2017-04-21 / News

Three candidates seek Lometa school board seats


EDITOR’S NOTE: Stacy Pauly, Mario Maldonado and Jimmy Thompson are running for two at-large seats on the Lometa Independent School District Board of Trustees.

Stacy Pauly Stacy Pauly Stacy Pauly has been a Lometa school board member for 17 years. She said she is running for another term because she wants to continue to serve her community and help all students receive a good education.

Her mother grew up in Lometa, and Mrs. Pauly moved there about 26 years ago to help take care of her grandparents.

Mrs. Pauly graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in accounting, and she manages real estate rental properties, primarily in Lometa. In addition, she and her husband, Bill, raise bison.

The couple have three sons who are Lometa graduates. The family also hosted a few foreign exchange students.

Mrs. Pauly attends First Baptist Church in Lometa, and she added that her family has been involved in Boy Scouts.

The incumbent said she is running for reelection because she enjoys contributing to the school and the community. Mrs. Pauly also believes she has a lot to offer because of the experience she has gained by completing school board training each year.

She said her main priority if re-elected will be what it always has been: doing what is best for students.

“We want to try to make every kid as successful as possible in our school,” she said.

“I think our school is going in a real positive direction,” Mrs. Pauly added. “Our administration works really well together, and I think we’re very proud of our teachers and staff.”

She said Lometa’s particular strengths include its after-school program and the reading program that helps those who need extra support. Mrs. Pauly also said Lometa ISD consistently has excelled in agriculture science, and UIL One-Act Play, speech and debate.

Dual-credit programs are another reason for pride, she said.

“We have a lot of kids that graduate with 20 to 24 hours of college credit, so it’s like the first and second year of college that they get done [while in high school],” the school board member said.

Asked what challenges Lometa ISD will face, Mrs. Pauly said it is important to her to focus continually on teacher recruitment and retention.

“That’s always very important, because they’re our lifeline to the students,” she said.

The board member also said Lometa ISD constantly applies for grants to help fund various items. She said the district has been fortunate to receive grants for the after-school program, as well as for computers and other technology.

She said another concern is attracting students -- an effort she hopes will be helped by Lometa ISD’s new campus building.

Commenting on her favorite things about the school district, Mrs. Pauly reiterated her appreciation for the teachers, other staff and administration.

She also said Lometa ISD has a very united school board.

“We’ve got lots of people that have been on the board quite a few years,” she said, “and it’s good that we’re all there for the same purpose -- looking out for what’s best for our students and our teachers.”

Mario Maldonado Mario Maldonado Lometa school board candidate Mario Maldonado said he appreciates what a strong community Lometa is, and he said he is committed to addressing the needs of families in the school district.

A 1986 Lometa ISD graduate, Maldonado moved back to Lometa in 1996 because he said he wanted his children to experience the small-school setting he enjoyed as a student. His three children are Lometa ISD graduates, and Maldonado said he enjoyed seeing the close friendships they developed with teammates, fellow theater members and other peers.

Maldonado owns M&M Paint & Body, which he opened in 1997.

“As a business owner, I understand the importance of making wise business decisions and making my customers happy,” he said. “I believe this same concept should be followed with the decisions at the school and with viewing the students and families as customers.”

Maldonado said his experiences as a parent and as a Lometa Youth Sports Association football coach for six years have shown him “the needs and wants of the students, and I would do whatever possible to address those as a school board member.”

The candidate said one of his main priorities is to have transparency in the school district and school board.

“They should listen to the concerns and comments of the staff, students and their families, and weigh what would be the best plan of action to address those concerns,” he said. “While I understand that not every issue is an easy fix, I think that showing honesty and integrity in everything you do can limit the conflict between the school and the families it serves.”

Maldonado also said all students should be treated equally. He said those who choose to go to college should receive the support they need to help them succeed, and those who pursue technical education options “should be given the same attention, preparation and direction.”

Maldonado said it is important to offer technical training options in fields such as automotive, electrical and plumbing. That way, he said, students can gain work experience while in school and decide what career path they want to pursue.

Maldonado said teachers have asked him to work with students to introduce them to paint and body work -- which he has done for multiple youth in the last couple of years.

On another topic, the candidate said a challenge for Lometa ISD is getting sufficient funding since the district is small. He said it is important to seek grants to help fund items the district needs.

Maldonado also said the community provides very valuable financial support by donating to a wide range of student activities -- from playoff game trips to theater productions.

“Whatever it is, the community here always supports them in anything they do,” he said.

Jimmy Thompson Jimmy Thompson Jimmy Thompson said he is running for a seat on the Lometa Independent School District Board of Trustees because he wants “to be a voice for the kids and for the people.”

After serving 10 years in the Army, Thompson lived in Lampasas from 1998 to 2007. He has resided in the city of Lometa for the last 10 years and works as a truck driver for Johnson Specialty Tools.

He and his wife, Tanya, have a son who graduated from Lometa ISD. Their daughter, a freshman, has been a Lometa ISD student since kindergarten.

Thompson said his many years of living in Lometa have given him good perspectives about the community and the changes that have taken place there.

“It’s a wonderful community,” he said, “and I just want to be able to add my part into building greater plans for the kids.”

Thompson said his biggest priorities if elected to the school board will be education and the school district’s budget.

The candidate said he would like Lometa ISD to expand its after-school tutoring program. He said he has seen families benefit from the program because it gives students one-on-one attention to address academic needs.

Thompson also said he wants to continue the district’s music program, which he said gives students a way to use and develop their talents.

Thompson also shared his priorities for the school district’s budget.

“I would like to see more money being spent on the kids academically and on the sports program and on maintenance [of school facilities and grounds],” he said.

The candidate said he has 10 years of experience in budgeting and managing restaurants, and he said that background can be helpful if he is elected to the board.

Thompson said key issues the school board will face in upcoming years include STAAR examinations, budget matters and efforts to increase student enrollment.

He said what he appreciates most about Lometa ISD is “the support for the kids and the teachers’ willingness to go above and beyond for the kids.”

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