Cori Arevalo appointed to fill vacant GISD Place 5 seat

Cori Arevalo, Gladewater ISD Trustee, Place 5

The dais is now full at Gladewater ISD – on Monday, the district’s board of trustees chose Cori Arevalo to fill their vacancy in Place 5.
In addition to a number of other agenda items and board training, the school’s elected officials tapped the brakes slightly on developing plans to repair storm damage and mitigate other issues at the Weldon Elementary School Auditorium.
After narrowing their pool of applicants, the trustees invited three to address the board in the opening portion of the regular Sept. 18 meeting.
“It’s a blessing that we have a such a good applicant pool that we can make a decision without asking for more,” board president Ross Morgan said. Later, after a 30-minute closed session and unanimous vote for Arevalo, he praised the other two nominees, Stephanie Lee and Jodie Manley, thanking them for their interest and for their ongoing contributions to the district, its students and staff.
Arevalo is a communications specialist at the Region VII Education Service Center. While her family has deep roots in Gladewater, Arevalo told the trustees she and her husband were initially reluctant to enroll their children in GISD because of stigmas that once surrounded the district.
Eventually, though, “We were forced to come into Gladewater, and it was immediately a great thing. They welcomed us with open arms,” she said, especially after her son was diagnosed with autism. “They guided us through the most difficult time in our lives and immediately changed our opinion of Gladewater. At that point, I became very involved,” serving with the Parent Teacher Organization, Education Foundation and Band Boosters.
“I find it as my way to give back to the educators and students for all that they do. I truly believe in Gladewater’s potential and am dedicated to helping all of us reach new heights here.”
She looks forward to helping the district shed lingering stigmas.
“I think this school plays a very vital role in this town as a whole.”
Regarding the auditorium at Weldon, mid-June’s raging weather left behind catastrophic damage to the facility’s roof. A faulty thermostat compounded the issue even more, and the building is on lockdown ahead of expensive renovations including mitigation for mildew and asbestos abatement.
In two action items on Monday’s agenda, the board considered waiving the standard procurement process for such repairs and weighed approval of a budget amendment to cover the costs.
Trustees Chris Thompson and Garth Cockerell were reluctant to move forward without more information on the district’s insurance claim – the anticipated deductible is $500,000 on an estimated $600,000 pricetag for the total refurbishment of the auditorium.
“We’re putting the cart before the horse,” Thompson cautioned, questioning whether “We’re going to go ahead and approve something, but we don’t know how much it’s going to cost or anything.”
Cockerell agreed: “I sure want to know what the insurance people say,” he added. “We need to know what we’re looking at and what they’re going to provide for… It’s major damage.”
It’s a two-fold issue for Dr. Sedric Clark, GISD superintendent.
Three months out from the storm, “We want to do this as quickly as we can but also save money,” he said.
Ultimately, the trustees approved waiving the competitive purchasing requirements 5-1 (with Thompson voting ‘Nay’ and Arevalo abstaining) then accepted Clark’s recommendation to table the budget amendment until more details are available.

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