Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Logan candidates answer questions


October 23, 2019

Two of the three open seats for the Logan school board are contested for the Nov. 5 election, with three candidates for each.

Toby Jon Willis, Edward L. Johnson and Kyle Don Perez are competing against each other for Position 1. Johnson, 35, is self-employed. Perez, 35, is a rancher. Willis, 43, is a Ricoh service technician and owner of Autumn Blessings Assisted Living.

In Position 3, Kene Terry, Susan Acosta and incumbent Bryan Roach will battle for the seat. Acosta, 51, is self-employed. Terry, 37, is the owner of Friday T-shirts.

Laurie Strebeck is unopposed in her candidacy for Position 2.

All are four-year terms.

The Quay County Sun recently mailed the candidates in the two contested elections questionnaires about their candidacies. Below are the questions and their written answers; some responses are edited for space or clarity reasons.

All of them answered but Roach, the incumbent in Position 3, who said during a brief telephone interview he declined to fill out the questionnaire, and “I wouldn’t mind it at all” if someone else won the position.

Position 1

What prompted you to run?

Johnson: “I am wanting to see some change. I feel that I could help students and staff accomplish new goals for years to come. I am a previous school employee that knows the ins and outs, and I have three kids of my own attending Logan School.”

Perez: “I am native of Quay County, a graduate of Logan High School and a father of twins just entering kindergarten. I grew up watching my parents, Connie and Michael Pérez, be involved in every aspect of the school, and I now realize the importance of giving back to the community. Even more important, I realize where a sound, well-rounded education can take you in life. Being actively involved in the school through FFA, sports and other leadership groups prepared me with a skill set, knowledge and confidence to graduate from college and return home to own and operate a successful ranching business. As a former board of director of the National Hereford Association, I gained valuable knowledge and experience improving operations and making important decisions that affected members from coast to coast. Coupled with the fact I am the son of an elementary school teacher of 33 years, I have firsthand knowledge of how much time and effort our administration, teachers and staff devote to the schools. I feel my experiences will allow me to bring a lot of insight to the school board and represent the northern part of our school district.”

Willis: “I have always looked for ways to be more involved in my kids’ education. I see serving on the school board as an opportunity to not only do that, but also to give back to a school that was good to me and has been good to my kids. My kids have thrived since my family moved back to Logan. I would be honored to play some part in helping other students do the same.”

What are the big issues facing the school district?

Johnson: “Recently the shaving policy and dress code have been hot-topic issues. I do believe that rules should be followed and enforced, but I feel that certain rules and regulations need to be revisited and revised.” Note: The district’s detailed dress code forbids facial hair, visible tattoos, most visible piercings and long hair on boys.

Perez: “We live in a different world. Safety, funding, technology, curriculum and state requirements change from year-to-year and play a big role in the day-to-day work to build a first-rate school. Every district has areas in which they can improve, I think overall Logan is doing a lot right and is in a very positive position. As issues arise as a board member, I will tackle them head-on with an unbiased mind-set, logic and common sense to arrive at the best solution that will care for or benefit all our children and our entire community.”

Willis: “I admittedly have much to learn about the inner workings of a school district. If elected, my intention is to go in with no preconceived notions on what needs fixed or changed, but to bring myself up to speed as rapidly as possible and to approach each issue with an open mind.”

Why should voters cast a ballot for you?

Johnson: “I feel, if voted in, I would bring a fresh set of eyes and ideas for the school and community. I would be willing to listen to concerns and address any issues that come up during my term.”

Perez: “1. Education is the foundation for every step in life. As a board member, I want to ensure our children receive a quality education from kindergarten to 12th grade by making sure teachers and staff are equipped with facilities and materials to get the job done. 2. When a school thrives, the community around it thrives. As a board member, I want to see that our district becomes a parent’s first choice for education and will continue to grow in numbers, that we never remain complacent in our current success and that we set the bar high to outdo the previous years. 3. As a board member, I will make sure our hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely and in areas that need to be improved. 4. Accountability is the glue that ties the commitment to the result. As a board member, I want to see that our administration, teachers and students are held accountable. 5. A school is only as successful as every child in it! As a board member I want to see extracurricular activities beyond the sports field and FFA that engage all children to excel and succeeded, teaching them valuable life skills and helping them to navigate their talents. An involved student is a happy student!”

