Texas Association of School Boards Elects New Officers
(Austin)—The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) elected its 2018–19 officers during the Association’s recent annual Delegate Assembly and Convention in Austin. New TASB President James de Garavilla of Silsbee ISD succeeds Immediate Past President Teresa Flores of Ingleside ISD. Lee Lentz-Edwards of Kermit ISD now serves as president-elect. First vice-president is Jim Rice of Fort Bend ISD and second vice-president is Ted Beard of Longview ISD. Charles Cunningham of Humble ISD serves as secretary-treasurer.
James de Garavilla
De Garavilla has served as a trustee on the Silsbee ISD Board since 2006, including various leadership roles from committee chairs to board president. He is an alum of Leadership TASB (2008) and Leadership Southeast Texas (2009).
Since fall 2009, de Garavilla has represented Region 5 on the TASB Board of Directors and has served on each of the Board’s standing committees. He chaired the Legislative Committee during both the 83rd and 85th Texas Legislative Sessions. Prior to joining the TASB Board, he was active in the Grassroots Advocacy Process and served on the TASB Legislative Advisory Council as a regional representative.
Professionally, de Garavilla is a principal investigator at DowDuPont and holds several patents in his field of ethylene copolymers. During a 35-year career with DuPont, he has held a variety of technical, managerial, business, and marketing roles. De Garavilla is a native of Massachusetts, a product of public schools, and a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston.
Lentz-Edwards is serving her 13th year on the Kermit ISD Board of Trustees. A 2013 Leadership TASB graduate, she is currently in her fourth term as president, having served previously as secretary for several years. She is a graduate of Sul Ross State University with a bachelor of business administration, master of education, and master of business administration.
She has a long tenure in the field of education. Currently, she is a special education coordinator at the Region 18 Education Service Center. Lentz-Edwards has been active in her community, having served as a leader in both Girl Scouts and 4-H, a Sunday school teacher at her church, and a member of the Kermit Rotary Club, where she held officer positions as secretary and president. She has been honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Permian Basin Girl Scout Association, an Outstanding Adult 4-H Leader District VI, and Kermit Woman of the Year.
Rice was elected to the Fort Bend ISD Board in May 2010. He served as board secretary beginning in June 2011 and as board president beginning in 2012, serving two consecutive terms in that office. Elected to the TASB Board of Directors in 2012, he chaired the Legislative Committee during the 84th Legislative Session and served on the Nominations and Planning and Development committees. He is a 2014 graduate of Leadership TASB.
Rice is president of Rice and Gardner Consultants, Inc., a construction management firm. In addition to his professional duties, he currently serves as the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Education Division vice-chair and is a 2005 graduate of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Forum Class.
He is also involved in numerous civic organizations for Fort Bend, including Fort Bend Cares, the Fort Bend Literacy Council, and the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. Rice is cofounder of the charity Fort Bend Cares, which benefits underprivileged youth in the community.
Beard was elected to the Longview ISD Board in 1998 and has served in various capacities, including assistant secretary, vice-president, and president.
Beard earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Letourneau University and now works as a claims representative and an equal employment opportunity counselor for the Social Security Administration. He is a retired sergeant major from the United States Army and a combat veteran of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.
Beard was appointed to the TASB Risk Management Fund Board in November 2007 and currently serves as chair. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership TASB. He is also a member of the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members.
Since 2007, Cunningham has served on the Humble ISD Board of Trustees. He chairs the board’s Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance, Building and Planning, and Legislative committees. He also serves as the board’s representative to the Humble ISD Education Foundation Board.
A graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University, Cunningham is a key accounts consultant for CenterPoint Energy.
He is a current director and the past president of the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards. He has served on his homeowners’ association board as president and vice-president and on the Humble Chamber of Commerce as vice-chair of governmental affairs.
Flores has served on the Ingleside ISD Board since 1999 and has held the positions of secretary, vice-president, president, and delegate to the TASB Delegate Assembly. She was elected to the TASB Board of Directors for Region 2 in 2006 and has served on each of the standing committees. She served as TASB President for the 2017–18 term. For more than 20 years, Flores has worked as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.
After graduating from Ingleside High School, she attended Del Mar College. She currently participates in local community events and has a special interest in legislative activity involving education. Last session, she was asked to participate on the District 32 State Representative’s Educational Advisory Committee.
Aside from TASB and her local school board, Flores also currently serves on the Ingleside ISD Education Foundation and the Ingleside Economic Development Corporation. Past civic involvement includes president of the high school band booster organization, director for the Corpus Christi Harbor Playhouse, member of the Corpus Christi Symphony Community Outreach Committee, chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Del Mar College Foundation, and treasurer and player agent of the Ingleside Little League.
TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve public school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.3 million public school students.