I am absolutely confident in my endorsement of Johnny Smecca for the position of Galveston Independent School District 6-F trustee. Let me share with you my reasons for this confidence.

In every election cycle there are issues and topics that need to be addressed and dozens of opinions on how to address deficiencies and reinforce positive progress.

I am hearing about the need for change in financial and academic oversight, a need for more focus on underserved students, failing test and reading scores and a lack of understanding or appreciation for what teachers face daily.

With these and other issues in front of us, I feel strongly that GISD needs Smecca as a part of its leadership team to move our school district in its next chapter of growth and improvement. His leadership skills are proven not only by his business acumen, but in his unwavering dedication to bettering our community for the last 35 years.

His appointments to the Port of Galveston, the City Planning Commission and Galveston Parks Board of Trustees are just a few noteworthy leadership roles. Smecca is also a former member of Galveston City Council.

He is a man who is truly committed to listening, learning, translating information and then weighing his options before he casts a vote or a ballot. Once Smecca makes a commitment, he sees that commitment through, never abandoning an elected or appointed seat to seek another office. He is a man of his word. He is determined and focused on our community, our students and our teachers.

He attends required meetings when leading or serving on boards; rarely is he absent. Smecca is not a litigious nor slanderous man who acts out when he does not get his way. He knows the curveballs life can toss, and that all roads to success are not easy — nor are they paved with good intentions. However, one needs the ability to navigate all roads by being able to delve into directions, written or hidden; to diplomatically and jointly work with a team of people from all schools of thought and then decide which is the best road to take.

Johnny Smecca is this person. He has proven this time and again that he can build consensus and reach across economic and political barriers for selfless reasons, not narcissistic ones, to do what is best for our community and our children.

I encourage anyone who lives in District 6-F to vote for Johnny Smecca in the upcoming GISD school board election.

Eliza Thomas Quigley lives in Galveston.

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