Watkins meets the community

La Marque school district’s new Superintendent Terri Watkins, left, is welcomed by Veronica Reason, a life skills teacher at the High School, during a reception Monday at La Marque High School. 


LA MARQUE — The La Marque board of trustees gave their final approval to the hiring of Terri Watkins as the district’s new superintendent, and set her salary at $135,000 a year, Monday night.

The trustees unanimously approved hiring Watkins and her contract at their meeting in the high school auditorium. 

Watkins is coming to a La Marque district that is struggling financially, academically and continues to deal with plummeting enrollment. 

But Watkins said the district is solvent and will follow its financial plan while making improvements academically. Both of those areas are key to retaining and recruiting more students to the district, she said. 

“When people see their children being successful, when they see these test scores exceeding the standard, that’s what makes people sit up and say I think I want my child to be a part of this,” Watkins said. 

Watkins also announced that she was organizing a committee to help recruit families and students back to the district. 

Elected officials, business community representatives and ministers all welcomed and showed their support for the new La Marque school district superintended at a reception before the regular meeting. 

La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking said he was quick to call Watkins and congratulate her when she was named the finalist and that he had high hopes for her. 

“I think the board made an excellent choice,” he said.

Texas City Commissioner Thelma Bowie, the Rev. D.N. Benford, the Rev. James Daniels and Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Hayley joined Hocking in showing their support for Watkins at the reception. 

Hayley said it was important to get the district back on the right track and that Watkins would need the support of the community. 

“Have patience with Terri and give her your support,” Hayley said. 


Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com


(9) comments

Walter Manuel

Yep, the reason is crystal clear now that it was in fact personal as to the reason why the board wanted to get rid of Mr. Burley, it dang sure wasn't because the district couldn't afford to pay Mr. Burley his $144,000 salary when they are now going to pay Terri Watkins $135,000.

The board members are liars and all need to be sent packing because they lack any transparency or credibility. This $1350,000 doesn't include the $1,000 a day that the school board members plan to spend on Ann Dixon to help Terri Watkins learn her new role as the next LMISD superintendent which in the end will far exceed what Mr. Burley was costing the district a year.

So, everyone should be asking these incompetent school board members, if you lied once again about the cost of our superintendent to the district, as well as, the LMISD police department what else have you been and will continue lying about to us??

TEA needs to go ahead and sanction LMISD and finally send in their monitors because these school board members word isn't worth a quarter nor will it ever be! Lying has become such a way of doing business that they should be ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately they don't have the character within them to know better.

Our solvency plan was unapproved, the district will be forced to make further layoffs because of declining enrollment, lack of state funding and everyone is still turning a blind eye to the real troubles that LMISD is really in and spending money that they just don't have.

North Forest ISD looks realy good before being consolidated when compared to the troubles LMISD is headed for.

Simply the worst board of trustees LMISD has ever witnessed in it's entire history for sure! [thumbdown]

Robert Buckner

If we have to pay someone $1000/day to teach a person how to do her job, it makes one believe a person isn't qualified. I really hope for the best here but I'm very skeptic given this board's past history.

Walter Manuel

Ooops! Ghat should be "$135,000" not "$1350,000".

Also, so much for signing that Financial Integrity Resolution and sending it to TEA swearing to adhere to the final resolution in order to remain solvent.

Again, the board members word and signature on the resolution was never worth the paper that it was signed on.

Dedrick Johnson

Congratulations to LMISD and Terri Watkins... This is a perfect "marriage" in that Watkins is the person who's skills and experience all throughout her career at Galveston Ball, Texas City and beyond, have prepared her for the work she has before her in LaMarque. Watkins has a level of expectations and expertise that any school district would be proud to have. Her departure is somewhat bittersweet for me as I hate to see any promising and quality employee leave 'MY' district... But I'm convinced this is a big step in the right direction for both LMISD. No person other than Watkins is more deserving and fit for this position. Im implore all parties in the community to join in a collaborative effort in working with her. Do not allow the responsibility of rebirthing LMISD to fall solely on her shoulders. Don't pay attention to the naysayers that will eventually appear on this thread or anywhere else along this journey. Always listen to and work with people who can quote more solutions than they can problems. Good luck to LMISD... I'm sooo excited for Terri Watkins I ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLMOST thought about returning to the classroom and helping... But I decided to help in other ways. Yall know where to find me! lol.


I want to also congratulate Ms. Watkins,...for accepting the opportunity to do something worthwhile inside an area which stands in the need of,.. and can surely use the help.
Sometimes we forget it is not all about us, but is all about what,we can do for,..and how we can help those who need help in this world, WHILE WE LIVE. It takes much work in conditioning the heart to go in that direction, because the flesh/soul will fight this concept tooth and nails all the way to the grave!
In my opinion, Ms. Watkins coming in here is the start of a new era,...with new opportunities to set things straight and to get them moving in the right direction. It does not make a HILL OF BEANS about who came to the plate to bat in past times, in the GOOD TIMES or the BAD TIMES in LMISD history. How those in the past performed at bat, have nothing at all to do with what Ms. Watkins will do at the plate now.
The bases are empty,...score is 0-0, and we are in the bottom of the ninth, the crowd is boisterous, and demanding! The opposing PITCHERS ( situations & circumstances) have been confident and tricky.
The last LMISD batter went 2-3, ( two strikes and three balls) .. before he was PULLED! So, the PINCH-HITTER is Watkins AT THE PLATE, she has the opportunity to get on base,...to strike out,...or to KNOCK ONE OUT OF THE PARK IN GRAND SLAM STYLE!!!!!!!
I'm pulling for the latter,..and urge this community to do the same! I urge, all Employees of LMISD, all Board Members of LMISD, and all Constituents of LMISD, to get on board, and to go all out, in helping Ms. Watkins get the job done!

Walter Manuel

Sorry Mr. JBG, again we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

So long as the same players are out in the field we still have a losing team no matter who the "batter" is as you claim.

Several people went to thr reception last night and had a watchful eye on Mrs. Watkins and who she appeared to be rubbing elbows with and low and behold it happened to be the 2 very ministers who started this whole mess from the beginning and along came Sally(Nakisha Paul) who managed to occupy her time as well.

So, for some people with a keen eye appearances are everything and have already thrown up warning signs why we needed someone who was not from this area or associated with the board if this district ever has a chance of surviving.

Again, time will tell and yes the pastt players do matter whether they are playing in the game or sitting in the bleachers rooting!

Robert Buckner

I hope you are right JBG but with the current board's track record I do not have the same amount of enthusiasm that you possess. I'm also of the opinion this move is too little and too late. You and her supporters can join her bandwagon all day long and she can do the best possible job she can do, but if this board of trustees doesn't make decisions that are in the best interest of the students and taxpayers then this ISD will just further decline. LMISD may not be around long enough to give Terri Watkins a fair chance. We'll see.

George Croix

Good results are cheaper and more beneficial than good intentions.
It won't take long to see whether the latest effort is to do THE job, or keep A job.
It doesn't worry me too much that a person hired to improve things is business polite to the ones who've had a big hand in screwing them up. Leaders know how to listen to BS without buying into it. They also know that in business, you must deal with all the players, not just the ones you prefer.
The 1000 bucks a day for a 'supt. teacher'. That's more per hour than the Boss will make.
I have made significantly more than that myself, but it was because I already KNEW how to do the job I was brought back to do, and could pass that along to others.
Maybe that's the rationale here, too.

Walter Manuel

Excellent points made Robert and Gecroix!

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