By Tony Parra
Roosevelt County residents will be hitting the polls today to decide who they want making decisions on the Portales district school board.
Two district school board positions are up for election, District 3 and District 4. The District 4 incumbent, David Brooks, will be running against Steve Adkins.
Adkins said many parents are concerned that the school is teaching students how to test rather than giving them the knowledge and preparation for college or the workforce. He said most parents look for quality teachers, modern facilities and a very rounded educational environment where many options are available, such as leadership programs, athletics, band, business courses, vocational and technical programs.
“We must improve our instructional program so our school district will meet the adequately yearly progress requirements of the ‘No Child Left Behind Act,” Adkins said. “I am willing to stand up for the students and school system, realizing that I cannot please all the people I must do whatever is possible to make the correct decision to keep our schools progressing.”
A call was placed to Brooks, but not returned.
Current District 3 representative Steve Davis moved out of the district and cannot run for the District 3 position. Instead the position will be served by one of three candidates — Jerry Partin, Alan Garrett or Christie Carter.
Carter said she has been talking to parents and receiving feedback about the Portales schools system. She said parents wanted to be more involved with their children’s education, especially on the higher levels, such as junior high.
Carter said one of the issues she would like to address is to have a fence around the Valencia Elementary playground, which is located to the east, behind the main building.
“It’s a safety issue,” Carter said. “It will keep stray animals off the property and away from the children. I believe we can find ways of funding for the cost of the fence, even if we have to do fund-raisers.”
Partin believes his experience serving as president of Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative and on the Community Development Board is valuable experience that he can use on the school board.
“I’ve worked with budgets and I’ve been active in the community,” Partin said. “I understand the role of a board member.”
Partin said the focus should be on all of the Portales students, not just the ones who choose to go to a college. He said a way of doing this is by having a strong partnership between the Portales schools vocational program with the industries and businesses in Portales. He said not all students want to go to college after high school and they should be prepared for the path they choose.
Garrett believes his experience is also a strength which can be utilized as a school board member. Garrett said he has taught at Eastern New Mexico University for 13 years and taught high school math in Hawley, Texas for seven years.
“Parents look at schools which have a good academic program,” Garrett said. “They look at schools which meet AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the teachers at Portales schools. There are excellent teachers at Portales.”
Positions in Dora, Floyd and Elida are unopposed.
The open positions in Dora are Districts 2 (Scotty Watson), 3 (Kenneth Cox), 4 (Jana Roberts) and 5 (Kenner Carrasco). The open positions in Elida are Districts 3 (Garland Creighton), 4 (Virginia Clemmons) and 5 (Scott Burton). The open positions in Floyd are Districts 1 (Mark Dunlap) and 2 (Jeffrey Essary).
Dora voters will also decide on whether or not to add a mill levy. The mill levy will impose a property tax of $2 per each $1,000 of net taxable value of property. The property tax would be for the property tax years of 2005 through 2010 if it is imposed.
The property tax would be for capital improvements in Dora such as remodeling, school additions and new equipment.