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O’Brain named to Hobbs school board

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Hobbsan Terry O’Brain’s motivation is “the kids.”

Hobbs Municipal School board members unanimously voted O’Brain to the vacant District 3 seat Tuesday evening after interviewing three applicants for the position, including Esther Bratcher and K.T. Manis. With the decision, O’Brain will finish the unexpired term of Lance Wiseman, who was first elected in 2005. Wiseman announced his resignation from the board in April. District Judge Mark Sanchez was on hand at the meeting to swear-in O’Brain to his seat.

“They were all very qualified and they did a very good job of answering the questions that current board members posed to them,” Gary Eidson, school board president, said. “They would have all made a good board member, but personally, Mr. O’Brain kind of won my favor because he was a father and he had children in the school system. That just kind of helped me make a decision. Otherwise, it would’ve been a very difficult decision to make.”

O’Brain is a corporate health and safety manager for Peak Completion Technologies, Inc., and graduated from Hobbs High School in 1985. He also served a 10-year stint in the Air Force. His ties to Hobbs date back to 1982 when his family moved to town from northern Arkansas and O’Brain returned in 1997. At present, he has children attending Hobbs schools and his wife is a paraprofessional at Coronado Elementary School.

“(It’s) humbling to some extent,” O’Brain said about being chosen. “I’m glad the board members felt I could be a good part of the team and do a good job for the schools. Hopefully, it will be a rewarding experience.”

O’Brain said he hopes to bring a “representative perspective” and some of his experiences to the board, pointing to his children in the schools and his wife’s position as an educator. He also explained he’s honored to serve and wants to be an advocate for students and “strong support” for teachers, noting teacher shortages across the region.

“My motivation is the kids,” he said. “I want them to succeed, go through the school process and get a diploma. First step to becoming productive and successful adults.”

District 3 encompasses parts of Taylor Elementary, Coronado Elementary, Mills Elementary, College Lane Elementary and Highland Middle School. With his appointment, O’Brain will serve until the next election in February 2019.

Eidson added he thinks O’Brain will do a “very good job.”

“I’ve spoken to him since. He’s going to be a dedicated board member, I’m sure,” he said. “He’s concerned and wants to do what’s best for the kids. I think that’s what we all want to do.”

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