By CAYLEE HANNA
The Amarillo College board of regents recently elected three members during May’s general election. Anette Carlisle, John Betancourt and Peggy Carter Thomas will be joining Jay Barrett, Michele Fortunato, Sally Jennings, Johnny Mize, Paul Proffer and David Woodburn on the board.
This information about the newly elected members can be found on the League of Women Voters of Texas’ nonpartisan voter’s guide.
Carlisle is a re-elected member of the board and has served for the past six years. She believes that funding is a pressing issue at AC and that building the workforce to be innovative and adaptable, knowledgeable in tech and data use and versatile in their skills would be beneficial. Carlisle wants to continue to make AC one of the premier locations in Texas and the nation, and one of her goals is to help grow the levels of educational attainment for the populations that AC serves.
She would also like to build additional supports to get students to and through to completion so that they can support themselves as well as their families.
Betancourt is an AC alumnus who has also attended Wayland Baptist University. He is a former School Board Trustee for Amarillo ISD as well. An issue that is facing AC in his opinion is that many students are one crisis away from dropping out of college. He believes that it is important for the college to continue to provide services to students in order to assist them in their academic success to ensure graduation completion.
He pledges to bring more diversity and inclusion to the board as well as ensuring that every decision made is based on what suits the students and faculty better.
Betancourt also wants to focus on implementing degree programs and certificates that will benefit the future workforce of Amarillo.
Thomas believes that educational attainment, low enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state funding insecurity, keeping construction programs within the budget and the integration of coding and technology into existing and future programs and A.A.S. degrees are issues that AC is facing.
Her goals are to continue traditions at AC, improve outcomes and keep taxes at the current rate. She would also like to reflect the values of the community as well as find creative solutions for AC.
Thomas wants to maximize the positive impact of sports on campus on enrollment, retention and funding for all students.
Another one of her goals is to support and retain the best professors on campus.