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TASB Board Recognition Month: Meet Your MISD Board of Trustees

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Thursday, January 20, 2022
The McKinney ISD Board of Trustees (top, l-r): Larry Jagours, Philip Hassler (Secretary), Chad Green, Amy Dankel (President), (bottom, l-r) Lynn Sperry, Stephanie O'Dell (Vice President) and Harvey Oaxaca

The McKinney ISD Board of Trustees (top, l-r): Larry Jagours, Philip Hassler (Secretary), Chad Green, Amy Dankel (President), (bottom, l-r) Lynn Sperry, Stephanie O'Dell (Vice President) and Harvey Oaxaca

McKinney, Texas – January is designated each year as School Board Recognition Month by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), and MISD has joined other districts across the state in thanking the men and women who serve in the crucial role of school board trustee.

It’s difficult to imagine a more challenging time to serve. The seven individuals who make up the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees—Larry Jagours, Philip Hassler, Chad Green, Amy Dankel, Lynn Sperry, Stephanie O’Dell and Harvey Oaxaca—sought election to the school board out of a heart for the students and families of MISD and a desire to give back to their community.

Over the past two years, their leadership has helped MISD chart a course through the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other challenges.

MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel has had a front row seat through it all. “It is an honor and privilege to work alongside these dedicated, professional and caring board members,” McDaniel said. “I have witnessed, on many occasions, their consistent sacrifices and leadership in the midst of some of the most difficult issues that any public school board members have ever had to navigate. Their continued service to this community is a blessing to us all. They are, without question, deeply appreciated by the entire MISD faculty and staff, and I hope our community fully grasps the dedication, perseverance and love that each of them have for our school district.”

Members of the MISD Board of Trustees are elected by the general public to serve for overlapping terms of four years each, and elections for board seats are conducted annually each May. The candidates run for specific places on the board (Place 1, Place 2, etc.), but they represent McKinney ISD as a whole. Once elections are finalized, the Board elects a president, vice-president and secretary for one-year terms.

Their duties are legion; the board is responsible for making all final decisions regarding school district priorities, policies, personnel, textbooks, expenditures and growth management, adopting a budget, levying taxes to support the budget and submitting bond issues to the voting citizens of McKinney regarding the need to finance specific construction projects.

In addition to the time spent preparing for and conducting board meetings, MISD trustees are involved in happenings across the district all the time—whether it’s welcoming staff back at the annual MISD Convocation each August, reading to a classroom full of kindergartners or presiding over the commencement ceremonies of the district’s three high schools each spring. They mentor kids and serve as spelling bee judges and deliver crape myrtles to fifth graders.

They work with the district to develop policies and programs, and they listen to the questions and concerns of their neighbors. There is always something going on that board members are involved in.

They don’t do it for the pay because is there is none. Their motivation to serve springs, largely, from a desire to give back to a community and school district that has enriched the lives of their own children and to pass that on to the current generation of MISD students.

In honor of School Board Recognition Month, we’d like to take a few moments to spotlight each of our MISD trustees and say thank you for the way they lead and guide McKinney ISD.

Larry Jagours — Place 1
Larry Jagours head shotLarry Jagours was born and raised here and considers himself a true McKinneyite. He is certainly no stranger to the district. He attended the former E.S. Doty School and earned his high school diploma from McKinney High School when it was located at what is now Faubion Middle School.

During a career in education that has spanned 29 years, Jagours served special needs populations for 13 years in Lewisville ISD before returning to his hometown, where he served at Dowell Middle School, McKinney Boyd High School and as a substitute teacher across the district for 16 years.

A retired minister in the Methodist Church, Jagours now finds another way to serve the McKinney ISD community. “It is an extreme honor and privilege to be elected to the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees,” said Jagours, “to further the vision of academic excellence with all members in making McKinney ISD the premier school district in Collin County, if not within the State of Texas.”

Jagours completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Texas College in Tyler, graduate studies in Special Education at Texas A&M–Commerce and graduate studies in theology at Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife Linda have been married for 54 years and have three children and one grandchild.

Philip Hassler — Place 2, Secretary
Hassler head shotPhilip Hassler and his family have called McKinney home since 2016, and he has been the owner–operator of Chick-fil-A CityLine in Richardson since 2017. Prior to that, he was owner-operator of a Chick-fil-A location in Arlington for four years and served as an underwriting manager at Regions Bank in Birmingham, Alabama from 2008–2013. He spent his early career in the home building industry, serving as a construction project manager and then later as president of his own company, Hassler Homes L.L.C.

His two children currently attend Faubion Middle School and McKinney High School, respectively. When his youngest was a student at Walker, Hassler was an active Walker volunteer. He taught a four-week Junior Achievement curriculum at Walker, served as a chaperone for the school’s three day camp at Allaso Ranch, and his Chick-fil-A CityLine location was honored as the Walker Elementary Business Partner in 2017–2018 for its ongoing support of the school.

“I am honored and excited to serve on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees,” said Hassler. “When looking for a place to raise our family, my wife and I specifically chose the city of McKinney for its excellent schools. I look forward to working with other Board members in serving the students, teachers, staff and administrators of McKinney ISD.”

Hassler holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Chad Green — Place 3
Chad Green Head ShotChad Green is a proud native Texan who graduated from Texas A&M University, class of 2000, and has resided in McKinney for more than eight years.

