My name is Lupita Fuentes and I am announcing my candidacy for reelection for the Eagle Pass Independent School District Place 5.
I was raised in Maverick County and attended EPISD schools before continuing my education to become a nurse. I received extensive education in Health, Child Development and Early Childhood Counseling.
As with a large portion of Maverick Countians, my first employment experience was as a seasonal farm worker (migrant). In 1982, I began working for the WIC (Women, Infant, Children) Program as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Within 6 months in this position, I was promoted to Supervisor, then Coordinator and ultimately Director of this wonderful program.
I have a strong sense of commitment of service to our community. I have proudly served as your EPISD School Board Trustee since 2003. I also serve as the Public Representative for KIDS ARE FIRST Head Start, which enables me to be a voice not only for early childhood students, but for parents and staff as well. I am a member of the American Cancer Society and served as Co-Chair of Relay for Life for 3 consecutive years. I served as a Delegate of the Texas Association of School Board, Texas WIC Program Region 8 Representative, and am an active member of the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors and of the National WIC Association.
I am the proud mother of three children, twins Manrique Jr. and Kristina Marie Hernandez, as well as Victor Adrian Fuentes. I am now a very proud grandmother of 8 grandchildren, of which 6 are enrolled in our school district.
I also have four brothers and three sisters, of which ONLY ONE works for our school district. My sister, Aracely, was hired on March 14, 1990, long before I was elected to serve on the school board in 2003. She is an outstanding third grade teacher at Benavides Elementary.
In December 2006, my daughter Kristina graduated early from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Since I had won my re-election to a second term, Kristina decided to stay in San Antonio and work there as a teacher, which would allow me to continue serving on our school board. Nepotism law does not allow for family members to be hired while we serve on the school board.
In June 2009, I was hospitalized after having suffered a stroke. I made one of the hardest decisions of my life and turned in my letter of resignation to my recently elected position on the school board. My daughter, Kristina, decided to come home to be by my side. She applied for a teaching position and was hired by her own merit. In 2010, she married her high school sweetheart, Armando Hernandez, who had already been working as a teacher for four years, and who continues working as a Life Skills teacher, totally committed to his wonderful students.
Last, but not least, my daughter-in-law, Lupita Fuentes, was already an EPISD employee when she married my son, Manrique Jr. Lupita holds the position of Service Advocate Recruiter (SAR). Her salary is the same pay grade as ALL other SARS in our school district and received the 5.42% increase that was approved, not one cent more. She DID NOT receive a $3,000 raise.
In 2010, I made the decision to run again for school board and with our community’s support, I was elected and have continuously served since then.
I am extremely proud of the remarkable progress achieved in all aspects within our school district:
Academically, we are one of the top districts in our region, thanks to a combined effort of all teachers, students, parents and support staff;
Early College High Schools-Both high schools offer students the opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree at no cost, while attaining their high school diploma. This program grants a college degree to students who might otherwise not seek a post-secondary education;
Magnet Schools-The school district has magnet schools to challenge our students. It offers an Engineering Academy and Health Science Academy. These academies prepare students for high-wage earning jobs and a successful post-secondary education;
Dual Credit Courses-Both high schools offer dual credit courses. Students are able to enroll in courses that will give them a head start in their college careers. These courses save parents several thousands of dollars in tuition and room and board expenses;
Chromebook Initiative-Over the last two years, our school district has provided all campuses with Chromebooks. These laptop-type devices are moving our district closer to a One-to-One technology device implementation program;
MyOn-For the 2018-2019 school year, our district has provided all teachers with this e-book platform. MyOn includes digital libraries that support the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. Students can easily access the reading material and match it to the appropriate AR level;
We implemented the Accelerated High School Program in the 2013-2014 school year. This schedule allows students to get as many as 10 credits per school year. Students are able to receive one full academic credit in one semester. This innovative schedule also gives students the flexibility to take more dual credit courses;
The Online Registration via txConnect committee planned and implemented the new online registration process for all returning and new to the district students.
During my tenure, two bond issues were approved by voters to construct two new elementary schools, add many additional rooms to existing campuses, plus the construction of our Student Activity Center (SAC), for first class athletic and cultural facilities for our students.
All this, while at the same time maintaining responsible and financial stability. I have always voted in favor of salary increases for all employees in our district. Teacher salaries have increased by 59% during my time on the school board. We have had no Health Insurance premium increases. In the 2015-2016 school year, the health insurance deductible was removed for all prescription drugs and dental, again without increasing health insurance premiums.
I must express my most sincere gratitude to our board of trustees for always working diligently to promote the highest possible standards in education. Thank you for always staying focused and for always striving to make the best decisions, the right decisions for our children, our teachers, support staff, parents and our entire community! We will continue working towards Excellence in Education!
I respectfully ask for your vote and support during Early Voting October 22nd –November 2nd