Election off: HCISD cancels May election due to unopposed races

HARLINGEN – She’s been on the school board for many years.

And Gerry Fleuriet will serve the Harlingen school district for a few more.

No one has filed to run against Fleuriet, president of the Harlingen school board, in the May elections. No one is running against Board Member Javier De Leon, either.

The Harlingen school board voted Tuesday night to cancel elections after the Feb. 17 deadline came and went. De Leon has served on the board for 11 years and Fleuriet has served for 20 years.

“I am delighted, honored to serve in the Harlingen school district,” said Fleuriet, who is currently serving her fourth term as board president. She taught for one year at Long Elementary when it was “a brand new school.”

“Education is my passion and my background, and it’s joy to serve,” she said. “I am very excited and looking forward to continuing a very aggressive transformation to make learning even more effective.”

She was referring to the district’s Strategic Plan, which in turn includes a number of initiatives such has digital learning, the creation of academies, and authentic learning.

Fleuriet was also happy to vote in favor Tuesday of an initiative creating a pre-Kindergarten class for three year olds. The board unanimously approved the measure after hearing a presentation by Lori Romero, assistant superintendent for elementary education.

“We met with Head Start,” Romero said. “There is a need. We’re looking into developing a program.”

Head Start is also known as Neighbors in Need of Services. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to “enhance the development of young children and promote healthy family functioning.” The organization also provides for staff development and establishes partners in the community.

Head Start children receive services which include education, nutrition, dental health and special services.

Romero said many three-year-old children have been unable to attend pre-K classes because Head Start facilities can’t accommodate them all.

“There’s a waiting list,” she said.

Therefore, the district is partnering with NINOS, Inc. Through that partnership they plan to develop programs at in other schools for three-year-old children.

“Right now they’re just sitting at home,” Romero said. “This will get them ready for older pre-K.”

At the moment, those new pre-K classes are expected to open for the next school year.