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.
Southwest ISD trustee
Link to campaign website:
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 school in San, Antonio, TX at Southwest Independent School District. Sun Valley Elementary, Southwest Jr. High, Southwest High School. I have an undergraduate degree from Trinity University.
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?
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Trinity University 1990.
What is your current occupation, employer, and job title?
Home Manager, Lopez Household
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.
Southwest School Board Trustee 2008 – Current 12 years
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?
I am a product of SWISD. Consequently, I am intimately familiar with our system. I have experienced the system as a student, a parent, a volunteer, an advocate, a substitute teacher, a tutor and a school board trustee. I have spent most of my life making connections and earning the trust of this community. Now, more than ever, we must work together to navigate the current challenges as we prepare our students for their futures. I believe our district is full of dedicated and committed professionals doing their very best everyday during this incredibly difficult time. I understand that it takes thousands of daily decisions made by hundreds of individuals to run our district. It is impossible for everyone to agree with every decision made 100% of the time. This is the reason I am the best candidate for this position. I have a proven track record of listening and connecting with our community, distilling their hopes and dreams for our children and communicating these expectations to the professionals running our district. The goal being to continuously create policy frameworks to make decisions in the best interest of students. My personal effort being to always uplift and support as I communicate any issues, concerns and/or challenge the status quo. All while treating people the way I expect to be treated, with kindness and respect.
What three issues do you feel are most important to your constituents?
1. Safely navigating the re-opening of our schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. Preparing students for their future through successful development of Career Pathways.
3. Promoting educational opportunities through equitable access and distribution of resources.
If you are elected, what will be your top priorities once you take office?
I will be advocating for the following:
1. Setting school board trustee term limits
2. Rotating leadership roles on school board.
3. Student representation on the school board.
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?
When I was first elected on the board at SWISD I was a strong advocate for aggressive investment and integration of technology into all our schools. I had recently resigned from a professional position in a corporate job and understood that many of our economically disadvantaged students would not have access to technology and the internet at home. If we did not provide that access at school our students would immediately be less competitive in college and work upon graduation. Of course, I never could have anticipated the current environment with the Covid-19 pandemic. The fact that our district achieved 1-1 technology for all students several years ago positioned us to transition to remote learning quickly and efficiently. Additionally, our strong position allowed the district to focus time and resources on connectivity by acquiring and distributing access to the internet through hubs and hotspots for our families.
For non-incumbents: Would you do anything differently from the current representative holding the office you’re seeking?
How do you assess your community college district or school district’s performance during the pandemic and the way it served students?
I am very proud of SWISD.
Our Leadership Team was proactive and started preparing before spring break.
Curriculum and Instruction staff got paper packets with lessons ready for students. Technology readied devices for quick and efficient distribution. Schools were ready to pass out thousands of paper packets and thousands of devices across our community without a break in instruction. Additionally, we purchased hundreds of hotspots to distribute to students that did not have internet access. Teachers ramped up quickly and started to track down students and provide remote lessons. We had a very respectable 85% of students engaged in learning during the Spring 2020 semester.
Child Nutrition essential personnel have gone above and beyond during the pandemic preparing and delivering thousands and thousands of meals from our schools and at extra sites in our neighborhoods during the spring and summer.
Custodial essential personnel spent countless hours cleaning and disinfecting our buildings following new protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
How will you approach budgeting for your district given the economic uncertainties? What are your budget priorities you would want to keep intact?
SWISD has already started to address the anticipated budget constraints expected next year. In the past, Business and Finance has pared down non-essential personnel as support employees resign or retire. Decisions are made about which positions can be eliminated or merged. My priority would be for us not to touch any positions that directly impact students or learning.
How do you plan to work to overcome academic gaps that may have developed or widened during the pandemic?
Curriculum and Instruction hit the ground running over the summer. They identified the most important TEKS and created a Milestone Checklist for all grade levels and content areas that students absolutely had to master. Then they got to work creating curriculum plans for teachers that could be used as a resource to target gaps in learning around specific milestones. These Continuity Plans are designed to scaffold the learning that needed to take place in the previous grade level. Additionally, we are providing online after school tutoring and evening tutoring. My plan is to follow-up through quarterly reports with regard to student progress and continued identification of gaps in learning until students are back on grade level.