Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
P-B-T board picks Espino as new superintendent
A former Fort Stockton school official was selected as the new superintendent for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, during a special meeting by the district’s school board last Thursday, while an offer to purchase the Barstow school building was rejected.
The board met behind closed doors for almost two hours to discuss their final selections for the position of superintendent and the new athletic director, before announcing Manuel “Manny” Garcia Espino is scheduled to take over as the new PBT-ISD Superintendent and should be in Pecos after April 1. However, because the names of the candidates for superintendent were not made public by the district or the Texas Association of School Board’s prior to Thursday’s meeting, Espino cannot be formally named as superintendent until March 22, following a three week period for comments.
Espino is currently the Dean of Students for Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nev., which has an enrollment of 290,000. He has held this position since August of 2005.
Espino had also been the assistant superintendent for the Fort Stockton Independent School District since 1994 until 2005; middle school principal in Fort Stockton from 1980 until 1994 and prior to that had been a teacher/coach in Fort Stockton and a teacher at the Lamesa School District.
He has a Recreational PE and masters degree in education from Sul Ross State University.
In his resume, Espino said, “I enjoy participating and watching all athletic activities. I spend a lot of time reading work related and leisure type materials. I enjoy the fine arts. I enjoy spending time with my family at home or on the road.”
Espino was unavailable for comment, but stated in his resume that while working with Fort Stockton ISD: “I also helped the school district pass a bond issues. We went out and talked to service organizations, community groups, etc. We explained the need and answered questions. I was in charge of the design and construction phases of an elementary school and a special event center. The elementary school was built for about $7 million dollars and can house about 700 students. The special events center was built for about $4 million dollars. It will hold about 3,000 people and has three gym floors in it. I signed off on any change orders, payment requests, etc.”
“I also served as principal of the Middle School for 13 years. I helped design and open this school. During my time I was in charge of all curriculum and instruction. Dr. Madeline Hunter worked with us in evaluation and supervision. I took several workshops in reference to gifted/talented, at-risk, special education, and vocational education. I also took workshops in learning styles and methodologists. I went through Dr. Kagan’s cooperative learning workshops. I was exposed to Blooms taxonomy several times. I have continued to receive training in these areas even as an assistant superintendent. I have taken the PDAS (the Texas evaluation system) training and am a certified evaluator. I felt the training I have received has made me very much aware of how kids learn and how we need to differentiate teaching to meet their needs.”
Some of his many duties included: recruiting and hiring personnel; ensured that all professional personnel met certification stands, plus No Child Left Behind standards; in charge of evaluations for all personnel; in charge of the firing and reassignments of all personnel; all legal issues for the school district; handled all EEOC complaints; all worker’s compensation claims; was in charge of making sure the district was in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act; was in charge of the district’s catastrophic sick leave bank and handled reduction in force plan the one that they had to reduce staff.
Espino has had training in the salary schedule that the Texas Association of School Boards promotes to their school districts and has also gone through their training on making salary adjustments.
Prior to Thursday’s closed door session, school board members rejected an offer made to purchase the Barstow Elementary building.
“We had an inquiry about selling the Barstow school, and I didn’t know how the board feels about it,” said Interim Superintendent Bob McCall. “My recommendation is that we do nothing.”
He said that in his opinion the building would need to be bid out, if the board chose to do away with it.
The school building has not been used by the district for the past seven years, since Barstow Elementary was closed down as part of the district’s consolidation effort. It did serve for one year as the home of the Pecos Head Start program.
“I’ve talked to some people from Barstow and they really don’t want to sell it,” said board member David Flores.
An interlocal agreement with the Town of Pecos City to demolish several properties was approved “by principal,” pending the revision by the school attorney.
“We could just approve it by principal, then have our attorneys look at this interlocal agreement,” said McCall.
McCall said that the ideal situation would be to get the hospital and the county to come into this agreement as well.
“One concern will be that the district budget money for this demolition,” said McCall. “I think they said that it would cost something between $3,000 to $8,000 per building, depending on the structure,” he said.
“How many buildings are there?” asked board member Amy Miller.
