To inform readers about the candidates seeking their votes on the November ballot, the San Antonio Report asked all candidates to answer the following questions. We edited answers for clarity, not substance or grammar, and we did not fact-check responses. We restricted responses to 200 words for each question.

Read other candidates’ answers here.

Position sought:

South San Antonio ISD, District 2

Incumbent?

No.

Link to campaign website:

https://arrellano4southsan.com

Age:

57

What is your educational background? Where did you go to school growing up and what is the highest level of education you completed?

I attended Kindred Elementary, Dwight Middle School and graduated from South San High School in 1981.

If you have completed higher education, what degrees or certifications have you earned and from where? In what years did you complete these degrees or certifications?

I graduated from UTSA in 1993 having earned a Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting.

What is your current occupation, employer, and job title?

USAA – Business Analyst

List any previous elected offices that you held and the term you held that office. List any elected offices you sought and the years you sought those offices.

No previous elected offices. I ran as a write-in candidate in 2012 for the same office I am running for now.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?

I have lived in the South San community for over 35 years, with the last 15 years in District 2, and have worked tirelessly to make it a better place. I am a US Air Force veteran with leadership experience. I have accumulated over 25 years of business experience both in the corporate and entrepreneurial world. In 2013, I was selected by councilman Rey Saldana to represent our area on the SAWS Board of Trustees and did so for 5 years holding various leadership roles during that time. I am ready to bring a sorely needed professional and business mindset to our great district. One that will help build a solid foundational framework with fair and unbiased accountability built in. I will work to ensure that the right administration and teaching professionals are in place. Then let them do their job!

What three issues do you feel are most important to your constituents?

1. Board in-fighting and bad press
2. Teacher and staff turnover
3. Infrastructure issues

I have heard repeatedly the need for the board of trustees to stop the in-fighting that continues this cycle of negative press. This topic alone makes it difficult to attract and retain great teachers and administrators. It also demoralizes the equally awesome professionals that the district currently has that are the core to what any school district should be about….quality education for our children. Just as important, we need to address our crumbling infrastructure so that our kids have safe schools to attend with air conditioning that works.

If you are elected, what will be your top priorities once you take office?

1. Work to build a board that is moving together to benefit our children’s education
2. Strengthen the relationship between the board and Superintendent
3. Find the honest truth about the district’s budget situation to begin taking steps to resolve
4. Real transparency to all stakeholders, including the parents

For incumbents: What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time in office? Is there any vote or decision you would change now looking back?

N/A

For non-incumbents: Would you do anything differently from the current representative holding the office you’re seeking?

I would make sure that I remember that I grew up in a district that had problems when I was going to school too. But, I was happy and received a quality education. That is what I want all children to remember. With that mindset, I will work hard to make sure that all kids in our great district are afforded the opportunity to make great memories while receiving a consistent quality education. That would drive me in all decisions I would make while serving our kids and their parents. I would never stop working for them!

How do you assess your community college district or school district’s performance during the pandemic and the way it served students?

All businesses and governmental entities should have risks like this identified and plans built to deal with the risk if it ever occurs. However, this pandemic came without warning and rapidly spread throughout the world like the wildfires are on the west coast today. All pandemic plans from the largest corporations to school districts were not prepared for this type of event that, up until now, only Hollywood could dream up. From what I can tell, school districts are dealing with it as best as they possibly can. In the aftermath, like all other ways we live, how we educate our children will change more rapidly that it normally would. How they handle that is what I would assess.

How will you approach budgeting for your district given the economic uncertainties? What are your budget priorities you would want to keep intact?

Budgeting consists of accurately forecasting what funds are coming in and managing what is being spent. It is important to be as honest and transparent as possible about the funding inflows forecasting as that drives the ability to spend. At no point should we allow spending to happen without knowing what the inflows are. There must also be a system of transparent monitoring of ALL spending.

How do you plan to work to overcome academic gaps that may have developed or widened during the pandemic?

I plan on having the board and administrative staff working with all governmental and private sector sources to secure funding that would help accelerate providing all district households the ability to have the tools needed to learn remotely. There will always be schools for kids to attend physically and that is vitally important. However, ALL students should be able to work remotely as needed. Education is moving in that direction and all should be afforded the opportunity to participate.

San Antonio Report Staff

San Antonio Report Staff

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.