March 22, 2023 644 PM
PRESIDIO — On March 9, Presidio ISD announced a list of candidates who will be running for school board in the upcoming elections. The terms of current board members Yvonne Spencer, Ethel Barriga, Hugo Ramos and Fidel Baeza expire in May — the board will be holding a joint election with the City of Presidio in the upcoming general election.
Each week The Presidio International will run a candidate profile in advance of early voting, which begins on April 24. Board candidates are Brenda Witty, Jaime Sanchez, Steve “Nicky” Alvarez, Jeremy Velasquez, Carlos Reyna, Jessica Acevedo Nunez, Perla Natividad and Marco Lujan. None of the outgoing board members have opted to run for re-election.
Perla Natividad is a Class of 2004 Presidio HS graduate. She obtained a bachelor’s in international business administration from Texas Tech University and attended the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores en Monterrey as part of her undergraduate study abroad experience. She holds a Master of Science in accounting from Texas A&M – Commerce. Natividad is a former educator of Presidio ISD and currently serves as an officer in the LRFMS Parent Teacher Organization. She is married to Isael “Maja” Natividad, and together they are raising their three children: Ruben, Isael and Mikaela.
What experience do you bring to the table?
As a candidate for Presidio ISD Board Trustee, I can contribute with both an educational and professional background.
I am a former career and technical education (CTE) teacher of Presidio HS. I taught multiple accounting and finance courses for seven years (2014-2021). I currently hold an active Texas Educator Certificate for business education with special education and bilingual education supplements. I am also credentialed by both Texas State Technical College and Odessa College as an adjunct instructor to teach dual credit business courses.
Some highlights during my tenure as educator include having worked with the “Grow Your Own” Program, which paved the way for students wanting to become future educators at PISD to hold practicums/internships as high school students at Presidio Elementary School. I had the opportunity to be a member of the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DWEIC) and the Technology Committee. I held the PISD webmaster title and sponsored the PHS Engraving Club, the PHS Cheer Squad and the 2021 UIL Accounting District Champion team. More importantly, I had the privilege to work with extraordinary PISD students, teachers and staff. I am very well aware of the strengths and weaknesses that are present at PISD and am prepared to share my experiences positively.
Professionally, I have corporate and governmental backgrounds. I’ve worked for the largest international real estate developer as a property accountant, and currently I am an auditor for the U.S. Army Audit Agency. I hold solid ethical standards, have knowledge on the process and accountability of federal and state funds (including taxpayer dollars), and understand the entire accounting cycle.
What are some issues you’re hoping to address during your term?
I am honored to be a product of Presidio ISD schools. I attended K-12 here! Now, I am a parent to three PISD students who are currently enrolled in EC pre-K, second and seventh grades. I have five nieces and nephews who are in second, third, fourth, sixth and ninth grades and a brother who is a senior. I have a high vested interest as a candidate to the PISD Board of Trustees.
My priority will always be maximizing the educational experience for our students and elevating the employee morale. While I cannot make an individual commitment to resolve every issue, I can as a board member assure stakeholders that I will listen and represent the community’s needs to the best of my ability.
Some of the issues I hope to address during my term include increasing student and employee safety while at school and while traveling to and from school and extracurricular activities. I will push for the proper curriculums, techniques and learning resources in the classroom as well as the minimization of unnecessary testing. I will educate myself on how the district can obtain more grants and apply for funding opportunities, such as the Teacher Incentive Allotment, primarily to raise employee salaries and bonuses.
Teacher recruitment and retention is a nationwide problem, but it is especially a challenge here. We have to address our teacher contracts, administrative positions and employee salaries with the end goal in mind, our students. When making human resource decisions, we have to ask, “What is the best for our students?”
I will also advocate for more counseling programs to target issues such as family problems, depression, bullying and suicide. I will make sure that students in special populations that have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 plan, are gifted and talented (GT), and/or limited English proficiency (LEP) are receiving the services that they need to succeed. I am very motivated to discuss revamping our accounts payable system by replacing outdated procedures with innovative and streamlining methods. Lastly, I am committed to encourage and support all extracurricular activities/programs.
What are some great things about Presidio ISD that you’d like to celebrate or preserve during your term?
I strongly believe and take pride in the greatness of Presidio ISD. I have and will continue to trust this educational system. I know that “Presidioans” are resilient by nature and that is one thing that I would love to preserve during my term. For decades, Presidio (against all odds) has grown lawyers, engineers, teachers, dentists, public servants, architects, doctors, nurses, soldiers, speakers, plumbers, welders, electricians, framers, mechanics, entrepreneurs, the list can go on and on. My vision for Presidio ISD is that we continue to adequately prepare our children, kids and young adults for the real world so that one day they become our future leaders. I want to see Presidio ISD at its greatest moment, with happy teachers, motivated students, passionate staff and involved parents. Every individual should thrive at Presidio ISD, period. If while serving as a board trustee I can contribute to these efforts, I will celebrate that!