By GARY LONG
The Brownsville Independent School District welcomed a new Board of Trustees Thursday afternoon as five new members received certificates of election, were sworn into office and took their seats on the board.
BISD will have one of the youngest boards in recent memory, but the new members expressed optimism along with the two veteran members who constitute the new board.
A judge of each new member’s choosing administered the oath of office, and afterward the new trustee took pictures with the judge and members of their families. Trustee Eddie Garcia took the oath of office remotely. The board then reorganized by electing new officers for the coming year.
The new members are:
>> Position 2: Denise Garza
>> Position 3: Jessica G. Gonzalez
>> Position 5: Daniela Lopez Valdez
>> Position 6: Marisa F. Leal
>> Position 7: Eddie Garcia
Garcia was elected president, Position 4 Trustee Prisci Roca Tipton vice president, Position 1 Trustee Drue Brown Secretary, and Lopez Valdez assistant secretary. In every case, the vote was unanimous.
Brown, who had served as vice president on the previous board, thanked Pena for her 12 years of service as a trustee and, most recently, as board president. She said trustees whose service ended with the Nov. 3 election had served with distinction.
“Your service reached new heights during the last nine months. Decisions had to be made rapidly to serve the students, to feed them, to purchase PPE, devices and hotspots,” she said. “It was an absolute honor to serve with these board members.”
Brown then thanked the new board members “for answering the call.” She then noted that the new board, while almost all women, represents one of the most diverse BISD boards in memory.
Pena, the outgoing president, lost her election in Position 6 by a single vote. She said she intended to follow through with asking for a recount in the interest of being true to herself and the people who have supported her over the years.
Pena has until 5 p.m. Monday to file for the recount, which will cost her $60 for each of BISD’s 47 precincts, or $2,820.