Editor’s note: The Texas Education Agency ordered a conservator to oversee operations of the La Marque school district.

Once again, our school district and community are faced with major setbacks. Once again, the question arises: What are those ministers going to do now?

My answer is simple. We are going to remain steadfast, level headed and nonjudgmental. We will also continue to support our superintendent and board.

 The presence of an appointed conservator will not change our duty and willingness to support. Our superintendent was hired by our board with the support of the community.

We recognize that there are those who are gleeful about what the state has done, but the last time I checked, La Marque Independent School District was still in the United States of America.

Under its Constitution, there are laws that protect the rights of the people. The people are questioning the reason for the state making this move at this time.

The population of the district has been declining since the departure of Dr. Thomas Randle.

We will not waste time criticizing others, but we know what happened.

What we know is that the appointed conservator has served here before. That said, we are very conscious of what happened during his tenure. It is public record and can be researched by the history buffs among us.

We do not have time to vent our frustration on the blogs and gossip columns. There is too much work to accomplish. 

How can reasonable people say that they love something and at the same time spend countless hours trying to tear it down? How can one rejoice when something one loves is hurting?

It seems odd that supposedly all everyone wanted was for the district to improve.

Let it be known and tell the truth. Terri Watkins has served about 80 days as superintendent and the district has begun to turn itself around in the right direction.

Why isn’t Mrs. Watkins being given a fair opportunity to do what she was hired to do with the approval and support of the community? Why bring in someone who has already served here?

There were negatives in the administration of which he was a part. Again, history buffs, look it up.

Our superintendent only has positives on her side of the ledger. For that and other reasons, neither she nor this board will be deserted in this time of trouble. We are inseparable and are in this with them for the long haul.

For the bloggers who may be reasonable thinkers, please know that the time frame, as quoted by Texas Education Agency, clearly removes the blame from our present board, in its entirety, for the problems we now face.

The present board is new. With the exception of two members, most have served for less than two years, and two have served for about 10 months.

Those who share the blame for this turmoil know who they are. The blame game is useless, but the truth looms larger than life.

The Rev. James Daniels is founder and chairman of the Eagle’s Nest Community Organization.


(13) comments

Walter Manuel

"Why isn’t Mrs. Watkins being given a fair opportunity to do what she was hired to do with the approval and support of the community? Why bring in someone who has already served here"?

Who was it that was standing in front of the 100 or so district employees addressing them regarding the condition of the district? I believe everyone saw that it was Nakisha Paul addressing them in the paper and not Terri Wattkins which only goes to prove who's still running the district and it ain't Terri Watkins.

The only reason that Nakisha Paul has a problem with Mr. Price coming in as the conservator is because she will no longer be telling anyone what to do thinking that she's running the district when we know all know all she ever does is simply run her mouth!

So long as the ministers have their hand in the support of this district we will continue to encourage teachers and students to leave for better educational and job opportunities seeing how the minister's are dead set to keeping their friends in control of the district and meddling where they shouldn't be even at the cost of the district being closed or consolidated.

The most ridiculous thing to even suggest is that this board is "new" and has no blame coming to them related to the districts current condition. "History buffs" as the author would suggest would gag on such a ridiculous statement!

This doesn't even sound like the writing of James Daniel's by any means, but rather a friend of his who serves on the board herself and she knows exactly who she is.

I suppose the ministers will support whatever these incompetent school board members do or say and will forever blame their failures on someone else? It's just easier that way than for them to admit that they are wrong and we were right all along!

If Terri Watkins is going to run this district then Nakisha Paul needs to find herself somewhere and sit down since she was never hired by the district to run it and she's already proven to be a failure as an elected board member!

Geez, just when you think you've heard just about it all coming from this school district, you have someone come to the defense of the very one's including themselves who are destroying the school district and educational opportunities of our students for their own self serving agenda!

Give me break, but thanks for the huge laugh just the same, everyone has already seen enough with their own eyes and already knows better than to even start believing this garbage at this point! [yawn]

Robert Buckner

What ministers? I thought misters had congregations and places where they do Sunday sermons and worship. Or is it just anyone who snags a Rev. title and sticks it in front of their name.

Walter Manuel

Your right Robert, "reverend" obviously doesn't carry the same meaning for everyone.

No one gives a flip what a so-called "reverend" thinks about the school district or their support for the school board members who are destroying it. The "ministers" didn't mind destroying the very thing they claim to love by supporting all of the people who were in a position to fire others from the district in order to create a job for one of their own.

