South San Antonio Independent School District trustees on Wednesday filled the last remaining empty seat on the board in the wake of the resignations of three trustees. The South San ISD seat had been vacant for more than two months.

Veronica Barba, 55, an administrative assistant, was sworn into the District 1 seat Wednesday evening after trustees voted 4-2 to confirm her appointment by application. The vote took place at the district’s monthly regular meeting.

Mandy Martinez (District 1), Louis Ybarra (District 2) and Elda Flores (District 7) vacated the South San board in protest of Superintendent Alexandro Flores’ resignation on Sept. 3. The remaining four trustees opened applications to fill the vacancies.

The board appointed Stacey Alderete to serve District 7 and Kevin Rasco to serve District 2 during the district’s Sept. 18 meeting. Both are serving until November 2020.

The board met in closed session for two hours before selecting Barba.

Homer Flores (District 3) made a motion after the board returned from closed-door discussions to reopen applications instead of making an immediate appointment. The motion failed with only two supporting votes.

It would have been the district’s third call for applications to the seat. During the initial round of applications solicited in September, no one applied for the District 1 seat.

The board reopened the application process ahead of its October regular meeting where it considered Barba’s and Gina Villagomez’s applications but did not interview either candidate.

Barba was chosen over Villagomez, 48, who worked for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in the criminal intake and trial division from 2014 to June 2017. She currently works as a receptionist at the law office of John Winter, according to her application.

Veronica Barba (left)

Asked if she wanted to make a speech after she was sworn in, Barba declined, saying she was nervous.

Barba worked at Kingsborough Middle School in Harlandale ISD, according to her application, but it is unclear if she remains employed at the district.

Barba will serve until November 2020.

In her application, the new trustee listed her top three priorities as student development and success, making sure the right staff is in place, and helping to guide and improve district policy.

Barba, who is making her first foray into public service, said she had thought about running for a trustee seat in the past but had been busy keeping up with her student-athlete daughter’s softball activities. Her daughter graduated from South San in 2017.

“I’m excited,” she said after the meeting. “I’m willing to learn and help out in [any way] I can.”

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.