Hobbs Municipal School Board members have three applicants to choose from to fill the vacant District 3 board seat.
Lance Wiseman, Hobbs school board member, who was first elected in 2005 announced his resignation from the school board in April. Esther Bratcher, K.T. Manis and Terry O’Brain are the three applicants who are up to fulfill Wiseman’s term until the next election in February 2019.
To be eligible to be a board member, one must live in the designated district and be a registered voter. The vacant school board seat represents District 3 which encompasses parts of Taylor Elementary, Coronado Elementary, Mills Elementary, College Lane Elementary and Highland Middle School.
Gary Eidson, Hobbs Municipal School board president, said the three applicants will be interviewed July 17, the day before the school boards regular meeting, and a decision by the board should be made after the interviews are completed.
“That person will probably take the oath of office at the regular meeting the next day,” Eidson said. “We have their resumes and a letter of intent and they all sound very qualified. I’m pleased with them.”
Bratcher, who owns and teaches at Shodin Ji Do Karate School, said she has a passion for helping children and wants to continue to help them by becoming a member of the school board.
“I’m active in a lot of organizations and my karate school is geared towards children and helping them,” Bratcher said. “I’m not a school teacher, principal — anything in the school system at all — but I think I can offer them a different outlook and different opinions.”
Bratcher said she looks forward to assessing the school board agendas and discussing its items with board members and helping make decision that will benefit the school children.
“I want to do whatever is best for the children in the community and in the school system for whatever topic it is that we are discussing,” she said. “It would be an honor to serve in that capacity and something in that magnitude. If I were chosen I would do the very best job possible.”
O’Brain, the corporate health and safety manager for Peak Completion Technologies Inc., has three children currently attending Hobbs schools, a son who graduated from Hobbs High School and his wife works for Coronado Elementary.
“I just feel the school system has given so much to us — to my kids and family — and I’m in a place right now personally and professionally that I have an opportunity to give back,” O’Brain said. “I thought a good opportunity to do that would be serving with the (school) board.”
O’Brain said if he lands the District 3 school board seat he wants to concentrate on showing more support to the teachers and with the school budget.
“One thing that we need to concentrate on is to make sure we have the best teachers and make sure as a school system we’re supporting the teachers 100 percent and giving them everything they need to succeed,” he said. “Another thing that is a constant struggle for the schools is the budget and so I’d like to bring a perspective and an outside look at that. I would look forward to serving the teachers and the kids and being there for them.”
Manis, owner of KTM Catering & Desserts, said he wants to bring his passion in serving the community to the school board and said he can relate to many of the students at HMS because of his young age.
I’ve always had an interest in serving the community, and with the schools and the students in the community I really have a passion for helping them become better and insuring that they’re successful in life,” Manis said. “I’m only 24 and I’m closer in age to most of the kids so I feel like I have a little bit of an inside into what they’re thinking and what’s going on in their lives. I feel like my youth is a benefit to kind of have a connection with a lot of them.”
Manis said he wants to focus on the board becoming more involved with the students every day lives at the schools, helping support teachers in their needs and solving funding issues, if he is appointed to the board.
“It’s important to me that our staff, teachers and students have everything that is possible to give them at their disposal that they can really help grow and succeed than they ever thought possible,” Manis said. “I want to see board members take a more active role in going to the schools and seeing what’s being done on a daily basis. I would look at our funding issues because I know that is a big deal right now with the cuts in state funding. I would and see what we could do.”
Edison said the school board is not looking for anyone specific but hopes the new person will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective on how to serve the school children in the community.
“I think their willingness to serve and step into something they are probably not familiar with is just honorable of them to do that,” Edison said. “Each person has their own idea of what the school should be providing the kids in the community. Hopefully, we get somebody in there that has a new way of thinking that we haven’t thought about.”