Hello! I'm Simon Salinas. I'm the result of Plano ISD schools, a hard-working single mother, and perseverance. I didn't have the choice to move to this district, but I now have chosen to stay and give back to my community. I received five healthcare certifications, an Associate's degree in Applied Sciences, and a certification in Political Science from Collin College, all before or the summer after graduating from Plano East Senior High School. Earning a college degree the summer after I graduated would not have been possible if it wasn't for the essential school programs that Plano ISD offers for students. I want to ensure that future students have the same programs and opportunities I utilized to get ahead.
There was never a year when I chose not to be involved in Plano ISD since my mom and I arrived in 2009. I volunteered to walk younger students from their cars to their classrooms when I was 10, with Plano ISD Communities In Schools when I was 14, and became one of the first Plano ISD Diversity Advisory Committee student members when I was 16. I even created a Student-Teacher Advisory Committee with district and campus administrators at my Senior High School when Plano ISD students and teachers wanted to voice concerns about sexual misconduct when I was 17. I gave my time, dedication, and leadership to PISD before I became an adult. Think about what I will do for our district now. I will continue bringing communities together and be a board member who the students and teachers feel comfortable communicating with about any concern. I have experience being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic and talking to teachers about district concerns in their classrooms. During the worst part of the pandemic, I was in a class of 100 students and 2 substitute teachers. I've also heard my teachers' personal stories about working multiple jobs. Those experiences in Plano ISD schools motivated me to want to run for the Plano ISD School Board of Trustees to be confident that our teachers and substitutes are supported so that students and teachers aren't ever put in that position again. After seeing how many teachers needed support, I applied to become a Substitute Educator as soon as I graduated. I've already begun to learn what's important to teachers and staff.
District service is in my blood. I am the grandson of a retired janitorial lead from GCISD who taught me that every job in Plano ISD is vital. I'm also the grandson of an immigrant who came to America from Mexico because of the quality of life here. Because of that, I've learned from a young age how important education and hard work were when making graduating a reality for students. Recently, our district has been in the spotlight because of recapture, racially motivated bullying, sexual misconduct, and discrimination in our schools. I don't want Plano ISD to be known for these topics. The Board of Trustees must solve these issues so that we can focus on the basics again. Having the perspective of a recent graduate and current substitute on the board will allow these issues to be addressed quickly. I will listen and work tirelessly, as I started doing before I graduated, to help create a district environment that works for everyone in Plano ISD.
I never thought I would run for our School Board while going to College until two years ago when I realized how board policies directly impact students and staff. Ever since then, I've started giving back to our community. I joined Collin County LULAC and have worked to give back to educators and students. I observed TASB (Texas Association of School Boards), Leadership Institute, and BEST (Building Education for Students Together) pieces of training. At the city-wide level, I entered the City of Plano Multi-Cultural Outreach Roundtable (MCOR). I've volunteered with Plano ISD PTAs, assisted with Pass the Props Plano ISD, and was an election clerk for the 2022 midterm elections. I am also proud to have been the president of the Plano Youth Police Academy Class 56, where I listened to the duties of Plano Police and School Resource Officers and gained more respect for law enforcement. I'm concerned that partisanship has been the main direction in recent board decisions. While I have my personal political beliefs, they will never be a part of my decisions. I will always continue to shape my view of a better district off on the daily community feedback I receive.
I don't see my experience or fresh perspective represented on our School Board. After long consideration and personal sacrifice, I've decided to step up and run to ensure the students and staff have someone who looks, respects, and trusts them on the school board and will advocate for them in and out of board meetings.
I will never turn down a conversation and genuinely care about each person's perspective, even if we disagree. I will show the community how a college student can represent the taxpayers, families, and staff of Plano ISD. Thank you for being a part of this campaign to elect someone with a unique, firsthand perspective-I know I will make you proud.
Vote for a recent graduate and current substitute with district experience on May 6, 2023!