2 plan to run for Mora board

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By Martin Salazar

Two Mora parents have announced that they are planning to run for the school board there during next year’s election, saying it’s time the board began focusing on what’s best for students.

Victoria Lovato and Shelley Rains have been among the parents demanding change at the school district. Among their concerns is that the board majority generally backed outgoing Superintendent Thomas Garcia at what many have said was the expense of the district’s students and staff.

Garcia, who announced his resignation earlier this month and who is on leave until it becomes effective on Dec. 31, enjoyed support from Chairman Arthur Romero and board members Joseph Griego and Michael Hurtado.

Board member George Trujillo has been a critic of Garcia’s, and board member Vanee Lujan has, at times, challenged Garcia.

Romero’s and Griego’s terms expire in February.

“I’m a parent, and I see what’s been happening in our district,” Lovato said. It needs to change. They haven’t made decisions for our children, and that’s who should be first, our children. If I get elected I’m here for the children, for the students and for the staff also because they work very hard.”

Lovato said many students and good teachers have left the district since Garcia became superintendent.

“I have grandchildren, and I think eventually they’ll come to school here. I want them to get a good education and have somewhere where they want to come to.”

Rains said the politics that has been playing out on the school board hasn’t been serving the district’s students.

“The mold needs to be broken, smashed and something new put in its place,” she said.

“I’ve decided to run unless someone who’s brilliantly better comes along,” Rains said. “The school board needs to change. Change needs to happen. That means new people. Vicki and I are both parents. We have kids in school. Not grandkids, not nephews; we have children in school, and so we’re very focused in the school.”

Rains said the district’s teachers have been doing a phenomenal job under stressful conditions, and it’s time they had a school board that supports them and the students.