“They said that there were about eight at this time,” said McCall. “The buildings are a safety hazard,” he said.
McCall said that it wasn’t a good idea to hold on to any of these properties unless they were by a school.
Tax assessor-collector Lydia Prieto said that they would be holding a property sale on March 7.
“Most of these are vacant lots,” said Prieto.
Henson named new AD, head football coach
Marfa Shorthorns head football coach and athletic director Chris Henson was selected on Thursday as the new head coach and AD for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, during a special meeting by the school board at the Technology Center.
Henson was selected following an executive session by the board that lasted almost two hours, and accepted the job during a phone call with school officials on Friday morning. Board members also selected Gabe Espino as the district’s new superintendent following the executive session.
Henson is a graduate of Sul Ross State University and Odessa High, where he played football under former Pecos Eagles head coach and current interim athletic director Jerry Millsapps. He has served for the past three seasons as head coach at Class A Marfa, where his teams posted a 23-8 record.
Henson, who visited with Millsapps, Eagle coaches and students on Friday night, at the West of the Pecos Relays, said his final day in Marfa will be on March 24, and he’ll take over as head coach and athletic director in Pecos on March 27. He and his family are scheduled to meet with school board members during their next regular meeting, on March 16.
“May family and I are as excited as we can be to be coming to Pecos. This is the place we want to be,” said Henson, who served as an assistant coach to Gary Roan at Fort Stockton from 2001 to 2003, and began his coaching career under David Baugh at Snyder in 1994.
“We still talk daily, and I learned most of my football under him,” Henson said of Baugh, who rebuilt the Tigers’ football program in the 1990s. “He’s a great man and a great athletic director.”
Henson was the junior high athletic coordinator from 1994-97 and then offensive line and linebackers coach for the next two seasons, before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 1999. He was also a varsity track coach during that time, and served in the same role at Fort Stockton, as well as being the school’s powerlifting coach.
He has been head coach in District 1-3A the past three years, which currently includes Wink, Iraan, McCamey, Van Horn and Fort Hancock. The Shorthorns were 6-4 in 2005 after an 8-2 season in 2004 and a 9-2 mark in his first season. Marfa’s losses this past year were to Wink, Iraan, McCamey and Class 4A El Paso El Dorado.
Henson said in terms of offensive schemes, “I’m a wing-T man, with multiple offenses, but I try to stick to basics and run what works with the players we have. “
“Defensively, I run a 4-2-5 defense and an attacking defense, which is based on making big plays and getting the offense into three-and-out. I want their offense to be in 2nd-and-long and 3rd-and-long,” said Henson
He said he was able to see a few off-season workouts the Eagles are going through, while interviewing for the head coaching job. “I think Pecos has got a great group of kids. I’m excited about the ones returning and what the kids are doing in the program.”
Henson said he and school officials did talk about the number of coaches he could bring in with him for the 2006 football season.
“It looks like at this time I can bring two in and possibly up to four. That’s my No. 1 priority to get the best coaching staff for Pecos’ kids,” he said. “My defensive coordinator, Thomas Hughes, most likely will come in. He’s been with me all three years here.”
“I’d love to have everybody in place by the time the year is out, so we can get everybody on the same page and get our program going and get the other sports going,” Henson said.
“One of my main priorities is to build the program from the junior high up,” he said. “I want to have most of the coaches spend time at the junior high level, so that way the kids will spend time with the same coaches from the junior high level on up.”
As athletic director, Henson said the main difference between Pecos and Marfa is the size. “There are more sports to oversee and a larger coaching staff. But coming from Snyder, they had the same sports there, and when I was in Fort Stockton I was in charge of a lot of things that we did that can be successful.”
In Pecos, Henson takes over an Eagle team that went 1-9 the past two seasons, and have gone 6-33 over the past four years, since dropping down from Class 4A to 3A. Board members on Jan. 3 voted not to renew the contract of Patrick Willis, after he posted a 5-25 record over the past three years.
The Eagles advanced to the playoffs the previous four seasons, after being moved out to the El Paso-based District 2-4A. For the next two seasons, Pecos will be part of District 1-3A which includes current district rivals Fort Stockton and Monahans, along with two schools from the old 2-4A, Clint and Fabens, and two schools with Class 2A-sized enrollments, Anthony and Tornillo, which petitioned to play in Class 3A starting this August.
Two more incumbents file for re-election
Two incumbents in different entities have filed to retain their seats on the boards that they currently serve on, in local elections, with one week left to file for positions on the May 13 ballot.
Angelica Valenzuela has filed to retain her seat on the Town of Pecos City Council, while Leo Hung filed for the at-large position on the Reeves County Hospital Board, a position he has held for three terms.
Valenzuela joined Pecos’ mayor and another councilman in filing for a new term in the May 13 city elections. No other candidates have filed as of yet in the city election.
Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford signed up to retain her post for another two years. She was first elected in 1994 and was returned to office in 2002 after losing her bid in 2000 for re-election.
Councilman Michael Benavides filed in mid-February to retain his seat, a position he has held for the past five years.
In the Reeves County Hospital board election, Terry Honnacker has filed for a full two-year term as Precinct 3 representative. Honnacker was appointed in late 2004 to replace Bill Wendt, who died in August of that year. The other position is that of Precinct 1 representative Brenda McKinney also are up for election.
In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board elections positions up for re-election are those currently held by Amy Montgomery Miller and Steve Valenzuela. Neither incumbent has filed as of yet, but two others, John Grant and Ramiro “Ron” Garcia, have entered their names for the three-year terms up for election in May.
Elections will also be held on May 13 in Barstow, Toyah and Balmorhea, along with the Balmorhea ISD board election. This year’s voting will be held on the second Saturday in May instead of the first Saturday, as the result of a measure passed by the Texas Legislature.
To sign up to run in the city council race, individuals can do so at City Hall with Levario; to sign up for a position on the hospital board, they can contact Nadine Smith at Reeves County Hospital and to sign up to run for a position on the school board, individuals can contact Tracy Shaw at the school administration office, which will remain open this week during Spring Break for P-B-T ISD schools.
Voters face new machines, new poll sites
Reeves County voters will be casting their ballots on new machines and in some new locations on Tuesday, when they go to the polls in the March primary election.
Most voters will be casting ballots in the Democratic primary, where five persons are seeking the position of county judge, four are vying for the Precinct 4 commissioner’s seat and three others are seeking the Precinct 2 commissioner’s job.
In the race to replace Jimmy Galindo as Reeves County Judge, the five candidates are Israel Campos, Sam Contreras, Bernardo “Chaquen” Martinez, Alfred Gomez and Grace Jaso Renteria. If none of the five receive 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday, the top two finishers will face a runoff election on April 11.
In the race for County Commissioner for Precinct 2, incumbent Norman Hill is being challenged by Alvesia “Tita” Tarin and Gabriel Martinez, while in the Precinct 4 election, incumbent Gilberto “Hivi” Rayos faces challengers Ramiro “Ram” Guerra, Conchita M. Hernandez and Alex Ramirez. Candidates in those races also face a runoff next month, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote.
The other main local election that is contested is for State Senator for the 19th District, where incumbent Frank Madla is being challenged by State Rep. Carlos Uresti. Both men are from the San Antonio area.
Only one local candidate, Robert L. Hanks, in on the ballot in the Republican primary. Hanks is unopposed for the Republican nomination for Reeves County Judge, and will be on the general election ballot in November.
Meanwhile, early voting in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election went really well, according to local officials, with 1,345 individuals voting by personal appearance in the Democratic primary election and three on the Republican ticket.
There were 190 mail in ballots for the Democratic Party and two for the Republican Party.
Tuesday’s election will be the first using the county’s new voting equipment, which was purchased after federal law prevented Reeves County from further use of its punch card election equipment, due to the problems in Florida with similar equipment during the 2000 presidential election.
Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez said that they were unable to use the new voting machines during early voting, but that they would be ready for Tuesday’s election.
“We couldn’t use the new machines because there were some chips that were needed,” said Florez. “They came in Friday and were installed and the new machines will be ready for tomorrow,” she said.
