ELECTION 2022: Former city council member seeks seat on school board

Farmersville Unified School District has five candidates in the running for the upcoming election, but only three seats are free for the taking

FARMERSVILLE – Farmersville’s school board had two incumbents jot their name on this year’s ballot, with one former city council member swooping in to grab a seat too.

Farmersville Unified School District currently has three seats open, with five candidates in the running. Among these candidates lies former city council member Ruben Macareno, who stepped away from his city duties that he said have been accomplished. If elected, he will be serving in the same board that his late brother, Martin Macareno, served on as president. Two incumbents will also be running, along with two newcomers.

Macareno released a statement when declining to run for city council for another term and said he had completed his goals as a councilman. Now he’s seeking a seat on the school board with support from groups, such as the Farmersville Teachers Association. 

“I have decided to move on to the schools where I have a true love for and bettering the educational systems, our students can go farther in life, and hopefully, some will come back to serve our community,” Macareno said.

Macareno would like to see partnerships built with Farmersville Unified School District, the College of the Sequoias and even the Ivy League Project, which works with disadvantaged students who want to go to Ivy League schools. He also wants to see school facilities, like the track and gymnasium, be opened up for the community to use. Most of all, he desires to have good communication across the board, starting with students, parents and also teachers.

“The truth of the matter is it takes all of us,” Macareno said. “It takes students first, it takes the teachers, it takes the parents and it takes the community in general to engage so that we can meet those standards that we all want.”

Incumbents Johnny Alvarez and Jorge Vasquez will be running once again for reelection. Isamar Hernandez-Ramos, who was appointed to fill a vacancy, is not seeking reelection this year. 

Alvarez has been part of planning tech programs and courses for students, because Alvarez is among those who did not go to college and instead went to a technical school to learn a trade. He said it was important to find alternative opportunities for students to choose from, as college is not for everyone. He was part of building a new tech center that houses welding programs, electrical, plumbing construction and the Future Farmers of America department. He has also helped bring music back into schools, as it had been previously removed from electives.

“One of the keys to success is allowing a child to speak,” Alvarez said. “In fact, when I started our board meeting, our student representative, for the first time, spoke up for what the kids wanted, what they needed, all these things came forward.”

Alvarez said it has been difficult for students, especially young children who missed the socialization period of preschool and kindergarten during the pandemic, to want to return to a learning environment. 

They’re having a really tough time, coming to school, and being social with other children and keeping their hands to themselves,” Alvarez said. “We are going through a lot of emotional and physical issues. So we’ve [made a] commitment to having psychiatrist school aides, teachers aides, and reaching children and identifying their educational difficulties that they have. Every child is different in the way they learn.”

Candidates Sabrina Gomez and Cynthia Godwin will be running as well. Godwin and Gomez were not interviewed by the Sun-Gazette as they did not respond by press time.

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