State Board of Education candidate visits Victoria (video)
May 17, 2012 at 12:17 a.m.
Updated May 18, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
Education should motivate children, State Board of Education candidate Larry Garza said Thursday.
Garza met with Crossroads residents at the home of Dr. Jesse and Lydia DeLeon, of Victoria.
"Education is about nurturing students to become what they want to become," Garza said. "We need to create a nurturing educational atmosphere, not just enforce rules and regulation."
It is important to get children excited about learning, he said.
A 19-year member of the Kingsville school board, Garza is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for State Board of Education, District 2.
The seat is occupied by Mary Helen Berlanga, who is not seeking re-election.
The DeLeons said they generally are not involved in politics, but their long standing friendship with Garza motivated their reception so he could share his vision for service on the State Board of Education.
"We've known him for more than 50 years," said Lydia DeLeon. "He's a community minded, Christian man."
She noted that a variety of teachers, retired teachers, lawyers and members of the Victoria College board attended the event.
"It's a varied group," she said of the crowd of about 25 people gathered in their backyard. "And we've already had people come and go."
Lucy Herrera, 62, a Victoria resident with grandchildren in the VISD system, said she is interested in equality of education for all children.
"I think he hit the nail on the head, addressing every area of education," Herrera said. "And education is an area that is important for us to support."
John Ramos, 62, said he has attended gatherings for several politicians who have come through Victoria. Education is a key part of the future, Ramos said.
"As a retired Alcoa plant manager, I have seen how education is important to industry," Ramos said.
Garza's personal commitment to education was impressive, Ramos said.
"It is also good that he is interested in customized education for various regions. What is good for Dallas isn't necessarily good for Victoria," Ramos said.
A graduate of the University of Houston, Garza is a registered pharmacist. He was elected to the Texas Association of School Boards Legislative Advisory Committee for four consecutive terms.
Garza served as the director of TASB Region 2 for two years. He was also a member of the Tri-Partnership Peer Review and Advisory Committee, a collaborative program between Texas Education Agency, Texas Association of School Administrators and TASB.
Garza said he came to Victoria to "put a name to a face," and answer voters' questions.
"I can live with whatever decision the voters make," Garza said. "But when they go to the ballot box, hopefully they will have a better idea of who they are voting for and why."