March 29, 2023 649 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.
STEVEN “NICKY” ALVAREZ
Steven “Nicky” Alvarez is a Presidio native and former PISD educator currently serving the community as a city council member and a member of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
1) What experience do you bring to the table?
I am from Presidio and I am a proud graduate from Presidio High School (PHS). I was raised by a single mother and I am the only one of five siblings who went to college. I attended The University of Texas at Austin (UT) where I got a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a master’s in education. I have over 20 years of work experience in higher education working for UT, my alma mater. I moved back to Presidio in 2018 to care for my mother and to be close to family. Prior to moving back, I worked in Washington, D.C. for five years for The University of Texas System. Most recently I worked at PHS as the college and career readiness coordinator in charge of the Early College High School (dual credit) program. Given my work experience, I have a solid understanding of our education system from kindergarten all the way to grad school and beyond. As a first generation college student, I know the impact that education can have on student’s lives. Related to my work experience is my track record of always being a strong student advocate. Finally, I am a firm believer in giving back to the community. I currently serve as a member of the Presidio Convention and Visitors Bureau and I am also a councilman for the City of Presidio.
2) What are some issues you’re hoping to address during your term?
There are several issues that I am hoping to address during my term, in collaboration with the other board members. First, I want to make sure that our students are receiving a top notch education to prepare them for the future, whether it is college and/or the workforce. It is very important that we provide them with a solid education and the know-how to succeed in life, regardless of what path they choose. Secondly, I think it is critical that more parents get involved in the education of their children. We need to keep reaching out to them but most importantly make them feel welcomed on all three campuses as well as the administration building. Finally, we need to do a better job of recruiting and retaining staff and teachers at PISD. Given our location as a rural district, it is critical that we make this a priority. We need to compensate/reward the staff and teachers for their hard work and provide them with a nurturing and supportive environment where they feel valued and appreciated. The district needs to change its message of “if you are not happy, there is a door” to a more positive one. The staff and teachers need to know that their commitment and dedication is appreciated and that the district wants them to continue being part of the PISD team.
3) What are some great things about Presidio ISD that you’d like to celebrate or preserve during your term?
Compared to more affluent districts, PISD lacks a lot of resources. Yet graduates from Presidio High School are still able to succeed and thrive in life due to their perseverance or “ganas,” as I like to call it. As a result, Presidio High School has produced many successful alumni/leaders. PISD also does a good job in supporting the students, especially the athletes. An example is when the different law enforcement agencies and the community sends off or welcomes back the students. Finally, while this is not something that the district does, per se, but rather the people who work for the district, I love how they always come together to support anyone in need.