Howe ISD board candidates share thoughts on past, future of district
Among many races on the ballot this fall, voters in the Howe Independent School District will get to choose two seats on the board of trustees.
Incumbent Clint Catching will face challengers Jeff Dailey, Charles Haley and Lisa Tibbets. The top two vote-getters in the election will be placed on the board for a three-year term.
Early voting for the Howe ISD race begins Oct. 13 and continues through Oct. 30. Election day is Nov. 3. Grayson County voters can cast their ballots at any polling location in the county. The lone Howe voting location will be the Community Center at 700 W. Haning St.
Catching has been on the board for six and a half years. During his tenure, the board has overseen the construction of a new school and the completion of several campus improvement projects. The district has remained fully staffed, and enrollment has increased each year until this one, which saw a slight drop attributable to COVID-19.
He says that he wants to continue on the board because he still has kids in the district, so he likes to know what is going on. Catching has had a child in the district since 2000. Two have since graduated. He also has a child who will graduate this year as well as one on pace to finish in 2026.
“The challenge on the board is that we are always dealing with the state funding and making sure that our budgets are balanced,” he said. “We have a good business manager in place and a good superintendent, and that really makes the board job much more pleasant.”
Catching is a third-generation Howe resident who graduated from the district along with his two brothers and a few cousins. He wants to see the school continue to thrive and maintain a high level of educational success.
“That’s always good to see and I’d like to think I could be a part of that,” he said.
Tibbets grew up in Howe and is passionate about being involved in her community. When she heard there was an opening on the school board, she deiced to run because she believes that if you don’t get involved, you can’t be upset about the way things are.
According to her, the biggest challenge for any school system in Texas is the STAAR test. She’s not a fan of it and believes that change starts at the local level.
“We have to let the state know that this is not something that we are interested in for our students,” she says. “I also really want more appreciation for our teachers. I think we do a great job in Howe but there can always be more support for teachers.”
Having three kids enrolled in the district makes school issues very personal for her. She graduated from Howe High School in 2005 and moved away. Tibbets says she came back because she loves her hometown and wants to see it continue to grow and do better.
Tibbets serves on the Howe Planning & Zoning Commission and is the area director for Texoma Soccer in Van Alstyne and Howe. She also works at Security Titles and is making progress toward her bachelor’s degree in psychology and English literature.
“I’m a student while I have students so it’s kind of a fun thing that we are all in school together,” she said.
Dailey has taught in Texas public schools before and believes his experience could be of value to the district.
The two main things he hopes to address are academic performance and planning for growth. He is particularly concerned about how the COVID-19 situation has affected student performance. If elected, he would push for the district to not just meet but exceed expectations.
As for growth, he believes it is something district leaders must address soon as he expects a large influx of new residents in the not-so-distant future.
“You can’t change that, and you may not like it, but you have to plan for it,” he says. “It’s coming and we know it.”
Dailey moved to Howe in 2018. Before then, he served multiple terms on the Greenville City Council. He thinks the experience of overseeing a large organization and working with budgets is an advantage for him.
As a practicing attorney, he also believes that his knowledge of the law would help the district in certain situations. He adds that running his own business gives him a good perspective on how to manage money, organize operations and work through complex tasks.
His son is a sixth-grader who has spent his entire school career in Howe. Dailey is also a member of the Army reserves.
Haley has both a middle school and a high school student attending Howe ISD, which makes him passionate about the district.
“Earlier, when they were younger, I could always serve the community by being a coach or signing up for concessions,” he says. “Now that they’re older, that time has passed, so when this position came open, I just thought it would be a way to help serve the community.”
According to Haley, the biggest challenge the district faces today is overcoming the effects of COVID-19. That includes helping kids catch up academically and assisting the district address what he expects will be a significant financial hit.
“I really care about the next generation of leaders that is coming out of the school system,” he says. “This is a real trying time for all of us, students, parents and the community.”
Haley and his family are active in sports as well as recreational activities like fishing and hunting. He has worked at Texas Instruments for 25 years.