Pam Waggoner, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees president, has held many roles in multiple organizations — all of which work towards the goal of a better future for LISD students.
Waggoner first became involved with the school district when her own children were going through school. From her beginnings with the PTA up to becoming president of the school board, Waggoner’s main goal has always been to provide students with an education that will lead them to success.
Waggoner has been a part of multiple organizations and a leader for most. She was one of the first board members of LEEF, or the Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation, which helps to supplement schools with tools and programs they otherwise would not have access to. She also founded the Four Points Traffic Committee which is working to solve the traffic safety issues around Vandegrift High School and Four Points Middle School.
Hill Country News further discussed with Waggoner her current position at the school board as well as the rewards and challenges that come with the job.
HCN: How did you become involved in serving the Leander school district?
WAGGONER: I first became interested in the service to the school district because I had three small children coming into the district. I was the PTA president at Steiner Ranch Elementary and took it upon myself to attend the board meetings twice a month so I could learn about the district. I felt that the PTA needed to have a legislative arm to it and understand what was going on at the district level. After two years of attending meetings, an opening came up on the board. I had some people ask me to step up and run, and I thought of it as a great way to serve my school district.
HCN: You’ve been a leader for a lot of the organizations you are involved in, what motivated you to step up to those roles?
WAGGONER: I think you have to have a passion for it, and people see that passion. I feel that educating our youth and being involved with these types of community programs are where you can have the greatest effect, the greatest influence. It’s something that has always been important to me, and the school board has been my avenue to do that and has allowed me to serve in leadership positions in other areas of the community. I’m really appreciative of the opportunity.
HCN: What is your vision for the Leander school district?
WAGGONER: Right now, we are focused on academics. We want to have systems and processes in place so students who want the highest level of academics can get it along with any CTE, Career and Technology Training, they want.
Some of the challenges are that because we are such a large district and so diverse, it’s almost like trying to keep up with several districts in one. Often, we are facing several problems at once, where other districts may only have one.
One challenge will be the growth that we are experiencing in the north, and making sure that schools are being built to keep up with that. Recently the community passed the bonds that will enable us to build and keep up with the growth, which will be very helpful. On the other side of that, we have areas that are built out. This gives us the opportunity to use existing building to do different things with other than have a traditional type of school, like having a school focused on fine arts or STEM, or having a school that is run more like a charter school but in the district. It’s exciting methods to think about and will give people the choice for their children to attend the type of school that they want in the school district.
HCN: What has been the most rewarding part of the work you’re doing?
WAGGONER: There’s so many aspects to that. You get into this kind of volunteer work because you truly want to make the lives of children better. It’s been so gratifying to have been able to see children going through the system, including my own, and go on to college or tech school, or some of them just come right out of school and start their own business and have been very successful. There’s a lot of time spent on issues, there’s always something going on that takes your attention off the main thing, which is our students, but at the end of the day the most rewarding thing is watching these students get their education, having doors open to them and providing them with opportunity.