Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dorothy Zimmermann - District 3 Candidate

1. Please provide a brief biography that explains your educational and professional background.

I started my higher education at Eastfield Community College. I would have loved to have graduated from Eastfield because I loved the caring and nurturing atmosphere there. I took the basics and went on to UT Dallas for a BS in Accounting. At the time I graduated, the economy was in a full free fall with big oil and real estate laying off not hiring. After looking for a job full time I was finally told that no one needed an accountant for the indigent. I started substituting in mostly high school. I finally got a full time job with an automotive aftermarket company working in customer service. I then got an office manager position with a paper goods company and with that experience I was able to move to a better paying position with a national HVAC company working in customer service with regional dealers and two national accounts.

2. What is the role of the elected Board of Trustees from your perspective? How does that role relate to your individual input as an elected trustee?  How would you describe the efforts that will be necessary to be effective in your role – and what has prepared you to be successful in that role?

The Board of Trustees are to be representatives of their given districts making sure their students and taxpayers are represented in all decisions made by the Board. As a Trustee I intend to make certain that tax dollars are respected not wasted. Education must be the driving force of any spending. I intend to visit campuses and speak to the students. Town hall meetings are also a good idea. Moving our meetings to a better time of day may also help the public be a bit more involved. An effective Trustee is someone who seeks input from the community rather than disregarding it. Traits necessary to be effective include the ability to listen, the desire to engage the public without the track record of elitism that has existed on this board. I am prepared, based on my years of customer service and community service to make my community stronger. I will strengthen my community by being a facilitator and not a dictator.

3. What is the role of the DCCCD in the educational marketplace in Dallas County? What is your agenda to continue to improve the quality and availability of educational programs to the citizens of Dallas County?

I view the role of DCCCD as being the front line of education for all of us who couldn’t afford or accommodate a full four year education. Without Eastfield, I’m not sure where I would have gone to school. Most four year schools were far away and carried a much higher tuition rate. Today, tuition is climbing faster than most students can afford and folks coming back for a second career have found it far more difficult than expected. I hope by keeping down the taxes and not raising tuition, education at DCCCD will be more available to those who can least afford it and help improve education by making sure more educators are appropriately compensated.

4. If elected, how will you advocate for DCCCD students, employees, and colleges, in your dealings with business, the community, other public servants, and voters?

If elected, I will do my best not to continue the poor behavior of the Trustee I will be replacing. I will do my best to be welcoming of all students, taxpayers, voters, employees and all speakers. In the years I have attended the Board meetings, I have seen the present Board member ignore, mislead and talk down to so many people that I will have to work to change the tone on the Board. Again, town hall meetings open to the community should demonstrate a new and open atmosphere.

5. What do you see as the biggest assets, challenges, and opportunities, in the DCCCD? How will you strengthen those assets to meet the challenges and opportunities we face? What particular skills and connections do you bring that can benefit the Board as a whole, and by extension the DCCCD?

The biggest assets for the District are their alums. I’d love to start gatherings of reunions for the
Colleges. The experiences of the alums could work to educate the present students as much as any lecture simply because life experiences in many cases are far more accepted because they are authentic. Opportunities are endless if we unleash the talent we already have and start putting our students to work to build resumes before they finish their tenure with DCCCD. The challenges will be to live within our means and allow the eager to flourish.

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