Meet the Stephenville School Board Candidates


April 10, 2024


Dr. Robert Barberee

1. What is your history with SISD like?

I have served on the SISD school board for 6 years and have served in the leadership roles of Vice President and Secretary.

2. Tell us a little bit about your family.

I am married to my beautiful wife Jane, together we have 4 children Lexie, Seth, Peyton, and Mary Caroline. The three older children have all graduated from SISD and my youngest will graduate this May. She will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall.

3. Why did you choose to run for a school board position?

My mother was a teacher and my father the Assistant Superintendent in SISD and other districts. His specialty was school finance, and my mothers was curriculum. I observed their dedication to serving others and have made this my goal. I want to serve the students, staff, and teachers of SISD to the fullest.

4. In what ways would you like to contribute to SISD if you were to when the election?

I will continue to contribute to SISD with my proven business knowledge and dedication to the students, staff, and teachers.  I will continue being prepared and researching topics so that I can make the best decisions for our district.

5. What education/experience makes you the right fit for the Stephenville ISD board?

I am a graduate of the University of Houston and Baylor College of Dentistry/Texas A&M University System. Since 1998, I have owned and operated my own successful dental practice in Stephenville. This has taught me how to run a successful business using budgets and profit/loss statements. I saw a need for a Dental Assisting School to further educate Erath county and surrounding residents . Dental Career Center of Stephenville is licensed by the State of Texas and certifies students in dental assisting. I am the director, teacher, and founder of DCCS. Creating DCCS taught me how to write a successful curriculum with objective, content, method, and evaluation. I feel that my business and school experience makes  me the right choice for the SISD school board.


Rita Cook

1. What is your history with SISD like?

I have a long history with SISD.  I went to school here and graduated from Stephenville High School.  My daughter attended Chamberlain Elementary, and I was fortunate to work at Chamberlain after graduating from Tarleton State University. I have lots of memories as a student, parent, and teacher in the district.  I have also volunteered in different organizations to support the district.  I was on the Stephenville Education Foundation Board and am currently a board member of Anything’s PAWsible – an organization that has placed two therapy dogs in the school district. 

2.  Tell us a little bit about your family.  

I am the fifth generation of my family to live in Erath County, so my roots are deep in this community.  I am married and have two grown children and one grandchild. My family is very important to me, and we are very thankful to live close to our extended family so we can actively participate in their lives. My husband and I enjoy supporting them in different school activities.

3.  Why did you choose to run for a school board position?

I want to give back to my school district and help make a difference in students’ lives because I know the district made a difference in mine.

Our Stephenville schools are great, but we can continue to improve.  When I meet with parents, they say they are concerned for their children.  Every day they read and see disturbing stories in the news.  It makes them question school learning and activities.  They want to feel confident that our schools are making good educational decisions for their children. As a former Stephenville ISD student, parent, and teacher I understand that.  I believe my background in teaching/learning, school safety, and school finance, along with a strong belief in using common sense, makes me the right person to serve on the board.                                                                                                                                    

4.  In what ways would you like to contribute to SISD if you were to win the election?

As a board member, I will always research and be prepared to make decisions that affect our students. My experience and background have prepared me to understand all functions of a school district – curriculum, assessment, safety, and finance.  Additionally, as a board member, it is important to be a visible presence in the community and at school activities.  School boards make decisions that impact others so it is important to reach out to teachers, students, parents, and community members and you can only do that by being accessible. 

5. What education/experience makes you the right fit for the Stephenville ISD board?

I have over forty years of educational experience and have taught from early childhood through high school. I have also served as a school administrator and superintendent.  I understand school operations – both at the classroom and administrative level.  I have worked with numerous boards as an educational leader and through community service.  I feel I can use my experience and knowledge to guide and support the Stephenville Independent School District.  Stephenville is my home – Stephenville ISD is my school district and I want to make our schools the right and best choice for our students.

Rick Gann

1. What is your history with SISD like?   
My history with Stephenville ISD has been mostly in a volunteer role.  I recently was involved in 2 different community supported stadium committees.  The first being the initial kick-off committee where we vetted construction firms and decided on the bond amount for the new stadium.  The second was the stadium design committee, this group of dedicated community leaders were responsible for the design we will see in May of 2025.  I have also been a productive President and board member of the Stephenville Optimist Club whose sole priority is to give back to the youth of Erath County and continue to support Stephenville ISD every way we can.

2. Tell us a little bit about your family.
I was born and raised in Arlington, Texas, I moved to Stephenville in 2011.  My wife, Kay Herrington has owned her own Veterinary practice in Stephenville for 33 years.  I have 1 daughter and 1 grandson.  Educating and protecting family and kids are very important to me.

3. Why did you choose to run for a school board position? 
My main reason for running for the Stephenville school board is to have a conservation business minded individual that has the ability to steward the taxpayers by making sure your tax dollars are being used appropriately to fund future champions of the Stephenville school district.  
Second, we need to find the resources to retain our dedicated educators so that Stephenville ISD can continue to grow and become the most significant district west of Fort Worth. Our Champions are the future of Stephenville and our leaders of tomorrow. Our kids must be protected and given multiple avenues to succeed during their education.

