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Four candidates vie for two seats on the Progreso school board

Four candidates vie for two seats on the Progreso school board
1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, April 30 2024 Apr 30, 2024 April 30, 2024 10:23 PM April 30, 2024 in News - Local

With an enrollment of over a thousand students, the Progreso Independent School district is asking voters to decide on who should stay — or be replaced — in two board of trustees positions.

Incumbents Alejandro Alanis and Olga Sarmiento Oviedo have sat on the board for several years. They’re facing challengers Carmen Acosta and Yadira Flores in the place 6 and 7 races, respectively.

The newcomers say they want changes after former school board president Francisco Alanis was arrested in October in connection with a federal drug trafficking investigation.

Francisco’s brother, former Progreso Mayor Gerardo Alanis, was also arrested.

READ MORE: Jury selection set for former Progreso mayor accused in drug trafficking scheme

Their brother — and current school board member Alejandro Alanis — is not facing any charges.

“I think it's time to start using the money in the fund balance to start creating a nice stadium, a nice track and field program,” Alanis said.

Acosta is an attendance clerk at Santa Maria High School who has worked at Progreso ISD for 17 years as a secretary and paraprofessional. She believes the arrest of Francisco Alanis, and former district employee Gerardo Alanis, tarnished the district's image.

“When they ask where you're from, and you mention Progreso... they're like 'oh from the people that came out in the news,’” Acosta said.

Acosta says she wants to bring ROTC and fine arts programs such as folkloric dancing and mariachi to the district.

Yadira Flores is the principal at Santa Maria High School. She says she grew up in Progreso, and believes the district needs upgrades.

“Just thinking about… what the facilities are now, and I'm talking about the physical state, there's a big difference,” Flores said. 

As a registered nurse, Oviedo says the safety and health of students is a priority for her.

“There is a lot of mental health issues, behavior issues, maybe we should offer counseling,” Oviedo said.

Election Day is Saturday, May 4.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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