Former Roswell educator, football coach and school board member Jim Waldrip addresses the school board during Tuesday’s meeting. (Bethany Freudenthal Photo)
Last week, Roswell elected two new school district board members and retained two incumbents.
During Tuesday’s school board meeting, long-term Roswell educator and school board member Dr. Peggy Brewer, District 3, and Arturo Ibarra, District 5, who was appointed last fall to complete Eloy Ortega’s term, said their farewells.
“Thank you! Two words that express my deep appreciation and respect for our teachers, secretaries, custodians, everyone for their work to educate our students,” Brewer said.
Thanking those who work in the district and were always there to answer her questions, Brewer also thanked her fellow school board members, but was most appreciative of the district’s teachers and principals.
“Especially, thank you to the principals and teachers for making me feel welcome in your schools and for the opportunity to attend the student activities, programs and events in our district. I’ve often spoken of teamwork and it’s amazing what we’ve accomplished for students throughout the combined efforts of Superintendent (Tom) Burris, the board, our district educators and leaders, parents and patrons of the community,” Brewer said.
Some of the accomplishments Brewer mentioned in her statement include The Early College program, which provides students the opportunity for early high school graduation and career training through the High Schools that Work grant and ENMU-R partnership, the middle school bullying and elementary counseling curriculum developing students’ problem-solving strategies and the relocation incentive and expanded recruiting efforts for teachers from neighboring states and job fairs beyond universities to name a few.
“Change affords our district and community possibilities to find new ways to move ahead, expand opportunities for and enrich the lives of students. Exhilarating, risk-taking, energizing, forward thinking, all part of positive change and leadership,” Brewer said Tuesday.
In her statement, Brewer said she was confident the new board will embrace positive change and accomplish the important work of educating the district’s students.
Brewer also recognized Arturo Ibarra for his service on the board.
“I know that Arturo has always been really interested in the athletic activities attending many of those functions during his time, not only to support his own children, but the children of our district. He’s just been there to ask questions and give a new perspective to ideas, so I want to say thank you so much for being such a positive, helpful, supportive board member,” Brewer said.
“I would like to recognize Dr. Brewer. Dr. Brewer has been on the board many, many years and also she is a longtime educator in Roswell. Her leadership, her guidance, her dedication to kids is second to none,” said Burris.
In lieu of being honored, Brewer requested books from the board and herself be dedicated to schools within her district.
During the public remarks period, esteemed Roswell coach, educator and former board member Jim Waldrip said, “I want to compliment the board, you’ve done a lot of good work and you have a lot of hard work to come to in the next few months and so forth, and especially to Dr. Brewer. I’ve known her a long time, almost her entire adult life, as we spent in working with the Roswell schools and I really appreciated getting the chance to work with her.”
Waldrip said the RISD is fortunate to have good teachers, good staff, good principals and a good superintendent, but most importantly, he said, Roswell has good students.
“We have principals, we have dedicated teachers, but then we have these great students. I’m proud. I’m proud of Roswell and I think we have some of the best students in the world,” Waldrip said.
Through hard work and dedication, Waldrip said the new board can work together to reach their goals of supporting the RISD.
“I hope that everything is going positive and I wish you the best of luck. It’s not luck. The best of your fruitions and for the work you put out and I know you put out a lot of work and it takes away from your family, but I think they’ll be proud of you when your goals are met, so have a very good year,” Waldrip said.
During her statement, Brewer said, “A Chinese philosopher once stated, ‘A leader is best when the people barely know he exists.’ I hope I’ve been a leader to help others succeed. I thank you for the privilege of being part of this important work for our students.”
In a statement to the Roswell Daily Record, Ibarra said he will continue to be involved with the district., planning to participate in coaching and refereeing at sporting events.
The newly elected board members will be attending training in Santa Fe later this month and will be sworn into office on March 1 during a special board meeting in the AESC Boardroom.
Staff writer Bethany Freudenthal can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at email@example.com.