Change is possible.
As a professional, my job has been to lead struggling businesses and get them headed in the right direction. DISD is also struggling. Education is not manufacturing and students are not widgets, but change management is really about people, and the principles that got results in my career still apply.
First, set a vision and high expectations for the district. Second, work with the superintendent to create a strategy – a collection of elements that reinforce each other and work together to maximize results. Third, make tough choices about the budget, investing in successful, strategic programs, and saying no to expenditures with less impact.
Consensus is also possible.
For a school board to be effective, the trustees must work together and build consensus around the direction and priorities for the district. I know from my experiences working in the community and in the corporate world that the best way to build consensus is to focus on common goals. As an engineer, I tend to rely on facts and data and use those to redirect the conversation to what we know.
Listening is essential, as is respect for others.
For the board to make the best decisions, having a respectful, safe environment where each participant can explore their own assumptions and challenge others is important.