bloggin' all things brownsville

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BISD Candidates Participate in STGG Forum

South Texans for Good Government held a BISD candidate forum Wednesday at the Main Brownsville Public Library.

I didn’t have an opportunity to stay for the entire forum, but I was able to catch the candidates' opening statements. The candidates in attendance (while I was there) were those listed below. Early Voting is Oct. 20-31, and Election Day is Nov. 4.

Here are some tidbits:

Otis Powers (Position 3, incumbent)

-Touted his common-sense business approach for BISD.
-Mentioned his 25 years experience as a business owner.
-Stated: “I live and breathe Brownsville. … “I have an open-door policy.”
-Stated he holds people accountable at BISD.
-His push card states: “I will continue to support preparing our children for higher education (college); I will oppose tax increases; I will support fiscally responsible spending and oversee the $135 million bond; I will continue to support accountability; I will continue to support promoting people and businesses from within Brownsville; and I will continue to support higher wages and salaries for all teachers and employees.”

Catalina Presas-Garcia (Position 3)

-Wants to focus on the drop-out rate.
-Emphasized a need to address the high teen pregnancy rate.
-Touted 12 years of experience working within the school district including employment with the BISD maintenance/facilities department.
-Wants to focus on employee salaries, insurance and benefits.

Pat Lehman (Position 4, incumbent)

-Stated: “I bring accountability and effectiveness.”
-Stated: “To be No. 1 in the nation, says it all,” while lifting the state of the district 2008 report.
-His push card states the following: Support teachers who are entrusted to our kids; Insist on equality and quality education for all BISD students; support sound fiscal decisions that affect BISD taxpayers; support a living wage for all BISD employees; and support the renovation of older existing campuses.
-Brownsville High School 1971 graduate (the last BHS class).
-Stated that the environment at BISD is “extremely positive” and emphasized the successes of his children as an example.
-He’s a Texas Southmost College graduate.

Rick Zayas (Position 4)

-Stated the No. 1 woman in his life was his wife.
-Born and raised in Brownsville.
-Pace High School graduate and received a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from UT and a doctorate of jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshal School of Law.
-Stated the purpose of BISD is to bring up kids with a good education and character.
-He emphasized the need for a positive learning environment for children which can be achieved by providing a positive learning environment for teachers.
-Encouraged communication with teachers.
-Touted his “ability to work well with others.”
-His push card states that he’s an attorney at Zayas & Hernandez, P.C. and serves on the BISD Bond Oversight Committee.

Rolando Aguilar (Position 5, incumbent; no challenger)

-Stated: “Every single day we should be accountable."
-Former educator of 41 years.
-Stated: “Bottom line – Be consistent and follow up. … I intend to continue working on accountability.”
-Focused not only on caring for students, but on employee rights. “We care for children, but what about the employees? They also have rights.”
-Stated: “If there’s no grown in learning, then we have failed.”

Minerva Pena (Position 6)

-Pena’s a first-time candidate.
-Formerly employed with the Department of Public Safety and was the first female state trooper in Cameron County. She’s recently retired. “I have the time now,” she states, to serve the community.
-Coaches baseball.
-Worked with BISD chess programs.
-1976 Porter H.S. graduate and 1979 UT graduate.
-She’s a Brownsville native and has six children.
-Stated: “You make the choice, and I can make the difference.”

Moises Gonzalez (Position 6)

-Stated: “I’m a fresh face, new face to politics. I’m not a politician.” He’s running for the position, because he wants to serve his community.
-Holds a Criminal Justice degree from UTB-TSC.
-He has three children that attend a BISD.
-Stated his goals are to support teachers/administrators by ensuring a safe learning environment; focus/address ADA issues within BISD; focus on competitive wages for teachers; and propose a taskforce to address the drop-out rate.
-Serves as a member of the BISD Bond Oversight Committee.
-Serves as a soccer coach.
-Touts 13 years law enforcement experience and is currently a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last BHS graduating class was 1974...


Thursday, September 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like I'm watching summer re-runs. Haven't we seen this group before? Same o' same Ugh!
100 words or less

Friday, September 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no it is a new group and if you want to get involved now is the time.

Saturday, September 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New group? are you kidding? 3 new names is a new group? I am a product of BISD, and would not subject my child to the BISD system. I'm going to wait for the day when I can decide to use my tax dollars for my child's private education, and not be forced to pay for a substandard education for my child. BISD is corrupt, filled with nepotism, and it turns out students who can't read, write, or follow instructions. New faces may come in, but old policy will stay the same.

100 words or less

Saturday, September 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get to know the new faces and find out WHY they are willing to give their time to the School District.

You shouldn't have to rely on private education for your child.

Remember the majority of people your child encounters throughout his/her life will be products of the public education system.

Walking away from a problem doesn't help matters, because the problem will eventually catch up.

Problems will be in our faces until we fix them.

We must always remember that Today's Students WILL be Tomorrow's Leaders.

One Person Can Make The Difference.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008  

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