By Bobby J Rigues
January 16 is the first day to file as a candidate for a seat on the Aledo ISD school board. I have made a personal decision not to run for re-election. In each of the five terms spanning 15 years, the greatest privilege given to me by the community has been the precious opportunity to serve – an honor for which I am forever grateful.
Each year, communities across Texas elect individuals to serve on local school boards and entrust them to collectively oversee the schools of the district – a sobering responsibility when you consider it involves our public tax dollars and the education of our children.
Over the years, I have had the unique experience to work with 18 different Aledo ISD school board trustees and four different superintendents. Each has educated and inspired me in their own way. To each one of them, I am thankful. During my tenure, my admiration for the diligent work our campus and classroom educators accomplish has magnified – an awareness of their priceless passion to educate. The opportunity to teach is made possible by the dedicated supporting staff that transport and feed our students, maintain and update our buildings, making a difference every single day.
Fifteen years ago, superintendent Don Daniel introduced me to the world of school board responsibilities and the value of advocacy. Today, Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn refines and validates my purpose. If asked what my most significant observation about our Texas public school system is, I will say that despite the complexities, it is the promise of education for all students. I must add that with each term served, the more I learned, the more I realized I didn’t know – sharing the concept of lifelong learning.
If asked what brings me the greatest satisfaction, I will say the excitement among the students, parents, and the community at each high school and learning center graduation. If asked to describe the one memory that makes me smile to this day, I am embarrassed to admit it is a selfish moment when the entire McCall Elementary student body sang happy birthday – the high pitch voices and cheerful little smiles – the faces that fuel my passion to advocate for the benefits of public education.
If asked what I find most promising about the Aledo ISD, I will say opportunity – the opportunity to provide the best education for all our students is truly before us. The academic foundation required of our graduates as they transition into post-secondary, the military, or workforce continues to grow in importance. We live in a rapidly changing world. Community engagement and ownership in our local schools is the pathway to preparing all students for a bright future and a strong democracy.
I am confident and proud to say that the Aledo ISD has a dedicated academic leader in our superintendent, Dr. Susan Bohn, and a supportive, engaging board of trustees that believes in the value of partnership. During my tenure and in my departure, I hope to have contributed to the foundation of education our students receive and the overall value of public schools.
As I finish my current term, it has been a privilege and a sincere honor to serve. Thank you for the opportunity.
Bobby J Rigues has been a trustee in the Aledo Independent School District for 15 years. He is the founder of the state-wide “Make education a Priority” movement.