(32) comments Back to story

E.J Petree

Heber, it appears that Watkins doesn't need a cheerleader. You are filling that role successfully. Perhaps what you need to focus on is being a better reporter. You did a poor job in chronicling her activities while she was in GISD.

E.J Petree

Robert, thank you for your idea that Heber would benefit from eading some back issues of his own paper. That really hits at the heart of what I was suggesting. He good have learned a lot if he had gone back 10 years! Oh well, so much for giving the whole story.

Robert Buckner

Where was this ministerial alliance for the last superintendent? As I recall Benford and Daniels were making promises to the school board that they would see to it the tax increase election would pass if they would fire Burley Ecomet. Benford and Daniels lack any credibility in my opinion.

Mike Meador

Well golly geez! It's Hump Day. Glad to see the influence ministers in West Texas City are going to pony-up to get all the past students to come back to LMISD.......or even keep those trying to get out.... to stay put.

But I've got a question for your esteem ministers'. Where have you been?

Have the ministers finally found the magical wand to keep students in a dysfunctional district? Or get them to come back?

Talking about 'how great LaMarque schools are' isn't going to do it.....we know how bad the schools are. Check the last test scores.

Talking about how 'having a new superintendent' isn't going to do it. It took three individuals trying to keep the district alive - for the moment.

'Changing the names of the schools' isn't going to do it. They changed the names and students still left.

I could go on and on about why funding LMISD at this point is fruitless. Those staying in the district for educational purposes are probably stuck. Who is coming back to live in the La Marque school district?
Would you build a home in La Marque and put your kids in the schools?

Again. I ask the ministers': Where have you been? When the district was going down the tubes, where were you? Bitching about the superintendent didn't cause the district to go belly-up.

You're going to need more than a magical wand to get former students back and keep those currently in, staying.

It's time to introduce the Texas City - La Marque Consolidated School District

Walter Manuel

I totally agree with all of the previous posts!

Wow, for years the so-called ministers have been slinging rocks at Dr. Johnson and Mr. Burley along with the past board members and now they want to hide their dirty hands??? PUHLEEZE!

They forget that they were the one's to originally start all of this mess by refusing tp let the past sup's and board members do exactly what the current board members have been forced to do today despite all of the years of their own objection to the idea of closing/consolidating the schools and cutting employees.

The sooner the ministers stay in the church and OUT of our schools the sooner OUR schools will recover.

Ray Charles can even see that the ministers and their supporters are the problem and once their taken out of the equation the sooner LMISD's woes will be a part of history.

These aren't the cheerleaders that we need in our district for sure because we've seen already what their all about and it's NOT worth a quarter or even attempting to brag about it!

Walter Manuel

Cougargator, you hit the nail on the head in more ways then one!

Some of those very people that several years ago encouraged parents to take their child to other districts because they were mad at the administration at that time have been hired back by the district in an attempt to get the students back, but despite the thousands of dollars that they have been paid for their efforts, the end result has been poor to say the least. They can't buy students in order to get them to come back to LMISD.

These ministers like Robert said made a promise that they could get the TRE to pass if they got rid of Mr. Burley and we all saw just how much influence they had on the community when they ultimately became known as the 33%er's. This in itself should prove to everyone that they are NOT the cheerleaders desperately needed in LM.

It's time LMISD and our community has NEW leadership throughout the administration if there's any hope in the future of being successful. Those that are currently in their positions have spent years on the time clock and not made any difference except for padding their teachers retirement check when they finally do retire.

What will be different now just because we have a new superintendent that will require a consultant like Ann Dixon to teach her what it is that will be required of her to fulfill her job responsibilities while still having the same poor performing players on the team? Where's the real savings to the district that board members claimed was needed in order to get rid of Mr. Burley soley based on his $144,000 salary???

It's way past time that people stop enabling these people at LMISD and tell them the truth about just how low performing LMISD really is and not their pipe dreams of what it could like in the future if they pull together and give these same exact people another chance!

