Dr. Kelvin Kelley, School Board, Place 6

Dr. Kelvin Kelley, School Board, Place 6

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a public servant?My greatest accomplishment as a public servant so far is providing leadership and perspective regarding the development and adoption of the recent bond proposal. That was a very challenging time for us as a community as we determined a step forward in our future. But it was only the first of at least three steps necessary to address campus and facilities needs.{{more}}What do you feel like is the greatest challenge facing the Abilene Independent School District, and what would you do to solve it?The greatest challenge currently facing the Abilene ISD is providing viable learning space for all students, and the resources to accomplish this. We must support the educators who are in the classroom with the technology and administrative support they need to excel at their vocation. AISD is currently trending in this direction through the character development and reading initiative. Educators are getting the materials they need as well. Sometimes the citizens have a cynical attitude when it comes to elected officials. The attitude is a we versus them attitude. What are you doing or what will you do to foster an environment where every citizen feels important in AISD?Yes, every citizen is important because every student is important. I am committed to this responsibility, and will listen to and engage our parents and stakeholders’ concerns, as well as forward those concerns to responsible personnel when beyond my influence. We must work together to create a successful educational experience for all. It is important for a board member to understand the goals of the administration as well as concerns from the community perspective.How do you believe the citizens of Abilene can help make things better for the students of AISD?The citizens of Abilene are invested in Abilene ISD. We passed a bond initiative demonstrating our support for the present and future educational needs of the district. The community must also share in advancing the initiative creating quality learning and safe campuses. Volunteers and support systems are necessary to enhance the learning experience of all students. Learning takes place on the campus and within the community as well. What makes you uniquely qualified to serve on the School Board?My greatest quality for serving on the School Board is I care! I want Abilene to have one of the best school districts in the State. That takes imagination, cooperation and commitment from all perspectives. I care about the success of all students and those who provide leadership in the classroom. We must work together. *According to a poll conducted by The Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs research, they found that more than 8 in 10 Americans favor a federal law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns, along with a federal law expanding background check requirements to include gun shows and private sales. How would you feel, if that was implemented in Abilene and Taylor County?This is a highly volatile social concern at present. The issues is not gun sales, it is campus safety. Providing safe space for our students to learn is my primary concern. You cannot learn when you are under constant threat of violence. That is why the students have taken to the streets. They are tired of seeing their classmates die! This is our communal and social responsibility. The issue you noted is not about the purchase of guns; it is the use of guns! Changing laws will not change the use of guns, although it is a positive step.It appears that we will probably have a large number of young voters engaged in the political process, because of the 17 individuals killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland FL. Do you agree or disagree with their activism and why? Do you have a message for them?I commend these young people for speaking out regarding the current situation. They have seen enough death! They seem to understand better than most, adults, what is at stake here; and they are adamant to address it. Yes, I support their actions because they are the ones who will influence their classmates and peers. They are making their lives matter in this moment. My message for them is to believe in what you are doing, and to keep doing what you believe in. Life is the gift we have been given; what we do with it is our gift to the One who gave it! Dr. King once said, “A man who is not willing to die for what he believes in is not fit to live.” Think about that?! There must be a “why” in our lives if we are to live a meaningful life. The “why” is never about the individual but is when the individual believes in something enough to be different! Live for something greater than yourself. Do you believe that a person’s character is important in holding elected office? If you do please list one character trait one should have and state why you believe it’s important?Yes, character is important. Character is the fruit of compassion. Compassion is the greatest quality in a person’s life because it enables you to see beyond the symptoms of a situation and seek real solutions. Compassion seeks to understand what is happening to another and why these things are happening. If a person can understand why something is happening, he develops strategies to engage and resolve issues in a constructive manner. We have seen campaigns where individuals have been extremely mean to each other. Could you pay your opponent one compliment?My colleague is persistent. I have watched him over the years in the community engaging issues and concerns. He shows up.If you could have dinner with anyone from the past or currently living, who would it be and why?I regret that I have to pick one person because I would probably have a round table of guests. However, since I have to narrow it to one person I choose Rev. J. B. Simmons the namesake of Hardin-Simmons University. My colleague, Dr. Travis Frampton, has discovered significant content regarding Rev. Simmons life and service throughout the nation. He was an advocate for all people, and primarily people of color. I am intrigued how a white man, in that particular era, could march to the beat of a different drum?! One story told related to his church being burned to the ground, presumably because of his sermon on the brotherhood of all people. Can you imagine that?! I am honored to serve in an institution that has that legacy and heritage. He opened the doors of Simmons College to all people “to bring young men and women to Christ; to teach them of Christ; and to train them for Christ.” That is a life worth living. Tell us a little about your family, hobbies, etc.I am married to Kimberly, and we have three children. Karrie, our oldest works as a hair-stylist and cosmetology; Kelvin is a senior Communications major at ACU; and KJ is a senior at Abilene Cooper. We have lived in Abilene since 1998. I served as pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church . I began my service at Hardin-Simmons University in the fall of 2007. I teach practical theology, how to live the Christian life. Living your faith is more important to me because I believe this is the model of Christ. The narrative is clear, “the Word became flesh…” Ideas, morals, and principles don’t change people. Living ideas, morals, and principles will! We need more individuals who are willing to build bridges and speak for truth in all things. That takes courage. Courage is not boldness, it is humility wrapped in presence.I spend much of my time watching my youngest son compete in athletics, reading and watching NatGeo when at home. My primary goal in life is to help people. It is the greatest gift! Helping people is not a duty it is a responsibility. By responsibility I mean the “ability to respond” appropriately in any given situation. I give back to others because someone cared enough to give when I needed it.