Board of Trustees
Mr. Israel "Sonny" Villarreal, President
Mrs. Nora De La Paz-Ruiz, Vice-President
Mrs. Veronica Tijerina, Secretary
Mrs. Maria E. Anzualda, Trustee
Mr. Jordan A. Garcia, Trustee
Mr. Jose M. Lopez, Trustee
Mr. James Maupin III, Trustee
A Message from Our Board President
Dear Brooks County ISD Students, Parents, Family & Community Members:
On behalf of the Brooks County ISD Board of Trustees, I want to thank you for allowing us to serve our community of Jersey Nation. It is our privilege and honor to work alongside the dedicated staff and administration to provide the best education to our students.
As Board President, it is my promise to lead us to be effective allowing each trustee to express their voice and opinion that serves those who elected us. I urge each of our families to remain involved in advocating for our students and schools. Our administration and staff continue to do the best job they can while improving each opportunity they have. We remain committed to our responsibilities as elected officials and take pride in working together. Once a Jersey... Always a Jersey!
Israel "Sonny" Villarreal
President, Board of Trustees
Brooks County ISD
The main function of the school board is to provide local, citizen governance and oversight of education. Though ultimate responsibility for education rests with the state, Texas has delegated much of the authority to local communities who elect their local school trustees to govern the school district. The operation of the school district at the local level is also a shared activity. The role of the school board members and the role of the superintendent are different:
- Your school board governs the district, but it does so with the advice of the superintendent.
- The superintendent manages the district, but he or she must do so with the oversight and management of the board, and within the framework of policies and priorities your board adopts.
- Adopt goals and priorities and monitor success
- Adopt policies and review for effectiveness
- Hire and evaluate the superintendent
- Adopt a budget and set a tax rate
- Communicate with the community
District planning is one of the most important tasks your board can perform. Developing a vision, and adopting goals and priorities for the district, sets the course and keeps the district moving in a positive direction.
Truly effective boards often refer to their district’s vision and goals when preparing for meetings or making decisions. Developing a strong vision and goals helps a board have a North Star to refer back to when it’s time to make tough decisions. Vision and goals keep school governance focused on top priorities like student achievement.
Research on effective school governance points to two board functions with a strong connection to student achievement:
- The board holding high expectations for student learning and communicating those expectation through the district’s vision and goals
- The board staying engaged with the student learning goals through regular goal progress monitoring
To that end, the board reviews regular reports from the administration on district operations and progress toward goals. Some goals in your district may be stated in terms of measures included in the state’s Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR).
TAPR can help your district gauge student achievement and other districts measures. It helps your district compare its performance to other districts and campuses of similar size, wealth, and student populations.
A key responsibility of the board is to adopt local policies that guide how the district operates. Your administration and district staff make important decisions based on district policies. Local school boards must adopt policies that are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations and should ensure they match district practice.
Your district’s policy manual will have two types of policies (Legal and Local) in many areas.
- Legal policies contain any statements of state or federal law or other legal authority on a topic and are not adopted by the board
- Local policies include governance provisions that the local board has put in place
By distinguishing these two, the board and the public can clearly see what part of district operations are mandated by state and federal law, and which are adopted at the board’s discretion.
The board sets goals and priorities and adopts the policies by which the district is run. The board also hires a superintendent to execute on the board’s decisions.
The role of the superintendent is to:
- Act as chief executive officer of the district
- Ensure that the board’s policies are implemented fairly and appropriately
- Move the district forward on the board’s goals and priorities
- Be accountable for the progress made toward successful school operations
While the board’s focus is oversight of management, policymaking, planning, and evaluation, the superintendent's focus is on implementation and managing day-to-day operations.
The board must also develop superintendent performance goals and evaluate the superintendent’s progress. Read more about how to conduct a superintendent evaluation.
The school board’s role in adopting a budget is an ongoing activity. The superintendent and staff crunch the numbers for the school district budget and present it to the board for approval.
So, when it comes to the school district budget, what does the school board do?
