Five vying for positions on Cameron ISD Board of Trustees

Cameron Independent School District voters will have five candidates to choose from when they go to the polls on May 6.

Five people have filed to run for two spots on the Cameron ISD school board. Positions held by James Burks and Daniel Willie are up for election. 

Incumbent Board President James Burks has filed for re-election. Robert Welsh, Roy Martinez, Melanie Shuffield Romine and Jenny Gebhart have also filed to run.

Early voting began on April 24 and will be conducted at City Hall, 100 South Houston in Cameron, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, April 28.

Election Day voting will be at C.H. Yoe High School, 303 East 12th Street in Cameron, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 6.

The candidates were each asked to give a brief description of themselves and why they are running for a spot on the CISD Board of Trustees.


James Burks

Hello, my name is James Burks. I am 65 years old and have been married to Kim, who works at Anderle Lumber Co., for 35 yrs. 

We have two children. Amanda Burks Cardona, 32, who is a school teacher in Bryan. She lives in College Station with her husband Eddie and their two children. Jake Burks, who is a graduate of Yoe High, is 27 and lives in Bastrop. He is employed by the LCRA. 

Kim and I have lived in Cameron for 14 years where I am General Manager of 44 Farms in the Marlow Community. I have served on several boards including seven years on the Texas Angus Association where I was president. 

I am seeking re-election to the Cameron School Board where I am currently Board President. In the past three years we have seen great improvement in all of our campuses, including four new classrooms at Ben Milam Elementary and athletic facilities. We hired a new superintendent, Allan Sapp, who has hit the ground running bringing new enthusiasm to our district. Our administrators and teachers are leading our students to a bright future. Truly it is our duty as parents first, school teachers, administrators and board members to prepare our students for life after school. 

We can only accomplish this as a team.

Many students are college bound, some will be attending technical schools and others will join the workforce. Regardless, we owe it to our students to prepare them to be ready to contribute to society. Cameron School District is about great schools and world class facilities, made up of wonderful and caring people. I consider it a distinct privilege to be a part of this team. I will, as I have the past three years, strive to keep CISD a conservative District that will help each and every student be ALL that they can be. 


Jenny Gebhardt

My name is Jenny Gebhart and I am seeking your vote for Trustee on the Cameron ISD School Board.  I have been practicing law with Mark Humble in Cameron for over eight years.  I am a graduate of Rockdale High School, 2003 honor graduate from Texas A&M University and a 2008 graduate of St. Mary’s School of Law.  I received my license to practice in November 2008.    

Education has always been a priority in my life.  My mother and father were educators within Rockdale ISD.  My father passed away when I was two years old and from that moment, my mother instilled the importance of education in my life.  I still believe this and strive to demonstrate it to my children daily.

While I have worked in Cameron for eight years, I made it my home three years ago. I love living in Cameron and raising my children in this community.   I have a 9th grader, a 4th grader, a two year old who loves the Yoemen, and another due in September.  I have a vested interest in Cameron ISD and will for a long time.  

People have asked me why I am running for a place on the CISD School Board.  My response is simple, “I do not have an agenda.”  If elected, I will not begin my service with a list of items that I want checked off once accomplished.  I will come to this job with an open mind and the objectivity necessary to perform all of the functions of a school board member. I am willing and eager to devote the time and energy that this community deserves in fulfilling my duties as a board member.  

I believe what sets me apart from other candidates is the fact that I have children in Cameron ISD and will for many years.  I, like everyone, want the best and highest quality of education for my children.  I want to provide the best resources for the teachers and administrators who lead our children.  I am a dedicated and compassionate leader. Together, we can tackle the quality-of-education, equity, and fiscal challenges, while representing diverse interests. I would be honored by your vote. 


Roy Martinez

Having lived in Cameron for over 50 years and raised 3 Yoe High graduates, I believe that everyone has a responsibility to give something back to the community that has served his family. 

I am proud to say that I have a BA from the University of Texas at Austin in English and Education. I served as the Parent Liaison for the CISD Elementary Schools for three years and as a substitute teacher on many occasions in the past. Also, I have taught the Adult Basic Program (GED) and the ESL classes for the Region 6 Education Center.

It is my desire to work with other able trustees in providing our superintendent with the necessary tools to perform his duties in the best manner that will continue to improve all our children’s education; the resources to aid our teachers exercise their passion and skills to the best of their ability; and to administer the taxpayer’s money wisely. All according to the TEA and local regulations. 

Global economics is constantly changing and the need for well-prepared graduates to take the next step in furthering their education is challenging. We must seek and provide the best programs and tools that will make Yoe graduates face those challenges without fear or hesitation. The training begins the first day our children enter our elementary schools.

I would like the opportunity to work with the CISD administration to ensure that all our children come first. It is a responsibility that I take seriously, therefore, I ask for your support on the May 6 School Board election ballot. 

My name is Roy E. Martinez. My wife, Gloria, and I have been married for 46 years. We have three children, Sarah Carter, Carlos and Elena Martinez; we are the proud grandparents of Haleigh Carter and Alexa Reign Martinez. I am ready and willing to serve our community to the best of my ability. 

Thank you very much.


Melanie Romine

Since moving to Cameron 28 years ago, I have been a strong supporter of our public schools. I believe that public education is one of the primary vehicles for transforming a community. I have seen how the community supports the schools and I want to contribute my personal time and efforts serving on the school board - working with the school administration, teachers, students, and the citizens of Cameron.

I am married to my husband Steve and have three children who are proud to be Yoemen - Colton, 21, Makennah, 18, and Morgan,16. I am the Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, here in Cameron. I am a member of the First United Methodist Church of Cameron, and have served in many civic organizations - Chamber of Commerce, twice as president; Rotary Club, as President, Secretary and Treasurer; and the Cameron Economic Development Board. I have been very involved with the PTO at all schools, and on the Yoemen Booster Club Board.

I feel that my financial background and community experience will help me evaluate and adopt policies beneficial to our district. I am a  team player and will show respect and trust for the other school board members, superintendent, teachers, and students. I will be dedicated to serving all
students, knowing my role will be to act strategically, in line with the
interests of the entire school community.

I certainly would appreciate your vote for me, Melanie Romine, on May 6, for school board member of the Cameron Independent School District.


Robert Welsh

I, Robert Welsh, have built a career around service to Texas public schools. After serving eight years in the U.S. Army, I dedicated the next 22 years to education as a teacher, coach, administrator, and superintendent in both rural and urban schools around Central and East Texas. 

Due to my working knowledge of public education and the Team of 8 training that board members receive, I believe I will be an asset to current board members and the Superintendent with continuing to move Cameron ISD forward both academically and financially. He currently serves as the Director of Transportation for Bryan ISD. 

I believe that all district decisions should be centered on the following question: Is this decision the very best one for the children of Cameron? 

In order for the Yoemen to continue being a top contender in the state, we must continue providing opportunities and commit resources for our administrators, teachers, staff, and parents that support our students.

I just celebrated my 25th year of marriage to Kimberly, a professor of education at Stephen F. Austin. We have three children: Christopher, 22, Bryce, 11th grade, and Emma, 5th grade. 

I have demonstrated improved student academic performance in each district that I have served. It would be an honor to bring my experience, passion, and knowledge of public schools to Cameron ISD as a School Board Member. I pledge to do what is best for ALL children of Cameron and to continue the Yoemen tradition of excellence.