PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur

April 2, 2014

Ambroise files for PAISD school board

PORT ARTHUR — When Debra Ambroise looks at Port Arthur, she sees a city full of untapped resources — and she believes it is time that someone tapped them.

“We are surrounded by a billion-dollar refinery industry,” Ambroise, transit planner and Title VI coordinator for the City of Port Arthur, said. “We can do better. We have to do better.”

That’s where Ambroise comes in, and she plans to start with the school. The 52-year-old Port Arthur native believes she would bring energy, bright ideas, vision and a willingness to serve to the Port Arthur Independent School District board of trustees — as well as an extensive volunteering history.

Ambroise has been president of PAISD’s Parent Teacher Association, Project Graduation chairperson for the Memorial High School Classes of 2005 and 2016, president and charter member for the Class of 2016 Booster Club, and is a member of the PAISD Parent Involvement Committee and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

“At this point, I’m wanting to take this to the next level and bring the knowledge that I have to the board,” Ambroise said. “I want to be a formidable player and do what's best for the teachers, students, parents and our city.”

Ambroise’s roots in her city run deep. A lifelong resident and 1979 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, she married her high school sweetheart. They have two sons, the younger of whom is currently a sophomore at Memorial High School.

Ambroise stressed three words — cohesiveness, communication and cooperation. The entire community has to band together to prepare the students for life in today’s increasingly global society, she said.

To accomplish that, Ambroise said, several things need to happen. The school board needs to locate resources and funds to maximize the effectiveness of the district’s teachers, all the while encouraging the parents in an effort to bolster the morale.

“We need to redirect our mindset so that we won’t lose focus of what’s really important, and that’s ‘No Child Left Behind,’” Ambroise said.

It is time to take care of the school and, by extension, the city, Ambroise said.

“I’m not saying anyone’s done a bad job, because as far as I’m concerned, those on the board were elected to serve,” she said. “I just want the opportunity that they’ve been given.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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