The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Two alumni up for board seat

By Jamil Oakford/editor-in-chief

Teresa Marie Ayala, Josh Barber campaign for District 1 spot 

Two new candidates for TCC’s Board of Trustees emerge for this spring’s elections.

Current board members Conrad C. Heede of District 2 and Kristin Vandergriff of District 3 are running unopposed.

Teresa Marie Ayala
Teresa Marie Ayala

But in District 1, two brand new candidates will face off against each other as the current seat holder, Robyn Medina Winnett, will not run for another term.

Candidates Josh Barber and Teresa Marie Ayala, both alumnus of TCC, are running for the District 1 seat after the current board member didn’t enter the race.

“My biggest motivation was I saw how District 1 was being represented and was dismayed,” Barber said.

Ayala, a contract manager for HP Enterprise Services, was motivated by what the college meant to her. Having not only attended the college straight out of high school, she also taught at TCC as an adjunct.

“I know that Tarrant County College is a gem,” she said. “When people go there, it sets them up for success. This is my way of giving back.”

Her ties to District 1 run deep with a long family history of being in that area and she believes that TCC being in that community has helped make her who she is today.

Barber, who now works as a landman negotiating contracts for homeowners whose land holds petroleum, fondly remembered his time at TCC and said the friends and connections he made still play a role in his life today.

“[TCC] was an experimental science project of what I wanted to do,” he said. “I came from a single-mom household, and I wasn’t getting those scholarship opportunities for four-year universities.”

Vice chancellor of communications and external affairs Reginald Gates explained that the filing process stretched from Jan. 28 to Feb. 27.

Josh Barber
Josh Barber

Both candidates credit their growth as individuals and professionals to TCC and see the vital role the institution plays in the community.

“School districts, or really county districts, are the only thing keeping communities together,” Barber said.

Ayala said TCC’s key component was its accessibility to the community.

“It developed our city and our county,” she said. “The fact that it can provide resources for certification or continuing education or prepare students for a degree program enables people to grow.”

Both are hoping to achieve goals that would benefit both the county as a whole but also their district.

“I would like to examine things a little closer,” Barber said. “I want to help steer the ship in a positive direction for my district.”

And Ayala wants to continue and help strengthen the name of TCC in the community.

“This is an institution that’s near and dear to the city, and I want to see that we continue with that,” she said.

For now, these candidates will campaign and in April they will introduce themselves to the board.

“They’ll be at the board meeting on April 16 to meet with the board members and with the public in attendance,” Gates said.

Early voting starts April 27, but the actual Election Day is May 9.

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