Members

Chasiti McKissic

Chasiti McKissic - Place 2
President
Email:[email protected]
Election Year: 2022      TERM ENDS: 2025

Chasiti McKissic, a proud graduate, previous parent, and wife to DeSoto ISD alumnus, was elected to serve as DeSoto ISD Trustee in May 2022. After graduating from DeSoto High School, Chasiti earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston. She continued her education to earn a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Texas Woman’s University and a second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas. During her 13-years as an educator, Chasiti has served in various capacities from classroom teacher, campus leader, district leader, to now a Regional Director of Operations.

Outside of serving the community of DeSoto ISD, Chasiti serves as President of the Southwest Dallas County Alliance of Black School Educators (SWABSE), a founding member of Impact DeSoto, a community coalition formed by the 2021 Leadership ISD DeSoto cohort , and an active member of the Alpha Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Chasiti is committed to the work of ensuring Excellence in Academics, Engaging the Community, & Encouraging Student Voice as key attributes to the success of ALL students in DeSoto ISD.

Abe Cooper Jr.

Abe Cooper, Jr. - Place 5
Vice President
Email:[email protected]
Election Year: 2023        TERM ENDS: 2026

Abe Cooper, Jr. was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Raised and surrounded by educators, Cooper attended Dallas ISD schools and graduated from South Oak Cliff High School in 1989 before going on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree from Paul Quinn College. Cooper followed in the footsteps of his parents and pursued a career in education serving as a Physical Education teacher at K. B. Polk Elementary Vanguard in Dallas ISD for 10 years. During that time, Cooper began his quest for personal and spiritual development and attended the Criswell College of Biblical Studies where he earned a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership in 2004. In 2006, Cooper was enlisted to serve in full-time ministry by the late Dr. Karry D. Wesley at the Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas. Cooper now serves as Senior Pastor of Elijah Fellowship Community Church in Desoto. Cooper is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Lambda Graduate chapter of the fraternity.  He also serves as a board member for TEL International Missionary Society. 

A DeSoto resident for more than 22 years, Cooper has been actively engaged in service to the DeSoto ISD school community by volunteering at Desoto West Middle School’s former Male Leadership Program and serving as the DeSoto Eagles Football team’s chaplain. As an active member of the DeSoto community, Cooper plans to focus his work as a trustee on supporting organizational health and wellness with the goal of improving culture to enhance student learning. 

Cooper is happily married to his wife, Dionne. The Coopers have one son, who currently attends DeSoto High School and a daughter, a 2019 graduate of DeSoto High School and currently attends Texas Christian University. 

McNairy

Traci McNairy - Place 7
Secretary
Email:[email protected]
Election Year: 2024     TERM ENDS: 2027

DeSoto ISD Trustee Traci McNairy has been involved in education for over 20 years.  She started her career as an English teacher in the DeSoto Independent School District at East Middle School where she taught for two years.  In addition to her work as a classroom teacher, McNairy also held the role of Instructional Coach, and served as an Academic Specialist on the Texas Literacy Initiative.

She is currently employed as an Educational Consultant and Curriculum Specialist and continues to stay abreast of research proven instructional strategies and best practices.

Trustee McNairy has been rooted in the DeSoto community for 17 years and is the proud parent of three children – one son, Eric and two daughters, Diamond and Jade.  Her daughters are DeSoto High School graduates.

In addition to her work in education, McNairy is also a fitness enthusiast. She holds a 200-hour registered yoga certificate and also enjoys Zumba and hiking.  She believes parental and community involvement is key for the success of our students in support of our educators.

Trustee McNairy is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Cynthia Watson Banks

Cynthia Watson-Banks - Place 1
TASA/TASB Alternate
Email:[email protected]
Election Year: 2022     TERM ENDS: 2025

A lifelong educator having spent 7 years as a Special Needs Coordinator at Head Start of Greater Dallas, in the classroom 20 years at DeSoto ISD. I was born in Lubbock, Texas and grew up in the sub division of Lorenzo, Texas, graduated from Lorenzo High School. I continued my education at West Texas State University. I am a wife, a mother, and a believer that I can do all things through Christ that strengthen me. I am an advocate for equity, fairness, and opportunity for all children to be educated.  Life Member of the PTA, Member of the Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, and volunteer with Sisterhood Helping Hands. I am a firm believer that success in education is about building relationships with our students, staff, parents, and community, and to establish strong connections committed to collaborative learning that engages students, staff, families and the community. 

