Kim Boen Makes Closing Coronavirus Education Gaps Campaign Keystone

Kim+Boen+is+running+for+RRISD+School+Board+Place+1+this+election+year.+With+33+years+of+experience+teaching+in+the+district%2C+Ms.+Boen+believes+it+is+time+to+give+back+to+the+community.

Photo By Kim Boen

Kim Boen is running for RRISD School Board Place 1 this election year. With 33 years of experience teaching in the district, Ms. Boen believes it is time to give back to the community.

By Amy Simon, Reporter

This November, RRISD voters will be able to choose a number of candidates for four open seats on the board of trustees. Kim Boen, a former teacher who taught in the district for 33 years, is running against Jun Xiao, a research scientist and founder of HP Labs for the Place 1 position. Her primary focus includes making sure the board is efficient, ensuring the district’s curriculum is up-to-date, and making social-emotional learning a priority.

I was bound and determined that I was going to teach in Round Rock ISD, and I did. I spent 33 years teaching in the district and I’ve now rested up. It’s time for me to give back.”

— Kim Boen

“I grew up in Round Rock ISD,” Ms. Boen said. “My heart has always been here. I came back to the district like many others to raise my children. I was bound and determined that I was going to teach in Round Rock ISD, and I did. I spent 33 years teaching in the district and I’ve now rested up. It’s time for me to give back.”

Ms. Boen believes that her experience with the school district will give her an extra edge and help her govern through upcoming challenges, including students coming back to school during COVID-19, budgeting, and setting the tax rate. She currently volunteers for Lone Star Governance (LSG), a program that provides training and coaching to schools and administrations around the state.

“The Lone Star Governance is part of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which is the overarching guide we use for schools,” Ms. Boen said. “I do consulting work with law-related education, and that is where we help and teach teachers and give resources for teachers around the state.”

One of Ms. Boen’s biggest concerns is the board’s governance. She says that the biggest challenge is division, with partisan fights getting in the way of big decisions. Ms. Boen says that the important thing to note is that everyone in the district, whether it be the students, board members, or administrators have the same goal: to make sure everyone is happy, healthy, and succeeds. To meet this goal, everyone needs to work together.

“For one, we need good governance on the school board,” Ms. Boen said. “If the school board is functioning the way it should function, then students have reaped the benefits from it. We’re preparing all students to become successful adults after they graduate from high school and step into the world.”

Another concern is COVID-19. Ms. Boen believes that it is crucial that all students have access to a device and internet service. She said that it is important for all teachers to have access to appropriate tools, whether it be a whiteboard, or just a proper setup, to ensure that each student gets enrichment opportunities that are equally engaging and challenging. With a different learning environment this year, Ms. Boen says that she knows that education gaps will need to be addressed. She said that currently, ensuring students and staff member’s safety is the most important issue needing to be addressed.

 Down the road, when COVID-19 numbers start to dwindle down, then education gaps will be the issue to focus on. Ms. Boen says that adjustments to the curriculum may need to be made in order for students to receive the best education. Approving budget items to pay for resources to implement will be a huge discussion as funding for these resources may be hard to get.

COVID-19 and education catapulted us into a world we had never experienced, as far as education goes. We’re going to have gaps. We have to plan for those gaps.”

— Kim Boen

“COVID-19 and education catapulted us into a world we had never experienced, as far as education goes,” Ms. Boen said. “The teachers are working tirelessly to provide the best that they can for students. We’re going to have gaps. We have to plan for those gaps. Right now, we have to take it one day at a time, because the thought of what’s going on with schedules and what teachers are teaching, I can only imagine the hours they are working to make it work best for students.”

Mr. Xiao, another candidate running for the Place 1 position has very different views compared with Ms. Boen. He says that being an immigrant gives him the experience of an unfamiliar school system. Having this experience will give him a fresh perspective on topics the school board focuses on and will connect him with more families in similar situations. He believes that RRISD’s biggest challenge is state budget cuts, cutbacks in student enrollment, and tax revenue shrinks caused by the pandemic. He wants to cut non-educational expenses, eliminate resources within programs that are expensive and ineffective, and encourage more partnerships within the city, PTA, and local organizations.

With Ms. Boen’s experience within the district and the TEA, she believes that she would be a good candidate for this position. Asides from the Place 1 position, the RRISD school district voters will also be voting for the Place 2, Place 6, and Place 7 trustees. Candidates include Lacey Mase, Cornell Woolridge, Jenn Griffith, Russell Winston Collins, and Tiffanie Nichole Harrison. Early voting begins on Tuesday, October 13 and voting ends on Tuesday, November 3.