His stepson Noah is a proud graduate of McKinney High School, and his daughter attends Imagine Academy in McKinney where her mother Amy teaches.

Chad has been involved in education for over twenty years in business development for CTB: McGraw-Hill, NWEA and The Princeton Review. He has led and created several education services used in more than fifteen states.

Green has served on several STEM Advisory Boards for districts across the state including Cedar Hill ISD, DeSoto ISD and Richardson ISD. His latest venture is Five Star Innovation, which he co-founded. The organization partners with area school districts and the military to bring powerful STEM competitions across the state. Five Star Innovation has impacted more than 40,000 students and positions students for scholarships at every event.

“I am looking forward to serving McKinney and all of our kids,” said Green. “The next few years will go by fast, and we have a lot of work to do to become the highest rated district in Collin County.”

Amy Dankel — Place 4, President
Amy Dankel Head ShotAmy Dankel moved to McKinney in 1997 and has served as a public school educator for 22 years, the last 10 of which in MISD serving at Finch Elementary School and Eddins Elementary School.

She and her husband Roger have been married for 36 years and are active members of Stonebridge United Methodist Church. Roger works for Simpson Strong-Tie, and their two children were educated in MISD. Nick graduated from McKinney North High School in 2008 and later from the University of Colorado, majoring in Astrophysics. Stephanie graduated from McKinney Boyd in 2010 and then from Clemson University, majoring in International Health and Spanish.

Dankel earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Millsaps College.

She cites a deep sense of responsibility to give back to a school system and community that has given so much to her and to her family as her major motivation for serving on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees.

Lynn Sperry — Place 5
Lynn Sperry Head ShotLynn Sperry has served on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees for 38 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University and taught public school vocal and instrumental music for grades 1 – 8.

Sperry served 12 years as a Director of the Texas Association of School Boards. She is a graduate of the Texas Association of School Boards Leadership TASB program, “Class of 2000” with the designation of “Master Trustee.”

Sperry feels that her experience in education along with her years of involvement as a parent and current involvement as a grandparent are assets to the MISD School Board.

She is proud to set goals for the district that raise the bar academically and is also extremely proud of how the board and district administration have handled bonded indebtedness over the years. The result is a very stable financial future for MISD.

Sperry is very excited to see students representing many different disciplines excel in district, state and national competitions. MISD has truly become an outstanding organization, and she is proud to work with a board of trustees that makes students its priority.

Sperry received the Carey Cox Award – The Outstanding McKinney Citizen 2006. She was awarded the Kim Hoffman Volunteer of the Year for McKinney 1997 (co-recipients Lynn and Neil Sperry).

Sperry’s community involvement includes: Founding and current Board Member Emeritus of McKinney Education Foundation; Board Member, McKinney Baylor Scott and White Hospital; Past President, Avenues Counseling Center Board; Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney, Board Member; Founding Member and MISD liaison to Serenity High Advisory Board.

Currently, Sperry serves on the Executive Committee of the North Texas Area Association of School Boards.

Her three children attended MISD schools and she is proud that the education they received prepared them for success in college and in their careers. Lynn has seven grandchildren. The oldest is a 2016 graduate of McKinney North High School and the other six are enrolled in four MISD campuses. Lynn and her husband Neil own Neil Sperry’s GARDENS. She and her family are members of the first United Methodist Church of McKinney.

Stephanie O’Dell — Place 6 (At-Large), Vice President
Odell head shotStephanie O’Dell has been actively involved in McKinney schools for some 15 years. Serving with PTO and PTA in various roles has given her the opportunity to develop relationships with teachers and principals.

She currently serves on the McKinney Education Foundation Board (MEF) and the Baylor Hospital Board. She is also a mentor in the REACH program and active in her church.

O’Dell graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and worked in sales for eight years. She and her husband have two daughters. The oldest is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the youngest is a graduate of McKinney High School.

Serving as a trustee, O’Dell has the opportunity to visit campuses and see students in action. As McKinney grows, she seeks to pursue excellence for MISD.

Harvey Oaxaca — Place 7 (At-Large)
Harvey Oaxaca Head ShotFrancisco Javier “Harvey” Oaxaca is another familiar face in McKinney ISD. He has spent the past 23 years of a 40 year career in education serving as a campus and Central Office administrator for the district.

Throughout his career, Oaxaca has been—and remains—passionate about serving the community. Over the years, he has served on several boards and commissions and is a 2013 graduate of Leadership McKinney. He is a member of the McKinney Police Department Chief’s Citizens Advisory Committee and a board member of both the Medical City of McKinney Hospital Board and Baptist Immigration Services. He is also the Chairman of the North Texas Job Corp Citizens Liaison Committee.

Oaxaca feels strongly that education is the key to better opportunities for all, especially in a diverse community such as McKinney. He now brings his experience and heart to serve others to the MISD Board of Trustees.

“It is an honor and a special privilege to represent the students, staff and community on the MISD Board,” said Oaxaca. “Their faith, trust and support gave me this historic opportunity, and that support motivates me to work hard every day for the stakeholders of the district. I will not betray this trust. I feel strongly that my educational administration experience will help me bring a unique insight and input to the board that will help all seven of us work collaboratively to focus on what is best for our students—today, tomorrow and in the future!”

Oaxaca and his wife Rebecca have been married for 32 years. They have two adult children: Harvey Jr., who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Richard, who lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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