April 5, 2023 733 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.
What experience do you bring to the table?
I began my career in education as an aide for Amarillo ISD in September 1979. I continued to do that until 1989 when I decided to return to school to become a teacher. I graduated from West Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1993 and taught for Amarillo ISD from August 1993 until May 2000. We moved to Presidio in June 2000 to help with the family business. I began teaching for Presidio ISD in fall of 2000. I taught at both LRFMS and Presidio Elementary during the next several years. During that time I received my master’s from the University of North Texas in 2005. In 2007, I became an administrator and was co-principal at PES for the next nine years until my retirement in June 2016. After retiring, I began to contract with education entities as a supervisor for their teacher certification programs and continue to do so. Along with working in our family business, I am also the chair for the Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District. I think my education and experience would allow me to be an effective member of the PISD board.
What are some issues you’re hoping to address during your term?
1. Parent involvement – Some great things happen on each of the campuses with regard to this, but I think that we should do all we can to get parents involved. Statistics prove that the more involved parents are, the higher the attendance rate is and the better their children do in school.
2. Hire quality teachers and retain them – With the current climate in education, over 40% of teachers plan to leave the classroom within the next five years. We have to make sure that PISD is a place they want to work. It is difficult to fill vacancies. The best thing to do is keep what we have.
3. School counselors on each campus – Each campus must have a full time counselor to address the unique needs of our students.
What are some great things about Presidio that you’d like to celebrate or preserve during your term?
PISD students have become public servants, doctors, lawyers, business owners and a multitude of other professionals. It started here, and we have to make sure that the district continues to give today’s students the best education possible so they can be whatever they want to be.
Presidio gave me lots of opportunities to grow. I want to ensure that the staff that we have can also grow to their highest potential. That isn’t just for teachers. It should include all of our staff. Everyone can always be better at what they do.