Kirkham-Arnold seeking reelection to Tarkington ISD board

Kem Kirkham-Arnold is seeking reelection to Position 3 on the Tarkington ISD board of trustees.

“I am running for reelection to maintain my position on the Tarkington ISD board and carry out plans in motion at this time.  I’m currently serving as President and have filled the positions of Vice President, Secretary and trustee,” Kirkham-Arnold said. “I support and believe in the educators of Tarkington ISD. The work and dedication the staff pours into our children is beyond limits.  My two children attended and graduated from Tarkington and will for ever call our school ‘home.'”

Kirkham-Arnold has deep roots in the Tarkington community and at Tarkington ISD. She and her grandparent, parents, sister and two children attended and graduated from Tarkington High School. She also has two nieces and many cousins attending Tarkington schools.

Kirkham-Arnold holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in healthcare management, which is beneficial as a partner with Texas Elite Hospice.

“I also hold a Teaching Certification and enjoyed my years of teaching.  With these two advantages, I feel I am a well-rounded board member.  I can make solid business decisions as well as support our educators and staff,” she said. “I enjoy giving back to our community and working with others. I’m currently a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and serve on the Special Events Committee, serve on the Cleveland Live Stock Show auction committee, a member of the Cleveland Lions Club, Sponsor through the scholarships of the Student Ambassadors of Cleveland and Tarkington, and a member of Oak Shade Baptist Church.”

Kirkham-Arnold lists her priorities as the following:

SAFETY – “Students and staff must feel safe at all times.  Voting in favor of a second district police officer, updated and improved surveillance cameras, installing buzzer alarm entrances to each school building and  door closures security devices to each classroom are just the beginning of our improved safety plan.  We will continue to assess our campuses and make changes as needed,” she said.

ACADEMICS – “I support the educators. We are working to carry out the mandates given by the State.  The accountability of students and staff is reviewed throughout the year. The new accountability rating from the State will be a challenge for every district in the state,” Kirkham-Arnold said.

FISCAL  RESPONSIBILITY – “I’m a tax payer, just as you. I’m proud to say in the years I’ve served on the board we have kept school taxes at 1.1575 or below (it was 1.1900 when I was elected).   We continually struggle with cuts in federal and state funding while maintaining quality education for our students,” Kirkham-Arnold added.

CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION –  “TISD offers over 25 classes to students.  These certifiable courses range in healthcare, business, technology and agriculture.  Students who meet the requirements can earn a certificate for a career of their choice.  These courses require student interest and staff. Each child attending TISD helps develop and promote our CTE program,” she said.

SUPPORT – “I believe we have some of the best educators around. These individuals serve our future with their hearts.  It is our responsibility to provide a positive work place that will lead to staff retention,” Kirkham-Arnold said.

She added that she is excited to represent the residents of Tarkington on the school board and will be their voice in the local schools. She invites anyone with questions or concerns to visit her campaign Facebook page, Kem Kirkham-Arnold for TISD Position 3, and promises to meet with voters one-on-one.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election begins Oct. 22 at the Cleveland Civic Center.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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