Heather DeMint, Mexico School District No. 59 school board vice president, is seeking a second term to the board in a race with seven other candidates for just two seats — hers and the one held by Scott Hobbs, who is not seeking re-election.
DeMint, VP of operations at United Credit Union in Mexico, was initially voted to the board in 2016. She joined the board because she enjoyed being involved with the schools, she said.
“I have two children in the school district, I’m from Mexico originally and have always felt the school district is very important to the community, and so I just wanted to be involved to see what I could do to help,” DeMint said.
Every candidate so far has mentioned wanting to work through the proposed elementary school reconfiguration, and DeMint is no different.
“Obviously, the board has voted to move forward with the reconfiguration to the two elementary schools and the early childhood center, and I would like to see through with that plan completely. That’s my main focus right now,” she said.
DeMint was one of two board members in December to vote against moving forward with the reconfiguration proposal but pushed back against the idea that she voted against reconfiguration altogether.
“I wouldn’t say I voted against it, I didn’t vote in favor of it at that time,” she said. “I get this question quite a bit. I was not completely against the reconfiguration. I feel like something needed to be changed to focus on the kids’ education and providing that better.”
Questions DeMint still had back in December hadn’t been answered, and she wanted to give the district more time to provide adequate answers. “I didn’t want to rush into something and then later wish we had done more or done something differently,” she said.
Some questions DeMint’s had were answered since December as the district prepares to present its implementation plan to the board later this month. The board heard an update about the process last month.
“I had some concerns about the (Children’s Therapy) School and its involvement,” Demint said. She also was looking more toward taking the schools to a grade center approach where all students in certain grade levels would attend one school, like with Mexico Middle School or High School. This would be a bigger disruption to the elementary students, Demint acknowledged, but said some decision had to be made regarding the elementary schools.
“I’m ready to support what we decided as a board,” she said. “That’s the whole point of having a board of several people, not just one or two.
“I try to support my children who are students in the district as much as I can with their athletic endeavors,” DeMint said. She makes regular appearances at district and school events, along with regular visits with teachers and administrators, she said.