Student vies for Pearland ISD board of trustees seat
Most students have their minds laser-focused on finals and graduation preparation in the weeks as the semester comes to an end, but some have an eye on something that will impact them far past their college experience.
Public relations senior David Nguyen is running for Pearland ISD board of trustees Position 6, hoping to make a positive impact on the district he graduated high school from almost four years ago.
“I feel like no one understands a student better than an actual student,” Nguyen said. “The (board members) don’t quite understand what students and teachers truly go through in the modern public education system.”
Nguyen is the only candidate running against an incumbent for a Pearland ISD board seat, wanting a new perspective to give students the ear he said he didn’t have during his time in high school.
One of Nguyen’s inspirations to serve his district as an elected official came from Mike Floyd, a former Pearland ISD trustee who won his seat at 18-years-old.
Floyd was still in high school when he took on the role, which Nguyen said was important in order to bring the student perspective to the board.
“I was inspired by his service for the students because the students’ perspective is very much important on any board decisions,” Nguyen said. “They haven’t gone to school for probably decades.”
As part of his plan to advocate for students in his district, Nguyen aims for more effective funding for those students as well as teachers.
Nguyen mentioned low-income students needing more resources due to lack of internet, not having a computer or missing lunches. This could be helped with better funding, Nguyen said.
“The district right now (is) focusing on the majority,” Nguyen said. “They’re leaving behind those who are in the minority, the ones who are always in the shadows, the ones who aren’t able to speak up for themselves. Making sure that funding goes to those students is a priority.”
Mental health is also one of Nguyen’s integral issues his platform wishes to address. In his senior year of high school, he said two fellow students attempted suicide.
Aside from putting more funding towards mental health resources for students, Nguyen wants to take on the rigor in these schools.
“I know academic stress plays into their depression (and) plays into their being in poor mental health,” Nguyen said.
Instead, Nguyen is opting for a healthier, competitive environment through initiatives such as adjusting the grade point average scale and teaching real-world applications in classrooms.
Accountability is another crucial goal for Nguyen, stemming from the roots of his high school experiences.
“It was constantly frustrating to confront board members, confront the superintendent, confront administration to address these issues and then fight for them,” Nguyen said. “And to have their doors shut in my face, just to be denied, that’s one of the biggest reasons as to why I was interested in that seat.”
Although he’s running a campaign as a graduating UH senior, Nguyen said one of the bigger challenges with his campaign was the aspect of funding. This is partly because running as a 22-year-old leads many to question if he’s fit for the position, Nguyen said.
Despite the road bumps, Nguyen is thankful for his time at UH which helped him build-up to this moment.
“The many different people I was able to meet at my time at UH and their experiences have helped shape what I wanted to fight for and what I wanted to stand for,” Nguyen said.