Cleburne ISD board of trustees Place 7 candidate Rusty Walker wasn’t born or raised in Cleburne but said he believes it is a great place to raise children.
The Fort Worth native and father of three — two of which attend Coleman Elementary School — said the biggest problem he sees is parents within CISD moving their children to other area school districts.
“Right now, the first thought I have when people are moving their kids to Godley and Joshua is, ‘Why is that?’” Walker said. “I don’t think it’s the teachers or administrators — I’m on campus all the time — and we have great teachers and administrators.”
Walker said he believes a small reason parents may send their children to other districts is because CISD is “behind the times” in terms of what it offers in technology and other learning resources.
“If we keep up with technology, the parents can help at home,” Walker said, adding technology could be helpful in cases where students speak English at school and Spanish at home. “The parents are hamstrung when it comes to helping kids and if they have ESL homework [on paper] you’re no use to your kid.”
Like others, Walker says another main priority of his is security, but he’s not in favor of overly-securing campuses.
“What happened [at Sandy Hook Elementary School] was a tragic and terrible thing and that’s what spurred a lot of this stuff,” Walker said. “You’re not ever going to keep people from doing bad things. You can’t see when they come in the door and if they [have a weapon].
“If it means we have to spend a couple million dollars going to each school, to funnel everyone to the office, those are good things.”
Walker said the best thing anyone can do for the students of Cleburne is to work their hardest every day to make sure all students have a bright future, which is what he intends to do if elected.
“Everybody has to find their own way to influence kids,” he said. “I coach and do what I can do as a volunteer. One thing I actually like a lot is Upward [a Christian-based sports program] and spending time in the word. You know, boys, they need to see that from men.”
Now working at Marshall Young Insurance, Walker, who was formerly an auditor for 18 years, said his background and degree in finance will help him as a board member in being able to hear and understand everyone’s situations and concerns.
“There will be times we have something where we have to, as a group, stick together,” he said. “We are doing this for the kids.”