The August morning heat bounced off the pavement as I stood in our carport, thirty-six years ago. I was five years old. It was my first day of kindergarten at Flour Bluff. Yarn held a laminated, yellow, construction-paper cutout of a bus around my neck. It read, “Jeff Rank / Mrs. Cook’s class / Bus #3.” Little did I know then that was to be the start of a long journey that would shape me into the man I have become today.
With great pride, I recently filed to run for election to the Flour Bluff I.S.D. School Board. It felt like things were coming full circle.
My father’s career in the U.S. Navy brought us to Flour Bluff in 1980. He retired here, and I stayed in Flour Bluff I.S.D. from kindergarten all the way through my graduation from FBHS in 1993. I felt the impact of great teachers like Mr. Bartling, Mr. Krnavek, Mrs. Chapman, and Mrs. Thornton (to name only a few). They, quite literally, changed my life.
When I graduated and went to Texas A&M, I felt I had a leg up on most of the other students because of the things I learned at Flour Bluff. College chemistry was a piece of cake after what I learned in Mr. Schwierzke’s class. Trigonometry was no sweat after Mr. Warren.
I went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Sciences, a Master of Science degree in Oceanography, and finally my law degree. When I became a father, and it was time to choose where my children would go to school, there was never any doubt; it had to be Flour Bluff.
It is with great pride that I now serve my community as “The Bluff Attorney.” I have done my time at a think-tank in Washington D.C. and at a big law firm in Houston, and it only served to underscore how happy I am to be here now.
I am running for Flour Bluff I.S.D. School Board, Seat 3, to give back to the school and the community that has given me so much. I am deeply proud of being a Hornet. Every day I use the education that started twenty-six years ago when I stepped onto Bus #3.
I want to know that my children – and all Flour Bluff students – will continue to feel that they have a leg up when they graduate and move on to whatever the next phase of life brings for them. I want to keep great teachers in Flour Bluff, enable education for our kids that goes beyond passing standardized tests, and ensure that Flour Bluff remains the top school district in South Texas.
I humbly ask for your support in the upcoming Flour Bluff I.S.D. School Board election.
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day. She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.