WOCCISD Board of Trustee candidates speak

Published 1:17 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019


By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


As Election Day approaches, The Orange Leader asked the five individuals running for West Orange-Cove Consolidated ISD Board of Trustees to answer three questions to give the residents a better understanding of each candidate.

Answers to the questions are unedited. We are publishing them as presented. To allow for space, first and last name will be used in the first question and the candidate’s initials will be used in the remainder of this article.

Answers will be listed in alphabetical order by last name.

This is an opportunity for Orange citizens to know the candidates better prior to casting a vote on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Another opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates is 6 p.m. Friday at 2700 Western Ave. during a forum for the candidates.

Linda Platt-Bryant and Demetrius Hunter are incumbents.

Early voting begins on Monday, April 22 and ends on Tuesday, April 30 at the Orange Public Library inside Meeting Room, 220 N. 5th Street in Orange, Bridge City ISD Admin. Building, 1031 W. Roundbunch Rd in Bridge City and Raymond Gould Community Center, 385 Claiborne in Vidor.


the Orange Leader

Orange Leader: Board members are the link between the school system and the public. How will you keep those lines of communication open?






Kianna Edwards-Brooks

Kianna Edwards-Brooks: The parents and board have one thing for sure in common, everyone is working in the best interest of our students and district. With Orange being such a close-knit community, it’s never difficult to reach any one person. If elected, I would make myself available to listen to the concerns of any community member in whatever way is most convenient for them. Being active in a church family allows me the opportunity to speak with some community members directly about current happenings within the district and community as well as answer any questions they may have in person. 




Russell Holt

Russell Holt: I will do my very best to keep my ears open to hear the issues and questions from the staff, parents and community that concerns our school district. Because without full participation and involvement is like an engine not running on all cylinders.





Demetrius Hunter

Demetrius Hunter: I am proud to say that as a Board member the public has numerous opportunities to witness my participation in various school events on every campus. I have made it my mission to be visible and field any questions anywhere, anytime allowing communication to flow both ways.





Linda Platt-Bryant

Linda Platt-Bryant: Effective communication is the key to my leadership as a current board member in relating to other board members, administrators, faculty, staff, and parents on behalf of our students.

I will continue to maintain an open line of communication between WOCCISD and the public as it is a key aspect of continuing trust and positive community relationships as a board member.

Many new solutions to problems in WOCCISD can be directly traced to the effectiveness of my leadership as a school board member because of my willingness to serve, listen, and advocate for the district.

I govern in this district knowing it manages communications effectively and continues to look at new ways of technology to inform and lead change to positive learning in WOCCISD.


Gina Simar

Gina Simar: I am here for all the students and willing to listen. Lines of communication will be kept open by continuing to be visible in the community, and sensitive to the needs of our students.





OL: What actions and plans would you contribute to being on the school board and how would your placement benefit the students?


KEB: I appreciate the forward-thinking progress that has been made by the administration of the district thus far and I would hope that my appointment would add to that progress. Our students deserve a top-notch education and real-world preparations, which begins in Pre-K and expands along a continuum through high school. Implementing a foreign language full immersion program beginning with our elementary students would help further prepare them for success beyond secondary education. 

Fully utilizing valuable assets within our community would help mold our students. Being surrounded by chemical plants gives us an opportunity to reach out to engineering staff first hand to interact with our gifted students. Those nuggets of insight just may ignite a tiny flame to pull more students into S. T. E. M. Fields. 

With a College here in town, the students of this town should benefit most from all available outlets. 


RH: I strongly feel I can contribute my loyalty and passion to WOCCISD. Because with the people and parents that I know, they are putting their trust in me to help nurture and come up with ideas that greatly impact everyone with WOCCISD.

With our students being first is above and beyond the importance of duty. I strongly feel that I can be a huge benefit to our students. With already a member of the “Men of Excellence” my moral’s and character take effect already to students that are present at WOCCISD and past graduates. I am always that big guy they can always look up to and call on. My daughter is a prime example.


DH: It brings me an honor to serve on the Booster Club. As a member of that organization, I lend my support by enlisting various members of the public to volunteer their time on any and all campuses to help fundraise for numerous and sundry activities. The activity that keeps me flowing is the opportunity to be responsible for transporting the school Helmet for the Mighty Mustangs to each and every game played! I am delighted to be responsible for the transportation of the band equipment when they travel to competitions. My placement on the board gives parents and students access to me while participating in these activities and helps assure the community that I put my energy where my mouth is.


LBP: I will continue to contribute constructively to the vision of WOCCISD.  My re-election and continued school board training would benefit the students with new and improved school programs, facilities, and services.

Being a committed team member of the school board continues to direct my leadership which is focused on student achievement and empowering strong leadership and educators, which results in a district culture of excellence.


GS: I plan to review and analyze information, make educated decisions all while working with the other team members of the school board, to benefit of the students in the district.   


OL: The school board sets the course for the district’s schools by adopting goals and priorities to keep the district moving in a positive direction. What is one goal you would like to see to keep the district moving in a positive direction?


KEB: I strongly believe that Orange is blossoming in a positive direction mainly through the cooperation of many like-minded individuals from different backgrounds working together for a common goal. The same can be said of the school board. When you have individuals with a vested interest in seeing an institution advance in a positive direction, you fuel an almost unstoppable movement. When you have leaders speaking positivity and life into the young people of the community, you reinvigorate that natural desire to excel. 

As a parent in the district, I would like to strike a movement that encourages positive self-awareness and self-confidence for young men and ladies throughout the district. An effort to change not only their learning environments to the least restrictive but the most encouraging. Where every single person, staff and students feel valued. If a person feels valued and appreciated, their performance will reflect the pride they feel. 


RH: The key to a successful school district is to have strong leadership, quality staffing ad strong parental involvement and I express in Strong Parental Involvement. So in order to keep the district moving, my goal is to move and motivate to get more parents involved, to raise the bar on getting parents excited, to bring their spirits out more, and to get parents more into their child’s surroundings on their everyday adventure and journey through WOCCISD. Your children need your support and upmost attention. If you take at least 15 to 30 minutes of your time once or twice a week to visit your child at their campus, you would be surprised art the warmth your child would feel and that goes a long way. Trust me on this not only as a parent, but as a single parent at that. I back this up 112%. I can go on with this, but I will end it here. ‘Let’s ring it up’ for your children. ‘Let’s get excited’ parents.


DH: It gives me joy to see WOCCISD set high standards that our children are expected to meet. Every child served deserves a quality education; nonetheless, we have to expect that child to do their best daily. It is my belief that children rise to the expectations presented. Continuing to expect high standards will keep WOCCISD moving in a positive direction.


LPB: A goal I would like to continue to see is WOCCISD achieving as a “District of Innovation”.  We continue to “stand the test of time”, with the overall view that a public education without some “post educational learning”, limits students in becoming productive citizens.  Well in WOCCISD, the opportunity is “here and now” in our classrooms and we are empowering our students with the opportunity for College, Military, Technical & Trades, and directly to Careers in the workforce.  

With our Parents and Guardians positive support and positive guidance of their children in WOCCISD, we can continue achieving this goal of excellence.


GS: I am familiar with the goals that have been established by the current school board. I am particularly interested in the goal: Provide opportunities to increase family involvement.  

I believe family involvement is crucial to student success.