EPISD school board candidates speak prior to May 4 election

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Nine candidates are running for three EPISD school board positions in the May 4 election.

In District 3, which represents the Austin High School area, Ben Mendoza, Rene Vargas, Cindy Cooper and Josh Acevedo are running to replace Susie Byrd who resigned late last year.

Acevedo said he wants to give all employees a raise, provide accountability and transparency, and community involvement.

“I feel that they have lost trust in the district and that really concerns me and the students have been left behind,” said Acevedo.

Vargas wants the board to be transparent and have accountability and thinks the school board needs to communicate more with the community.

“Obviously building consensus is important whenever possible however the biggest problem they face is taking to citizens,” Vargas said.

Mendoza said students are leaving the campus because of corruption on the board, something he wants to change.

“I believe I have the temperament to get this board back on a better track,” said Mendoza.

Wednesday we reached out to Cindy Cooper. We have not heard back.

District 6, which represents the Franklin High School area has three candidates in Freddy Klayel-Avalos, Gary J. Berglund and Tom Hicks.  It is vacant after former board president Trent Hatch resigned in February.

Berglund said the board needs to listen to the community’s concerns, something he said residents have not received.

“An educator would make an excellent board member because they would know exactly how the policies they implement affect the classroom,” said Berglund.

Hicks wants students to be able to be more creative in the classroom and wants less testing.

“I know what operations needs to do. I know what administration needs to do. I know what the teachers need to do. Most importantly, they all need to focus on the students,” said Hicks.

Freddy Klayel-Avalos said he is endorsed by teacher unions and is ready to hit the ground running thanks to his experience.

“I have a good balance of sitting on municipal boards, managing a non-profit and owning a small business. I have two kids in the system. My sister in law has worked in the system,” Klayel-Avalos said.

Daniel Call is running against incumbent Mickey Loweree in District 7, which represents the Coronado High School area.

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