Driven by his strong leadership skills and a passion for education, J.B. Franze is a self-taught programmer and developer with more than two decades of experience as an IT professional across various industries.
As an immigrant from Canada, Franze got his first taste of the tech world in the United States over 20 years ago. Franze’s strong worth ethic and willingness to learn spurred substantial growth opportunities over the years as he took on a variety of new positions within large Fortune-500 companies in the Dallas-Forth Worth area including Texas Instruments, a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company, and Microsoft.
Fast forward to today, Franze works for an independent oil and natural gas company, and has been involved with the Texas oil industry for the last eight years. He also serves on the board of directors for the Milligan Water Supply Corporation.
Working hard to perfect his craft and further his knowledge over the years, Franze holds a Leadership Essentials Certificate from Cornell University where he learned valuable management and administrative skills including how to become a powerful leader; building high-performance teams; executing interpersonal communications skills; managing team performance, time and priorities; conducting effective interviews for hiring; and addressing workplace behavioral issues.
When not in the office, Franze is a fixture within the McKinney community and is an advocate for philanthropic initiatives both locally and internationally. For the last five years, Franze has sponsored a child in Kenya through the Hope Foundation of Kenya and in 2017, visited the country on a mission trip where he and his group taught in the schools, played with the children, attended church and helped the village build new mud huts that were destroyed after heavy rains. Similarly, Franze also served as a volunteer on a 2016 trip to Thailand where he helped teach English to elementary school students who lived within impoverished areas and could not afford to employ native-English speakers in the schools.
In his free time, Franze enjoys spending time with his family including his wife of 13 years, Cassondra, and his two children Addison, 12 and Mason, 5. Franze and his family look forward to the day when they can travel and once again, safely help those in need all over the world.
We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions or comments you may have about J.B. or the campaign.
As you may know, I am actively involved in our local community. Through volunteering and donating to local charities I try to have a positive impact on the areas we work and live in. That is why I feel the need to protect our children where they are often influenced most, at school. I believe there are workable solutions available that will enhance our children’s learning achievements and test scores without creating a hardship for taxpayers. I believe we can have a safe learning environment with all children receiving in-school instruction. I would like to see McKinney ISD schools emphasize academics rather than attitudes and social/political agendas.
Your gift of $10, $25, or $50 will help me raise the vital money needed to successfully run this campaign for our children.
1. Why are you running for the Board of Education? If elected, what will be your priorities?
As a father of two children, I wanted to double down on my volunteer efforts within the community and have a say in the direction of their education. Having been involved with the local philanthropic community over the last few years, I want to continue being a positive role model, leader and advocate for all children in the area while raising more awareness about student safety and academic improvement among lower-performing schools within the district.
2. Is there a particular issue that motivates you to serve on the board of education?
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on families with school-aged children and as a result, has uncovered a new range of challenges for teachers and students alike. The path to recovery will be a long and arduous one that will require great effort to keep students and faculty safe and productive.
3. What particular experiences or skills have prepared you to serve as a board member?
Throughout the last two decades, I have displayed a strong worth ethic and willingness to learn that spurred substantial growth opportunities within large Fortune-500 companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area including Texas Instruments and Microsoft.
In addition, I recently pursued a Leadership Essentials Certificate from Cornell University where I learned valuable management and administrative skills including how to become a powerful leader; building high-performance teams; executing interpersonal communications skills; managing team performance, time and priorities; conducting effective interviews for hiring; and addressing workplace behavioral issues.
Also, for the last five years, my family and I have sponsored a child in Kenya through the Hope Foundation of Kenya and in 2017, I visited the country on a mission trip where we taught in the schools, played with the children, attended church and helped the village build new mud huts that were destroyed after heavy rains. Similarly, I also served as a volunteer on a 2016 trip to Thailand where we helped teach English to elementary school students who lived within impoverished areas and could not afford to employ native-English speakers in the schools.
4. In what school district or community activities/organizations have you been involved?
As an active member within the local philanthropic community, I have donated my time, energy and have made financial contributions to a number of local organizations including the North Texas Food Bank and more. For the last year, I have been a member of Parents in Partnership (PiP) at Imagine International Academy of North Texas (IIANT). I’ve also been involved with the Texas oil industry for the last nine years and currently served on the board of directors for the Milligan Water Supply Corporation.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was involved in my local church as a leader in the ReEngage Program, which is a 16-lesson curriculum designed to bring couples together by applying biblical principles for building a healthy relationship.