Willis: “I offer voters a candidate with no personal vendettas or hidden agendas. My purpose is simply to look out for the best interests of the current and future students and faculty of this school.”

What would you like to see the district accomplish during your term?

Johnson: “Again, change is what I would like to see. I feel that certain issues need to be addressed more thoroughly, and others need revision. Just to be clear, if elected, my primary goal is to help the kids! I feel the kids are the main priority and the only reason anyone should be on the board.”

Perez: “I would like to see academic growth in all grades, some extracurricular programs that have become complacent be revitalized, and a positive and safe environment that cultivates growth in every child.”

Willis: “I would like to see the school continue to expand the diversity of courses offered. Retaining our quality staff and offering them multiple avenues of continued development is key to that. The more we can excite and challenge our students, the more we can help them exceed.”

Position 3

What prompted you to run?

Acosta: “I had an issue that came up with one of my children. While talking to other parents about the issue we were having. I learned of other issues that parents and their children are facing in our school. The need for change became apparent.”

Roach: Declined to respond.

Terry: “I am a proud graduate from Logan Schools. After graduating from college at Eastern New Mexico University, I married my wife, Amy. When our first child was born, we made the decision to raise our children in a small community, Logan. Our daughters, Kyle (9 years), and Quinn (7 years), attend Logan Schools and our son, Kenson (4 years), will soon start. My wife currently is the speech-language pathologist at Logan Schools. I was formally a teacher/coach at Logan Schools, until I my hobby turned into a full time business of making T-shirts. I believe my experience as a teacher helps me understand the needs of the school. As a school board member, I will advocate for the education of all children in our community. Logan is an exemplary school; being a member of the school board, I believe I can help continue the high standards of the school, advocating for the teachers, parents and students.”

What are the big issues facing the school district?

Acosta: “I would have to say, the most important issue is the relationship between the faculty and parents. I was told by numerous parents that they are afraid to approach the faculty about issues their children are having. When I asked why, they told me they feared things would be made worse for their child. I was told they feared their children would be singled out and picked on. It would benefit our school if the faculty and parents can come together and find ways to resolve issues. Now, I know there are other issues like adequate work space for students, building safety, security, etc. This is much harder to accomplish when there is no reliance in our school. We need support from everyone to achieve the goals and make sure our children get the best education possible.”

Roach: Declined to respond.

Terry: “Logan is a school of many great achievements in academics as well as in sports. When a school has achieved so much, maintaining the tradition of excellence is difficult. A school board must ensure every child receives an education that provides him or her with the opportunities to be successful, whether that is ready to attend college, a trade school or join the work force. I strongly believe we have tremendous teachers and staff working with our children. In a rural area such as Logan, at times opportunities are limited; the school board must make sure that classrooms are enhanced and enriched to meet the needs of the students. School safety is an issue worldwide. These times call for procedures and actions to be taken to ensure the safety of the students and the staff…”

Why should voters cast a ballot for you?

Acosta: “I want to help parents come forward with issues and help them solve them like adults. We can't get offended by a parent’s concerns. We need to be considerate, listen, respect and take the parents’ concerns seriously. By doing this, we can get our school going in the right direction.”

Roach: Declined to respond.

Terry: “With my background and expertise, I believe I will be an asset to the school board. A school board member needs to be responsive and receptive to the community. I will be a voice …”

What would you like to see the district accomplish during your term?

Acosta: “I feel it is very important to get parents on board and work together to meet the school goals. I would like to implement a music program. Studies show music can increase memory skills, improve coordination, improve math skills, listening skills, social skills and the list goes on. Also, a school garden would benefit our students from pre-K to 12th grade. Students learn teamwork, patience; they learn agriculture concepts and skills that integrate with subjects such as math, science and art. They learn to choose healthy foods over junk food. Our students need adequate work space in the classrooms. We have a good security system in place, but we need an excellent system in place. We need to continue making our school structure safe. All of this takes funding. I alone cannot accomplish these goals. However with the support of parents, students, faculty and our community, anything is possible.”

Roach: Declined to respond.

Terry: “When elected, I would like Logan Schools to be the safest, have highest academic standards for students, and graduate some of the most talented, individualized, successful students around.”


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