Marfa ISD Board of Trustees appoints new member 

New Marfa ISD School Board Member Stela Fuentez and returning School Board Member Lori Flores were sworn in at a Marfa ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday. Photo by Mary Cantrell.

MARFA — The Marfa Independent School District Board of Trustees appointed Marfa resident Stela Fuentez to the board on Monday. 

Fuentez will serve as Place 1, a seat that has remained vacant since the resignation of Christa Marquez last July, and which the board previously struggled to fill due to a lack of applicants. 

With the filling of the final vacant seat, Fuentez rounds out the board of seven, joining existing members President Teresa Nuñez, Vice President Yolanda Jurado, Secretary Rene Gonzales, Lori Flores, Ernie Villarreal and Ruben Martinez.

After putting out a call for letters of interest from potential school board members, Fuentez was the chosen candidate at Monday night’s board meeting and was sworn in alongside existing Board Member Lori Flores, who ran unopposed to keep her Place 2 seat. 

Fuentez is originally from San Benito, a town in South Texas near the Rio Grande Valley. She earned degrees from the University of Texas San Antonio and moved to the Big Bend region with her husband, Vince, who is from Presidio, in 2010. 

Professionally, she works in strategic communications with the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center out of San Antonio, and has two children, ages 9 and 7, who currently attend Wonder School Marfa, but will continue their education in junior high and high school with Marfa ISD, said Fuentez. 

Fuentez has experience volunteering with MISD’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Read Marfa, has served on the Marfa Studio of Arts board and more. She said she hopes to continue strengthening existing community partnerships in her new role as a board member. Fuentez said she was also eager to offer new ideas and support local students, staff and parents. 

“My main focus as a board trustee is to ensure that our Shorthorns have a strong academic focus all while preparing them for life beyond high school,” said Fuentez. “I want to ensure that we prepare them with the necessary life skills and empower them with the insight needed to create goals and take all the necessary steps to reach those goals.”   

“I also want to ensure that we are doing everything possible to support the morale, health and well being of our students and staff,” she added. 

Now, with no vacancies, the full school board will move forward with the 2023-2024 budgeting process, ushering in of new Interim Superintendent Arturo Alferez and more. Fuentez’s seat, Place 1, will be up for election next May because she was appointed, rather than elected. Existing board members said they were happy to welcome Fuentez to the board and were looking forward to working with her. 

“The decision was to appoint her because she has been a big supporter of Marfa ISD through PTO and the Marfa Education Foundation and shows a great interest in our school and community,” said Teresa Nuñez, board president. “She wants to help continue to move our school in the right direction.”