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Profile: Katy ISD School Board Candidate Shana Peterson

(KATY ISD) – Katy School Board Position 5 candidate Shana Peterson will face Mary Ellen Cuzela in the May 6 school board election, after incumbent Greg Schulte withdrew from the race. The deadline to register to vote is today April 6, with early voting beginning April 24.

Peterson said she decided to run for the board to “give back to the community” and to use the knowledge she has gained as an educator for 31 years.

Peterson retired in June of 2022 as the lead diagnostics specialist for Katy ISD. She is also the parent of four Katy ISD graduates.

Peterson says one of the main issues facing the district is retaining and recruiting teachers.

“I don’t think it’s just the district, I think it’s a nationwide thing,” she said. “It’s a tough job, really, and teachers aren’t just teaching, they are looking out for the kids’ safety, they are making sure they have food, the list of things they do goes on and on. I will say that, based on the data we have, Katy’s attrition rate is better than any district around us.”

She says the district needs to be competitive in terms of attracting teachers and provide adequate compensation packages. The recruitment process should also start early, she says, which could include working with universities and participating in their job fairs.

Another focus, she says, should be the safety and mental health of the students. She says the district should make sure they have enough essential staff and should perform a risk analysis for each campus to assess potential safety issues.

“I think the safety and mental health of students is something we need to be very aware of,” she said. “I think the district has some good plans in place but I think it is something we always need to make sure we are addressing. We need to educate and work on prevention techniques.”

She also says the board needs to focus on finances, asking questions and making sure that as much money as possible is being funneled toward educating the students.

Peterson says her years in Katy ISD and as an educator in other districts gives her a knowledge and skill set suited to serving on the board.

“Listening and working collaboratively with people are strengths I feel like would be an asset to the board,” she said. “I have a passion for education I really do. I’d like to be a part of it, and I’d like to serve the community.”


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