5. Why should you be elected to the Board of Education?
Driven by strong leadership skills and a passion for education, I believe that I can be a great asset to the community as well as the McKinney ISD board of trustees if elected. Having children myself, I share a lot of the same values, worries and ambitions as most other parents but also bring a unique perspective to the issues at hand based off of my previous experience. At the end of the day, we all just want what’s best for our families and I promise that with each decision I make it will come from a place that has the student’s best interest at heart.
6. What differentiates you from the other candidates and/or board members?
I bring a unique perspective to the table as I have experience in teaching and helping educators within lower-income and rural schools from different parts of the world. I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of hard work and dedication to furthering a student’s education and I look forward to putting those key principles as the focus of my efforts as a board member.
1. What attributes and behaviors are essential for school board members?
To be on the school board, a person must have the student’s best interest at heart at all times. With many varying opinions coming from all sides, a person must be able to clearly communicate the issues at hand while being able to compromise and adapt to opposing views as needed. I also believe it’s important to act as a role-model for the students as we’re the ones that are making sure their voices are heard and are accounted for.
2. What is a school board member’s role and responsibility? How does that role differ from the role of the superintendent or administration?
A school board member is responsible for maintaining a positive image for the district by implementing a strong policy with achievable goals that align and represent the community’s opinions and educational interests, while keeping the student’s needs top priority.
On the other hand, a superintendent is responsible for making administrative decisions, carrying out policies set by the board and interviewing and hiring new staff.
3. How can a school board know if its goals are being accomplished and its policies are being implemented?
A school board can best keep track of the goals that are being accomplished by keeping in close communication with the superintendent and by regularly evaluating the Texas Education Agency reports.
4. What is the best way to address differences of opinion on the board or between the board and the administration?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially when it comes down to your child’s education. So, the best approach for board members to navigate this conflict is by inviting constructive criticism, finding a common ground and supporting varying ideas with objective data.
5. Could you support a board decision you did not vote in favor of? Why or why not?
As mentioned previously, the board members may not always agree on all topics. So as long as the board continues to have the student’s best interest in mind, I would support a decision that I did not vote in favor of, in this instance.
6. How can the board be accessible to the community? To specific community groups?
I believe the board can be more accessible to the community by encouraging people to attend the regular meetings and also by being more available and present outside of the meetings.
7. What is the public relations role of the board?
The board holds an important civic duty by being the liaison between the school district and the community. By maintaining awareness of values, concerns and interests when it comes to public education and by actively participating in programs that build good community relations, public relation should play an important role in the board’s responsibilities.
8. How can a board of education best communicate with its constituent groups?
The board can best communicate with its constituent groups by holding town meetings, hosting focus groups and polling the community on matters they find to be the most important.
1. What issues do you believe your district needs to address in its academic program and offerings? What changes would you recommend?
I believe the two biggest issues the district needs to address is the disparity in performance between elementary schools and making sure the teachers have the resources they need to be successful.
2. What should your school district do to better prepare students as citizens?
These days, it’s never been more important to prepare students to be strong citizens and members of their community. I believe, the district should focus on improving emotional and socio-cognitive skills such as empathy, emotion regulation and moral reasoning to support civic engagement. I also think it’s so important to allow a day off of school to perform qualified volunteer service to further emphasize having a “serving-focused” attitude.
3. What can be done to improve student achievement and ensure everyone who graduates is college-ready?
I believe that in order to improve student achievement and ensure everyone who graduates is college ready, it’s important to develop a common consensus on what exactly an excellent teacher is and the elements of it, whether it’s using research-based strategies, creating curriculum with fun and engaging messaging, etc. To do this, I think the district needs a system to give educators the support, coaching and feedback they need to improve their classroom instruction.
4. What is the role of schools in teaching children about topics such as: sex education, cyber-safety, AIDS, wellness, bullying?
