Lufkin chiropractor, Dr. Keven M. Ellis announced this week that he is running as a Republican for the State Board of Education in District 9, which covers 31 counties in East and Northeast Texas. District 9 is currently represented by Thomas Ratliff who is not running for re-election.
Ellis said, “I want to be a champion for public education.”
Ellis currently is the Board President for the Lufkin Independent School District and has served on the board since May of 2012.
He said, “I’ve been able to serve the 8,300 students at Lufkin ISD and want to be able to apply the real world experience I’ve gained to benefit the five million students in Texas public schools.”
Two of Ellis’ own children are dyslexic and one of the achievements he is most proud of is working to have a Neuhaus certified dyslexic therapist on each campus in the district. These therapists will not only help dyslexic children like Dr. Ellis’ children but hundreds of students who struggle with reading and need intervention.
Ellis stated “Serving on the Lufkin ISD board has given me a full understanding of the needs and challenges of our students, teachers as well as the district itself. As a proud Republican, I will always believe that Texans understand how best to educate Texas children without interference from the federal government. Local school boards understand the needs of their children better than anyone else.”
Ellis has been actively involved in implementing the 2013 Texas House Bill 5 including keeping the rigorous Distinguished Graduation Plan as the default plan at Lufkin as well as continuing to offer a multitude of career and vocational educational opportunities.
Everything we do must be focused on the parents, teachers and the children. We need to get away from high stakes testing that uses one test from one day to judge our children. Teachers in the state of Texas chose this profession for the love of teaching, not for the love of testing. If we will let teachers do what they know how to do best, our children will be successful.
During Ellis’ time on the Lufkin ISD board, the six public school districts in Angelina County were approved for a unique co-operative by the Texas Education Agency for an Early College High School. This allows all the districts in the county to work together to provide students the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate in arts degree at the same time.
“The world our children are facing is changing so rapidly that we are preparing our elementary students for jobs when they graduate that do not currently exist. Texas must be at the forefront of providing a 21st Century education and empowering local districts to meet the needs of their communities,” said Ellis.
Ellis attends Eastview United Pentecostal Church where he teaches the College and Career Sunday school class. He is very active in the community serving on several local boards, including the Lufkin Host Lions Club, where he served as president for 2012-13, member of the Lufkin ISD Tri-Ethnic Board, President of Angelina County Benefit Rodeo, Chairman of Small Business Council for Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, President of the Z&OO Railroad, Chairman of Eastview UPC’s building committee and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 136.
Ellis said, “I want my grandkids to have an even better education than my children had and serving on the State Board of Education would give me the opportunity to work toward that goal.”
Dr. Ellis and his wife, Shelli Cox Ellis, have three children, twins Kati & Jacob who are attending Texas A&M and son, John who is attending Lufkin High School.
District 9 covers 31 counties stretching from Sherman across to Texarkana and south to Lufkin including the following counties: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Rusk, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood.