From left to right: Maritza Ramirez-Esqueda, Jose “Pepe” Garcia and Charlotte Hocott.

MISSION — Voters in Sharyland ISD will see two new names and one familiar one on their ballot in May.

Place 4 incumbent Jose “Pepe” Garcia will face challenger Charlotte Hocott to defend his seat, while newcomer Maritza Ramirez-Esqueda will run unopposed for Place 3.

Melissa Smith, the Place 3 incumbent, did not file to run.

The Place 4 incumbent, Garcia, has over 20 years of experience with La Joya ISD working as a teacher and administrator. Currently he serves as principal at Domingo Trevino Middle School.

Garcia is a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission, as well as a member of the Diamondback Athletic Booster Club, the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, and a supporter and attendee at various Sharyland ISD events.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a masters of education in educational administration from the University of Texas Pan-American.

If re-elected, Garcia says he would prioritize academic excellence and student support.

“My only personal interest as a Sharyland ISD School Board Trustee is to ensure that every student receives a quality education on or off campus supported by teachers and administrators who wholeheartedly have their best educational interests in mind,” he wrote.

Charlotte Hocott, Garcia’s challenger, is a stay-at-home mom who runs a small home business.

Hocott lists involvement in a number of organizations on her resume, including with the SPTSO at Shary Elementary and North Jr High, with the Sharyland Education Foundation Board, Leadership Mission Class XXXIII, Pioneer High Diamond Belles Booster Club, PHS Alpha Theatre Troupe, PHS Diamondback Athletic Booster Club, Sommerset HOA Board and the Hidalgo County Cotillion Board.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in communications from the University of Texas – Pan American.

If elected, Hocott says she’ll bring a fresh perspective to the board in the service of the Sharyland ISD community.

“I have chosen to run for Sharyland ISD Board of Trustees Place 4 to be a NEW voice for the students, parents and teachers of Sharyland ISD,” she wrote. “A NEW voice for every student to have the right to a great education, access to all technology, to have someone who cares and who will stand up for each student to feel safe at schools. A NEW voice for parents and to let them know that I will be a strong advocate for their children. A NEW voice for our teachers to help make sure teachers have all the materials and training they need for a well equipped and active learning classroom as well as a NEW voice for teachers to speak up for when they can’t.”

Maritza Ramirez-Esqueda will run alone for the Place 3 seat.

A Sharyland-area resident for the past 11 years, Ramirez-Esqueda studied international business at the University of Texas San Antonio and has worked as an entrepreneur and business owner since 2003. She founded Forum Records Management in Mission and serves as the COO and managing partner/shareholder of Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage.

Ramirez-Esqueda also owns McAllen Beauty Salon Mane on Main and is managing partner of Lone Star Employee Partners, a real estate holdings and investment business.

Describing herself as a proud community servant, Ramirez-Esqueda serves as co-chair for the Mission Baccalaureate committee and as co-founder and president of the Greater Gold foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to assist Rio Grande Valley families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis.

“Through her work with the Greater Gold Foundation Maritza dedicates much of her time advocating for children battling cancer in the Rio Grande Valley, and volunteers to help these families whose children are being treated at the Vannie E. Cook children’s clinic,” a news release stated. “Maritza has been recognized for her work with children battling cancer, being honored as a Vannie E. Cook Community Hero in 2017, City of Mission’s Woman of the year in 2014 and Sharyland Education Foundation Woman of the year in 2018.”

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