April 28 – HARLINGEN – Two seats on the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees are on the May 7 ballot.
Israel Aguilar runs against incumbent Greg Powers for the 3 spot.
Josue “Josh” Garza takes on incumbent Eladio Jaimez for the 7 spot.
Jaimez said if re-elected for another term, he would continue to fight for HCISD teachers and staff.
“As frontline workers, they are the backbone of our wonderful school district,” Jaimez said. “We have the best teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, librarians, security guards, counselors and guards in Texas.”
He specifically referred to closing the student achievement gap as an important goal.
“We’ve also made great strides as a school district in providing our students and families with a neighborhood of choice,” he said. “Whether our students want to pursue a future in medicine, welding, dancing and everything in between, they will have every opportunity to achieve their dreams and more at HCISD. I will ensure that these opportunities are available to every student. “
His opponent Josue “Josh” Garza said that as a social worker, “I am called to be an advocate for everyone.”
“I will ensure that all HCISD students and staff receive adequate resources available to help them meet their overall needs through resources such as grants, counselors and the community,” he said. .
He said he was particularly concerned about mental health issues stemming from the pandemic.
“With the pandemic there has been an increase in mental health issues as well as an increase in bullying,” he said. “I would like to work with our professionals in our district to help our students. Therefore, I would like to bring social workers to our district to better address psychosocial issues that affect factors that affect learning.”
This concern for mental health issues related to COVID has extended to educators.
He said the pandemic has led to educator burnout. He said he would like to find opportunities to take care of himself and offer advice.
Incumbent Greg Powers said if re-elected to Place 3 he would continue the work being done in the district. He spoke in depth about this work.
“It is essential to me that our students find their passion while attending our schools and this has been made possible by all the opportunities available to them through our academies,” he said. “In addition to our outstanding fine arts and athletics programs, HCISD now offers 12 career academies for students to choose from across our four high schools.”
These opportunities, he said, were made possible by the unwavering support of community partners in the district, “who have put their trust and faith in the work that we do.”
“Whether it’s providing internships and field experiences for our children or sharing their expertise with teachers and students,” he said, “our community has come together to make of HCISD one of the best districts in the state”.
His opponent, Israel Aguilar, said that through his capacity as a certified teacher, principal and superintendent, he will serve as a resource of research-based ideas and practices for district and school employees to accelerating teaching due to learning loss during the pandemic.
“As a community leader and current Vice President of Boys and Girls Clubs of Harlingen, I will continue to advocate for positive student engagement of all young people so that they graduate on time and be ready for college. , career or military,” he said. “As trustee, I will ensure that all expenditures made by the district or construction projects are within budget.”
He said if elected to the board he would ensure that no schools in Harlingen close due to low enrolment, citing a loss of “over 1,000 students to other school districts or charters of the valley”.
“As an approved candidate of the local chapter of the HCISD Texas State Teacher’s Association, I will advocate for all staff,” he said.