NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - This week, the State Board of Education plans to discuss curriculum changes with English Language Arts, health and sciences, and the framework for school boards. Now, two East Texans will soon be part of that decision-making process.
Dr. Keven Ellis from Lufkin has been on the board since 2017 representing District 9. Last year he was appointed to be the chair of the board.
Now, Nacogdoches ISD’s Audrey Young has been elected to represent District 8, which ranges from Houston County to the Houston metro.
Audrey Young is the Director of Student Support Services at Nacogdoches ISD. An educator for nearly 30 years, in the classroom, on school boards and in administrative roles, she will be adding State Board of Education to her resume.
“I’m looking forward to just seeing what it is, expanding my knowledge and life skills, and doing what is best what’s in the best interest of the students in the State of Texas,” Young said.
The State Board of Education is involved with curriculum, graduation requirements, and instructional materials for all Texas students in public schools.
“I know what it’s like to have 33 students in your classroom and to teach during your planning period,” Young said. “I understand the concerns with the coronavirus and the safety hazards. As Director of Student Support Services, nurses are under this division so learning all about the CDC guidelines and Department of State Health Services, all of it is firsthand knowledge.”
Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says he is excited for Young to take on this role.
“I’m telling you she is going to be a powerhouse and valuable asset to those other members,” Trujillo said. “She’s going into a point the board that has dealt with some lightning rods and dramatic debates that have happened within the last year. COVID, the abstinence, creation, and ethics studies. She’s not going to sit ideally by. She is a participate and passionate and will get in there and advocate not only for our region but for all across the state.”
“I’m stepping in to where they’re at currently in reviewing the TEKS,” Young said. “Hopefully in the process of it, I’ll be able to be part of making the best decisions for the students in the state of Texas.”
And Young joins another East Texan on board with chair Keven Ellis who represents District 9, that covers the majority of East Texas.
“Those that are in bigger school districts don’t understand the dynamics that occur in small school districts, or some of barriers that they have or challenges that they have to overcome,” Young said. “My particular area of expertise is special education and I hope I have the opportunity to make sure our children have that receive special education services have an additional voice on the board as well.”
Young lives in Trinity County and won the District 8 seat with 74 percent of the vote. Now she will help to make policies for those she represents, East Texas and the entire state.
Young is slated to be sworn in at the Trinity County Courthouse by County Judge Doug Page in January.