By Gaige Davila
School board election season is upon the Laguna Madre area.
Point Isabel ISD has two school board places up for election: Place 1 and Place 2.
Bertha Zamora, former Port Isabel High School principal, is running for another Place 1 term. Zamora has served on PI-ISD’s board since 2012.
In a statement sent to the PRESS, Zamora said she is running to provide “resources and support” to principals and teachers; to ensure students are “well-rounded and college or career ready upon graduation”; create “better alignment” between district spending and the goals of campuses; creating a budget that “maximizes fiscal responsibility”; and “pave the road for personal excellence” for the district’s students.
Nancy Martinez, PI-ISD’s former Director of Transportation and Safety Supervisor, is challenging Zamora for the Place 1 seat.
Martinez was not available for comment due to a family emergency but will provide comment in subsequent PRESS coverage of the school board race.
For Place 2, Jimmy Vela, PI-ISD’s school board president, who was elected in 2015, is running for a second term.
“‘Your children are my priority,’ was a simple platform I ran on when I was first elected in 2015,” Vela wrote in a statement to the PRESS. “During the past six years of service to my community, my platform has evolved. I am seeking re-election because I would like to continue working arduously in creating partnerships with other local and state leaders. This collaboration is vital for the academic and extra-curricular growth of our students, to ensure we are meeting the needs of our staff, and to continue using our community’s tax dollars diligently.”
Emily Galvan, an English, reading and social studies teacher at Garriga Elementary, is challenging Vela.
“I am confident that I can bring insight and multiple perspectives as both a parent and educator,” Glavan said in a YouTube video announcing her candidacy for PI-ISD’s school board. “I have tremendous pride in our Tarpon community and believe that I can be a voice for our community, but most importantly, our children. As an educator, I value providing a foundation for all students to succeed by ensuring that we are providing opportunities that meet their individual needs and are giving them the tools to be successful.”
Mario Tamayo Sr., a former substitute teacher for PI-ISD and former Port Isabel City Commissioner, is also challenging Vela for the Place 2 seat.
“My highest priority is the education of all students,” Tamayo wrote in a letter to the PRESS explaining his reason for running. “Why are a lot of our teachers leaving our district and going to the Los Fresnos Independent School District? And why are many parents concerns and complaints are not attended by school administrators? Favoritism shall not be allowed. Why were two principals changed during the middle of a pandemic?”
Early voting starts on April 19, continuing to April 24, then April 26 and ending on April 27. Laguna Madre residents can vote at Port Isabel City Hall, Port Isabel High School, South Padre Island City Hall and Laguna Vista City Hall.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.