Irma Duran: Ensuring opportunities and success for future generations
Irma Duran is currently running for Northside ISD Board of Trustees, a position that had its first woman elected in 1981 and first woman to serve as President in 1990. She would be the second Latina ever and the first one in over twenty years to serve on the board if elected. She believes that the role should strive for children’s success by listening to the communities needs and being creative in communicating a uniform message across the district. As a Northside ISD parent herself, she is the mother of two girls and her goal is to increase the dialogue between parents and the district. This San Antonio native wants all residents to prosper and is ensuring that the children of Northside are a part of that success.
Irma was born in San Benito, Texas, a small town that is slightly north of Brownsville, Texas and its claim to fame is being the birthplace of musician Freddy Fender. She moved to San Antonio at the age of 4 when her father accepted a new position to be closer to medical facilities that could treat her brother’s heart condition. Her family made sure to find a home in a district that offered the best education for their children. Irma started attending schools in the Northside District at Pre-K as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student and she attended several schools due to her parent’s aspiration in finding her the best school in the district. Her educational experience in the district gave her the confidence and knowledge to pass senior year and pursue college after.
After high school, Irma attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and received a BBA in International Marketing with minors in Finance and German. She was not finished there and preceded to Texas A&M University-San Antonio to receive her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Project and Construction Management. She first began working for the city of San Antonio as an intern for local government small business administration and wanted to stay in San Antonio to help her local communities. Her education and passion for her community has led to her current role of serving as the Senior Housing Policy Coordinator for The City of San Antonio’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department. Her thoughts on the role, “This position allows me to coordinate all the various policy efforts between agencies, departments, and City Hall affecting the needs of the constituents of this rapidly growing city.”
The call to duty for running for Northside ISD Board of Trustees came from Irma’s recognition of the change in demographics and the large disconnect between families and the programs offered. She observed that the disconnect is greatly related to the nontraditional caretakers of the community and that new marketing strategies should be executed based on the diversity of the family households. In addition, she suggests a more creative approach on engaging the community and partnering with local programs to offer more services for the children. Irma said she never really saw herself as a Politian, but instead more of a back of the house role creating the change needed. Her motivation and approach would suggest that she views the students of Northside ISD as her own children and wants to ensure the success of our future generations.
Irma has experienced challenges early in her career as being considered lacking experience due to being a younger woman by her counterparts. She persevered past gender and racial hurdles to show her dedication to the community by aiding in a town hall; a 30-minute assignment that turned into a 6-hour interpretation of the meeting to allow Spanish speaking residents the ability to fully understand what was going on in their community. Irma believes that women seeking politics should support each other and never be afraid to ask for help. In addition, to take chances because if you don’t feel you can then you will never be able too.
As Irma runs for the Board of Trustee position, she is thankful for her large family network that aids in her time management. She dedicates Sundays to spending time with family and their board game night. Her family’s support allows her to battle the difficulties of running for office during Covid restrictions. Irma wishes to be out in the community checking in on neighbors and reaching out to the elderly members of the community but would never put their health at risk. No matter the outcome of the upcoming election, Irma is dedicated to stay involved in the City of San Antonio as a career.