|Dr. Sylvia Atkinson|
That experience is reflected in Atkinson's list of "My priorities" on her Facebook campaign page: No new taxes, balanced budget, raises for teachers and support staff, 22-1 student-teacher ratio in the classroom, restoring cuts to special needs programs, etc.
We asked Atkinson if she was being supported by Mike Hernandez III and Carlos Marin of the ignominious OP 10.33 phony advocacy group.
"No, but if they do try to contribute to my campaign, I will refuse the donation, suggesting they instead send the contribution to BISD or to BISD's lowest performing schools," stated Atkinson.
"I'm aware that you're not a big supporter of BISD Superintendent Zendejas," I suggested.
"I'm concerned about the disconnect between this administration and the community," Atkinson responded.
"I've heard you're concerned about the availability of pre-k," Atkinson continued.
|Student, Denied Pre-K, but Surviving|
Atkinson replied that she'd worked with Senator Lucio to make pre-k universal, but thought the bill would not pass.
"It's simply not right to deprive one segment of our community the opportunity for pre-k," she offered. (I agree with Atkinson on this. The implementation of this program is beyond dumb. Would it not help kids not proficient in English to be grouped with native speakers? Would not the English-speaking kids be benefited by picking up some Spanish as well as familiarize themselves with the school routine? Duh!)
Atkinson's several brief tenures with various school districts were not without controversy. According to reports, she left the Santa Rosa School District with an $800,000 shortfall. At Socorro ISD of El Paso, there were charges of nepotism when three of her friends from Santa Rosa were elevated over more qualified job applicants. At BISD, while Atkinson was Human Resources Director, her brother Charlie, the former City Commissioner, was hired as a coach over several more qualified applicants, despite not having a teaching degree.
Here are a couple blog comments from the archives that see Atkinson from different perspectives:
She's a tough cookie, but I work with her on a advisory committee of teachers. She's been nothing but professional with us. She makes no excuses for wanting equal levels of staffing at each campus so some people are not happy without the extra staff they got out of Susan Fox. I don't think she wants to be Superintendent. She is very supportive of Mr. Montoya and always gives him credit for anything positive. She even told us at our last meeting how much he is doing to get us raises next year. I think you are just listening to the haters.
Also, this one:
Oh, someone forgot to follow SA to Eagle Pass. She didn't leave there with flying colors. She leaves a trail of nothing but waste material. She stabs friends in their back after they help her get certain positions for she tries to overrun them. She is like the kid in the neighborhood who would not play if he could not be the pitcher. Sure she tells teachers at meeting that Dr. Montoya is a really nice guy. Sure, he is, but he forgets that he is wearing pants. She is a good talker and because she is so intelligent can really pull the wool over your eyes if you allow it.
Atkinson's opposition for BISD, Position 7 includes the extremely popular Rigo Bocanegra, a fireman and community activist, who today led a group of disgruntled bus drivers on a march to the BISD administration building.
The incumbent is Hector Chirinos, who made an absolute mess of the BISD Transportation Department during his tenure.
Norberto Rangel and Orlando Carlos Trevino are also running (also rans?) for Position 7.