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EPISD board president says they’ll be replaced Thursday; TEA says necessary Dept. of Justice approval hasn’t occurred

During a lively El Paso Independent School District school board meeting Tuesday afternoon, board president Isela Castanon-Williams said that the board would be replaced by the board of managers on Thursday.

Two members of the board of managers – Dee Margo and Ed Archuleta – seemed surprised by the supposed Thursday start date when informed by ABC-7.

A spokesman for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) said board replacement would hinge on approval by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Until we receive that, the school board and its members continue their responsibilities and duties,” TEA spokesman Gene Acuna told ABC-7. “As we close this office (Tuesday) tonight we have not received notice from the Department of Justice.”

Archuleta said the board of managers will have its first training session on Wednesday night. It will include Robert’s Rules of Order, the functions of the TEA, open meetings, and conflict of interest.

The TEA is providing the training.

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams in December named five people to the board of managers for EPISD.

The board of managers – comprised of a majority of members from the El Paso community – will be responsible for overseeing the management of EPISD, including oversight of the district’s efforts to address and correct identified deficiencies and to implement effective, structural and procedural improvement strategies for long-term, positive change, according to Williams.

Once in place, the appointed board of managers will assume all responsibilities of the elected board of trustees. The board of managers will be in place for up to two years. A school board election must be called within two years of this appointment.

“El Pasoans should be assured in the knowledge, experience and abilities possessed by this board of managers as they work to restore full confidence in the school district,” said Commissioner Williams said in December. “I can assure you that these board members were selected upon the strongest recommendation and valuable input from the people of El Paso who want only the best for their students, parents, teachers and schools.”

EPISD Board of Managers

Edmund G. “Ed” Archuleta
Edmund G. “Ed” Archuleta has been manager (president and CEO) of the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board since January 1989. He recently announced his retirement from that position. A registered professional engineer in Texas, New Mexico, and Iowa, Archuleta is a well established community leader who is currently serving or has assisted several civic organizations, including the United Way, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the Rotary Club, and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.

Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria
Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria is the chief financial officer for the City of El Paso. She has served in this capacity for more than seven years and has worked extensively in the governmental sector throughout her career. In addition to her professional achievements, she is engaged in the community and volunteers her time for various causes such as the El Paso Chapter of the YWCA and the Center Against Family Violence. She and her husband have three children who attend school in the EPISD.

The Honorable Dee Margo
A resident of El Paso for over three decades, Rep. Dee Margo has served in the Texas House of Representatives representing District 78. For over 30 years, Dee has worked at the John D. Williams Company, a firm with El Paso roots dating back to 1898, working his way up through the ranks from vice president in 1977 to president, chairman and CEO.

Dr. Blanca Enriquez

Enriquez currently serves as executive director of the Region 19 Education Service Center Head Start Program. While at ESC Region 19, she has also worked as director of the Special Populations Divisions and Bilingual Program. Enriquez’s more than 40 years of experience in education also includes stints as an elementary school teacher, teacher leader and teacher’s aide in the EPISD. In addition, she is a graduate of Bowie High School in El Paso. Enriquez has been active in various community organizations including the education committee of the Economic Development Planning Division of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Paso Del Norte Committee, and the United Way of El Paso.

Dr. Judy Castleberry
Appointed as conservator in the El Paso ISD on Dec. 6 by Commissioner Williams, Dr. Judy Castleberry had served as a TEA monitor in the district since August 2012. A former executive director of the Region 20 Education Service Center (ESC), Castleberry has served in various instructional leadership roles for the Fort Sam Houston ISD and Region 20 ESC.

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