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:

Alamo Colleges, District 2

Incumbent?

Yes.

Link to campaign website:

https://www.maciasforalamocolleges.com/

Age:

50

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

I have an undergraduate degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and an Associate Degree from San Antonio College. I am a military brat, and attended DOD schools. I went to Kindergarten in Turkey, elementary school in Washington DC, middle school in central Louisiana, and high school in Germany. I ultimately graduated from John Jay HS when my Father was stationed at Lackland A.F.B.

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?

OLLU – B.A. in Business Management, Minor in Economics – 2005
San Antonio College – A.A. Liberal Arts – 2005

(I transferred credits from OLLU my final year to Alamo Colleges to earn my A.A. Degree. I wanted something to recognize my time there).

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

Fundraising and Development, I work for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. My job title is Development Manager.

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.

I served as a Trustee for Judson I.S.D. #4 from May 2010 – August 2019. I won my first election in 2010, and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017. I ran unopposed in 2017.

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

I am uniquely qualified with over nine years of School Board governance experience and over twelve months as a Trustee for Alamo College District #2. This experience provides me with extensive of the full educational attainment spectrum from Pre-K – 12 and Higher Education. In my time serving D2, we have built momentum and have developed an ambitious agenda for moving District 2 forward.

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

It is critical that we break the cycle of generational poverty and raise the level of educational attainment in District 2. Three of the top five most impoverished zip codes are found on the Eastside. This inequity cannot continue to stand. Focusing on our Alamo Promise initiative, creating more opportunities through workforce development programming, and strengthening diversity and inclusion practices at Alamo Colleges are very important issues. These areas are only the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more. We will remain focused on addressing each of them.

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

We would continue our to work on our agenda. Although the Alamo Promise program promises tuition free college, it does not guarantee a student will automatically succeed. I am focused on expanding support programming and resources to ensure our Alamo Promise scholars succeed. I have also committed to working with our Administration to formally create an African American Studies program at St. Philips College and have pledged to create greater opportunities for diversity and inclusion of minority businesses to do work with the Alamo College District. I will also work to enhance our Eastside Education and Training Center’s ability and impact in serving our D2 community.

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?

The old saying, Rome was not built in a day, seems to apply to my first twelve months on the Board. Although I am the incumbent, I have not had an opportunity to see several of my objectives to fruition. However, in my short time in office, I am proud of the establishment of an Alamo College D2 Advisory Committee. The first ever formally created by an Alamo College Trustee. I created this committee to maximize citizen engagement with my office and as a means to create accountability as the D2 representative. In addition, I helped lead the policy revisions aimed at creating more opportunities for minority businesses to work with Alamo Colleges. The measure passed unanimously at our regular September Board meeting.

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

N/A

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

Student success has been the driving force at the Alamo College District during this pandemic. Early on, we made sure every one of our students had the ability to learn remotely, those who did not have a laptop, we provided them with one. In addition, we are working to establish internet towers so that Alamo College students can tap into our internet service anywhere in the City. We have held student and employee safety in high regard as 90% of our campuses are still working remotely. We will not allow COVID-19 to stop our progress, or limit our ability to serve the needs of our students and our community.

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

Our first budget retreat will be in Jan. 2021. It will be a very critical budget meeting. To date, we have worked diligently to keep employee retention from falling. Keeping our workforce focused on our mission has been a major priority. In addition, keeping our district priorities moving forward has been critical to continuing to meet community need. Especially as well address the issue of unemployment from those displaced by COVID-19. We MUST meet the need. Our collaborations with the City and County have been instrumental in moving forward. It will be important to evaluate the need to utilize our fund balance as we maneuver through the adverse impact of this pandemic.

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

I am concerned about academic gaps. Data indicates that up to 30% of some high schools cannot locate their students. In districts serving a large portion of economically disadvantaged populations, addressing this inequity is critical. Student mobility rates have always been a concern, but with this pandemic the potential gap could be a major barrier to students interested in pursuing higher education. At Alamo Colleges, there are plans to address any potential gaps, with increased student support, providing more tutorial opportunities, and providing more one on one support from Faculty and Advisors. For our Alamo Promise scholars, there is also a six week course offered in the summer. I will continue to evaluate our achievement metrics and will be open to modifying our processes to meet academic gaps.

San Antonio Report Staff

San Antonio Report Staff

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