January is School Board Recognition Month

Texans benefit every day from the tireless work and countless hours contributed by a group of

more than 7,300 men and women in communities across the state. These local volunteers are elected by their constituents and receive no compensation for their work as public servants. These men and women are the school board members of Texas.

January is School Board Recognition Month and Beaumont ISD will take this opportunity to thank these local leaders for devoting time to support public education and serve our local schools.

“It’s more important than ever that the public shows support for public education. Board members face critical challenges in their roles as advocates, and they will continue to stand strong and guard against anything that takes away from our children and undermines our public schools,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Timothy Chargois.

“Even though we are making a special effort in January to show appreciation to our board members, we realize their many contributions reflect a year-round commitment. They give generously of themselves to ensure that decisions directly affecting our local schools have a positive impact on

our teachers, parents, and students. In these challenging times, they face difficult choices and shoulder critical responsibilities. Their ultimate goal is always focused on the future success of the children in our district,” Chargois said.

The board members serving Beaumont ISD are:

Woodrow Reece President
Occupation: United States Postal Services
Woodrow Reece represents Trustee District 3.  This is his 15th year as a member of the Board of Trustees.  Mr. Reece has been employed with the United States Post Office for 21 years as Postmaster for the Nederland post office and is a trustee at his church.  He is active in a number of civic, social and other community organizations.  He and his wife, Cheryl, are the parents of four children.

Janice Brassard – Vice President
Occupation: Self-Employed
Janice Brassard has represented Trustee District 7 for eight years.  She is a recently retired classroom teacher who owns and operates her own tutorial business.  Mrs. Brassard is an active volunteer in many community organizations including Some Other Place and Triangle AIDS Network, the first swim coach in BISD now has the Brassard Pool in the BISD Natatorium at the Thomas Center named after her.  Recently widowed, she is the proud mother of three sons. 

Terry Williams – Secretary
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Terry D. Williams represents Trustee District 1.  He will have served as a Trustee for a total of 21 years in May.  Mr. Williams is known throughout the city as both an entrepreneur and an advocate of young people, giving his time and energy to help them succeed and make the most of their lives. He and his wife, Debra, are the proud parents of five children and two grandsons.

Gwen Ambres
Occupation: Retired supervisor from ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery
Gwen Ambres represents District 4.  Ms. Ambres was elected to her appointed position in May 2011. She is an active volunteer in several community organizations such as Boys Haven, Henry's Place Homeless Shelter, Ozen High School, Key Communicators in Schools, the Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church.  A native of Beaumont, Ms. Ambres enjoys being an umpire for girls’ softball, officiating volleyball, and playing tennis. She retired from Exxon Mobil after being the local organization’s first female supervisor. She worked there for 26 years.

Zenobia Bush
Occupation: IT Industry
Zenobia Bush represents Trustee District 2.  Mrs. Bush previously served on the Board of Trustees from 1985-1996, and was elected a second time in May, 2011.  She was the first African-American female in Beaumont to be elected to public office. Bush grew up in Beaumont and was salutatorian of the 1968 graduating class of Hebert High School.  She then received an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority scholarship to attend Lamar University where she majored in mathematics and French. Bush earned her secondary education certification and graduated at the top of her class from Lamar in 1972.  Bush went on to teach at French High School from 1972-1977, and then left to work for DuPont in Orange, TX in the summer of 1977 where she spent the next 30 years in the IT industry.

Mike Neil
Occupation: Businessman
Mike Neil represents Trustee District 5. This is his 3rd year on the Board of Trustees.  Mr. Neil enjoys team building, people development, and problem solving.  He enjoys volunteer work as a guest speaker at local high schools. As a Julie Rogers Gift of Life volunteer, he often shares his story of being a cancer survivor. He and his wife Elva are the proud parents of two children.

Tom Neild
Occupation: Owner/Vice President of H.B. Neild & Sons, Inc.
Tom Neild represents Trustee District 6.  This is his fourth year as a member of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Neild is owner and vice president of local construction company H. B. Neild & Sons, Inc.  He is active in several community and church organizations.  He and his wife Karen are proud parents of five children.

“Our district benefits from the contributions of the dedicated efforts of these local citizens who truly care about our kids. Serving as a crucial link between the community and classroom, this board is responsible for an annual budget of over $160,000,000, nearly 20,000 students, over 3,000 employees, and 30 campuses. We applaud their willingness to serve as advocates for our children and the voice of public education,” Chargois said.