Newly elected Kenneth Lofton Sr., Johnny Brown talk future of Port Arthur ISD

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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Longtime school board trustee Kenneth Lofton Sr. returned to his post and was joined by political newcomer Johnny Brown on Tuesday evening.

Lofton is starting his sixth term on the Port Arthur Independent School District Board of Trustees, while Johnny Brown, who spent his career in education and was once PAISD superintendent, is beginning his role as an elected board member.

A total of five candidates vied for two spots on the board in the May 6 election.

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Lofton pulled in 1,155 votes or 35.19 percent of the total ballots cast. Brown garnered the second most votes, 670, or 20.41 percent of the total ballots cast.

Other candidates included Nina Stelley, Regina Drake and incumbent Lloyd Marie Johnson.

Lofton said in an interview prior to Tuesday’s swearing in that he is blessed and grateful to the residents of Port Arthur who voted for his reelection.

Lofton first joined the board in 2007.

“I’ve seen some good and I’ve seen some bad. I want to see us move forward as a district and see more parental involvement, more school pride, not just at the high school level but the elementary and middle schools. I want to see the students achieve more in college, in the military and in the workforce,” Lofton said when asked of his vision for the future.

Lofton is a proponent of adding more programs to the district’s Career And Technology Education, specifically outside machinist and electrician.

He hopes to get these programs established so students have more opportunities in the workforce.

He is also looking forward to incentives to attract new teachers and help those wanting to become certified.

Lofton said he has seen a lot of good through the years and looks forward to seeing even more.

“A lot of our kids have gone off to college, become successful and have their own families now. I’ve seen kids that didn’t go to college who joined the workforce and are just as successful, and that does my heart good to see these young men and women,” he said.

Lofton said he is a product of Port Arthur and PAISD, his children are products of PAISD and his wife is a 30-plus year teacher in the district.

“We are Port Arthur. We are PAISD and I want to continue striving to make it the best,” he said.

Brown has spent most of his life in education and is currently an adjunct professor at Lamar University and part of the superintendent prep program.

Brown said in an interview prior to Tuesday’s meeting he is honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve and is looking forward to doing what he can to contribute.

“I served as an educator for most of my life and enjoy having the opportunity to help children by serving on the school board. I look at it as an opportunity to serve and give back to the community as part of the Team of 8, including the superintendent of the board,” Brown said.

Brown said he is proud of the educators in the district and believes they do a great job serving the district’s children, and he is proud of the children.

“Part of what I’m looking forward to achieving is raising the bar and putting in place conditions for educators and students to be a success,” he said. “I’m proud of the good we accomplished here in Port Arthur and look forward to what I can do to raise the expectations and put resources and conditions for improvement.”