LISD board of trustees, family and friends on Tuesday said their goodbyes to John Preston,
Longview ISD trustee Place 5 as heexited his position on the board after 18 years of service. People
from the community gathered to wish him well with a cake and some punch at Longview ISD Education
Service Center on Young Street.“I will spend more time with my wife,” Preston joked.“I plan to go fishing also.”
According to Preston, his advice to his replacement Shan Bauer who won the election by a very slim marginof 3 votes, is to listen and learn. Reminiscing on his unexpected defeat “I knew it was going to be close,” said Preston. “But I did not expect it to be that close.”
He agrees he has no excuses for losing the election but views it as a divine plan. “God has better things in store
from me.” Nonetheless, he was disappointed by the low voter turnout. He believes the low voter turnout kept his race against Bauer very close. “People do not take voting serious. Our forefathers died for us to be able to vote,” Preston said. “Not just for this election,
this goes for all elections. For those people who think their vote does not count, I am here to tell them, every vote counts.” Preston has no regrets for his time on the school board. Rather, he is proud of his legacy. “For me, students came first, said Preston. “I did not try to satisfy adults. Kids are the focus when you are on the board.” Moreover, Preston has great confidence in Longview ISD board of trustees. “The board will do
the right thing by the kids. I know that because that is what they have always done.” Dr. James Wilcox, Longview ISD superintendent
spoke of Preston’s kind spirit and a patient wife who sat at home wondering what time her husband will come home from a late school board meeting. “I know she will be glad to get her husband back,” he said. “We thank her for her support. Preston has done a fine job
all these years.” According to Jud Murray Longview ISD trustee Place 2, Preston was gracious to him and other trustees. “John taught me about dealing with people,” he said. “When there were contentions, he was gracious even if it was not what he wanted.” Ted Beard, Longview ISD trustee Place 6 echoed the same sentiments. “His heart was always with the kids. He made his decisions according to their interests versus what favors the adults.”
Dr. Chris Mack, president of the board called Preston a gentleman. Mack was candid about himself. “I will not be able to say that about myself but, for John yes, he is a gentleman.” Dr.Troy Simmons, LISD trustee Place 7 was no different in his praise for Preston’s 18 years of service.
“I have had the immeasurable pleasure of serving with him on the board. He is always a gentleman,” said Simmons. Dr. Mark Camp LISD trustee Place 1 and Virginia Northcutt LISD trustee Place 4 were no different from other trustees in their sentiments about Preston. Preston’s charged the board to keep students first in their deliberations and decisions. He challenged Bauer to keep confidential information confidential- no discussions of closed sessions with friends and family. “I wish you the best. No squabble, no animosity,” Preston said. “It is just that it is my time to go.”