Grigsby, Hurst try for PPISD board
Two people are vying for the seat left vacant by Ashley Dennis on the Pilot Point ISD school board: April Hurst and Zach Grigsby.
Grigsby originally moved to Pilot Point in sixth grade when his father, John Grigsby, became superintendent of the district. Grigsby’s own son and daughter are now students in the district.
Grigsby is otherwise involved in the community in his capacity as president of the Pilot Point Youth Sports Association.
“I just felt it was the right time to try to get the school board,” he said after explaining that people in the area have encouraged him to run.
Grigsby doesn’t have “a particular agenda,” he said.
He feels that the district is headed in the right direction under the leadership of Superintendent Todd Southard, Grigsby said, and he wants to build on that momentum.
With impending growth in mind, Grigsby pointed to the condition and capacity of the current facilities as a big concern for the district.
“We’re going to have to acquire some land in the very near future to deal with the growth that we’re going to see over the next five years,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of physical challenges with our facilities.”
He also sees a lot of value in extracurricular activities.
“The more opportunities you give kids to be involved with stuff, the more engaged they’re going to be in school, the more active they’re going to be in school,” Grigsby said.
Hurst, who owns a spa in town, said that she wants to be heavily involved as her two young children grow up in the district.
Hurst did not grow up here, referring to herself as a transplant, and she said she thinks it’s a good thing to have “different viewpoints” represented on the board.
“It’s definitely good to have change,” Hurst said. “I think our future is going to change in Pilot Point, growth-wise. We have a lot of growth coming. Learned that through the pandemic.”
She’s open to different opinions and perspectives, she said, and also believes Southard is on the right path with the district.
She also talked about her concerns about the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to education and its effect on people’s view on it.
“There are a lot of people trying to leave public schools, so what can we do to make it more appealing to keep people there?” she said.
One of the biggest assets of the school district, she said, is being a small district where children have multiple opportunities to participate in different activities.
“Another thing that I love is that they focus on ag and stuff like that, too,” Hurst said. “We didn’t have any of that out in the city. And it’s so important for our future. It’s good to learn trades.”
Hurst also feels “the tightknit, close-knit community” is a benefit, and she hopes to draw on her experience living in Coppell and Grand Prairie before finding her home in Pilot Point to help prepare for growth.
Describing herself as coachable, she said she’s willing to listen to the other people in the community about their concerns.
One area she would like to see the district focus more on is increased opportunities for students to learn a trade.
“You’d graduate high school, and you would have your foot in the door in a trade,” Hurst said. “And you may not be in that trade forever.”