Is now serving as director of operations

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

With his recent approval by the Alice ISD School Board, J.C. Perez III is committed to his new role as director of operations and transportation.

With the day-to-day operations of a 4A district to manage, along with project oversite at the new William Adams Middle School set to break ground later this summer, Perez has come in during a time of change and expansion for the district.

Along with his new set of responsibilities, Perez still manages several of the duties he held as director of federal programs.

Perez was in charge of all federal program grants such as Title I-V and optional extended-year programs, which helped to fund summer school in the district.

Perez was also in charge of textbooks for the district, and served as homeless liaison and liaison for the county truancy court.

Perez has 30 years of experience in the district, rising through the ranks from vocational counselor, to assistant principal at WAMS, to principal at Dubose, and then his previous term as Director of Federal Programs.

One of his new roles includes the role of project manager on the new WAMS construction.

Questions or changes between contractors and architects on the project and the school district will be funneled through Perez.

"If there is a need for change, I would be the person they come up to to send the information to the superintendent and the school board, and then bring their decisions back to the contractors," Perez said.

His main goal is to ensure the facilities are safe during construction and have everything clean and prepared to allow the children to have a positive learning environment. The district will have the construction site fenced off, and areas of construction will be barricaded for student safety.

As for the transportation responsibilities, it's his role to make sure the district has reliable transportation.

Building codes, fire hazards, state guidelines concerning materials, construction, transportation and maintenance are all subject areas Perez must keep in mind daily during the course of his work.

As part of new changes in store for the district under transportation, a new tracker system was purchased, along with Global Positioning System modules installed in each school bus.

If there is ever a problem with a particular bus, such as a safety concern or a criminal situation, each bus can be located using GPS, and information such as driving speed is recorded at all times.

"The devices will make sure that our buses will be driven properly and to the proper places," Perez said."Stopping at the designated areas and keeping a proper log of all this. It's an excellent system."

Perez also has an item to consider for the next budget cycle, which is a additional device with a keypad and ID card swipe for students. If approved, it would provide electronic documentation of which students were on which bus during what times.

Perez said the transition to operations has been smooth.

"It's a lot of work responsibility, dealing more with different personnel. It's a good size job," he said.

His years of experience, in many different positions throughout the district, has given Perez a positive outlook on life and on his role in the district, he said.

"Like I've always told everybody, this particular job is basically like the Navy, it's an adventure," Perez said. "Every day is an adventure, and I enjoy every minute of it. It's not boring, I'll tell you that much."