Successfully Nominates 2011 Election Year Winner Johnson as Her Successor
By Tony A. Archuleta
Announcing she won’t seek reelection in February 2013, School Board President Ann Filosa last week successfully nominated fellow board member Jay Johnson her successor as chief presiding officer.
Filosa, during Thursday’s, March 8, board meeting, noted that the seats of fellow board members Cathy Vickers and Louise Schwab are also up for reelection next year.
While she said she can’t speak for Vickers’ or Schwab’s future intentions for office, Filosa noted that the board makeup will be decidedly different this time next year.
Johnson, along with Randy Piper, unseated a pair of incumbents in the 2011 election, and if the electoral mood remains the same in 2013, the board composition could see not one, but three newcomers.
During the March meeting, in an election year or not, board reorganization is one of the top items on the agenda. Filosa indicated this was a good opportunity to look ahead to next year and provide for as smooth a transition as possible.
Filosa, who succeeded longtime board member Paul Tooley as president following Tooley’s ouster from office in 2011, nominated Johnson, who unseated four-year board member Lydia Bamonte, for president.
The motion was seconded by Piper, who unseated Tooley in 2011.
In other reorganization business, Filosa was appointed vice president, replacing Piper; and Vickers was reappointed secretary.
Neither Vickers nor Schwab offered comment on their 2013 election year plans during the meeting.
An upbeat Filosa said she looks forward to a “good year” in 2012. She said any disagreements that may emerge in the coming months are to be viewed in the positive light of the democratic process. She thanked her fellow board members for their support and respect during her presidential term.
Filosa asked, but Johnson politely declined, to assume the president’s seat immediately, and Filosa continued to preside over the rest of the meeting. Johnson said it’s likely Filosa, as vice president, will preside over next month’s meeting as well due to his planned absence.
•Filosa responded to comments shared by Sierra Vista Hospital CEO D. Rush during last month’s meeting. Rush said she lost some prospective, highly-qualified employees due to less than glowing reports about the local school system. Rush urged school officials to communicate with the community to address educational issues.
Filosa began by saying it’s important to recognize the impressive list of Hot Springs High graduates who have gone on to excel in the professions, as entrepreneurs and in the Armed Forces, to name a few.
On the communication front, Filosa urged local employers to refer prospective employees to a board member, a teacher or an administrator for a first-hand glimpse into the reasons why Truth or Consequences Municipal School District is a top educational destination.
•To much applause and a near-standing ovation among the roomful of educators, Shawna Gunter –during public comment– complained that the school district “bends over backwards” to accommodate students with behavioral problems at the expense of “good kids.”
“We have good kids and we need to start paying more attention to them!” she said.