We now see the kind of people that these ministers support and it's certainly nothing to be proud of. Often times a "minister" will have gone to prison, gotten clean, found God and when released came out with a "reverend" in front of their name so one has to be careful who they are fooled by. Besides, there's only one "reverend" according to the bible and that's God.

I suppose if it helps the sheeples of these ministers feel better to see that the ministers "got their backs" then I say go for it, but the rest of us already know the damage that the ministers connection to the district continues having on our students education, educators and community as a whole and will continue until they are sent packing too!

Perhaps what it all boils down to is the ministers and the school board members are mad because they are now powerless by having had their wings clipped by the very person that they treated like a red headed step child when he was an employee of the district.

We welcome Mr. Price to the district and as a "history buff", I've done enough research to know that Mr. Price isn't the person that the author of this article tries to suggest.

Mr. Price coming to the district is certainly a win-win for ALL of us!

My, my, my.... isn't karma a hard pill to have to swallow, PITY! [wink]


"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men."
------Colossians 3:23
“If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music ... Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
------ Martin L. King ( April-9-67 )
What I have to say concerning this article weighs heavy on me, and obviously is my main issue with the LMISD Board and other minority monopolized organizations whose production resembles what this board accomplished here! Look at the two sources of information I listed above. Which one describes the product LMISD's Board has produced?
Right! Neither! So, you tell me which one of the individuals above would be proud of the present state of this school district? If LMISD organizers/leaders were made to account NOW,...instead of later,.....( like they will ),..like the men who were entrusted with three different amounts of talents in,...........................................
( Matthew 25: 14-30)....,which one of the three servants, would THIS BOARD AND THEIR supporters represent?
Right! The last one who received (1) talent and the one who squandered and wasted opportunities to do good! The Master said to him, "‘You wicked and slothful servant!"
( See, I talk their language better than they do ). Seems to me they are in a continuous mode of BLAMING someone else for their own shortcomings, or failures! They thought it would be easy! Hey, when you grab a bull by the tail you better be ready,.. and don't go blaming others, nor making excuses if you end up not being successful or if you make a total FOOL of yourself like what happened here.
For the record, I don't hate the LMISD organization, and I surely do not hate the LMISD organizers, but I HATE WITH A PASSION AND LOATH THE PRODUCT, ACTIONS, AND ATTITUDES,...this board is trying to nonchalantly pass off as okay, good enough for you,...to the parents & kids stuck here in this district! They make it look typical,...like this is all you can expect from us! We are doing the best we can,...THEY DON'T LIKE US ANYWAY, SO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM US? I actually feel sorry for them! Money seems to be their master to the point they will do anything or harm anybody for self preservation! I'm one who craved the competition, bring it on!!! Can you outwork me? That is going to be the question! That was the question, many had to answer when they happened across my career pathways!
In my careers if I did not have what it required to beat you, I WENT LOOKING FOR AND ASCERTAINED WHAT WAS REQUIRED,...then went back to competing for the top! The problem, the way I see it here is, these people have been on the bottom of the school rankings so long they must think they belong there,..and think nothing of asking for tax increases to support their incompetent, shoddy work! I don't get it!
To all those who thought otherwise about me hating these people, I say this: "NOW WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW- NOW YOU KNOW!" -----Biggie Small