Mark my words, the solvency plan that was " not approved" and yet will be used will fall short of what will be required for the district to survive with this year and the district will find themselves owing more money back to the state than they have in savings.

Robert Buckner

Maybe Herber should have read some back issues of his own newspaper before penning this opinion.


In my opinion every taxpayer in this district is influential. Ministers, according to James 3:1 needs to be about God's business not sticking their noses in every kind of politics which comes along.
James 3:1
"Be not many [of you] teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment." ( This means ministers & teachers of the gospel will be responsible for doing your calling and doing it right,... instead of being divisive).
Ecclesiastes 8:11
"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."
( Ministers & teachers of the gospel need to realize judgement is not everyday,...but ONE day,...judgement will come,..and Obama-Care won't have a say either! )
II Corinthians 5:10:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
Now, having said this,...I would like to say the problem for LMISD is not that it has declined, but the focus should be,... WHY it has declined! See,you have to be diagnosed by a doctor to find out what went wrong with you BEFORE he/she can treat WHAT went wrong with you! Am I making sense here?
So that should be the primary focus for the new ADMINISTRATION, along with how to STOP the hemorrhaging of students to other districts, rather than, focusing on how to get those who are gone to come back. Maybe that would be a good future goal or benchmark, but for now, we need to FORT UP and concentrating on KEEPING what students and quality staff we have! Amen?
Lastly, I agree with these other posters, we need unity, we need leadership, we need inspiration and motivation to find their way back into this district! We need commonsense problem solving,..expert planning,..and measures of incentives for excellence to become part of the daily focus in what we are beginning here with this new administration!
I think many,.. if not all of the taxpayers are willing to give Ms Watkins the benefit of the doubt,...but that is Ms Watkins! She has not shown us the propensity not inclination to keep SHRINES, and focus on the past rather than what's ahead!
So I say Welcome to Ms. Watkins, I am one of her biggest fans,...and there are many more of us, in fact I think Mr. Manuel is one of her fans,...but we need to see something! We need to see some straight-up leadership! We need to see the low morale in this district turned around! We need to see discipline back inside these schools,..equally dispersed,..creating an excellent learning atmosphere or environment!
We are now a 3A school district, so let's be the best .....*^% 3A school district in Texas,..even though we might yearn to be a 4A district!
Lastly I will leave LMISD with something Ralph Waldo Emerson said but something I wish I had said:
"If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap, than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door."
I say this to LMISD, if you can do what Mr Emerson so eloquently wrote, BUILD A BETTER SCHOOL DISTRICT THAN YOUR NEIGHBOR,..THEN,...you won't have to recruit students and teachers,...LMISD will be recruited by them! Amen? OOOhhhhh, I wish somebody would help me say this!
Don't touch your wallets because ALL,...this is free.

Walter Manuel

Mr. JBG, while I'm cautiously optimistic about the positive changes that COULD happen in LMISD, I also have people reminding me of Mrs. Watkins' past.

I'm being told that Mrs. Watkins grew up in Galveston with Thomasine Allen and Monica Clay's Dad was an educator for a very long time with GISD and he helped to get Mrs. Watkins career going there, so perhaps this could in fact hinder the chances of growth and needed change any time soon for LMISD seeing how there's already dots that are connected before she even begins?

Next, I'm being reminded how Ann Dixon worked closely with Mrs. Watkins in GISD and this too could be the boards way of indirectly of keeping their thumb on Mrs. Watkins preventing her from doing what it will take to get the job done?

Something everyone is agreeing on is that the "hatchet woman" is still around for a reason and that's so that she can be the bad guy and make those other " mandatory cuts" once Mrs. Watkins begins in order to struggle to stay alive.

We've heard the board already say that they didn't close/consolidate the schools and RIF employees, but rather Ann Dixon did it, now we can probably expect Mrs. Watkins to say the same thing.

OK Mrs. Watkins, will we see you continue down the same path with the same people that got us in this condition in the first place or will you take the high road and do what you know for certain will turn our school district around even if that means having to cut the very people who helped you get your job in order to get the job done?

