PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

May 8, 2014

Kinlaw, Ambroise best choices for PAISD

Roger Cowles
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — There has been great improvement in the Port Arthur ISD in the past year and district voters have an opportunity to step the district’s leadership to an even higher level in Saturday’s election by re-electing Thomas Kinlaw and adding Debra Drake Ambroise to the board.

Kinlaw, who has served three years on the board, has the strength of character and personal integrity to hold the superintendent accountable for the management of the district.  The 45-year-old retired Army captain has shown he will stand strong when it comes time to enforce the standards of conduct needed to run an effective, efficient school district.

Not content to sit back and watch events unfold, Kinlaw is expanding his understanding of education as a doctoral student at Prairie View A&M University studying educational leadership. His experience as a middle school teacher gives him first-hand insight into what teachers deal with in the classroom and he will work to make sure PAISD teachers have the tools they need to give our students the education they need to succeed whether they go to college or enter the work force.

Ambroise, 52, wants to find ways to partner with business and industry in this area to give additional resources to the students and teachers of PAISD. She recognizes the changing demographics of Port Arthur and will make attracting more Hispanic teachers and administrators to the district a priority.

A 1979 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, Ambroise understands that for PAISD to return to a level of excellence it held in former years, the board, administrators, teachers and  parents — the entire community — must work together.

Her past involvement in the district shows that she can be effective in putting such a coalition together. She has been president of the Parent Teacher Association, Project Graduation chairperson and is serving as president of the Class of 2016 Booster Club. She is Transit Planner and Title VI coordinator for the city of Port Arthur, responsible positions that show she is capable of managing budgets and keeping the buses running on time.

Kenneth Lofton Jr. has served six years on the board and the community owes him a huge debt of gratitude for his contribution. Efrain Avendano and Anthony McDaniel are also seeking spots on the board.

PAISD voters can cast two votes in Saturday’s election and the two candidates receiving the most votes will be elected without a runoff. We encourage voters to cast their ballots for Thomas Kinlaw and Debra Drake Ambroise to keep the district progressing into the future.