I am moved to enhance my community, whether enacting Texas State legislation for students’ safety or raising funds for programs and campuses. I bring people together and take action to get things done for the good of the community. I am accessible and ready to serve.

What issues would you like to see the School Board address or change?
In 2011, I brought forth an issue to TX State Rep. Todd Hunter and championed a Texas Public Schools’ records bill for children with food allergies. My experience includes testifying at the Texas Capitol and garnering collaborative support from various organizations and associations, ultimately safeguarding children with food allergies in Texas public schools. My strengths are identifying problems and working to create solutions, and more importantly, taking the appropriate actions while encouraging input from others, intentionally and respectfully. Using my skill set as a communications and public affairs professional, I’ll provide clear and transparent communications.

Just recently, Dr. Price established a BISD communications committee and we met to discuss streamlining communications and develop a communications strategy. Our committee members include BISD staff, parents (representing various schools within BISD), Dr. Price, and myself.

When I’m asked about the ‘biggest issue facing Boerne ISD,’ the first one that exists is our area’s growth. The school board has done a great job of being proactive to manage the increasing student enrollment, however, with more and more development and subdivisions being created, the board’s attention to this issue is paramount.
As we look forward to the 2021-2022 year, what challenges do you see ahead?
I look forward to working with BISD leadership and the Board of Trustees to continue our work towards a master plan and strategic growth.

What opportunities do you see?
As I focus on opportunities for the coming years, I feel strongly that community involvement and engagement is an area where we can improve. On the campaign trail, I met many residents who felt they couldn’t or shouldn’t get involved or participate with BISD simply because they longer had children attending a BISD school. That’s a myth and a perception that is not reality. Some recently had their last child graduate, and others were empty nesters. I met several retired residents whose children never attended BISD school. As taxpayers, our residents are stakeholders. They are BISD customers, with or without a child in the District. I believe our school district and city leadership set the tone for our community, and every citizen counts.

Anything to say to the community in general about their support and involvement?
Every resident that pays taxes deserves an opportunity to be heard and informed of the great things happening within the District and knowing about any challenges that we may face. We need our community’s support, their input, and their engagement. If you are retired and want some great entertainment, come to a school play or a game! Our schools and students need your support!

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