Board President Missy Bender, who has served thirteen years on the Plano ISD Board of Trustees, announced this week that she will not seek re-election in May.
Ms. Bender was first elected to the Plano ISD Board of Trustees in 2006 and re-elected to serve her fourth term on the school board in May 2015. Ms. Bender is currently serving her third year as board president, originally elected president by her fellow trustees in May 2016. She also served as vice president in 2015-16 and as secretary from 2008 to 2011.
“I am very proud of what we have accomplished as a district, and I am honored to have served alongside my fellow trustees, four Plano ISD superintendents and the Plano ISD staff,” states Ms. Bender.
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Ms. Bender has invested nearly twenty years in civic engagement and advocacy activities in Plano and across Texas. She has served several organizations including Plano ISD, PTA, Plano ISD Education Foundation, Texas Education Agency and Junior League of Collin County, to name a few. Ms. Bender is a graduate of Leadership Plano, Leadership St. Andrew, Leadership TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and Leadership Texas. She was appointed by TASB to the Texas Education Agency as the only trustee that served on the state’s Accountability Policy Advisory Committee. Ms. Bender earned the prestigious designation of “Master Trustee” from TASB, is a Fellow with the Center for Reform of School Systems, was named one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Inside Collin County Business and was honored as a PTA Life Member. Ms. Bender was awarded TASB’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2014, and in the same year, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees was recognized as one of the top five Honor Boards in the state of Texas by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). Most recently, she was honored with the Leadership Plano Distinguished Leadership Award and the Plano Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award.
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Throughout her board service, Ms. Bender has actively advocated on behalf of Plano ISD and public education at the state and national levels. She is optimistic that the current state legislative session can result in the State of Texas making new investment in public education and plans to focus her energy on active advocacy. “I feel compelled to focus all of my energy on school finance reform efforts in Austin, and I cannot also run an effective school board reelection campaign at the same time,” Ms. Bender said.
Ms. Bender’s vision of supporting a public education system that will engage every student contributed to the opening three innovative academy programs during the 2012-13 school year in Plano ISD.
At the end of her board service, Ms. Bender says that she “looks forward to spending valuable time with my family and discovering what new adventures the next chapter of life offers.”