Questa Independent School District elections are coming up Tuesday, November 2. Following a tumultuous school year due to COVID-19, many of our readers might be wondering what is happening with candidates. Who are they, what do they hope for the future, what are their concerns?—and general information regarding the election.
First, of the five positions on the school board, there are four that are up for election, with only one position being contested. The one position that remains secure for another two years is that of Juan Cisneros, who occupies position #1. In positions #2, #3, and #4 the candidates are Ezequiel Romero, Jason P. Rael, and Michael R. Cordo-va, respectively. All three are running unopposed. Position number #5 is the only position where voters will have to choose between two candidates, those being Matt Ortega and Jose Lovato, both current school board members.
The Questa Del Rio News reached out to the candidates and asked them the following questions:
What made you want to become a school board member?
Nostalgia motivated the candidates to run; they cited fond memories of the Questa Schools and wanted to see QISD reformed to its former glory. They said that kids now do not have access to the same academic programs as before. For example, candidate Jose Lovato, current school board president, wants to help institute programs that teach students immediate applicable skills, such as plumbing, construction education, AutoCAD (Computer-Aided Design), as well as more college certification courses— giving kids more options in their coursework.
Michael Cordova wanted to be-come a school board member to serve the community and feels he can make a difference.
What would you like to see happen in the future for QISD?
Ezequiel Romero would like the board to work closer with faculty and staff, and provide them with a good working environment. Mr. Romero would like to see test scores improve while making the conditions better for students.
Jason P. Rael noted that the kids should always be remembered as the main focus for everyone involved in the district. He stated that while the pandemic has taken its toll on people, making working conditions rougher, the main reason for being in education should not be forgotten. students enroll in the district, keep them enrolled and for those students who have dis-enrolled get them to come back. He would also like the staff to feel they are appreciated.
What are some challenges that the District faces?
All candidates who responded resoundly replied that COVID-19 would be a huge challenge. Mr. Cordova said, “The challenges we face as a district are the budget. Fair wages for all our staff needs to be a priority and longevity of staff is key. If we get teachers here for the long haul our students will be set up for success.”
What are some of the board’s previous accomplishments?
Mr. Cordova liked that the Alta Vista school roof is getting re-done and that the high school gym floor got refurbished and got new lights. Mr. Lovato also shared that some of the facilities have been upgraded and that funding for the school is looking decent due to the fact that school reserves are still intact.
QISD and the candidates are expecting changes from last year. We can’t speak too soon… the students, staff, and teachers will see positive change from these candidates who seem to share a vision for moving onward and upward with great concern for the students of the district.