By guest writer Kevin Price
In a recent article in another local newspaper, a man who has been a historical cancer to La Marque for some time wrote that school-board candidate Nakisha Paul is not the trustee that Texas City independent school district needs.
The writer, Walter Manuel, has twisted the facts revolving around the work of the now defunct La Marque independent school district while sitting at his home in Abilene, about 400 miles away. He is trying to shift the focus from the tangible issues affecting the city’s schools.
Both Paul, who is running for TCISD’s district 3, which covers West Texas City, and Lois Jones, who is running for district 2 in La Marque, are exactly what the school board needs. The schools in La Marque have been lacking solid representation since their annexation by Texas City at the end of last school year.
These ladies’ opponents, David Rac in district 3 and Mable Pratt in district 2, are missing the backbone necessary to speak out about issues in the La Marque schools.
Pratt has proven that in the time since she was appointed to the position by former Texas education commissioner Michael Williams. In that time, the schools have had issues with everything from transcripts to utilities and the hiring of almost all new faculty and staff, and the list goes on.
But Pratt has neglected to do anything about it and would rather take the easy road of going along with what everyone else in the district and state want her to. That is not what the district needs. What we need is someone who has the fortitude to ask hard questions and address the issues that others might not want to address.
I strongly feel that both Jones and Paul will be that much-needed voice. While I don’t dislike their opponents on a personal level, I simply feel that they are not cut out for this position. At such a critical time of transition, the district needs resilient representation.
Manuel, on the other hand, needs to learn to keep his nose out of where it doesn’t belong. I have talked to many parents, students, teachers and administrators in the La Marque schools and the vast majority is deeply concerned with the way the schools are being managed.
Manuel is only operating on hearsay and not aware of what is happening on the front line. How could he know, living hundreds of miles away?
After TCISD did not rehire many of the former La Marque teachers for this school year, it proceeded to hire new and under-experienced educators and staff. Now the school district is regretting its decision because it can’t retain its new employees.
Meanwhile, the students are afraid to turn in scholarship applications to their counselors because they don’t feel they will make it where they need to. There continues to be untimely furnishing of transcripts. Apparently, these are all “improvements” in Manuel’s eyes.
The bottom line is that La Marque deserves fair representation on the school board and that has proven not to be the case under Mable Pratt and will not happen with David Rac.
So I ask you to please ignore the naysayers and be sure to turn out to vote for two remarkable candidates, Nakisha Paul and Lois Jones.
La Marque resident and proud Cougar Kevin Price is a former US Army staff sergeant who served overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom.