We are so excited to introduce to you this new feature on our site: Mom To Know! And we are equally as excited for our first MTK to be Alicia Markum! Alicia is running in Place 4 for the school board elections coming up this November. We asked her some questions to get to know her better and wanted to share them with you.
RRM: Why are you running for school board? What issues do you hope to solve or focus on?
AM: As the parent of a child receiving special education, I have a decade of knowledge on the fundamentals of the public school system including policy, funding, services, and how to effectively communicate between stakeholders. I lead from an informed and empathetic perspective while employing the growth mind-set necessary for collaboration.
I believe in the value of public education. I believe we should invest time and resources into creating inclusive school communities where all students are able to learn, and in the professionals who spend their careers shaping our students into well-adjusted humans, helping them discover their passions, and showing them how to achieve their greatest potential. We have a responsibility to hold public education in our district to a high standard in order to provide our students with equitable opportunities for future success and to ensure that all children’s rights to a high-quality public education are fulfilled. Embracing our varying experiences and the perspectives that result from those experiences ensures that everyone in our community is well represented. This is as true in education as it is in the greater community. I know that representation and collaboration are the tools that will empower our students to succeed.
RRM: Do you volunteer? Where do you volunteer? Why do you volunteer? Who in your life modeled that for you?
AM: I have served as a PTA President for three years and currently serve as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair for the Round Rock Council of PTAs as well as the PTA Liaison for the Round Rock ISD Special Education Parent Advisory Council. I have also served on multiple PTA and district committees in addition to volunteer work in the community. I believe that to live in community is to live beyond yourself, to see worth in the people who share your spaces, and always pursue solutions that give everyone a fighting chance at opportunity.
From a young age, my mother taught me to love with everything I have and to give what I could to the people around me. Ten years ago, my oldest son was diagnosed with autism. My life and the life of her first grandchild took a hard turn in an unexpected direction. She did not run away when things got hard, but instead she ran at me with the full force of all her love. That is the love and energy I want to continue to put out into the world. She is a light and a force in this world, and I am so lucky to continue to have her example.
President; Fern Bluff Elementary PTA 2019-2022
PTA Liaison; Round Rock ISD Special Education Parent Advisory Council 2021 – Present Diversity and Inclusion Chair; Round Rock ISD Council of PTAs 2022 – Present
Inclusion Chair; Fern Bluff Elementary PTA 2018-2019, 2022 – Present
Surrogate Parent; Round Rock ISD Surrogate Parent Program 2021 – Present
Event Volunteer; Round Rock Special Education Prom May 2022
Nominating Committee; RRISD Council of PTAs January 2022 – March 2022
Collaborative Comprehensive Needs Assessment Perceptions Committee; Round Rock ISD April 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in PTA Panelist; Educators in Solidarity Unconference March 2021 Event Volunteer; Imagine A Way Annual Clays Sporting Tournament March 2019, 2021, 2022
Swim Meet Volunteer; Round Rock Dolphins Summer Swim Team May 2021 – July 2021, May 2022 – Present
Event Volunteer; Round Rock ISD Back to School Celebration August 2022
RRM: What has been your proudest moment as a mom?
AM: My proudest moments as a parent are watching my two boys learn to advocate for themselves and for each other. Navigating a sibling relationship when one sibling is disabled brings unique challenges but also unique opportunities for growth. Watching them learn what it means to be a team is truly special.
RRM: What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
AM: My oldest child is now 11. Now that I am further down the road, I would tell myself as a new mother to fully trust my instincts on what is best for my children. It is such a huge learning curve in the early stages of being a new parent, and many days you are just surviving. We need to give ourselves grace in the moment, and remember that hindsight is so useful for helping those that come after us.
RRM: What’s your favorite thing about living in RR?
AM: I grew up in a very small Texas town, and I loved that life. Even though Round Rock is a large suburb and growing, it is still a close community with all the opportunities of a larger city. I am so happy to be raising a family here.
Bio: Alicia is proudly running for a seat on the RRISD Board of Trustees. Born and raised in a small town in southeast Texas, Alicia grew up in the shadows of the oil refineries where her dad built his career. She spent her formative years performing under the Friday night lights with her life-long best friends, and it was in this town where she first learned the value of connection and living in community.
After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in English in 2005, Alicia and her husband Matt made their way to the Austin area and have happily called Round Rock home for the last 10 years. After building a career in marketing in the textbook publishing industry, Alicia’s focus shifted to home and family when the Markums welcomed their first child in 2011. Shortly after her family grew again with the birth of her youngest child in 2014, Alicia started her photography business.
Volunteering has always been a core value in Alicia’s life, but her perspective on the importance of connection and community changed after she and her husband learned that their oldest child has a disability. While the journey is difficult, it has strengthened her understanding that we all desire to have a connection to the community that we live in, no matter how we walk through life. Embracing our varying experiences and the perspectives that result from those experiences ensures that everyone in our community is well represented. This is as true in education as it is in the greater community. Alicia knows that representation and collaboration are the tools that will empower our students to succeed.
An active, engaged public school parent and leader, Alicia had the honor of serving as the PTA President of her neighborhood elementary school from the fall of 2018 through the spring of 2022. During Alicia’s tenure, the school PTA earned the Voice for Every Child Gold award for membership equal to at least
75% of campus enrollment, and the Golden Apple award for recruiting 100% of school faculty, among other membership awards. Prior to her presidency, Alicia created and chaired the campus PTA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, which implemented the Texas PTA Kids First Program, created event accommodations for students with disabilities, and implemented Sesame Street’s Beautiful Me project, encouraging students to create portraits of themselves with words unique to their identity.
In 2022, Alicia was awarded the RRISD Council of PTAs Flowers in Our Garden Award for making a positive impact on PTA in the school district. Currently, Alicia is a member and incoming chair of the RRISD Council of PTAs Diversity and Inclusion committee. She serves as the PTA Liaison for the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, and participates in the RRISD Surrogate Parent Program.
Alicia is running for the RRISD Board of Trustees because she believes in the value of public education, in investing time and resources into creating inclusive school communities where ALL students are able to learn, and in the professionals who spend their careers shaping our students into well-adjusted humans, helping them discover their passions, and showing them how to achieve their greatest potential.
“We have a responsibility to hold public education in our district to a high standard in order to provide our students with equitable opportunities for future success and to ensure that all children’s rights to a high-quality public education are fulfilled. Public schools are the center of our community and are often the only realistic choice available to families when it comes to educating their children. They are places where children of all races, religions, genders, and abilities must feel safe and supported, which is a precursor to learning.”
In addition to being the mother of her two amazing boys, a wife, and an advocate for all students, Alicia is the mom of two epic dogs, Lucy and Ted Lasso. Her family loves hiking, swimming, the beach, the Aggies (Whoop!), traveling, spending afternoons at the baseball fields, and cheering on the boys at Special Olympics and summer swim. Alicia also enjoys volunteering her time and energy with the nonprofit Imagine A Way, and the Round Rock Dolphins Summer Swim Team.
Thank you so much, Alicia!