I also wanted to say this, a school district's main purpose for existence is to educate children, and not to provide jobs! If there were no children, there WOULD BE NO SCHOOL DISTRICTS!!!
You don't have to be smart to figure that out! The mass exodus of students from LMISD is speaking LOUD and CLEAR, albeit on deaf ears of those running LMISD! They don't get it, and as long as the LMISD constituents listen to those Pharisee like spiritual leaders in West Texas City, they will never get it, and the results will remain the same for these children here! The LMISD Board is doing a lousy job of supporting the children here, but we have individuals who claim to represent GOD supporting the school board? Don't fit!
These are the same people who think more of the significance of buildings with dead people's names on them than they do about young kids, struggling to ascertain the knowledge, and education needed to meet a world which will not cut them any slack, once they are booted out to meet that world!
The irreparable damage, done to these kids, will later cause dire consequences and cause many to change the pathways and callings for their lives in the future! This is why up to a few years ago, and maybe even now, there are more prisons being built than universities in THIS COUNTRY!
Yet, we see here where you have men who claim to be of GOD,..stand up flatfooted, and support, the failures to educate, and to comply with state mandates meant to make sure the CHILDREN OF THIS COMMUNITY have an opportunity to acquire the education which will help ensure they can compete later for a piece of the American Dream, living a rewarding, fulfilling life, instead of being relegated or constrained to the streets, poverty, welfare,long star cards, crime or prison!
What's at stake? I'll tell you, not only the present generation but if nothing changes, in all probability the next two or three along with it, will be affected by the failures of what is happening, and what is being allowed to happen at LMISD! Failure breeds failure!
I'm sorry and I apologize if any feelings are hurt,..but as long as the present board is in office,....I think they need to pull the plug on LMISD because nothing will change!
It's like this, you can take a person out of poverty, but if you can't extract poverty out of him/her, ...they will slowly regress back home to a poverty state of living, being in debt up to their ears. Same thing with this board, they have open arms for someone, ANYBODY to save them,....only later down the road, we will have to go through this same thing again and that we can't afford to let happen!!! It is what it is!
This is not uncommon to me seeing what's happening here, I watched it happen some years ago in West Texas City. Now incompetency is rearing it's UGLY HEAD ups again! Where is George Drake? Where are real leaders like Steve Bock,...Lillian Lockheart, Thelma Bowie, Mable Pratt and Dr. Robert Armstrong?
These are the kind of leaders, I'll follow! If there are any out there who are cut from the same fabric,..... LET THEM COME FORTH TO LEAD!!!

Walter Manuel

You sumed it up very well Mr, JBG!

The people that these ministers support obviously shows everyone what is their main drive in calling themselves a "minister" or "reverend" because they dang sure don't deserve the respect from others simply by who they represent themselves to be!

It's no wonder we've picked up so many of their past supporters who sat back and watched for tbemselves exactly what we've been saying all along.

We've got one board member hopefully going down, six more to go before we get a group of leaders once again and that's only IF it's not already too late.

This guest column was a last ditch ever to keep everyone from jumping ship only to watch the few people remaining go down with the ship because of the ego's and personal agendas that keeps getting in their way of doing what's right.

I think hypocrite is an appropriate term to use for some of these ministers actions when they know their using "minister" as a disguise hiding their obvious lies from their few remaining supporters!

It's just down right pathetic watching some people make such a fool of themselves, but even far worse to see ithers falling for it! LOL

Leon Lion

I would suggest that as small groups, such as the school board, concerned parents, tax payers and the ministers themselves, to arrange visits with the successful schools in the county.

Walk the halls, arrange meetings, talk to the teachers, the administrators, the students and school board members.

What is being done successfully in other districts that can be implemented at LMISD?

Don't be to proud to ask, this is for the sake of the existence of the LMISD district and the students.

Compare qualifications for teachers and administrators, their education, testing procedures, etc. to what La Marque requires of their professionals.

All these feel good editorials and guest columnist recitations are not going to improve anything. You are going to have to get proactive and change some things drastically.

People have to leave and others hired. It is going to happen sooner or later.

Carlos Ponce

More is to be gained by asking the PARENTS of successful students what THEY are doing to foster an environment where education is treasured, where respect for learning is nurtured, where parents are involved in setting realistic goals for their children 's future. I know and have taught with several LMISD teachers and administrators. Teachers in the state of Texas must follow the same procedures for certification as those teaching in "successful schools". They are educated in the same universities as those in "successful schools". The testing procedures are the same statewide. What is the determining factor is a strong family structure. Traditional family structure does not always guarantee success but improves your odds. Non-traditional families have produced successful students as well. Again, a strong family structure is needed. Do they attend their children's functions beyond grade school? Do you ask them with enthusiasm about their day's activities? If in the LMHS band did you go with them to each ball game and Mardi Gras parade? If a cheerleader, or in sports did you travel to each game?


