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Purpose and Continuity

Tim Fletcher, Slidell ISD

When I got out of high school, I felt the need and longing to give back to the community. I liked the idea of someone getting out of school, someone who had just been in it and knew how everything worked, doing something to give back. I couldn’t imagine then that I would serve on the school board for 50 years.

There were some older gentlemen on the board when I started — real good guys — and right out of the box they made me president of the board. It was kind of overwhelming, to say the least.

It’s all been a learning experience, but it’s also always been rewarding. Out of the years that I’ve been on the board, I’ve been president for all but four of them and I have missed only five board meetings.

I’ve had four children go through the district. My kids probably had a rougher time than others. I didn’t listen to them when they would talk about how this teacher does this and that teacher does that. I would tell them that they are going to have to talk to their mom. I am biased in a different way. I want what’s best for all Slidell kids. I don’t just consider my kids. I consider all of them. That has always been my philosophy.

Making Things Happen

I guess you could say I bleed Slidell blue and orange. It’s exciting to be part of something that impacts the lives of students. We are a small district, but we are growing. Any time you can build and give back, it’s worth it.

For years, we had the same building that I went to school in. Someone said, “Well, someday we will need a new building,” and I thought that is never going to happen. Well, now we have a new high school building built with the support of taxpayers and the community.

Over the years, I have been a part of decisions both large and small. No decision was made lightly, and it has helped to have the students as my focus and my guide. We have built a new gymnasium, and we are currently building a new elementary school with the help of a bond.

You get into the mode of wanting the best facilities and the best things you can have for kids. My kids are out of school and now I have grandkids in the district. People ask me, “Why do you still want to be on the board?” The day I think I can’t contribute is the day I leave the board.

Seeing the Big Picture

I don’t care if you’re in a school district with 30,000 kids or 400 kids, the issues affect your district the same way as they affect us.

We are all working toward the same goal of serving our students the best we can with what we have. Being on the board for a long time has helped me see the bigger picture and just keep working at it.

I’ve been through nine or more superintendents over the years. My wife threw me a birthday party once and there were seven superintendents there. Each superintendent we had was exactly who we needed when we needed it. It’s funny how that works. You might need one superintendent who wants to be a penny pincher and the next one who is good at public relations.

The board’s concern and focus as we grow is how we can best serve our kids. We have a great superintendent currently in Taylor Williams. We are very fortunate to have her as someone who has her eye on the future. We hired her as a teacher, so she has come through the district with a deep understanding of our needs.

We have been very fortunate to have stability with teachers. Many of our teachers will have their whole career and retire in the district. Teachers and staff want stability. It has always been important to me that they can look to the school board to guide the district.

I cannot fully express how much of an honor it has been to serve the kids in my district. People like to pat me on the back for my years of service, but I can assure you that I am the lucky one.

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Tim Fletcher

Tim Fletcher is a member of the Slidell ISD Board of Trustees and currently serves as board president. Slidell ISD serves 480 students and is about 20 miles northwest of Denton.