Esperanza “Espie” Ochoa will seek re-election to the Place 5 La Joya ISD trustees’ seat in the Nov. 8 school board election. Ochoa was first elected to the La Joya ISD board in 2007.
Ochoa, is the oldest daughter of the late Ramiro Ochoa, a native of Abram (Ojo de Agua) an educator himself, and Esperanza F. Ochoa from Sullivan City. Ochoa presently lives in Palmview.
Ochoa has a Master of Education and Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Texas – Pan American. She has 13 years of elementary school experience, three years as a Central Office administrator, and 10 years experience in higher education. Currently, Ochoa is in her fourth year as an educational manager for the Children’s Learning Institute working with the Texas Literary Initiative.
Ochoa said her main priorities as a board member are to:
• Put Children First in all board decisions
• Advocate for all La Joya ISD district employees
• Support and encourage parental involvement in all schools
• Oversee the management of all expenditures with prudence and an awareness of taxpayer burden
“Every decision the board makes is crucial the students, the parents, the school employees, and the taxpayers,” said Ochoa. “All decisions should take in account how they benefit the students and promote student achievement for all children.”
Ochoa said the board should also be a voice and advocate for all school employees throughout the school year and not just when deciding on pay raises during the budget process. When it comes to the teachers, the board must be willing to provide the necessary resources to teach students and encourage innovation in the 21st-century classroom, said Ochoa.
Ochoa said the La Joya ISD Parental Involvement Program has made great strides in recruiting and involving parents in the education of their children. “But the board must do more to support empowering parents through mentor training and community outreach initiatives. As board members elected by La Joya ISD parents and grandparents, we need to remember that our parents are the first teachers in the lives of their children,” Ochoa said.
As state funding for education dwindles every legislative session, and the challenges to fund La Joya’s day-to-day operations grows, Ochoa said, the board is faced with working to fund public education in La Joya without adding to the taxpayer burden. “In order to accomplish this task, the board must work together with the district’s administrative team to examine every program for effectiveness and fiscal accountability,” said Ochoa. “We must clearly understand how every tax dollar is being spent and make fiscal decisions that ensure that every tax dollar spent is an investment in the educational success and achievement of La Joya students in the global market.”
“I am running for re-election to the Place 5 seat because I am committed to making the education and achievement opportunities for La Joya students (from early childhood to post-secondary levels) a life-lasting experience that will enable them to become successful in all they do,” said Ochoa. “My education and professional experience as an educator give me the skills to connect and identify the needs of all students and staff.”
Ochoa said, “My role as a board member is to work with the whole board, the superintendent, and the central administrative team to develop strong partnerships to raise standards, improve performance, tackle dropout rates, and strengthen the teaching profession.