Rukidden, great suggestions my friend, but they are nothing which have not been suggested to this board and LMISD leaders before. I don't know what to tell you?
Years ago, when LMISD's mentality and priorities switched from excellence in academics to excellence in football, they probably were not expecting it, but the significance, implications and impact those decisions had on this community and it's children were much more destructive & catastrophic than they ever imagined. Shortly there after, things began to crumble and tumble! A band director was overheard telling his band students," YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN ANYTHING AT THE UIL COMPETITION SO DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP!" We are a SOUL band, that is what we do. A short time after I was told they hooked up with other bands with the same outlook,... and competed with them instead to going to the UIL and competing against bands like those from TCISD, and FWISD who routinely return from such competition with grade level ratings of FIRST in different categories.
You might wonder why everyone remained quiet and allowed the regression of one of the top school districts in the state? Well,... it was because of POOR or LACK of leadership by the leaders and apathy, lack of accountability being demanded of them coming from their constituents! Those were the some of the reasons, plain and simple! How else can you explain the downfall. Football did pretty well up to now, but because of low enrollment and low participation numbers, quality players and potential players moved to other districts. So now the LMISD football team is experiencing hard times now too! The days of football recruits from LMISD receiving scholarships to places like Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Texas A&M are long gone!
Coach Jackson is a top notch coach, and if not for that, the football team would have tanked long ago. It moves you to think, "what will they look like after he finally leaves, and I expect that to be next season or just after next season! If it does not happen then he is not as smart as I give him credit for. Well, as I said on another thread, LMISD's second string varsity football lineup, when Wendell was here was highly capable of running teams like recent 3A State Champion Navasota, and Coldsprings off the field. Now we cannot beat them with everything we have.
If one has eyes to see, that individual could have seen this coming! I did. Now, guess what? It is all Mr. Price's fault,....( the incoming conservator ) ...he did this when he was last here!!!!! [whistling]
That is the lie on the streets now.lolololololol I hope you don't believe that.

Carlos Ponce

A strong recommendation to the parents of LMHS band students. Attend the next Region 17 UIL Marching Contest. Last year it was held at Dickinson's Sam Vitanza Stadium on October 22. Ignore the props and the huge number of performers the 6A and 5A bands bring. Concentrate instead on the music and the marching of the area bands. This is what the judges will be judging, not the fancy props. Next year La Marque will be in 4A. The band director wants a more traditional UIL style but the kids insist on a "soul style" claiming it is their tradition. History shows LMHS marching more traditional (military and corps style) than soul over the years. Their tradition had been one of excellence. Don't restrict it to just the history books.

Lars Faltskog

Ministers?!? That's grand indeed to have one, maybe two or more ministers to have their say in regard to public schools. After all, ministers' sons/daughters do attend. However, what faltering schools need are more than ministers' prayin' and cheerleadin'.

Similar to what carlosrponce alluded to, we need parents (who aren't just ministers), but refinery moms/dads, building attendant moms/dads, office employees who are moms and dads who all tell their children to turn off the idiot box TV and turn off the MP3 players. Have them do homework (or review the day's lessons if no homework is assigned). Ask child to bring some books home.

Find a relative who's not working during the day to go to the school to make sure the child is indeed attending morning, lunch, or afterschool tutorials. All you need is to be one of the designated "contact" persons, your ID, and they give you a badge. You can sit with your child in class so he/she can get the message that school is a place to learn.

All of this doesn't need a prayer from a minister. What it requires is hard work, and not relying on the school to complete your child as a person. You, as parent, are the molders and shapers.

Walter Manuel

Maybe these so-called ministers could convince the school district that the students attending the "new" after school 21st Century Learning Center program at the Middle School and High School would better be served by actually tutoring them, helping them with their homework and getting them better prepared for this year's STAAR and End of Course exams rather than allowing them to just show up and play basketball in order to get their enrollment numbers up and spend the state money.

There's not much time left in this school year to be wasting a students time by allowing them to play basketball or play other games in order to show the state that have students enrolled in the program, afterall ALL that the state is concerned with is seeing is that our students successfully completed their STAAR and EOC exams!

I'm sure that you won't find any test questions related to basketball on these state mandated tests, despite the district thinking that their "numbers" might look good to the state even if it's at the cost of our students education?

These so-called ministers really need to get back into their roles of ministering and stay out of our school districts business. That would certainly be a WIN-WIN for everyone![beam]

Walter Manuel

I forgot to mention that despite the district using this new program as a free "babysitting" service for the school district, it's real purpose is supposed to be directed towards helping "at-risk" students who are having trouble academically get the assistance they need in order to bring their test scores up, not help develop them into successful athletes.

But then again we have to remember the mindset of our LMISD incompetent school board members who think getting any kind of money from the state in order to keep the doors open by hiring the friends of district employees will somehow benefit the students, but this has already been proven not to be the case.

I wonder how many of these 21st Century Learning Center program teachers including the director are from the GISD and TCISD and how many of OUR own local taxpaying RIF'D teachers were even considered for these cush positions???

As I've said before, there's nothing wrong with a fix so long as your in on it! [wink]

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