Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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HectorRiveraThis story was updated from the print version to include comments from Noel Edward Oliveira.

A Mission businessman is running unopposed on the Sharyland school board of trustees along with two other incumbents.

Hector Rivera, whose business Hector Rivera EA provides tax consultations services, is running on the school board to replace Noel O. Garza who will not be running for reelection after 12 years as a school board member.

Garza could not be reached as of press time.

“I saw being on the school board as a great opportunity to give back to a great community,” Rivera said. “I am very big on education and it was just something I’d be delighted to do given the opportunity.”

Rivera will be running alongside incumbents Noel Edward Oliveira and Keith Padilla who will be running unopposed in the May 4 election.

“It’s certainly easy to campaign since we don’t have any other candidates,” Padilla said. “I’m glad I have another opportunity to continue serving on the board and support the new superintendent, implement our strategic plan and help balance the district budget. Everyone on the board is 100 percent in favor of helping the students and staff at Sharyland.”

Oliveira expressed similar sentiments in a statement to the Sharyland Times.

"I am humbled to serve on a board such as this one," Oliveira said. "The students, parents, faculty and staff are what makes Sharyland ISD the great district it is today."

Rivera has been involved with the school district in the past. He served on its strategic planning committee in 2015 to help develop a five-year plan for the district that is currently in use. He also serves as treasurer for the district’s Education Foundation, which provides scholarships and grants to Sharyland teachers and students.

“We’ve brought a total of $800,000 in grants and scholarships since its inception,” Rivera said. “My experience on that board and with my line of work means that I can assist in helping to balance the budget for the district.”

Before he is sworn in, Rivera will have to step down from the Sharyland Education Foundation to serve on the district board of trustees and handle its $111 million budget.

Rivera said he is familiar with school board members as Sharyland trustee Jose “Pepe” Garcia serves as the liaison between the school board and the education foundation.

“Our relationship is developing,” Rivera said of the current school board members. “I am getting to know them. The professionalism of the people there makes it so easy to work with them.”

As a school board member, Rivera said he hopes to increase student enrollment by continuing to advertise Sharyland’s track record as a District of Excellence. As the new board member, he said he hopes to honor his predecessor’s legacy.

“He is leaving a legacy and footprint that will be everlasting in the community,” Rivera said of Garza.