Why I'm Running

Justin Henry for Dallas ISD

I’m running FOR DISD students. They are the only focus of this campaign. They deserve an advocate. They deserve an ally. They deserve a collaborator. They deserve an agent of change. They need us to carry the torch for them now more than ever. We need to continue to light a flame within our kids and shine a light on opportunities. This campaign is focused on standing together to provide opportunity to all of our kids.

I’ve spent more than 15 years working on behalf of our kids in public schools. This includes my years as a middle school teacher in Los Angeles and diligently working the last 8 years here in Dallas. That is more than 15 years of building relationships and working to improve opportunities for our kids in public schools. That is nearly 15 years of experiencing, learning and working to address the challenges DISD students are facing. As your trustee, I am going to continue that commitment to our kids by utilizing these relationships and this intimate knowledge to positively transform our kids’ experience.

“Our students deserve an advocate. Our students deserve an ally. Our students deserve an agent of change.”

  1. For Students: I taught to empower students. Period. I am running for students. There’s an old teacher’s creed that says: “a student is not a vessel to be filled, but a lamp to be lit.” It’s time to light up our district. I want to be one of the torches that lights the flame for our kids. Someone lit it for me. Someone likely lit it for you too. And now it’s our turn.
  2. For DISD: DISD schools must be a viable, attractive and welcoming option for all Dallas families.
  3. For Opportunity: We must stand for increased opportunity. We all want to provide the best opportunities for our kids, so that they are in a better position than ourselves. We must increase the opportunities that our kids and families have within our schools. To do this, we must also increase opportunities for our community to engage in supporting our schools. We must stop missing opportunities, re-focus on our students and be transformational so that we can provide opportunity for all of our students.
  4. For Collaboration: Yesterday was about fear and negativity. Tomorrow can be different. It has to be. To quote President Obama, we can choose the politics of cynicism or the politics of hope. I choose hope. Anything else cheats our kids. This is not blind hope, though. I know we have work to do. We must unite when we are tempted to divide. We must build on the values that we share instead of tearing each down where we may differ. We can change the future for our kids if we lead with principles, not personal scores.