Former lawmaker running for school board seat

January 7, 2011 • Local News, News

A former legislator in the state House of Representatives is running for a seat on the Roswell Independent School District School Board. Pauline Ponce will be up against sitting City Councilor Barry Foster and the incumbent Vice President of the Board George Peterson.

Ponce, 60, who served in the House from 2001 to 2004, said her experience developing the state budget while on the House Appropriations Committee well qualifies her for a seat on the board, especially in hard economic times.

“With my expertise in budgeting, I hope to add a high degree of knowledge in that area,” Ponce said.

Ponce also dealt with budgetary decisions while [auth] she served as Assistant Superintendent for the school district’s human resources department.

If elected, Ponce, now a first-grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School, promises to work for excellence in student achievement by developing curriculum that better engages students. She also will push for more parental involvement in the classroom.

“Certainly the teacher in the classroom is incredibly important, and I know that on a daily basis,” Ponce said, “but the component of that support from parents is just so important, and you can’t minimize how important that is.”

A Roswell native, Ponce has more than 35 years of experience in education, including RISD superintendent for one year. She was principal of Berrendo Elementary School, assistant principal of Berrendo Middle School, RISD assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent, director and coordinator of Central Office which performs administrative tasks for the superintendent, and a school teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education at ENMU as well as an education special degree in public school administration.

In the past, she has served as president to the Pecos Valley Rotary Club, Roswell Library, St. John’s Parish Council, New Mexico School Personnel Administration and New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators. She has also served as a board member on the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce and currently is an ex officio member of the ENMU board of regents.

During her time in office as a House representative, Ponce worked on the education committee. She was ousted in 2004 by Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell) who received 55 percent of the vote compared to Ponce’s 42 percent. Peterson, who was running as a Libertarian, gathered three percent of the vote.

The RISD school board is a nonpartisan organization and elections will be held Feb. 1. For information on polling places, contact the Chaves County Clerk’s office at 624- 6614.

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