PHARR, Texas — Victor Perez, a former paraprofessional, teacher, principal, and school board member, says teachers are “overworked, underpaid, and burnt out” and he plans to do something about it .
Perez, the executive director of Pharr Economic Development Corporation, recently announced that he is running for the Hidalgo County-based open seat of the State Board of Education District 2.
If elected, Perez, a Democrat, said he would make strategic decisions for teachers, students and parents.
“Education in Texas faces critical decisions in the years to come that will have a lasting impact on the future of our children,” Perez said.
“I pledge to fight to ensure that our district has adequate funding and support for our teachers. Teachers are overworked, underpaid and burned out. Having to make adjustments because of Covid-19 has not made their job any easier. »
Perez said that was why he decided to “answer the call” and seek the support of SBOE District 2 voters. He said he will represent District 2 “to the best of my ability. , utilizing my curriculum experience and expertise to effectively represent District 2”.
Perez said, “I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for State Board of Education District 2 and hope to share my policy and vision with voters in this district. I am ready to work for you and earn your trust and support.
SBOE District 2 is open because the incumbent, Ruben Cortez, chose to run for Texas House District 37.
Perez kicked off his campaign with a press conference at Pharr that drew a number of heavyweights. Among those supporting Perez’s campaign are retired State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., State Representative Terry Canales, Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, and Pharr City Commissioners Ricardo Medina and Daniel Chavez. .
In his remarks, Senator Lucio pointed out that SBOE District 2 covers 12 counties and whoever wins will represent more voters than a state senator or member of the United States House of Representatives. Lucio said the district was drawn to ensure District 2 was grounded in Hidalgo County.
“The responsibility that comes with this position is absolutely incredible. The members of the National Board of Education review the curriculum, set the guidelines for the curriculum, they neglect the Permanent School Fund,” Lucio said.
The veteran lawmaker went on to explain why he would not only vote for Perez, but actively campaign in the district for him.
“Victor showed me personally how much he cares about people. It reminds me of what my dad told me in 1970. People don’t care what you know. They want to know how much you care about them , to their families. Especially their children. The future of our State is our children.
Lucio urged South Texas voters to engage in the political process.
“A lot of people, unfortunately, don’t. So I ask everyone here to do their best to motivate those around them, to make them understand how important it is for them to participate in the political process. It is your vote that will ensure that we elect the right people.
Speaking about his intention to work to help elect Perez, Lucio said: “I want to move around the Valley this campaign season to make sure people know I support Victor. He will make an exceptional board member.
Speaking to Perez, Lucio said: “Thank you for the years of service you have already shown us in the past, how dedicated you are. You are a good friend, a good family man, on whom we can Victor’s victory can only be achieved if we do our job as voters.
Lucio added, “We need someone who will truly represent the needs of our children and our families. We’re totally behind Victor and we’re going to make sure he gets to the finish line first.
In his remarks, Perez said he never thought he would run for office again. But, he said, many people urged him to run for the District 2 position. He previously served on the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD school board.
“Community service is in me, to help others. I have helped so many people over the years. Senator Lucio said, we need you to run, we need you.
Perez noted that he has been recognized by the Texas State Teachers Association. “Whether I’m in office or not, I’m going to be involved,” Perez said. “I started out as a paraprofessional. I have been a teacher, principal, counsellor, principal (again), school district administrator and municipal judge. I don’t mention the latter much.
Perez said he can also draw on his experience in economic development, as his job as executive director of Pharr EDC requires him to bring schools and workforce training councils together. to ensure students are equipped for the jobs of tomorrow.
“I’m probably the only candidate with that experience,” he said.
Perez said being on the SBOE is key right now. He noted that his wife, Elizabeth, had been an educator for 32 years.
“I have never seen her work so hard as in the past two years. With virtual instruction, they had to educate themselves. She said, how am I going to address the children? We go through a lot and our students go through a lot. Many children have failed due to Covid-19. It’s a big challenge and you want someone with experience up there making the right decisions.
Canales: Pharr is a talent hub
Rep. Canales said he wholeheartedly supports Perez’s campaign.
“We live in one of the greatest areas, not only in the state, but in the United States. The city of Pharr of is a hub of talent. Some of the greatest leaders I have ever seen, from Danny King to Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, have come from Pharr. Some of the most groundbreaking, off-the-beaten-path ideas come from Pharr, and Victor Perez is one of those leaders. It is a fact,” Canales said.
Canales said that just a few years ago the SBOE had to deal with racism against Latinos. He said some wanted textbooks to say Hispanics were lazy, slept a lot and were prone to drinking. Canales said he and others couldn’t believe it.
“Those are the things they were trying to put in the textbooks. We need champions like Victor fighting for us. We need people who represent this field, who represent our culture, who represent our ideals. It represents who we are as a people. This is what Victor Perez represents. It has a proven track record of service, lifetime service.
Canales added that without adequate representation on the SBOE, Hidalgo County would have “catastrophic” results. “I wholeheartedly endorse Victor because I know he has in his heart and in his mind the best for our children and the future of Texas.”
In his remarks, Mayor Hernandez said many say they can lead but few deliver.
“There is no doubt that under his leadership (Perez), EDC has grown tremendously. It helped the whole region and the state,” Hernandez said, thanking Perez for his service.
“He (Perez) has the right tools but above all the right heart.”
In his address, Commissioner Medina said he liked to watch the candidate, not his political party. “I like people who produce, who make things happen. I think Victor will do it for us. Running for 20 counties, man, that’s a job. You are the best candidate,” Medina told Perez.
Commissioner Chavez said doing the right thing was in Perez’s heart. “He is humble. To have him (at SBOE), with his excellent resume… he will excel, not only for Hidalgo County, but for the entire state of Texas.
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