UTSA Students Interview San Antonio Area Education Leadership

Join Go Public in honoring our tireless school board members who serve as champions of educating our future leaders.  Trustees serve as a vital link between the community and their schools, promoting academic achievement by creating a vision and accountability in our school systems. Students from the University of Texas at San Antonio interviewed Trustee Leticia Sever as part of an assignment for their social media marketing coursework.​

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Ms. Sever has served as a trustee since this past September, while working on her master’s degree at Texas State in San Marcos. She was appointed to serve the remaining term when one of the four board members moved to another city. Ms. Sever attended Ellison High School in Killen, Texas and received a bachelor’s degree at  Texas A&M in College Station.

​With regard to her career, Ms. Sever says, “I chose education as my field of study because I love working with kids; however, I am not currently teaching. I chose to be a School Board member because I care deeply about the education of our students and all those involved in educating our kids. School board members are responsible for our students’ education, our teachers, and our stakeholders financial contributions. It’s a balancing act; the decisions our school board  makes affects the future of our students, teachers, and the community.”

It’s a balancing act; the decisions our school board  makes impacts the future of our students, teachers, and the community

There are great things happening in Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD.  Valuable programs and extracurriculars achievements from students and teachers are just some of the daily successes. Ms. Sever shared some of these successes including the fourteen students from Steele HS qualified for the International Thespian Festival next June in Nebraska. Another student, Eric Leal, qualified to compete in the monologue category at the same event.

Ten students in Clemens HS choir have been selected for pre-area competition; eight students from Steele HS have qualified. The Peers Assistance Leaders (PALS) program at Steele and Clemens are helping serve positive role models for students in the lower grade levels. Students at Jordan Intermediate School are participating in the Global Read Aloud program, sharing novels with students in other countries, such as Argentina. Watts Elementary School has a Kids Helping Kids program, as students in fourth grade are learning mentoring skills with younger students on campus. They assist by reading to younger students, helping with math, and a helper to the classroom teacher. Students at Jordan Intermediate School have formed the Eagle welcoming committee. The students help lift up their peers with smiles, high fives, and positive affirmations.

School choice and education path

Ten students in Clemens HS choir have been selected for pre-area competition; eight students from Steele HS have qualified. The Peers Assistance Leaders (PALS) program at Steele and Clemens are helping serve positive role models for students in the lower grade levels. Students at Jordan Intermediate School are participating in the Global Read Aloud program, sharing novels with students in other countries, such as Argentina. Watts Elementary School has a Kids Helping Kids program, as students in fourth grade are learning mentoring skills with younger students on campus. They assist by reading to younger students, helping with math, and a helper to the classroom teacher. Students at Jordan Intermediate School have formed the Eagle welcoming committee. The students help lift up their peers with smiles, high fives, and positive affirmations.

Despite all of the positives, there are issues to contend with. “The biggest concern we have in educating students is finance. Educating students in today’s world, with all the expectations society has for students’ learning, is not something that can be done with yesterday’s dollars. Our school district runs on a tight budget. We have some great folks working for us and they try as much as possible to squeeze the most out of every dollar. However, due to the way Texas funds public education, the financial burden of funding public education falls on the property owner which is getting more and more difficult to sustain.”

As we concluded our interview, Ms. Sever had some advice for students. “Get to know your teachers. They have hopes and dreams just like you do. They care, not only about your education, but also about you as a person. Your teachers truly want to see you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Know that everyone involved in educating you wants you to do well in school.” And for parents, Ms. Sever suggested, “Get involved with your child’s education in whatever way you can. Reach out and get to know your child’s bus driver, teachers, custodians, and everyone involved in his or her education. A child’s education is greatly enhanced when we build a supportive community.”

Out of curiosity, we asked her what her favorite books were and she replied, “I enjoy reading many Young Adult (YA) books, mainly because I enjoy talking to students about what they are reading. One of my favorites is A Long Walk to Water. To me, it epitomizes love thy neighbor, even when it’s difficult to do.”

Without a doubt, there are not only great things but also great reasons to let our communities know about the great job our San Antonio-area Independent School Districts are providing students and families.

  • Support School Board Members

    Looking for ways to celebrate our dedicated board members like Sever, we provided some quick tips for schools, districts, students or even parents and community members to spread the love.

    • Use message boards and networking events to thank board members for their service.
    • Present your board members with certificates of appreciation, flowers or fruit baskets in a formal reception or informally.
    • Have students create an appreciation board filled with notes or artwork that can be displayed at an event or in the schools.
    • Create individual plaques with school board members’ names and the number of years of service.
    • Write thank you notes to the board members’ families and spouses for supporting them while they volunteer their time on the board.
    • Have students interview and profile board members – much like we did here!
    • Encourage parent organizations and student councils to sponsor an appreciation breakfast.
    • Recognize board members at sports events.
    • Invite board members to classrooms where they can talk to students about board service.

To discover more ideas, check out the Texas Association of School Boards website for their School Board Recognition Month Planning Kit.

Article was researched, written and coordinated by
Michael Kenning, Cameron Spano, Austin Lawrence, Dalton Jacobson, & Juan Jose Espinoza Flores