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Get to know the candidates running for SMCISD Board of Trustees District 4

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Early voting is underway for the San Marcos Consolidated ISD Board of Trustees District 4 election.

Gabrielle Moore and Brian K. Shanks are vying for the position.

Early voting wraps up Tuesday. Voters can cast their ballots at any voting center in Hays County. Polls are open Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Hays County Government Center, while polls are open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at all other voting locations.

San Marcos early voting locations include: Broadway, 401 Broadway St. #A; Hays County Government Center, 712 South Stagecoach Trail; and LBJ Student Center, Texas State University, 601 University Drive. For more polling locations visit:

Get to know the candidates

(Each candidate appears in the same order as they do on the ballot)

Gabrielle Moore

Experience: I am a Realtor® based in San Marcos for 10- plus years and am an advocate for affordable housing and environmental preservation. I have served as a City of San Marcos Planning and Zoning commissioner, on SMCISD SHAC: School Health Advisory Com-mittee, and on the City of San Marcos bond committee. I am a 20-year member of the League of Women Voters, the Hays County Women’s Political Caucus, and MoveSM. I have served for many years on the Four Rivers Board of Realtors Governmental Affairs Committee. I worked with budgets serving on 501(c)3 boards with Sustainable San Marcos and SMART Orchestra. I follow a strict Code of Ethics.

Why are you running for school board?

Moore: Foremost, I am the proud parent of a SMHS graduate, who began her SMCISD educational career at Bonham pre-k and currently attends college at UT Austin. Education is the foundation of a strong government and economy, and I feel an obligation to do my part to support our children’s access to both an effective and thriving public educational system. I am involved with many civic groups. I am a deputy voter registrar who registered over 250 new voters before the 2020 election. I have volunteered for other great candidates for decades. And I always vote. I have long realized that democracy is a participatory sport and that it will not survive by itself.

I was asked to run by two current trustees and I have been endorsed by the Hays County Women’s Political Caucus and Texas Realtors.

How will you use your experience to help you if elected to the board?

Moore: Funding: Fiscal issues predated Covid due to funding equations where the state pays a significantly lower amount than it used to, and now those fiscal issues have been exacerbated by lower attendance. Texas is one of six states that ties school funding to average daily attendance instead of a school’s enrollment. ADA is down 10% since the pandemic began, which throws SMCISD into a recapture, aka Robinhood scenario, even though the district is over 70% low income. The state has given districts a temporary reprieve from ADA requirements, but with caveats.

We are all acutely aware of the steep rise in property values and property tax increases, however, few understand that school districts in Texas do not get increased funding from those increases in people’s property taxes. Texas, in vastly complicated funding equations, requires a “revenue neutral” approach where even though schools must deal with inflation like the rest of us, they are not allowed to receive any additional funding. Instead, that additional tax revenue is sent back to the state’s general fund, for the state government to do as they wish.

Our elected officials can write, carry, co-author, and advocate for better educational funding bills in the Texas legislature. This is where change can happen. I already have active, positive relationships with my elected representatives in the state government, and I will lobby for them to carry these bills.

I do my homework and arrive at meetings prepared for in-depth discussions. Nuance often exists within issues that may look simple at first glance. I have learned, through practice, how to find common goals and work collaboratively with board members to reach them. I listen to the public and the administration, but more importantly I listen to students, teachers, and staff about their experience in schools right now.

What would your priorities be once on the board?

Moore: Teacher hiring and Retention: Nationally, teacher retention has dropped significantly due to the intense pressures from teaching in the age of Covid. My primary goals are supporting the district in retaining great experienced teachers and inspiring new teacher talent, by continuing to offer competitive salaries. However, teachers are also overwhelmed with paperwork and having their planning periods eliminated due to staff shortages. Our teachers need to be given more time to do what they love: teaching kids.

Student and teacher support: We are dealing with the real ramifications of remote learning and the return to in-person learning. Students, teachers, and staff need to believe they are in a safe place where they spend most of their waking hours. When I speak to students, teachers, and bus drivers, they describe a mental health crisis. Communities in Schools will be at all campuses in the fall-a great program that has been implemented by this board. When another candidate speaks of “accountability and metrics” they are talking about more standardized testing, and requiring teachers to “teach to the test.” That is not a solution. Teachers need to have more freedom to teach.

Books and curriculum: History does not look kindly on those who ban books. Our school library books are categorized for grade level, age, and ability, by professionals who have degrees in library science.

I will not be voting to ban books.

Contact info for voters:,,,

Brian K. Shanks

Experience: 3 years USMC, 8 years USCG, 20 years Texas State University. This equals over 30 years of leadership experience from small 3-4 person teams, to managing departments of up to 15 people, and part time workers of 80 or more. In my 20 years at Texas State, I have worked with both faculty and students. My department designs, builds, and supports classrooms on campus.

Why are you running for school board?

Shanks: Sometimes we don’t get to pick the mission, the mission picks you. The mission: our kids are in trouble. We have lost almost two years of academic progress across the nation. To fix this will require strategic planning and leadership; when elected I will bring this to our school board.

How will you use your experience to help you if elected to the board?

Shanks: Leadership is the answer to solving problems, and we have some major problems on our hands. I have leadership experience. I have made many mistakes as a leader and took accountability for those mistakes, which allowed me to continue to grow. We need to take accountability for the state of the school district, so we can continue to improve our schools and allow our children to grow in academics.

What would your priorities be once on the board?

Shanks: Work with the community, school board, and superintendent to define and prioritize the problems in our schools, create goals, and have metric backed outcomes. Strategic planning: 5, 10, and 15 years.

Ensure that the superintendent and their staff have the tools needed to be successful in achieving the goals. Do we need more teachers? Do we need more teaching assistants? Do we need more supplies?

Finally, take a hard look at the budget. Is the majority of funding going towards meeting our strategic goals? If not, then we need to re-evaluate Thank you for your consideration.

Contact info for voters:,,

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666