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TEA Installs New Board Of Managers To Oversee Edgewood ISD

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Joey Palacios
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Texas Public Radio
From left to right: Richard Santoya, Amanda L. Gonzalez, Stella Camacho, and Roy Richard Soto Sr. stand before a Bexar County judge in Edgewood ISD's board meeting hall to be sworn in. May 24th, 2016

A new board of trustees, appointed by the Texas Education Commissioner, is now in charge of managing the troubled Edgewood Independent School District. The commissioner appointed the board after deciding the seven-member elected board was unable to function.   

The swearing in of four new school managers by a judge was quick.  State education commissioner Mike Morath replaced the elected board citing its inability to govern. Two Edgewood schools, for example, were without permanent principals most of the year because board members could agree on who should fill the positions.

Amanda Gonzalez is one of the new board members.  She works for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is long time resident of the Edgewood District. She says one of her priorities is being open and transparent with the community. “The Edgewood Community just needs to feel a sense trust back. People need to be held accountable for their actions and just, again, bring it back to the students and improving student outcomes.”

The appointed board will oversee district operations for 11,000 students for a minimum of three years, and

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Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
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Texas Public Radio
Newly appointed interim Edgewood Superintendent Sylvester Perez talks with Edgewood residents after Tuesday's public meeting. May 24th 2016

   elected board members will have no decision making power until the Texas Education Commissioner agrees to that.

Amanda Casillas-Gallegos is a parent with a senior at Kennedy High School.  She says the state’s intervention is very welcome and may help solve problems in the district. “It may not solve all of them, but at least it’s a start because it’s a new hope that maybe these board members may have good ideas.”

Story continues below roster.

The Board of Managers include:

  •  Stella Camacho – A graduate of Edgewood ISD, Camacho has one son who is also a graduate of the district and has two children currently enrolled in Edgewood schools. She has served as a PTA president and as secretary of the EISD PTA Council. She is self-employed as a bookkeeper.

 

  •  Frank Espinosa – Espinosa is a manager of terminal services for NuStar Energy. He is a member of the Edgewood District Alumni Association and the Edgewood Education Foundation, as well as being actively involved in many community organizations.

 

  • Amanda L. Gonzalez – Gonzalez is the campaign manager for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Campaign. She has previously worked as a legislative aide and as a tax processor in the Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office, as well as working on a congressional campaign staff.

 

  • Richard Santoya – Santoyo retired from the City of San Antonio Fire Department in 2015, having served for 30 years as a firefighter and paramedic. Prior to that, he worked as a physical science teacher and a registrar aide at John F. Kennedy High School in Edgewood.

 

  • Roy Richard Soto Sr. – A graduate of Edgewood’s John F. Kennedy High School, Soto is the owner of five Premier Rental-Purchase stores. He has served as chair of the finance council of St. Ann Parish since 2005.

Morath has also appointed retired San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Sylvester Perez as the interim superintendent in Edgewood.  The district has not had a superintendent since last August. Perez says engaging the community is key. “So we can start developing a collaborative relationship with everyone in order to develop a vision and our mission.”
Perez will head the district for about six to eight months while the Board of Managers selects a permanent superintendent.