As Joshua Benn prepares to grow into his role on the College Station school board, he says he hopes to help the district plan for the future.
“I’m really looking forward to hopefully, as much as possible, a calm three years where we can do a lot of long-term planning for the future of the district,” he said.
A Brenham native, Benn graduated from Sam Houston State University and Baylor Law School and has been in Bryan-College Station since 1998.
He and his wife have five children, all of whom have graduated or are still attending College Station schools.
Though his community involvement has included many organizations, this year, he said, he served on the United Way board and as president of the College Station High School Cougar Club.
In the district, he has participated in Leadership CSISD, served on the 2016 Planning for Growth Committee and has been a “celebrity chef” in the College Station ISD Education Foundation’s annual 50 Men Who Can Cook fundraising event.
In his capacity as an attorney, Benn is a member of the Blinn College Paralegal Program advisory board and is a volunteer mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center.
He ran unopposed in the Nov. 5 election for one of the three at-large College Station school board posts. Benn said he sees board service as an extension of his involvement in the community.
As a member of the seven-member board, he said, he hopes to help the community be more cohesive.
“Over the last year, there seemed to be a bit of divisiveness in our community that was centered around the school board, even if it wasn’t created by the school board,” he said. “So, just as an opportunity to maybe help prevent any of that divisiveness in the future was kind of one of the main reasons I wanted to serve.”
He said his involvement on the 2016 growth committee and Leadership CSISD, in addition to talking with board members, has given him a foundation of what to expect as a member of the board.
One of the challenges the board and district will face is school safety, and he said he expects it to be a “point of emphasis” over the next few years.
Some of the goals he has for his three-year term are continuing to improve the district’s student success rate, preparing students for life after graduation and expanding the district’s Career and Technical Education offerings.
“I think the overall performance of the district has been very good; we continue to build upon that,” he said. “There are a few schools within the district that, according to the assessments from the state that are out there, that need to improve, and that will probably be a focus of emphasis to try to get them up to the standard of the rest of the district.”
He expects what he called the “never-ending issue” of school funding to continue to be a focus of the school board.
“Things are going OK, and we just need to keep improving,” he said.