All eyes are now on you Mrs. Watkins... are you going to be strong enough to lead our children and district from now on or are you simply going to be a puppet for the school board members until you have enough time put in to retire???

If your truly serious, I'm just as serious and will have your back!


Amen to what Mr. Manuel posted, It is going to take a huge,PURE effort in unity coming from those who want to save LMISD, by making it something WORTH saving! In God's eyes and by his Word I speak for HIM as his AMBASSADOR as per II Corinthians 5:20......
20. ( "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.")
....to say God's blessing is poured out in and on UNITY, NOT DIVISION & STRIFE!
All men of the cloth should take note of this,... and if I'm LYING ......SHOW ME WHERE I AM LYING? Ohhhhhh talk back to me if you can!!!!! I'm all ears! I'm calling you out,.. and I'm holding you accountable! ( I'm able to do it too).
Yes that's right I'm here as a son and a servant ordained to do good works,.. .. ..
( Ephesians 2:10) and represent Him as HIS light in a dark world.
( Matthews 5: 13-16 ). I'm here to preach the WORD, to GO YE, or to partner with somebody else to GO YE! Mark 16:15:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." ( This is the great COMMISSION to all Christians ).
Ohhhhh I wish somebody would just talk back to me, or show me where I just lied lololololol. I don't want no money,...I got enough of that,.. I'm not looking for members, I have enough to do tending to my own SOUL/FLESH! I don't want to be in any clique, I'm already in the clique I treasure! I just like telling it like it is!
I'd like to tell Mr. Manuel that he is wrong,...Mr. Buckner, and Mr. Cougargator too,...but I can't call the truth a lie,...IF I DID IT WOULD STILL BE THE TRUTH. So I won't! I will say this though,..the LMISD community should come together as one behind Ms. Watkins and let her work and turn this thing around.
Lastly, Jesus told a bunch of people in Matthews 7:16-19,..."YOU WILL KNOW A PERSON BY THE FRUIT THEY BEAR!" So then, I won't let others TELL ME who Ms. Watkins is,.....I will instead let Ms WATKINS SHOW ME BY WHAT SHE DOES IN HER TENURE HERE,...VERIFYING WHO SHE REALLY IS,..AND WHAT SHE REALLY CAME HERE TO DO! I hope I'm right about her. I hope I'm right about this new image of excellence I see this present board projecting . We'll just have to wait and see about this board and Ms. Watkins,...because I've been known to be wrong once or twice....

George Croix

Amazingly, no back and forthing yet about 'separation of church and state'.
I guess when liberals initiate the blend, it's okey dokey... [beam]

Walter Manuel

I am 101% behind your thoughts Mr. JBG regarding giving Mrs. Watkins the benefit of the doubt and a fair chance to come into LMISD and make all the necessary administrative changes to turn this district around.

It won't take very long for everyone in the community to judge for themselves if Mrs. Watkins is in fact the leader that it's going to take to keep the district from being consolidated with another district or will she support the business as usual mentality which has already been proven to fail our students and community.

The choice is all her's at this point...

Brian Cann

The problems with Lamarque ISD (and Lamarque in general) are demographics and politics. They are both the cause and the effect of each other. Explain how a superintendent of the schools is going to change these root problems?!

Walter Manuel

Rockstrongo, you obviously have a very keen perception of the very binds that is holding LMISD back because of the so called leaders in the community and their supporters who continue to advocate for keeping local employees despite them not being capable of performing their jobs.

I'm so tired of hearing people say, so and so only has one more year before they can retire, so their just holding out for one more year. And???

If someone is not able to perform their job as they were hired to do, then they should immediately be let go just like anyone else would be in any other job or business!

Contrary to some people's belief's, it's not their God given right that they were born with to work for the school district all of their lives. When they can no longer be successful for the school district and the students for which they serve then it's time to put someone else in their place who can get the job done. Period!

La Marque is literally dying on the vine because of the school district and if something isn't done immediately then no matter who comes into the district, it won't be enough to keep the doors open to LMISD.

