Navarro County NAACP hosted a political forum, Tuesday after its regular meeting, for candidates in upcoming elections for Corsicana ISD and Navarro College Board seats.
Navarro College Board of Trustees Place 5 At Large
• Billy “Todd” McGraw
• George Procter-Smith
Corsicana ISD's Place 5 seat
• John Avila
• Arnold Ramón Thomas
• Jaime Roman
Those vying for CISD Board Place 5 spoke first.
Ramon “Bam” Thomas discussed what he considers to be moral issues in schools:
“Kids don’t have pride anymore,” he said. “They seem proud of getting bad grades on exams. We need to change that culture.”
General Election for cities, schools and college board Saturday, May 4 Early voting starts Monday, April 22
Thomas is currently an inclusion teacher at Corsicana Middle School and said teacher retention would be another focus, if he is elected in the May 4 election.
John Avila said he wants to unleash the potential in the community, focusing on getting students ready for higher education and career opportunities through mentoring programs. Avila said he is a supporter of universal Pre-K.
Jamie Roman touted her Corsicana ties and years of working with the Boosters and her childrens' PTO groups.
“I got involved because I saw a need” Roman said.
She also talked about the Tigers in Training program she started and continues to support, through fundraising efforts.
This is Roman’s second time running for the Board of Trustees. She was defeated by Dr. Kent Rogers in 2017.
Navarro College Board candidate Billy “Todd” McGraw is running for reelection. Named Vice Chairman of the Board in the summer of 2018, he was first elected in 2001. McGraw wants to see the college reach more kids in the county.
“We have an affordable school which costs a fraction of other schools right here,”he said. “We serve our community.”
McGraw will face George Procter-Smith who said he is running because of “the students.” He said Navarro College is the greatest asset the area has.
‘Brother George’ as he is known by many, was Director of the United Christian Fellowship campus ministry for 20 years. Procter-Smith said he would like to facilitate better communication between the school district, city council, and county commissioners.
“If elected I would want us all to meet in a room and talk a few times a year,” he said.
He also said he would advocate for more trade and tech programs to be offered at the college. Jobs that offer up to $30 an hour, including cyber-security, robotics and solar technology.
Proctor-Smith said in addition he’d also like to increase the number of full-time faculty on Navarro College campuses.
Current Navarro College Board member Faith Holt also introduced herself, though Holt is running unopposed this time she asked the crowd for their vote saying she has learned a lot since first being appointed to the position in 2011. Holt fulfilled the remainder of James Borkchum’s term before being elected in 2013.
“Always remember Navarro College has Faith,” she said.
Corsicana City Councilman Elect Chris Woolsey told the crowd he would always be available to the people.
“I ran because my property taxes were too high, nobody else ran against me,” he said. Woolsey will become the new Pct. 3 city councilman later this year. Incumbent John McClung did not run for reelection.
Woolsey told the crowd that his priority is to communicate with and serve the people.
“I’m not beholden to the mayor, other members of the council, or the city manager” he said. “I serve the people.”
Election Day is May 4. Early voting runs April 22-30 at the County Annex building 601 N. 13th St. in Corsicana.