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HARLINGEN — A fresh new face has joined the Harlingen school board.
Ricky Leal was elected Saturday to Place 2 that was vacated by long-time school board member Javier De Leon. Leal took 70% of the votes with 2,256 ballots, defeating Israel Aguilar, who received 29% of the votes.
In the election to Place 1, Gina Cano-Monreal received 76% of the votes with 2,428 ballots, defeating Lorraine De Leon-Galarza, who received 23% of the votes.
Leal, a former U.S. Air Force officer and now senior vice president and member of the executive management team at First Community Bank, said he wants to continue to improve the school district’s safety program. The father of three children now welcomed the chance to use his banking experience to educate students on financial matters.
“I am deeply honored by the confidence our community has shown in me,” he said. “I am proud of HCISD and will do everything I can to help us grow and succeed. I sincerely appreciate the support, and I am ready to get to work.”
Cano-Monreal was appointed to Place 1 last year when long-time board member Gerry Fleuriet retired. During her election campaign, she said she wanted to ensure that teachers and students were safe on their campuses.
The married mother of two children is the statewide vice-president of online learning at Texas State Technical College.
“I am truly grateful and humbled by the trust and confidence the HCISD community has placed in me,” she said Saturday night after the results came in.
“I give thanks to God for gracing me with strength and perseverance, to my family for their grace and patience and for loving and supporting me unconditionally, and finally, to our campaign team for all their sacrifices and wisdom,” she said.
Find the complete, unofficial election results of races across the Rio Grande Valley here.