Three places on the Blanco Independent School District Board of Trustees are up for election May 8. Incumbent Matt Herden will face off against Rodney Green for Place 5; Charles Riley is running unopposed for Place 6; and Bill Fojtasek will vie with incumbent Bernie San Miguel for Place 7.
A BISD trustee since 1992, Matt Herden moved to Blanco with his wife Martha in 1985. He is a retired San Antonio police detective with 30 years of service. Their son Nathan attended Blanco schools from pre-K through 12th grade and graduated in 2005. He counts the high quality of personnel hired by BISD over the years as his proudest, team accomplishment. “They have kept the educational performance of Blanco’s students consistently high,” he says, adding jokingly, “Not to mention, they make board trustees look good.” He sees the main issues facing the district as synonymous with the goals set by the board for the district—mastering state and federal standards, closing the gaps between student group test scores, improving communications between the district and the community as a whole, and recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. In addition to his responsibilities as a trustee, he is active in St. Ferdinand’s Catholic Church and serves on the Blanco Child Protection and Family Advocacy board. He is a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and participates in the annual Blanco Trash-Off. He has also served on a number of county grand juries.
Rodney Green moved to the Twin Sisters area with his family 16 years ago from San Antonio. He is the manager of Porter Company, a mechanical contracting firm. He has children in each of the Blanco schools—Paige, a fifth grade daughter at Blanco Elementary; Carlin, an eighth grade son at Blanco Middle School; Clayton, an eleventh-grade son and Dustin, a senior son, both at Blanco High School. He has been involved with youth sports throughout his years in the community, including Pop Warner football and Mid-Tex Football, which he started 10 years ago. He served on the Little League Board from 2000-2005 and has also served on the Blanco County FFA 4-H Youth Council. He sees serving as a trustee as a way to continue serving the youth of the community and to support the teachers, “for the great job they have done for my kids.” He sees the greatest issue for the BISD keeping the high academics at the high level they are today in spite of the economic downturn, and keeping facilities maintained. He sees parents and trustees in a partnership, in which they must hold each other accountable for the success of Blanco’s students.
Charles Riley, a local restaurant owner, has served as a trustee since 2003. He has resided in the the Blanco School District for 25 years. He is a 1990 graduate of Blanco High School and completed four years at Texas Tech University. He and his wife Carla have two sons—Hunter, a sixth grader at Blanco Middle School, and Cooper, a third grader at Blanco Elementary. He coaches youth sports and recently chaired a committee to research hiring an athletic trainer for the district.
Bill Fojtasek moved to Blanco in 1995 with his wife Dianne. They each have three children. Two of Bill’s sons have served in the military, one in the Marines and one in the Army. Bill received his BBA with a major in accounting May 1968 from Stephen F. Austin University. He served in the U. S. Army from 1968-70. He worked at the Texas Education Agency from November 1971 to 1897 and 1993 until retiring in 2000. He was an auditor for 17 years, auditing hundreds of school districts across the state. He believes that the basic function of school boards remains the same—to provide local citizen supervision and control over education at a point close to the parent and child. This means that the school board should act on behalf of the citizens of the school district—not just some of the citizens, but all of them. He strongly supports the Career and Technology program and believes in giving all students great teachers and the tools to achieve their goals in life after graduation. If elected, he promises to study, evaluate, and deliberate the policy issues confronting BISD and to vote in the interest of all students. He supports the US military by sending care packages to deployed Marines, 11 last month to Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bernie San Miguel has lived in the Blanco ISD for 13 years and has served as a trustee since 2003. He graduated from Nueces Canyon High School in 1979 and attended Southwest Texas Junior College. He is an electrician for International Lighting Company in Austin. His son Chris graduated from Blanco High School in 2006, and his daughter Chelsea is a junior at Blanco High School. He is an All Sports Booster Club member and past president, an FCCLA volunteer, a Relay for Life volunteer and captain, and a T-ball, Pitch Hoops, and soccer coach.