Humble ISD has set an election for four positions on the board of trustees set for May 1. Eight candidates have announced for Position 3 — William Baker, James Banks, Liz Diaz, Jesse Givens, Clint Horn, Chris Parker, David Popoola and Donté Washington.
James Banks was born in the Panhandle area of Texas. Since then, he has spent the last 35 years in public education, working as a teacher, executive director and a director for technology across a variety of school districts. He worked as a middle school teacher, the Harden ISD director of technology and served as a director in Barber Hill ISD for 15 years. Banks has also worked in private education, including a stint at the prestigious St. Thomas High School.
Banks explained that his experience in public education urged him to run and seek improvements in the current virtual learning environment.
Banks explained that he is the best fit for this position due to his extensive background in education, something that the other candidates for this position do not necessarily have.
Bank’s daughter, Mary, attended Humble ISD and graduated from Summer Creek High School in 2009.
Elizabeth Diaz is an active member of the Humble ISD community, who currently serves as the executive director for the nonprofit Diaz Music Institute. In recent years, she has actively participated in the community, including leading a campaign to build a SPARK park at Lakeshore Elementary, hosting food drives at Ross Sterling Middle School, serving as the PTO President at Lakeshore Elementary and initiating a school supplies drive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her nonprofit has received over $2 million in scholarships since inception and has helped students graduate from schools including USC-Berkeley and Harvard.
Diaz believes that her extensive experience working with the community is what separates her from other candidates and seeks to improve the qualify of Humble ISD schools if elected as a trustee. Diaz has three daughters, Bianca, Jacqulyn, Kiyana and a son, Anthony, all of whom are either currently enrolled in or have graduated from Humble ISD.
Jesse Givens is a lifelong resident of Humble ISD, whose family has resided in Humble ISD for two generations. Givens attended Humble High School and earned a degree from Yale and a master’s in urban planning from Harvard. He has practiced as a licensed realtor since 2001 and has been a community development expert since 2004. Givens worked for a number of years in public planning and community development before branching out into private practice in the field of community development and real estate. His work has been recognized by organizations such as the Urban Land Institute and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
In a conversation with the Tribune, Givens stated, “I am the proud father of three boys and the uncle to a niece and nephew, all of whom have enjoyed the excellent learning opportunities available in Humble ISD schools or will be enrolled in Humble ISD schools once they are old enough. I myself progressed through elementary and middle school in Humble ISD and graduated from Humble High School.”
Givens added, “I was motivated to run for the school board trustee because I have a servant’s heart and I have a desire to give back to my community. That is why I have worked in community development, with faith-based organizations, and with other non-profit organizations all these years. I believe I can repay what I have benefited from the school district by ‘paying it forward’ through service.
“The second reason I decided to run is because I saw the lack of representation on the board. This extends to neighborhood, upbringing, family status and even ethnicity. Sometimes lack of representation can lead to insensitivity regarding community concerns in certain areas of the district or even to policies in the classroom that adversely affect a segmented population because the board members simply are unaware of the issue in the first place,” added Givens.
When asked why he is the most qualified candidate, Givens said, “I am the most qualified candidate, who happens to possess an Ivy League education, has deep roots in Humble ISD, graduated from Humble High, am a resident in Atascocita, am a former resident of Fall Creek, has a blended family, is bilingual and happens to be Black. If you believe any of these groups should be reflected on the school board, then I am the only candidate of choice to represent you and your children,” concluded Givens.
*The previous article erroneously excluded the profile of Jesse Givens.
Rev. Clint Horn has resided in Humble ISD for 12 years and currently serves as the pastor of two congregations. Horn worked as a trainer for 20 years, teaching in a variety of subjects ranging from leadership to computer technology. He has spent the last 15 years at MD Anderson working as a training specialist.
“My background working in training helped me develop a passion for children. I saw a need in our district, and that is bridging the voices of the parent and the teacher. Sometimes, one voice is not heard in favor of the other, and I am running to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard,” he said.
He added that his experience working as a pastor, trainer and volunteer in the local community is what separates his skill set, and he plans to “bring a lot of much-needed assets to the board.”
Horn has three children, 23, 11 and 8; his eldest son graduated from Humble ISD and his two younger children are currently enrolled in Humble ISD.
Christine Parker is a lifelong resident of Humble ISD, graduating from Kingwood High School in 1993. She received her bachelor’s from SFA in 1997 and has worked as a licensed property, casualty, and life/health insurance agent for over 20 years. She currently serves as a trainer in the insurance industry, teaching a mix of virtual and face-to-face classes each week.
Parker is passionate about community service and has worked with several organizations such as Mothers Against Cancer, Deerwood Elementary PTA, FamilyTime Woman of Achievement Hearts of Gold Gala and the Purple Ribbon luncheon.
“I have two motivations to run, one as a parent and the other as a community volunteer and stakeholder. As a mom, I want to be a part of the decision-making process and advocate for all of the children in the district. I have been volunteering for many years and I feel that this is a logical progression, enabling me to utilize my skills and experience to give back to this amazing school district.”
“I am running to ensure the district has student’s needs at its forefront, but that it also provides for the health and safety of teachers. I want to protect teachers’ salaries. Lastly, I want to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”
When asked why voters should elect her, she explained that “experience matters. I have a proven track record of dedication and commitment to this area. I am a volunteer, hard worker and am determined to make a difference.”
She added, “I am so proud to be endorsed by our former Congressman, Judge Ted Poe, as well as many former trustees including Dan Huberty, Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin, Lone Star College Trustee Mike Sullivan, Lynn Fields, and Heath Rushing.”
Parker is a proud mother of two daughters, who are currently attending elementary and middle schools in Humble ISD.
Donte Washington is a resident of Humble ISD and a graduate of the University of Houston. He currently owns his own business, Pharmacy Tech Lessons. Washington has served the local community through Refuge Temple Ministries for seven years, three as an ordained minister.
“As a trustee, I would like to provide our district’s students with a world-class, competitive advantage. Humble ISD children will not compete for jobs on a local, state or national level, but on an international level. We must improve our educational ranking at an international level.”
He added, “As a recent Texas college graduate, I understand the needs of our students. Although I did not graduate from Humble ISD, I know and have experienced the common needs and struggles that students and teachers face each day.”
“I believe that diverse community connectivity and collaboration is an important component to the students’ success in our district. Connecting with the community on a personal level and advocating for the betterment of our students will be the cornerstone of how I will operate throughout my term when elected,” concluded Washington.