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:

Southwest ISD trustee

Incumbent?

Yes.

Link to campaign website:

www.facebook.com/southwestmychoice

Age:

75

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

I was born, raised and graduated in the SWISD. I raised my two children here, whom graduated from SWISD, as well.

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 was born, raised and graduated in the SWISD. I raised my two children here, whom graduated from SWISD, as well.

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

Retired

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 was elected to the SWISD school board in 1980 and have held the position of President since 1983.

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

My experience in education, alongside with my ability to lead has built excellent relationships with both SWISD administrations and the various school board members over the past 40 years. During my years of service, each Superintendent has relied on me to build a bridge between him or her and the board, allowing a phenomenal working relationship, thus benefiting the SWISD community to its fullest.

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

I believe the safety of our children, gaining a sense of normalcy during/after this pandemic, and ensuring every student is ready for the next level in life, whether it be college or a vocational trade, are three very important issues for the SWISD community.

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

If I am re-elected, one priority would be to focus on keeping all of our campuses as safe as possible for every student’s eventual return to in person instruction. I will also work hard with the board and administration to keep every student progressing forward in their education, thus closing any grade level gaps attained from remote learning. I will continue to push for and expand the variety of vocational certificates offered, training provided and college credits earned at SWISD. My goal has always been to help every student prepare for a successful future.

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?

As far as proud accomplishments, the growth and expansion of this district speaks volumes. SWISD has become iconic in the variety of campuses/schools available to fit the diverse needs of our community. Along with the addition of numerous elementary schools, middle schools and a second comprehensive high school, which is the first comprehensive high school in South Bexar County in the last 40 years, and we have several schools that have a specific focus to include CAST STEM High School and our Crossroads Center which houses three distinct programs for at-risk youth (DAEP, Drop Out Prevention through SW Academy and Boot camp).

In addition to these two unique schools we have several ‘school within a school’ models and our most proud one is our Academy of Social Diversity housed at Medio Creek Elementary. In addition, we are in the planning year for onboarding two Early College High Schools at our high schools respectively. CAST STEM High School currently has a TSTEM Designation and we are in the planning year there for the first P-TECH in our area. Our Transportation Department, Maintenance and FFA facilities have improved tremendously. We have some powerful partnerships making our vocational programs top notch, like our mechanical aviation program and our program with HOLT which started as an Ag Mechanic internship opportunity but has crossed over into other fields such as IT. Toyota and HEB continue to be strong partners to our district as well. The future Natatorium, in conjunction with our city leadership, will be one of the largest accomplishments during my service, thus far.

Thinking back over decisions made, there is one I regret. We chose to pay up front using our savings in order to build one of our middle schools instead of borrowing the money. This put us financially behind for about three years, trying to keep the tax level lower until we grew the savings account again.

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?

This pandemic situation is currently a work in progress; however, I believe SWISD students have not wavered because of the lack of technology. As a matter of fact, we offered devices to all students in need and that was incredible. We are poised to also enhance the internet access in the coming months with additional hotspots for students and families.

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

With economic uncertainties, we began this school year with no raise for employees. We are currently discussing ways to cut back since this is just the beginning. Our priorities are to keep as many of our academic programs intact and look elsewhere for budget cuts.

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

SWISD has hired special educators to work hand in hand with both students and teachers to identify problem areas. These reading and math specialists will use a pull-out program on campuses in order to help bridge any learning gaps.

San Antonio Report Staff

San Antonio Report Staff

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