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:

North East ISD, District 3

Incumbent?

Yes.

Link to campaign website:

https://www.facebook.com/OmarLeos4NEISD

Age:

45

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

I graduated from Thomas Edison High School in San Antonio and have completed two Masters degrees.

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?

BA- 1997 UIW English/Theatre; M.Ed-2000 UIW in Secondary Teaching; M.Ed-2010 Lamar University Educational Administration.

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

Fine Arts Coordinator-Harlandale ISD

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.

None

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

My background and career are in public education. I have been a classroom teacher and currently an administrator, so I bring that point of view and perspective to the board. I have a keen eye on issues regarding instruction, student outcomes and student success. I am deeply committed to students, teachers and staff because I have walked in their shoes before. I believe that I have a strong voice for the community I represent.

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

Navigating the educational landscape in the time of COVID is important to the NEISD community at this time. Fiscal responsibility is also of most importance to our constituents. Finally, educating our students with the best and most highly qualified teachers is crucial to the overall success of the district.

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

I want to continue to provide the best instruction to our students by hiring and retaining the best, highly qualified teachers. I also want to ensure that we are still making the best decisions for NEISD during this time of COVID and even after since the effects of the pandemic will still be felt for years to come.

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?

I have only been in office for almost less than a year, but I am very proud of how NEISD handled the initial lockdown in March. The staff very quickly made excellent decisions on how to best educate, feed and provide any essentials to our students. I am also proud that NEISD will be on the forefront of the cyber security industry by opening up a cyber security school which will provide a big impact on the city for years to come.

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?

I strongly believe that the staff at NEISD did an excellent job during the pandemic and it continues to do so. The staff quickly came up with strategies on how to feed our students, provide technology to those in need, provide counseling to families in need and to provide teachers with resources needed to navigate virtual learning.

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

I believe that our district did great financially after the school year ended, even during the time of COVID. With that said, the board still needs to be fiscally responsible when it comes to the budget. We can do that by working closely with the finance department to come up with best ways to ensure that the budget is utilized in the best way possible.

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

The pandemic turned the education world upside down. However, it also forced us to look at education and instruction differently. Some of the differences have made us think about new approaches to instruction and the ways we can better educate our students. I believe that will have to continue to assess students on an ongoing basis so we can best determine what they need in order to fill their academic gap. We also need continue to provide teachers with current and relevant professional development so that they can be trained on effective instructional strategies.

San Antonio Report Staff

San Antonio Report Staff

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