The thought of running for a place on the Victoria school district isn’t something that popped into Mike Mercer’s head overnight.
With three children who were active in sports and other activities, the Mercer household was bustling for years. But with one student in college, and another one preparing to graduate high school this year, Mercer’s schedule will open up.
“In the past, I’ve thought about running but the timing wasn’t right – until now,” Mercer, 49, said. “Education has always been a passion of mine.”
The construction company manager is vying for the Super District 7 seat on the Victoria school board in the May 4 election.
Current board member Michael DiSanto, who occupies the seat, is not seeking reelection, leaving the position open. The three candidates spoke during a forum April 1.
Mercer, who has spent several years being involved in the Victoria school district as a parent, said he would like to serve his community as a member of the school board and bring VISD to the forefront of the community.
Mercer was a member of the parent teacher organization when his two children, Campbell and Hank, were in elementary school, and he is still a member of the Schorlemmer Elementary Watch Dogs, where his youngest, Scarlett, is a student at the school. Mercer has also served as a member of school booster organizations and with church groups in Victoria and Jackson County.
With a degree in public administration and his experience as a manager of a company, Mercer said he feels he could help the board with problem-solving and community outreach.
Mercer said he would like to have the district be more present in the community. He said he believes VISD is one of the biggest entities in Victoria, along with the city and county governments.
He said one way is attending community meetings and finding more ways to be transparent with the community and parents.
“Not everyone communicates the same way, and so you have to be willing to put yourself out there and be willing to put in the time,” Mercer said.
Some people, he said, do not have immediate access to the internet or know how to navigate the district website.
Having in-person interactions with people and parents during meetings and as often as possible would be helpful, he said.
“The school district has such a far-reaching effect ... If you open up the roof of a school district and look in, there’s your community in a generation,” he said.