Florez said that the new machines are very much like an ATM machine. “It’s very easy, just like an ATM, the voters just do it themselves, color in the oval shape,” said Florez. “A pen will be provided for the voters,” she said.
Even though the type of pen that will be used is a regular medium ball-point pen, Florez stressed that these pens will be provided at the polling places.
“This is to make sure the scanner picks up the places that were marked,” she said.
Along with the change in voting machines, four of the county’s 11 polling places have changed for Tuesday’s election. Voters in Toyah, Balmorhea and at two locations in Pecos will cast ballots at different sites on Tuesday.
The locations of the polling places are:
Box 1 - Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak St.
Box 2 - Odessa College, 1000 block of South Eddy St.
Box 3 - Pecos High School Gym.
Box 4 - Change from Toyah City Hall to the Toyah Senior Citizen’s Center.
Box 5 - Change from Balmorhea Fire Hall to Balmorhea Library.
Box 6 - Multi-Purpose Center in Saragosa.
Box 7 - Change from Reeves County Library to Episcopal Church, 5th and Plum.
Box 8 - Lamar School, 100 block of West ‘F’ Street.
Box 10 - Reeves County Hospital Annex (Old Hospital), 700 W. Daggett St.
Box 11 - Change from Haynes/Sadler Community Center to the Reeves County Civic Center.
Box 12 - Ready Room at the Texas New-Mexico Power Company on Stafford Boulevard.
Barstow voters will also be casting ballots in the primary election on Tuesday. Voters there will be deciding on a candidate for Ward County Judge, along with several other positions, and will vote at the Barstow Community Center.
N.M. officials to make Pecos River presentation
Officials from the State of New Mexico will be in Pecos on Thursday for a presentation on the Pecos River Settlement and Compliance plan for Southeastern New Mexico, as announced in January by the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Reeves County Civic Center.
New Mexico was ordered to pay Texas $14 million in 1989 for violations of the 1946 Pecos River Compact, and designated amounts of water were to be released downstream from New Mexico to Texas under terms of the agreement. In January, New Mexico State Engineer John D’Antonio released Proposed District Specific Rules and Regulations for the Lower Pecos River Basin.
The proposed regulations are intended to promote the effective implementation of the settlement agreement between the State, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Carlsbad Irrigation District, and the Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District that helps provide for New Mexico’s permanent compliance with the Pecos River Compact. The regulations also provide for elimination of illegal diversions and over diversions within the water master district, and establish procedures for use of priority administration as required by the settlement agreement or for compliance with the United States Supreme Court’s Amended Decree regarding the Pecos River Compact.
“We are committed to taking proactive steps toward the management of all New Mexico rivers,” said D’Antonio. “These proposed rules and regulations provide the State Engineer with the tools necessary to maintain the State’s Compact obligations to Texas and to prevent waste and illegal diversions of water.”
Natividads announce birth of baby boy
Jadyn Riel Natividad was born Friday, Feb. 17, 2006, at 9:30 p.m., at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.
Jadyn weighed eight pounds, two ounces and was 19.5 inches long at birth.
Proud parents are Israel “Viso” and Janet Natividad.
Grandparents are Wayne and Rosemary Scroggins and Ramon and Virginia Natividad.
Citizen’s group installs officers
The Pecos Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Assoc. met for a regular meeting Feb. 21, at the Pecos Police Department.
During the meeting the Red Cross Disaster Team and the Community Emergency Response Team were discussed and changes were voted on. CERT Team Training was discussed.
Future projects including, the concert in the park in March and Relay for Life were decided.
Brenda McKinney installed officers for the coming year.
The next meeting will be held March 21, at the Pecos Police Department.
Enchilada plate sale scheduled Friday
An Enchilada plate sale will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Friday, March 10, at Santa Rosa Hall.
Plates will cost $5 and consist of three red or green enchiladas, rice, beans and salad.
Deliveries will be made on four plates or more.
The event is sponsored by the Prayer Group and for orders call 445-2302.
A bake sale will also be held in conjunction with the Enchilada Plate Sale.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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