- Review and approve a calendar for the budget preparation cycle
- Examine budget assumptions, broad guidelines and targets that administration uses in preparing a budget
- Study the budget proposal to make sure it reflects the goals and priorities the board established
- Hold required public hearings
- Adopt a budget and approve an appropriate tax rate to fund it
- Monitor the district’s fiscal activity throughout the year and amend the budget if necessary
- Hire an independent auditor and approve the report from the annual financial audit
School board members who want to exercise responsible stewardship of district finances should be armed with two tools:
- Basic information about the district’s budget, so they can anticipate the district’s revenue profile in coming years
- A habit of asking about the long-term fiscal impact of board decisions, so they can begin to understand the complexities of budget decision and avoid making decisions that put the district in a difficult position down the road
Your board’s final major responsibility is to serve as an advocate for public schools. One of the key things trustees can do is to listen to their community. It’s one of the best ways for trustees to build trust between the district and community.
Keep your community involved by informing them about:
- Districts plans
Board members are the link between the school system and the public. As advocates for public education, board members help grow community support for public schools and report district progress by communicating with the community, students, staff, parents, and the media.
Once your board makes a decision, the board’s role is to engage the community in ways that:
- Promote continued constructive discussion
- Generate positive community interest in the efforts of the public schools
The purpose of Lone Star Governance is to provide coaching and support, through a continuous-improvement framework, for school governing teams that choose and commit to intensively focus on the objective to improve student outcomes. Lone Star Governance accomplishes this intense focus through tailored coaching aligned to the five pillars of the Texas Framework for School Board Development: Vision, Accountability, Structure, Advocacy, and Unity. In addition to the primary focus on improving student outcomes, Lone Star Governance provides systems for governing legal and fiscal responsibilities.
The intention of the Lone Star Governance two-day workshop is to create a supportive space in which governing teams can learn about and can prepare for the commitment to intensely focus on improving student outcomes as described by the Lone Star Governance Integrity Instrument. The workshop is a conversation about researched school board behaviors that improve student outcomes. The Workshop draws from the participants’ respective experiences and their school’s performance. The underlying belief is that leadership matters and that leaders’ choices have the power to be transformative in the lives of our students.
Lone Star Governance Coaches are committed to providing continual coaching and support to school boards as they work to implement the behaviors that have been shown to increase student outcomes. The continual engagement between a school board and coach has been shown to make the difference in successful implementation to improve student outcomes.
The Lone Star Governance workshop earns School Boards and individual board members continuing education training credit. When all members attend the LSG Workshop, school boards earn credit to satisfy the required annual Team Building, bi-annual Evaluating and Improving Student Performance, additional annual Framework Hours, and earn a School Board LSG Certificate. School Boards, through continual engagement with an LSG Coach, will be supported with all required training and the implementation of best practices to improve student outcomes.
The Region One Education Service Center is part of a state-wide system of 20 regional education service centers created in 1965 by the 59th Texas Legislature to assist school districts across the state. Originally slated to work with school districts as a media center, the role of the education service center has expanded to work alongside school districts to carry out the three main objectives as stipulated in the TEC §8.002: to assist school districts in improving student performance in each region of the system; enable school districts to operate more efficiently and economically; and implement initiatives assigned by the legislature or commissioner. Located in South Texas on the United States/Mexico border, Region One ESC serves 38 school districts and 10 charter school systems in the eight county areas of Brooks County, Cameron County, Hidalgo County, Jim Hogg County, Starr County, Webb County, Willacy County, and Zapata County.
consistently delivering what we promise every time and focusing on excellence in student success
providing the very best service possible while exceeding expectations
demonstrating honesty, sincerity and truthfulness at all times
building strong relationships by honoring each other’s works and ideas
caring and responding to the needs of our customers.
The Mexican American School Boards Association (MASBA) is a voluntary, non-profit, statewide education association that has served local Texas school boards since 1970. MASBA is focused on closing achievement gaps in our Texas public schools, particularly for the Latinx students who comprise a majority in the public schools of Texas. Our advocacy is especially strong for the English Language Learners who continue to increase in enrollment annually in our schools.