Merlin D. Griggs Sr., president, a local businessman and longtime volunteer in Aldine ISD, was appointed to the Board of Education to fill the unexpired term of former board member A.W. Jones in May of 2007. He was elected to the position in November 2007. Griggs is a resident of Woodcreek and has been active in Aldine schools for many years. He has served as a S.N.A.P.P (Students Need a Pat and a Push) mentor, booster club president and a member of the Nimitz Peer Review Assessment Team. He continues to address students at various career days throughout the district. Griggs also served as chairman of the Needs Assessment Committee for the successful 2007 bond referendum election. He and his wife Cathy have two sons, both of whom are graduates of Nimitz Senior High School. Griggs is a Senior Oil & Gas Underwriter for Fairmont Specialty, Inc., a subsidiary of Crum & Forster Insurance Company. He has worked in the commercial insurance industry for over 30 years in various management and technical positions. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with plans to pursue a graduate degree from Prairie View A&M University. He is one of the founding board members of the Aldine Education Foundation and sits on the board of directors for Manning Family Services. Griggs is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and serves faithfully as an ordained deacon at Fallbrook Church located in North Houston.
Steve Mead, vice president, was elected to the Position 5 seat in May 2004 after being appointed in January 2004 to replace Carlos Diaz who resigned from the board in December 2003. Mead, a graduate of Aldine Senior High School, has lived and worked in the MacArthur community for more than 50 years. Mead is the owner of Component Sales and Service, a geotechnical lab equipment company, which is located in the Aldine community. Mead has been active in a number of civic organizations, serving on the boards of Aldine YOUTH, the Aldine Noon Optimist Club, the Aldine Scholarship Foundation and the Aldine Improvement District. Mead and his wife Jill have three daughters, all of whom attended Aldine ISD schools and graduated from MacArthur Senior High School.
Dr. Viola M. Garcia, secretary, has served on the school board since her appointment to Position 7 in 1992 and election in January 1993. She has chaired numerous school board committees and held all four board offices. Dr. Garcia was a member of the Project 2000 Committee, the district-level Site Based Management Committee, and the Campus Planning Committee. A Master Trustee, Dr. Garcia is a member of the Mexican American School Board Members Association, and has served as that group’s president. She is a member of the Texas Association of School Boards and currently serves as secretary - treasurer. She is also a life member of PTA and serves as the education liaison for the Greater Inwood Super Neighbor-hood Council. Her three daughters are Eisenhower High School graduates.
Dr. Alton Smith, assistant secretary, was named to fill the unexpired term of former Trustee Emmett W. Hill, who resigned in October, 2005, due to health concerns.
Dr. Smith is a resident of the Inwood community and currently serves as Assistant Director of Human Resources Services in Klein ISD. Prior to entering the public education field, Dr. Smith spent more than 30 years in the private sector in human resources with Shell Oil Company. Dr. Smith is a member of various civic and professional associations and organizations. His children are graduates of Aldine ISD schools and his wife is a former AISD teacher.
Rose Avalos, board member, was elected to the Position 3 seat in May 2006. At two months of age, she and her family moved to Aldine and she has remained there ever since. Ms. Avalos attended Aldine schools and was a member of the second class to graduate from MacArthur Senior High School in 1968. After graduating from Sam Houston State University, Ms. Avalos began her educational career in 1972 as a teacher in Aldine ISD and remained with the district for 33 years. During her Aldine tenure, she also served as a counselor, program director, assistant principal and principal at Escamilla Intermediate School. In 1994 she returned to her alma mater and served as MacArthur Senior High’s principal for 11 years before retiring in 2005. She was named the district’s Principal of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
Rick Ogden, board member, has served on the school board since his appointment in August 1990 to fill the unexpired term of Walter Stovall. He was elected to that position in January 1991. Prior to becoming a trustee, he served on the district’s Project 2000 Committee. Rick has held all four board offices and chaired numerous committees. A 1992 member of Leadership TASB, Mr. Ogden earned the title of Master Trustee. In addition to serving on the school board, Mr. Ogden has served as a director of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and was that group’s president in 2002-2003. He has also held all offices in TASB and is currently a member of the TASB Risk Management Fund Board as well as a trainer for The Center For the Reform of School Systems (CRSS). Mr. Ogden is a native Houstonian, a 32-year resident of Aldine, and has four children who are all graduates of Aldine High School. Rick is Assistant Vice President for Church and Community Relations for Houston Baptist University.
Aldine Independent School District does not discriminate against persons because of race, creed, national origin, age, sex, disabilities, economic status or language disability in employment, promotion or educational programming. Any complaints or grievances which cannot be solved at campus level through the principal may be submitted in writing to Dr. Archie Blanson, Deputy Superintendent, 14910 Aldine Westfield Rd., Houston, TX 77032.