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Three take office as BISD trustees

November 17, 2018

The three newest members of the Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees were sworn into office Thursday afternoon after the votes were canvassed in the recent school board election in a ceremony that passed power from the outgoing board to the new.

Drue Ellen Brown, Erasmo Castro and Prisci Roca-Tipton received the most votes in their respective races in the Nov. 6 school board election, Brown for Position 1, Castro for Position 2 and Roca-Tipton for Position 4.

Each took the oath of office from a judge of their choosing, or in Castro’s case, from his father the Rev. Erasmo Castro, who also shared observations about their candidates’ character and suitability for office. Each also publicly thanked the members of their campaign team.

Retired state District Judge Robert Garza administered the office to Brown, saying that he has known her and her husband Dave for 25 years.

“Drue has dedicated her life to BISD, first as a teacher and then as an administrator and public information officer,” Garza said. “She has vast experience. … The board is going to be in a very good position. Knowing Drue, I know how active she is,” he said, adding that serving on the board “was always part of her future” and “she’s going to be an invaluable asset for the people of Brownsville.”

Brown has long been active in BISD and the community. She retired in 2017 as the BISD public information officer. She replaces Cesar Lopez, who declined to seek re-election. She received 8,412 votes, the most among the five candidates for Position 1 and 29.23 percent of the total.

Castro renewed the pledge he made during the campaign to execute his office in an ethical manner.

“I want to be true to my word,” he said, speaking to the district’s parents. “You have entrusted our most precious resource to us. I Invite you to join us for the bright future that awaits us all.”

He said he looks forward to working with current and newly elected board members because “you have put your most precious possession in our hands.”

Castro received 10,698 votes, the most among all candidates and representing 37.9 percent of the vote for the three Position 2 candidates. Carlos Elizondo was the incumbent.

Roca-Tipton took the oath of office from her childhood friend, Precinct 2 Place 3 Justice of the Peace Mary Esther Sorola.

“I knew she was a leader and I’m not surprised she’s here today,” Sorola said.

The two met at Stell Middle School and were rival captains of their school’s girls basketball team, Roca-Tipton at Hanna and Sorola at Pace High School.

Roca-Tipton said she had been inspired by Gracie de Peña, one of BISD’s first female school board members, who had just passed away.

“She would be proud to know there will be five women on the new board,” she said.

Roca-Tipton received 10,399 votes, the most among the Position 4 candidates, who included Joe A. Rodriguez, the incumbent.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com

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