4. In what ways would you like to contribute to SISD if you were to win the election? 
I will focus on many things, one being, retaining our best educators. We continue to lose our best teachers year after year, which does not allow our district to improve and grow. Stephenville ISD is an “A” rated school district, but we can always do better to make us great.  The ESSER grant is coming to an end on September 30th, 2024. This will affect some of our teachers and needs our attention now.  Also, we continue losing kids to private or homeschool; why? What can we do better to support these kids and improve the public-school system’s image? 

5. What education/experience makes you the right fit for the Stephenville ISD board? 
I have a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University but I feel my biggest asset is my conservative business mind.  Stephenville ISD is no different than any other business, we have budgets and employees, with my experience we would be able to stay on budget but most importantly retain our best educators to continue to mold our future champions.   I have been on the Board of the “Australian Shepherd Club of America” (ASCA) for 12 years. I have been President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, and board of director during my tenure with the club. ASCA is the largest single-breed registry in the US, with 10,000 members. I have tons of experience working in a team environment for the betterment of an organization. With this experience, it allows me to step into the Stephenville School Board and be a productive member to continue supporting our future champions. 

Magan (Carrasco) Estill

1. What is your history with SISD like?

This community has been my home since 2001, and this school district has been part of my life for the last 20 years. As a parent and volunteer, I know this district from a special perspective. From opening ketchup packets at Central Elementary to raising money for Disney World with the high school band, I know these schools! My kids are a product of these campuses and teachers and this community. Raising them as Yellow Jackets and Honeybees, I’ve gained a valuable understanding of the operations of SISD.

2. Tell us a little bit about your family.

My eldest child, Gabriella Herriven, graduated in 2016 and now lives in Verdigris, Oklahoma. Gaby is the Lead Technician for an optometry clinic and loves her work. She is married and has one son. Henry will be two in May and is the superstar of our family. Gaby’s husband, Bryce, is a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force. Gaby was in the band throughout high school and served as a drum major in her junior and senior years.

My second-born, Eric Carrasco, graduated with the Stephenville Class of 2019. Eric works for Cowboy Oilfield Services as a Field Supervisor. He has been with the company since high school. Eric enjoys traveling to fish, snowboard, and camp. He and his girlfriend, Mikenely, live in Stephenville with their two dogs and plan to stay in this area. Eric played football and participated in wildlife competitions with Future Farmers of America.

Daniel Carrasco, my youngest, will graduate this May from Stephenville High School. Daniel works at Caam’s Pizza and is in the high school’s Work/Study Program. Daniel will graduate with welding certificates, and he attends Ranger Community College in the dual Emergency Medical Technician Program.

My husband, Brian, and I have been married for four years. Brian works in security for Harris Methodist, and he also has a firewood business. Brian has two adult children, both of whom reside in Keller. Maura is an artist, and Jack is working towards being a firefighter. Our free time is spent either in our garden or outdoors. We enjoy time in the mountains and exploring new places.

3. Why did you choose to run for a school board position?

Following months of researching the expectations of school boards in the State of Texas, investigating the role of trustees, and straw polling my acquaintances, I decided to run for SISD School Board. I am a proven and effective leader in both profit and non-profit managerial roles, and that is why I have chosen to run for the SISD school board.

Striving towards success in my professional life, I have focused on human resource management, regulatory compliance oversight, fiscal accountability, and early childhood education. I will serve the district with that experience, and the same spirit of excellence as I served Faith School and non-profits in our community.

4. In what ways would you like to contribute to SISD if you were to win the election?

Our district is charged with educating our children, and our families are charged with the responsibility of rearing their children to be productive members of society. Sadly, we are struggling as parents to control behaviors and expect the schools to fix what we cannot as parents. Parental accountability and

responsibility prove to be a challenge for educators on all campuses. My experience, education, and ideas about education can contribute to SISD in making change happen!

The work of school board members needs to be precise, within the law, and most importantly done in the best interests of the staff and students at heart. My career has been an example of all those things! My work as a leader and advocate in our community spans over two decades, and the families I have served trust me with decisions concerning their children. I am asking you to do the same; trust me with decisions for the future of our district.

5. What education/experience makes you the right fit for the Stephenville ISD board?

Creating and managing budgets comes hand and hand with management. My time in business has afforded me many things, and learning how to squeeze blood from a turnip in a budget is something I know how to do! I am comfortable pinching pennies and making hard decisions about the allocation of funds. Decisions often come down to money, and my ability to understand budgets and fiscal reports makes me the one for the job! I have been on teams with budgets for multi-million-dollar projects, and I have also worked with non-profits with less than $1,000.

As an Operations Compliance Officer in the banking industry and Executive Director in early childhood education, I was charged with ensuring that policies and procedures were executed to the letter of the law. Always governed by state and federal regulation, my ability to incorporate policy into standard daily operating procedures is a unique qualification of mine.

Our school board will likely see new mandates in the next few years. As a board, we will be charged to act. My unique experience with regulatory compliance qualifies me to help make those decisions. Some mandates will challenge our community, and I hope to represent you when turning those mandates into action.