Karen Lacy

Karen Lacy - Place 3
Email:[email protected]
Election Year: 2023     TERM ENDS: 2026

Karen Lacy has a Masters in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University and has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Texas Woman’s University. Some of Karen’s numerous certifications include: Special Education (EC-12), English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies (4-8), English Language Arts and Reading (7-12), Secondary Reading (6-12) and, Educational Diagnostician (EC-12).


Karen Lacy, a solid supporter of “Everything DeSoto,” has owned a home and lived here for the past 18 years. Having raised two DeSoto ISD graduates, Karen has touched just about every organization known in DeSoto ISD, from the education side to extracurricular. In every way, Karen supports the uplifting of our local education agency. Due to the connections and success her two graduates experienced, Karen is loyal to DeSoto ISD. She stands ready to serve the next generation who ushers in, intending to lead them towards success for all.


Karen Lacy is a transparent and passionate leader. Karen is now in a position, alongside the current trustees, to regain the trust of the community we serve by being transparent, responsive, and professional while overseeing the district management.

Durham

James Durham - Place 4
Email:[email protected]
Election Year: 2023     TERM ENDS: 2026

Engineer, educator, business visionary, and entrepreneur, James graduated from Prairie View A & M University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and has an MBA from the University of Phoenix in Dallas, where he specialized in e-Commerce. James is also a Certified Project Manager (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM and has managed multiple enterprise projects.

Currently, James serves as a Senior Project Manager for the City of Dallas IT Department. Prior to joining the City of Dallas, James enjoyed a quite extensive corporate career working for some of the nation's top corporations; including General Electric, Frito Lay, AT&T, AirBand Communications, Sara Lee Foods, Alcatel-Lucent, and Ericsson. In addition to his corporate experience, James previously taught Math in the Dallas Independent School District at Kimball High School from 2002 - 2005. Throughout his tenure at Kimball, James was always committed to going above and beyond to ensure his students success. James has always exhibited a passion for the development of young people and is genuinely, passionate and concerned about the future of the public education system.

James is the Founder and CEO of Formulas, Inc., an educational services company. Formulas, Inc helps with state standardized testing, ACT/ SAT preparation, GED assistance, and college and career counseling. Additionally, Formulas, Inc. offers enrichment classes in Algebra, Geometry, and basic job skills such as resume writing, project management, logistics and business etiquette.

James has been a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc for 33 years and has been selected Omega Man of the Year by the Mu Gamma Chapter 3 times (2018, 2019, & 2021). James and his beautiful wife, Monique, have lived in DeSoto for 28 years and have 3 children, Jabril, Isaiah and Nadia, who all graduated from DeSoto High School, in 2012, 2016 and 2019, respectively.

Eboni Mitchell

Eboni Mitchell - Place 6
Email:
Election Year: 2024     TERM ENDS: 2027

Eboni Mitchell is originally from South Central Los Angeles, California where she graduated from George Washington Preparatory High School before attending San Jose State University where she received her Bachelor of Business Management.

With nearly 25 years of public service experience, Mitchell has expertise and knowledge in strategic planning, project management, business analysis, procurement and contract management, finance, and information technology (IT) operations. In addition to her time in public service, Mitchell has also worked in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait supporting military efforts as part of LOGCAP III, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Mitchell has been a resident of Glenn Heights for 20 years and has two children: Caleb, who will be graduating from Parish Episcopal School in May 2024 and continuing his education at Purdue University and Bryson, a current freshman at DeSoto Early College High School.

Mitchell is committed to fiscal responsibility by approving a budget that is in the best interest of DeSoto ISD scholars, transparency and accountability, and ensuring that all students, teachers and staff have a safe and supportive school environment.


ELECTION CYCLE:

Next election: May 6, 2023. 

First day to file for candidacy: January 18, 2023

Last day to file for candidacy: February 17, 2023 at 5pm

Drawing for ballot position: February 24, 2023 at 10am

LINKS

What are the key roles and responsibilities of a school board?

  • Ensure creation of a vision and goals for the district and evaluate district success.

  • Adopt policies that guide district actions.

  • Hire a superintendent to serve as administrator of the district and evaluate the superintendent's success.

  • Approve an annual budget consistent with the district vision.

  • Communicate the district's vision and success to the community.