A drastic change has to happen immediately before anyone begins to trust LMISD enough to bring their child back to the district or for that matter anyone deciding to purchase their next home in LM.

It's really should be obvious at this point to everyone....


Did Watkins get the list of kids going to TC before she resigned there? what parent wants their kid to go to a school whose scores are low?

One more thing Are they looking for a cheer leader that has money or one that does not?


One of the things which needs to take place in firing a teacher for cause is to evaluate that individual and to document the progress or non progress of the program they were put on.
Out of fairness this is the way it professionally should be done. It really helps out in the event of an appeals process. When I was doing it in the business world,...the day I called an individual in my office to let that individual go, that individual was FIRED several months before, that call in date,...they just did not know they were fired.
Fair to say all the warnings, the progressive meetings, and necessary negative evaluations were in place, and they were told about the process which was ongoing! It was within their power to turn it around and start meeting all the requirements of the job at anytime up to the point I mentally fixed in my mind as the cutoff date. So actually they fired themselves!
I never like to let an individual go, because then that individual's family was also let go,...in my mind. However, one of the general rules of management 101 is to make every effort to manage or inspire an derelict employee back to the center of the road,...if they never make efforts to be reeled back,..they must GO,..or you will SOON have 4-5 more employees imitating their derelict behavior, which will destroy the integrity of your workforce! Mr. gecroix knows exactly what I am talking about!
Oh Mr. gecroix, if that church/state thing is slung at me, I will do like I always do,...IGNORE it. They tried that on the Apostles Peter, James, John, and Paul nem! It did not stop them,...and it will not stop Ole JBG!
Lastly I'd like to say this,....Leadership makes a difference,....anybody who has been successful as a leader knows what I'm talking about. A good knowledgeable leader can come into a group which is performing below average, and lead, inspire, change objectives, goals, benchmarks, and INSTALL incentives, motivational tactics, and can turn a sorry workforce into an award winner! I know, because I have accomplished this! I have discovered that there is STORED up juice in the average employee of most under performing workforces. It is up to the LEADER or LEADERS, to correctly managed those employees to where they will want to become part of the TEAM! That is call TEAM-BUILDING! Again,...I'm certain Mr.gecroix know where I'm coming from with this. I had people so motivated they would work for me if I was five feet from them or five thousand miles away from them,..gospel truth! It has a lot to do with how you treat people!
You come in demanding respect, but you come in dishing respect out to. People are going to be ready for these type things! I would wager there are workers in LMISD waiting for the tactic, and techniques I have mentioned above to take place in this district! It is what will re-light the fire in them which have been smothered out, or extinguished by incompetent, selfish leaders of the past!

Walter Manuel

Wow! I am absolutely appauld at what has been posted on facebook today and even more disgusted with the children who have witnessed these acts and came home and told their parents what happened at the LM High School.

Here's a post from Facebook about it, now see what our great leaders and security at the High school AREN'T doing!

Facebook posting:


Now, how can district officials say that everything is OK? What's their interpretation of OK???

It's NO WONDER why parents continue taking their children out of our school district when this sort of trash is going on!

Bring in the drug dogs and carry these drug addicts out of the school so that students that are there for a true education can actually learn and not have to deal with some sex addicted drug addicts!

Terri Watkins would do well to bring back our old police department with Chief Field's as chief since he didn't do anything wrong according to his evaluations, the money that the district loses at the tune of $6,000 roughly per student by students going else where would be well spent on making sure that our schools are safe rather than trying to keep so many slakers in a job one or two more years just so that they can retire!

Everybody needs to move their children to another district where education IS FIRST, not like LMISD where making sure that they keep kids in school just so that they can get their state funding!

With what was posted today on Facebook, I seriously doubt anybody wants to volunteer in this pathetic school district! [thumbdown]

Walter Manuel

A parent called me and said that their daughter comes home talking about all of the students walking away from the high school every day going to smoke weed, but she said she really thought it was probably just cigarettes that they were smoking trying to give the kids the benefit of doubt.

Thus parent said that students say that all the school cares about is that they are there until 10 in the morning when the school gets credit for them being there all day.

