Sunnyside School Board candidates Lorenzo Garza and Susanna Zamarron, who are running against each other for the director district three position, have one thing in common - they both believe in the importance of parental involvement.
Garza, who has served on the school board for six years, said the board is always interested in getting more parent involvement in the district.
"It's something that prompted me to run again," Garza said of the parental involvement issue. "I see some room for improvement and it's something I would like to work on."
Zamarron, who has served on numerous school committees, said she would also like to see more parents get involved in what is happening in the district.
She acknowledged that the current board has implemented the Family Friendly School program and is working on ways to make parent involvement easier. But she said she still feels there are improvements that could be made.
Garza, who is a father of five, said he decided to run for re-election this year because he feels that the current school board is moving forward and doing some good things for the district.
"I want to continue down the path we've been going to face the goals and challenges we've been faced with," Garza said.
Although he feels the board has been working hard, he noted that there are still some important issues that are facing the district.
Garza said improving students' WASL scores is important. He noted that the district is beginning to see gains in test scores, but it's an ongoing effort.
He added that the board will also have to figure out how to best deal with a continually growing student body.
"We need to be setting the foundation to be sure we're ready for them," Garza said of the new students who join the district every year. "Sierra Vista is an example of that," Garza said of the new middle school being built along Washout Road.
Zamarron, who is a mother of three, said she thinks communication is an issue plaguing the school district. She said she would like to see communication increased between the district and parents.
"My biggest concern is communication," she said.
Zamarron said she thinks many parents feel that there is no need to say anything about issues that concern them, because they don't think anything will come of it.
"I think we can help change that," Zamarron said. "We need to let parents know that every comment is important."
She added that she thinks it's important for the school board to field parents' questions and really listen to what they are saying. She noted that once a parent's concern is raised, she feels that the board should review its policies regarding the area of concern and make any changes that are necessary.
"We just need to listen a little more," Zamarron said. "From there we'll find what concerns are in our school district."
She added that like anyone running for school board her main concern is for the safety and education of the children in the community.