Gwen Ambres says Education Commissioner asked her if she'd consider spot on Board of Managers

Current Beaumont Independent School District board president, Gwen Ambres, told 12News that the Texas Commissioner of Education has asked her if she would consider being on his appointed board of managers.

Ambres said Michael Williams posed the question to her during his visit to Beaumont in April.

Ambres said, "When he came to Beaumont and met with Dr. Chargois and myself, and other board members, we spoke one-on-one, and he did ask me 'would you serve?'  And he said, 'because that is an option that I have' and he says, 'I understand if you don't want to answer.' and I said I don't mind answering the question, I said, listen, I want this district to be successful, I want to do whatever it takes to get through this time and be successful and I told him that I would serve, I meant that."

Ambres went on to say, "In no way do I have an adversarial feeling with the commissioner or would I ever have with the board of managers." 

Commissioner Williams has not made any public announcement on a board of managers since BISD still has a record review set for Thursday.

On a related note, 12News has also learned that Elvis Arterbury, Ph.D turned down an appointment from the Texas Education Agency to serve as BISD's interim superintendent once a board of managers is seated.

Arterbury says he declined the offer over the weekend.

He said he still has  many projects on his plate at Lamar University, where he is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership.
Before teaching at Lamar, Dr. Arterbury was BISD's assistant superintendent of finance. 

A TEA spokesperson issued the following statement after our report aired:

In April, Commissioner Williams announced his decision to name a board of managers and interim superintendent for the Beaumont Independent School District. Since that announcement, members of the current BISD board of trustees have fought and delayed a transition supported by the community. The Commissioner will formally announce the names of those he has selected to serve at the appropriate time. However, there is no scenario where any current member of the BISD board of trustees will be part of the new board of managers. The people of Beaumont are ready to start the long process of restoring confidence in their local school district and truly prioritizing the needs of its students. That difficult work can best be carried out by a new set of individuals taking a fresh approach to the multiple issues facing BISD.


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