It's pretty sad that our students have figured out the system and know what they can get away with so they do it.

What happened to the days when kids actually went to school to learn so that they could have a successful future and look forward to going off to college so that they could get out of Mom and Dad's house if nothing else?

Maybe I'm just expecting too much for these kids with such few tools that LMISD is obviously content with giving them to work with?

It's sad, very, very sad is all that I can say....

Walter Manuel

Ooops! That should have been, "This" parent said"...

Jim Forsythe

Have You sent the state the two statements from parents
I would do it myself, but due not live in La Marque so it would not have same impact.
I would hope the state would send someone for a surprise visit about 2 in the afternoon to help them to understand what is going on. If just ½ of this is true, it should be enough to make the state take fast action.

Walter Manuel

Bigjim, I'll contact TEA today and ask them if they do random checks on underperforming school districts? That would be a very good idea to have someone from the state just "pop in".

LMISD has had issues in the past with their reporting of their PEIMS report to the state(number of students in school), so it's well worth looking into.

Thanks for the suggestion! [thumbup]

Walter Manuel

Bigjim, I just talked to TEA and they don't do any random drop in's on districts.

I also asked about the impact that LMISD faces with having received an "improvement required" status for last year and TEA is currently reviewing appeals from districts.

If LMISD did or didn't do an appeal and the "improvement required" stands than since this is our 3rd year in a row for being academically unacceptable, so I would bet that the district is looking at receiving a letter soon from TEA with some sort of sanctions being placed against them?

LMISD is for sure honed in on TEA's radar I can assure you, despite the board members putting certain people in place for what is looking like simple aesthetic purposes to satisfy the state.


I don't disagree with what Mr. Manuel say is going on out there, in fact those are the very things which have been causing student flight out of LMISD at an most alarming rate. I have been hearing rumors that these type things were going on out there for years. This is why I have been JUMPING up and DOWN concerning order, respect, and discipline being BROUGHT back to this district!
This is what Ms. Watkins will be challenged with, and it comes with the job. It is the BIG ELEPHANT in the room. In order to have an atmosphere conducive for learning,...there first must be ORDER, RESPECT, and DISCIPLINE, reestablished there!
This is no big deal,...go to H-TOWN,...and visit schools where many parents and adults were afraid to visit because of reputations going back as far as their school days! However order was restored in those schools, and the reason why was the same REASON order was restored in EASTSIDE HIGH School of Paterson New Jersey in the late eighties, when a Principal name JOE LOUIS CLARK came in, and he bought headhunters with him, who he could trust.
Strong police officers in HOUSTON were sent onto those troubled schools, and a little while after they got there it was like the schools fell off the map! They SHUT THE TROUBLE MAKING MS13s, RED BLOODS, and BLUE CRIPS and other gangs...down, and working with strong principals, assistant principals, and councilors, reestablished order in those troubled schools. They made daily gang activities go back to the HOODS,..and the schools were declared a safe zone, and the OFFICERS and Administrators ruled those zones! The wishes of the parents were not in it! If a parent's child acted the fool and broke the law, broke conduct rules in school or on school property, they paid a price and so did the parents, by way of suspensions,arrests, fines, and other expenses,..along with alternative education assignments at other sites set up for such situations.!
I think if a kid cut classes he should be exposed and fined, if fines won't do it, then alternative education is set up to relieve pressure, and bring relief to teachers and administrators! Just as you can ill afford to allow derelict, trouble making workers to dwell with compliant employees, you cannot allow, trouble making students, who could care less about learning, to dwell with students who do. They should be EXPURGATED! GONE!
Lastly I Corinthians 15:33 states:
"Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
This simply verifies what I stated about dealing with those who refuses to obey the rules and allow others to learn in peace. You tend to imitate and become like those you hang out around, or who you are exposed to,...EVEN THE BIBLE SAYS SO!

