Brandon Bartie has seen the progress the Port Arthur Independent School District has made since it first applied for a place on the Board of Trustees.
The 37-year-old Bartie would like to continue this work with his re-election to the school board.
“I’ve seen where we came from from the day I first ran in 2015 and I mean, honestly, PAISD has taken huge strides from 2015 to now,” said Bartie. “I can say that we have raised the bar for learning because of the pandemic, ice storms and hurricanes.
When the pandemic broke out and we didn’t know how to continue the training, we as the board of directors spoke to Dr. Porterie (superintendent) and knew that every child must have a device. “
Students in the district now have access to virtual or face-to-face learning devices.
One of the biggest problems, he said, is figuring out how to bring all students back to face-to-face learning, as this is “so important to the success of Port Arthur’s students”.
“Some virtual education helps, and in some cases it’s an obstacle because we can’t be that personal with the kids,” he said. “It is a big job for us to make sure that our parents make sure that their children are doing what they are supposed to do in the time they’re supposed to do it.”
Everyone associated with the child’s upbringing must be on the same page, he said, adding that students must return to school.
The problem isn’t just local. He has discussed with a trustee in another Texas school district and learned that others are experiencing similar problems.
Bartie is a product of PASID who attended the former Woodrow Wilson Middle School and spent three years at Abraham Lincoln High School before the district consolidated three high schools to create Memorial High School, which he graduated from.
Although he has no child in the district, his son will be three years old next year and start school in the district.
Believing himself to be a qualified candidate, Bartie says he is a trustee for everyone and one to count on. He said he has visited every campus since his election in 2015 and wants the principals, tutors, students and all staff to know who he is and that he cares.
Bartie, a funeral director, is a member of the Royalist Social and Civic Club, vice president of the NAACP Port Arthur Chapter, a member of the 501c3 organization Grace Hub, and an associate minister of the First Sixth Street Baptist Church.
The PAISD trustee election has three, three-year seats and the unexpired one-year term vacated by Rev. Donald R. Frank Sr., who has left the school board and received a seat on Port Arthur City Council.
Full terms include incumbents Brandon Bartie, Deborah Ambroise, and Lloyd Marie Johnson.
Newcomers vying for full-time spots include Taylor Getwood, Yadira Cardenas, and Kimberly Wycoff.
Dianne Brown and Joe Escobedo aim for the 1-year term of office.
Early voting runs from April 19-27, and May 1st is election day.