City Councilor Barry Foster seeks seat on school board

January 8, 2011 • Local News

City Councilor Barry Foster is throwing his hat into the ring to represent District 4 on the Roswell Independent School District School Board. Foster, 45, is running against incumbent school board vice president George Peterson and former state House representative Pauline Ponce.

Foster, a Job Corps GED instructor since August of last year, says he can bring a teacher’s point of view to the table.

“A lot of time, administrators have been administrators long enough that they forget about the classroom, especially when it comes to the budget,” Foster said.

Foster has taught in the Roswell School District for  three years and the Dexter School District for two years. He says one of his main concerns is crowded classrooms.

[auth] “We have some schools right now, like Monterrey especially, and other schools, that have really crowded classes,” Foster said. “It’s because of budget restrictions, and we’re not hiring extra teachers.”

Foster also noted he put his name on the ballot to ensure voters had a choice in the election. He pointed out that voters will only decide between multiple candidates in the Roswell School Distict in the upcoming election— 11 candidates are running unopposed for 12 positions in Dexter, Hagerman, Lake Arthur and Eastern New Mexico University- Roswell school board elections. ENMU-R’s District 5 seat will be vacant.

“I just wanted people to have a choice,” Foster said.

Foster won the city council 2010 election in Ward V by a slim margin— he defeated Juan Oropesa, the executive director of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, by less than 20 votes. He serves as chairman to the Utilities and Transportation Committee and is a member of the Parks and Recreation and Fire Department committees.

Before getting into politics, Foster worked for Leprino Foods Company for eight years. He originally is from the Texas panhandle, north of Amarillo, and moved to Clovis when he was 2 years old. He graduated from Clovis High School in 1984, then took business classes at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales and Texas Tech University.

He took time off from school to raise a family and later graduated from ENMU with a bachelor of university studies degree in business and history.

From 1997 to 2000, Foster served as a board member of the Pecos Valley Head Start Policy Council, which is run by Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation. He has also been involved with numerous booster clubs over the years and was a Grace Community Church volunteer youth minister alongside his wife, Stephanie, from 2000 through 2006.

He was Roswell High School’s assistant wrestling coach for two years and freshman football coach for two years.
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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