Overseeing human resources takes knowledge of both federal and state laws. I know these agencies’ rules and have navigated many organizations through tough situations as a consultant. We live in a litigious society, and my knowledge and experience in HR uniquely qualify me to help guide conversations around difficult issues.


Chad Elms

1. What is your history with SISD like?

I grew up in Stephenville and attended SISD from K-12 and graduated from Stephenville High School in ’92. While at SHS, I played multiple sports and participated in extracurricular activities such as One Act Play, National Honor Society, FCA, and I was the Student Body President my Senior year. After living in San Antonio for about 24 years, my wife and I decided to move back home to be closer to our families and raise our son in Stephenville. My son, Gabe, is a Junior at Stephenville High School, and I am currently finishing my first term as a member of the SISD Board of Trustees. 

2. Tell us a little bit about your family.

I was raised in Stephenville by my parents Chick and Cindra Elms, and I have a sister (Chayla) and two brothers (Clint and Conner) who all graduated from SISD. My wife, Stephanie, and I have been married for 24 years, and we have one son, Gabriel, who is a Junior at SHS.  

3. Why did you choose to run for a school board position?

I am a big fan of a quote from Erasmus which says the main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth. I chose to run for School Board because I want to use the same leadership skills I’ve learned in growing and running multiple successful companies to give back to a school district and community that has given me and my family so much.

4. In what ways would you like to contribute to SISD if you were to when the election?

I will continue to serve the district and community in Place 3 with the same zeal I have during my first term and as the current Board President. I will also strive to work with other Board Members and our administration to continue to “raise the bar” on our District, while actively seeking areas to provide resources that will enhance the opportunities available to our students and staff.   

5. What education/experience makes you the right fit for the Stephenville ISD board?

I believe my experience in building high-performing teams, leading multiple successful companies, and track record in assembling and working with teams to accomplish lofty goals make me a great fit for the Stephenville ISD Board of Trustees. 


Doug Young

1. What is your history with SISD like? 

I moved my family to Stephenville in the summer of 2020. I was offered the position of President & CEO at Foster’s Home for Children in March of 2020. My wife was offered a 4th grade Math & Science teacher position at Hook Elementary in May of 2020. Two of my three children finished their high school educations at Stephenville High School. Aby graduated in May of 2021 and Reese graduated in May of 2022. 

In our time as Stephenville residents, my wife and I sought to be incredibly involved in the lives of our children while they finished their high school careers at Stephenville High. That involvement allowed for us to see the school system in ways we might not have had we not sought to be so “plugged in.” Initially, we were concerned our children might resent us for moving them from a place where they were comfortable with so little time left in high school. We brought them both to Stephenville to tour the school before I took the promotion to give them a say in the decision. Looking back, I believe we all feel it was a great move for all of us.

As the President of Foster’s Home for Children, I’m technically the guardian for more SISD students than anyone else in the community. We have over 30 children in care who attend SISD. It is safe to say I have a vested interest in their educations. Moreover, because I’ve continued to maintain a solid professional relationship with numerous administrators and staff, I continue to possess a deep affinity for SISD, especially in light of where many of the kids who come into care come from. Is SISD perfect? No, but we are blessed in ways we might not realize. 

2. Tell us a little bit about your family.

My wife, Tisha, and I met in college. We were both Agriculture majors. We married two weeks after we both graduated. In May we will celebrate our 27th anniversary. We have three children. Our oldest, Haylee, is a 2022 graduate of Texas Tech University and serves as the Business Director for Texas Corn Producers in Lubbock. Aby currently works for Barefoot Outfitters. Our youngest, Reese, is finishing his second year at Abilene Christian University where he plays football.

3. Why did you choose to run for a school board position? 

Last year I had numerous people call and/or text me suggesting I would be a good candidate for school board. I actually picked up a packet but decided to not to run. I chose to run this election season, somewhat because of the nudges from our community, but primarily because I feel there’s something I have to offer our district at the school board level. I’d like to see our district flourish. The challenges public education faces are numerous but at the local level exists the best opportunity to create lasting impacts. 

4. In what ways would you like to contribute to SISD if you were to win the election? 

I feel fortunate that I am unopposed, but I hope to bring insights from my experiences in other districts to help shape SISD into a model district that others would like to emulate. It is cliché to talk about being “common sense,” but there is little doubt public education has been co-opted by interest groups. The basics of reading, writing and arithmetic seem foreign these days. Schools are getting caught up in matters that are hindering the quality of education being provided. Moreover, these issues are driving initiatives that are pushing families away from public schools. I’d like for SISD to be a place toward which families gravitate. 

5. What education/experience makes you the right fit for the Stephenville ISD board?

My bachelor’s degree from TAMUK is in Agriculture with an education emphasis. Given my professional history in the non-profit sector most people are shocked to discover I was supposed to be an Agriculture Science teacher. And while it has been 28 years since I student taught at Corpus Christi Calallen, I’ve always been involved in the schools my children attended. I’ve helped lead booster clubs for athletics and FFA chapters. I’ve judged district LDEs and been an advocate for both educational and extracurricular programs that will best benefit today’s youth for the world ahead of them. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Those experiences will help me as a school board member.

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