Gregory was recently appointed to fill the seat on the board that became vacant when Rosario Salazar died.
“I didn’t have the privilege of meeting her, but I hear she was very committed to the community,” Gregory said. “That was a rough time for the board. They chose to appoint someone that had been working closely with the district. I was honored that they considered me.”
Gregory will finish the time remaining on Salazar’s term, and the seat will be up for election in May 2015.
“If things go well for the next nine to 10 months, I’ll run for that seat,” Gregory said.
One of Gregory’s primary initiatives will be to help the district keep up with Portland’s growth.
“I would like to see us adapt to accommodate the increased population, and the industry boom,” she said. “The district has seen growth in the past few years, and I expect it to grow more. We need to have appropriate facilities to accommodate the numbers we’ll be seeing.”
One point of emphasis for helping the district adjust to growth lies in technological advances, Gregory said.
“I feel like the district is behind a bit as far as the digital age,” she said. “I think the communication system can be enhanced with technology.”
Gregory—who grew up in Clute—has lived in Portland for seven years. She moved here with her husband, Charles Gregory, when the physician was in residency training in Corpus Christi.
“We decided to stay in the area,” Gregory said. “One of the main reasons we moved to Portland is we heard so many good things about the school district.”
Gregory has four daughters and began volunteer work for the district when her oldest, Samantha, 8, began kindergarten. She served on a committee that worked to promote a bond that was eventually approved. The bond was proposed to fund the addition of the district’s new athletic facility, the construction of a new East Cliff Elementary School, and the addition to Stephen F. Austin Elementary School. All projects are currently under construction.
“Thankfully, we were successful,” Gregory said. “And then I kept attending board meetings.”
Gregory served on the committee that recommended Stoddard Construction Management, Inc. - a company based in Bulverde - for the construction contract of the new East Cliff facility. The project will cost $16 million.
“They started (construction) a few weeks ago, and it’s going like gang busters,” Gregory said. “I’m happy to see that.”
Gregory is a physical therapist and works at Affiliated Therapy Group in Corpus Christi. She received her bachelor’s degree in health education at Texas A&M University at College Station and her master’s degree in physical therapy at Texas Woman’s University in Houston. She plans to help students develop plans for attending college or entering the workforce.
“Especially with all the industry coming to town, there’s so much opportunity for those students,” Gregory said. “We need to make sure those kids are ready for college or to go into the workforce. I want to see every kid succeed.”