Hancock seeks re-election of WOCCISD School Board Trustee

Published 9:37 am Monday, April 24, 2017

I am Ruth Hancock and I am seeking re-election for the position of West Orange Cove School Board Trustee. I was first elected in 2014 after having retired from West Orange Cove district after 29 years. I spent my years in the district teaching sixth and seventh grade, starting at North when it was the intermediate school. Prior to that I was a kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s School and Cove Elementary. I loved teaching in this district and never had a desire to teach anywhere else. My greatest joy is seeing the success of my former students.

My family has lived in Orange since 1976 and both of my children are graduates of West Orange Stark High School. My son Jeff is a Beaumont Police Officer and my daughter Jaimie is a principal at Scanlan Oaks Elementary in Missouri City. My husband Ray and I are both retired. We have been a part of the West Orange Cove following since I first went to work for the district in 1985.

My first priority is to continue the growth in academics. We live in the 21st century and must make sure that our students have the tools to be successful at the next level of education and in the work place after high school graduation. Our district has outstanding leadership in our superintendent Mr. Rickie Harris. It is our duty as board members to oversee his work as he leads the district. One of our greatest challenges for the success of our students is retention of qualified teachers who have a heart for teaching our students. I have always believed the best teachers have to have a connection to our students to help them achieve academic success.

Another huge concern is the funding of our district and making wise use of the resources we have. Our job on the board is to ensure the budget is balanced and that we make every effort to provide salary increases and incentives to retain our teachers and staff. This year we have been able to refinance bonds that have resulted in saving our district over a million dollars. The board will continue to take every opportunity to look for ways to be accountable and make wise use of the district’s funds. As always, much of what we do will be determined by the current legislative session. Hopefully equitable funding for schools will be addressed and we will no longer be penalized for being a property rich district.

House Bill 5 allowed districts to have more local control of course offerings, such as STEM (science technology engineering and math) and career and technology offerings. As a result we now have active robotic courses, EMT training, and welding in addition to our classes that are available at the career center.

Accountability will continue to be discussed when education is the topic. I would like to think that as a board member I have been accountable to my constituents. I know we have a great staff and administration working for the students of West Orange Cove. Please remember that our children are our first priority as you go to the polls and vote.