With so many controversial topics on the docket in today’s world, I think there needs to be an open conversation about how these are communicated to children on a case-by-case basis. For example, I believe parents should have the option to review the sex education and AIDS curriculum prior so they can make the decision on if they want their children to receive this instruction in schools. On the contrary, I think cyber safety should be integrated within the technology instruction and wellness should be focused on as an increasing problem, especially during the pandemic. As it relates to bullying, I think schools should be a safe learning environment however, each instance should be dealt with a level-head, so each minor altercation or disagreement isn’t raised to the status of bullying.
5. What are your thoughts on your school district’s programs for special education students, English Language Learners (ELL), and gifted students?
The special education services and the various instructional services currently available provide valuable resources and instruction for eligible students. I support the ELL mission of employing research-based instructional practices to support students. Gifted and Talented programs are required in all public-school districts and I support the McKinney ISD implementation including the ALPHA Selection Procedure.
1. What is your vision for education in this community?
I would love nothing more than to see all students of all levels reach their maximum potential within the McKinney School District and for them to be proud of their community enough to become inspired and eager to serve others. It’s also really important to me to make sure teachers have all of the tools and resources they need to provide excellent instructions to students.
2. What do you see as the major issue(s) facing your school district? Public education?
I believe the biggest issue facing McKinney ISD today is the disparity in performance between elementary schools. Also, for public education as a whole, I see there being a major issue in the shift toward extremism in certain areas, including the move away from science.
3. What are your areas of concern regarding student achievement in your district?
According to Texas Education Agency (TEA) there is one elementary school in the district with a Student Achievement Rating of “F” and four with a “D” rating; addressing this should be a top priority.
4. Do you have specific suggestions for improvement?
In order to improve, I believe we need to listen to the concerns of our teachers as they are our best on-the-ground resource and should be heard. I also think we need to do everything we can to ensure all children get back into school safely.
5. Given all the issues that arise, how can the board stay focused on student achievement?
Setting up students for success should always be of utmost importance for the board. Following this guiding principle should allow everything else to fall into place for the most part.
6. How does a school board balance the need to provide a quality education with the need to respond to the local taxpayer burden?
The board needs to be cognizant of the various economic statuses that exist amongst the whole of the district and as such, focus on incremental improvement rather than trying to do everything at once.
7. What are your thoughts on the current and the proposed budget for your school district?
In reviewing the current and proposed budget for the district, I believe it has a satisfactory revenue to expenditure to student ratio. The projected debt-service requirements are also reasonable.
8. As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts?
When it comes to making budget cuts, I would advise to look into the school leadership budget as it can be considered high for an ISD of this size.
9. Are there any areas you would not consider cutting?
As I believe the district should focus on improving emotional and socio-cognitive skills for students, I would not consider cutting community or social work services from the budget.
10. How would you determine your budget priorities?
I would determine budget priorities by assessing the greatest needs to improve achievement and mental health in all students.
11. What changes should be made on the state and local level regarding public education?
There are a few changes that should be made on the state and local level. For starters, revisionist history should not be included in public education curriculum and the 1619 project curriculum should be removed. I also believe gender identity and sexual orientation theories that are not based on science should be left to parents to discuss with their children.
12. What would you like to accomplish as a school district trustee?
The biggest goal I would like to accomplish is seeing an increase in student achievement in lower-performing schools in the district.
13. What should your district do to attract and retain good teachers?
In order to attract and retain good teachers, I believe educators need to be well-compensated, should be acknowledged as important members of the community, should be given access to the resources and information they need to provide excellent instruction and challenged to continually improve through guidance, feedback, support and coaching.
14. How would you help diverse populations reach their full potential? What initiatives should be if any to address the needs of specific populations?
To help diverse populations reach their fullest potential, I’d look into expanding community outreach and services to some of the lower-income populations in the district in addition to providing more mental health services.
15. What will be your approach to ensure safe and effective learning during the pandemic?
To ensure safe and effective learning during the pandemic, I’d take the approach of following all CDC guidelines for masking and social distancing and providing extensive vaccine education to parents, students and faculty.
16. What other important issues are facing the district and how would you address them.
Still the biggest issue I see facing the district is the disparity in student achievement among elementary schools. I think in order to address this, the district needs to work with teachers and leadership to ensure they have all the resources they need. Plus, they should consider implementing a mentoring or coaching initiative where teachers from higher-performing schools partner with those from the lower-performing.
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