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Port Arthur school board incumbent Lloyd Marie Johnson wants students back in school

Making sure the students in Port Arthur Independent School District have a good education and opportunities are driving forces behind Lloyd Marie Reado Johnson’s bid for reelection to the school board.

Johnson, a Port Arthur native, served 12 years as a trustee and left for a term before returning for three more years. She is in her 15th year as a trustee.

She said the district offers a number of paths for students in high school, including dual education courses, Career And Technology Education, maritime training in partnership with the Port of Port Arthur, and the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

“There are so many things our kids can do other than getting a 4-year degree and still function as productive citizens,” Johnson said.

One of the issues Johnson feels is important is getting students back in school and learning. The pandemic has led to some not returning to the classroom. She recalled there have been many lectures and information presented showing “if students aren’t present and involved, they do not progress.”

“Virtual learning has taken that out of the hands of teachers and basically out of the hands of the superintendent,” she said. “The biggest problem is the disconnect with kids and schools right now, and it is because of virtual learning.”

Virtual learning, she said, should not be the sole way of teaching students.

“If we can take the technology and make it as an adjunct to learning it would be so much better than to have it as the only choice,” she said.

Johnson’s two adult children are products of the PAISD; one child is working on a doctorate at the University of Houston and the other is a Baylor University graduate working as a firefighter at Jack Brooks Regional Airport.

Johnson has seen a lot during her time as a trustee, adding she feels having an experienced school board member is a plus.

Each new group of students comes with its own challenges, but that also means new ways to progress and meet the challenges.

Johnson is a home health physical therapy contractor and member of a number of organizations, some of which include Top Ladies of Distinction, The National Council of Negro Women, Delta Sigma Theta and Port Arthur Beautification Commission. She is an AWANA instructor and very involved in Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church, where she is a member, Sunday School teacher, youth instructor and part of the church choir.

The PAISD trustee election has three, 3-year seats and the unexpired 1-year term left vacated by the Rev. Donald R. Frank Sr. who left the school board and earned a seat on Port Arthur City Council.

Seeking full terms include incumbents Brandon Bartie, Deborah Ambroise and Lloyd Marie Johnson.

Newcomers vying for the full term seats are Taylor Getwood, Yadira Cardenas and Kimberly Wycoff.

Seeking the 1-year term are Dianne Brown and Joe Escobedo.

Early voting runs from April 19 to April 27, and May 1 is Election Day.