In early September 2018, Katy ISD board member Dawn Champagne informed the entire board about a FERPA violation committed by then board president Ashley Vann regarding my family’s private data that she used to influence the last election.
Nothing was done. How can the same general counsel who failed to report a federal crime be a fair and impartial election administrator for this election. Was there no investigation?
(Ashley Vann was the President of the board at the time, and the same member who said the allegations of plagiarism were verifiably false.)
Here is the letter written on Sep 6, 2018, at 8:59 PM from Dawn Champagne to the Katy ISD board. Find the ource documents at the bottom of this page.
Dear Fellow Katy ISD Trustees,
I know that you all realize that I feel that there is a conflict caused by Ashley Vann. I also know
that this conflict was discussed in closed meeting, without me. I would like you all to know my
side of this issue.
I wanted to resolve this with Ashley, apart from the board and Dr. Hindt. I had tried with
Courtney and Ashley multiple times to arrange for a meeting with just the three of us. Ashley
refused to meet with me without Dr. Hindt. I did not understand why she was so insistent on his
presence. He did nothing wrong. As you will read later, Ashley is the only one that caused this
conflict. The last two offerings of meetings were to include not only Dr. Hindt, but also Justin
There have been two disturbing conversations with Ashley that were practically the same, but
held at two different times. The first occurred before I was a board member, and the second,
after I was a board member.
The first conversation occurred on Thursday, March 22, 2018, when I was a candidate running
for Katy ISD School Board. Ashley called me and asked what my relationship was with a
particular community member that had recently come into the spotlight and was seen to be a very
negative person. I explained that this person lived across the street with his parents for the first
few years of the ten or eleven years that his parents lived there. His parents had moved about
three years earlier, and their son, had not lived there in over ten years. Ashley asked me why this
person was friends with me on FaceBook. I told her I didn’t realize this, and was grateful that
she told me. Ashley then asked me why I was listed ****redacted****. Ashley knew the grade level of this student and the campus that she attended. I told
Ashley that I knew that there was a *redacted* in the grade that she mentioned, but I didn’t know the *redacted* name and did not know that she even lived in Katy still. I hadn’t seen the *redacted* in over
ten years. I told her I was concerned if I truly wa *****redacted***** because I
wouldn’t even know what this girl looked like any more, and did not even know her name. I
asked Ashley how she received this information. Ashley replied that she had her ways.
I was disturbed by this conversation and shared it with the six members of my campaign
tea.-rn. As a citizen, I ‘thought that maybe the President of the School Board was privy to the
school records of the District’s students. So, my campaign team and I decided that we should
move on with the campaign, and hoped that fuis would not be brought up again. I did not want
to be associated with this community member. I was very worried that if word got out that I was
on his *redacted* student record ***redacted*** my campaign would be hindered. This
information plagued me during my entire campaign. I was worried that Ashley would use this
information against me.
On June 14, 2018, after I was elected, and while attending TASB training, Ashley once again confronted me with the question of why I was the ***redacted*** on this person’s ***redacted*** I once again explained to her that I did not know I was ********redacted******** and had not been in contact with the **redacted** family for over ten years, I was shocked that she would bring fuis up again. I asked her how she was aware of this information.
She once again stated that she had her ways.
Following this conversation, I began researching the TASB resources that I had become aware of
during my TASB training. I realized that it v.ras inappropriate for a School Board Trustee to
share student information with another member of the community, especially during an election,
and use student records to intimidate a school board candidate.
As I studied more and served more, I became increasingly aware of how severe fue release of
student information by a public official to a candidate during a campaign was. When the offered
meetings began to include Katy ISD’s attorney, this increased my awareness of the severity of
I am hoping with this email that you will realize that I truly wanted to work things out with
Ashley. I want to do what is right and just for all of the community members of Katy ISD, and
this includes protecting information on students records. Hopefully, this will not occur again.
Thank you for your time.
Katy ISD Trustee
Read Dawn’s email to the board members here: https://abetterlegacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Dawn-Champagne-Email-To-Board-Members-9-6-2018.pdf
Read the letter in context of the full PIR received from the district: https://abetterlegacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Emails-pertaining-to-FERPA-election-violation-12-2018.pdf
Read the Attorney General of Texas’s response to the request by Katy ISD to withhold these documents from the public: https://abetterlegacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AG-Response-to-our-request-12-2018.pdf