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New South San board members need to maintain the course

November 27, 2018

The defeat of three incumbents on the South San Antonio Independent School District ballot this month cannot be allowed to interfere with the district’s upward trajectory.

After years of turmoil and major board dysfunction that culminated in intervention by the Texas Education Agency, the district finally appeared to be moving forward. The TEA-appointed conservator overseeing the district’s operations was dismissed in January, the superintendent hired to shepherd the district through the turmoil announced plans to vacate, and a successor was selected in September. Things finally appeared to be on course — then voters ousted three hardworking incumbents.

It is disturbing that many general election voters who could have participated in the school board balloting chose not to vote for school board representatives. Election records indicate 3,674 voters were eligible to participate in the school board election, but 1,461 chose to sit it out. We understand it was a long ballot and the school board races were at the end, but that does not make them less important.

In school board elections, every vote can make a difference. South San schoolchildren deserve a board that will work together. All too often, after school board elections in this district, we witness polarization and a lack of teamwork. We don’t want to see that again.

We encourage the newly elected board members, Mandy Martinez, Homer Flores and Gilbert Rodriguez, to maintain their independence but make an effort to work collaboratively with their colleagues without forming factions.

One of the first votes following their swearing-in will be on the selection of a new board president. This is a very important vote that should not be taken lightly. The person selected to preside over the board meetings and work with the superintendent to formulate the agendas will set the tone for the board’s operations and relationship with staff.

The district does not need someone with a political agenda in that post.

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