Taylor Getwood looks to Port Arthur Independent School District future

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Taylor Getwood has learned and grew since he was first elected to the Port Arthur Independent School District Board of Trustees three years ago at the age of 18.

Now, as a recently reelected trustee, the 21-year-old is ready to go full throttle as an advocate for students and staff but also holding people accountable, including himself and fellow board members.

As the youngest on the board, Getwood is ready for something different — using social media as a platform and outlet to host meetings, inform and engage the public and start educating the community on what the school board does.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When the community understands this, then they can hold the board accountable and enjoy transparency, he said.

Getwood was reelected to his seat Saturday after pulling in 524 votes. Dianne Brown and Brandon Bartie were also winners of the May 4 election.

When asked about important issues, Getwood harkened back to comments made by state Rep. Christian Manuel during the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Leadership Luncheon, where he spoke about special needs students.

“It is no secret more students are being diagnosed as autistic and special needs and accommodations need to be met,” Getwood said.

Getwood knows the district has leadership who can guide trustees through the process to understand what the needs are and, as policy makers, what they can do.

He wants to see Port Arthur as a trailblazer in terms of aiding special needs students.

Getwood is a graduate of Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication and is pursing an executive masters of public administration.

He said he is not sure of a career path at this time, as there are a number of careers that coincide with the degree, such as city manager and president of a nonprofit.

Whatever path he choses, Getwood said he would use it to move the city forward. He’s not looking to make history but believes Port Arthur is a sleeping giant and needs the young to waken it in order to be competitive.

Getwood is also currently on tour with the play “Black Boys Cry” by Harold Jay Trotter and 1989 Dreams Productions. Upcoming shows will in New Orleans, Las Vegas, North Carolina and Oklahoma with the tour ending in Beaumont on Aug. 10.