Hays school district appoints new board member after longtime member Willie Tenorio quits

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Esmeralda Pérez-González was appointed to the District 2 seat on the Hays school board. She has lived in the area she represents for 14 years. She also spent 38 years in education.
Esmeralda Pérez-González was appointed to the District 2 seat on the Hays school board. She has lived in the area she represents for 14 years. She also spent 38 years in education.

The Hays school board appointed a new member last week after longtime board member Willie Tenorio resigned.

Former educator Esmeralda Pérez-González was appointed to fill the seat and sworn in Thursday.

Tenorio, who was appointed to the board in 2009, submitted a letter of resignation in November after he recently moved out of the area he represented. State law requires board members to live in the district they represent.

He was elected for a full term in 2011 and won his seat for his most recent term in 2020. During his tenure, Tenorio served as board vice president and president. He also helped oversee the approval of the 2021 bond package.

In November, voters approved $191.5 million out of the $238.4 million bond proposal, which district spokesman Tim Savoy has said was the most critical because it included money for several renovation and expansion projects as well as for facility maintenance and upgrades.

“I’m very proud of my time here, and I am looking forward to see you all in the future.” Tenorio said during a board meeting Thursday. “I appreciate all of you.”

Tenorio was recognized for his years of service during a special called meeting Thursday afternoon. Superintendent Eric Wright presented Tenorio with a commemorative plaque and crystal bowl.

“We appreciate all you have done all these many years, and thank you for your service,” Wright said.

Tenorio, like other board members, would have served a three-year term, and his seat would have been up for election in May 2023.

But Pérez-González will fill the vacancy until the next election is held in May 2022.

Pérez-González, who has lived in the area for 14 years, spent nearly four decades as an educator, serving as a bilingual teacher, mentor teacher and principal in the Corpus Christi, Austin and Hays school districts. She was also one of the founding staff members of Camino Real Elementary School when it opened in 2008.

She retired in May.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with all school board members, parents and school communities to ensure that our teachers and students have a successful rest of the year,” Pérez-González said after her appointment Thursday.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Longtime Hays school district board member quits; new member appointed

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