Jim Forsythe

I know that if You were going to be the new superintendent You would have a plan in place and be working on it now before You would start job.
What would be Your plan and how long would we need to wait to see progress . This school did not get in this hole over night so it will take time


BigJim, Hey Bigjim! Thank you for asking! Let me say this though,...because I would hated to be redundant to the road map to success, which I have heard of, witnessed, and have ALREADY posted on this forum! I'm a fan of the new Superintendent and want to see her succeed,...but that won't happen with the same practices being allowed to stay in place which has caused LMISD to fail.
I forget who said it but it went like this:
I think it was Albert Einstein who said it! I know it will take a while,....but it should not take that long. However, since I like to talk, and blow air,.....I'll throw you a bone or two,...by reemphasizing very important things which should be done. When I arrived in LMISD as the new Honcho,....I'd have my headhunters with me,....my eyes and my ears,...flanking my back! Then,...I'd operate from there in the suggestions I have already posted. Do these things and you got your schools back!


Now Bigjim, you will have to backtrack on all my posts to get the full summary of what I would do if it were me coming in. I have a problem believing Ms. Watkins got as far as she did in her profession, and don't know what I have been saying here. I think she is up for the task of doing this thing! I'm just blowing hot air,....which I have a propensity to do! [wink]

Walter Manuel

Bigjim and Mr. JBG, the million dollar question is what can anyone really do this late in the year seeing how the ship has already pulled away from the dock and is now sailing on it's own?

I blame the school board for having waited so long before searching for a new superintendent, no one can come in this late in the year and make any real difference at this point in the game.

The one thing that Mrs. Watkins can count on unfortunately is having to be responsible and accountable for the poor test scores at the end of the year when the time comes. This is the last time that students will be taking the TAKS test and the repeat tests for the end of the year progress for the students who didn't pass part of their tests last year.

The problem that Mrs. Watkins will encounter is the quality of teaching that is currently happening in the classrooms that is going to be the districts demise and her greatest challenge. It's unfortunate that she will have to deal with the state when our district is once again given an "improvement required" status. This will be the time that she really earns her money because of the sanctions that will be placed against the district that I previously mentioned.

The only way that I foresee Mrs. Watkins being successful and gaining the trust back in the community is to change all of the leadership in the administration building and get rid of the people as I said before that are only hanging in there for another year or two until they can finally retire.

Our students educational needs can't wait another second for their eventual retirement and TEA could care less!

Jim Forsythe

I do not think its to late to come in and take charge.
Send the students that are the problems to bad kid school. When I went to TC it was called the rock.
Then get rid of any staff that do not want to help in getting it right.
Make it clear what You expect then demand it.
Let staff and students know if they do not change You will not put up with it.

Walter Manuel

Bigjim, you have a great idea that would work for most school districts, however don't forget we're talking about LMISD here.

They can not afford to lose another child because that would mean a loss of state funding that they desperately need so they will take everyone else's bad student every day of the week.

Next, the district is so desperate for teachers to come to work at LMISD they dare not say anything to them for fear that they will lose more than they already have.

It's called being caught between a rock and a hard place or like I've said before it's just like watching a fish out of water trying to survive.

I wished that your suggestion was just that simple because that in itsself would be a huge start to turning this district around! [thumbup]

Island Bred

Ya know I have been out of the loop for awhile and thought that by now perhaps LMISD was either dead or had cleaned up it's act............... guess not.... good grief.

Walter Manuel

We've missed you Margurite, but certainly haven't forgotten you!

The battle continues with LMISD and will continue until as you say, "they clean up their act".

We'll see if Terri Watkins actually comes in and does a little house cleaning or otherwise we've all gotten our hopes up for absolutely nothing and it will simply be business as usual...

Island Bred

I'm still amazed that this LMISD can drag down the city of La Marque without even a whimper from it's council. Just makes no sense how folks from other cities can degrade and devalue a city without any opposition. I know council tried to "help" - what they need to do is actually do something other than "try". Seems there could be an ordinance or something to prevent folks who don't live here from dragging us down the abyss of their foolishness. Seems silly that a city can basically lose creditability due to a multi city school board. Something not right with that picture.

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