Canas seeking Place 3 on LHISD Board
There was no hesitation in Antonio Canas’ decision to file for a second run at a spot on the LHISD Board of Trustees.
Canas lost to Kendall Carter in November in a three-candidate race.
“I really want to be part of this community and help people,” Canas said of his decision to run again.
And while he didn’t win last time, he did find himself deeply involved in the district as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee.
“I was part of the long range planning for this bond,” he said. “I’m already embedded in what’s going on with the bond and understand the process and the need for this bond. I totally support it because we need it.”
A retired 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Canas decided to make Liberty Hill his home, and he believes in being involved where he calls home.
“I’m doing this mainly because my kids are in school here, and being retired from the military I will have time to support my community,” Canas said. “I like serving people.”
He has two children at the Intermediate School and one in High School.
After enlisting at age 18, Canas has been on a military journey of more than two decades, earning two bachelor’s degrees and one master’s in the process. He began as a tanker, but finished his career as a human resource officer.
“I definitely had a diverse experience in the military,” he said. “The broad view I have of the world will be good on the Board. I have additional skills the community needs. This community is growing really fast and with my diverse background in small areas and big cities I can see the impact the growth has on kids.”
He was stationed at Fort Hood on multiple occasions, and decided to make Central Texas his home, with his children first attending school in Round Rock before settling in the Liberty Hill area. He is now working for the State of Texas, but said his focus has always been on volunteering.
The longer he is in the area, the more he is getting involved, focusing his energy on students that may be left behind for one reason or another.
He is currently serving as a mentor in a Williamson County juvenile program called Reset.
“I’m trying to get involved in those kinds of things, helping the community and that’s really what I want to do here in Liberty Hill is help those kids in need,” Canas said. “That’s one of the main things I am running for, to make sure we have that on our mind and we’re not just focused in on projects like building things we need. We have to deal with students that have challenges.”
As the population grows, so does the number of students facing a variety of challenges, all things Canas believes are magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That is increasing that stress level and we need to focus on what we are doing for those kids,” he said. “If we know they are falling behind or already struggling, we know now they will be really struggling.”
Always keeping one eye on student needs outside of facilities is something he wants to focus on.
“We know the population is growing really fast and we have to focus on building, but we also have to remember the challenges the kids are having as well,” he said. “It will need to continue to be a greater focus and I want to help keep that in the front of people’s minds.”
What Canas sees in LHISD impresses him, but he believes with fast growth comes a heightened need for solid decision making.
“It is expanding pretty fast, with new schools opening and I just see in a way it is a very tight community,” he said. “The challenge in the district will be learning how to put strategic priorities in place. Sometimes when you grow so fast you might think something is a priority but it might not be. That will be a challenge.”
The key to making those right decisions and choosing the right path is simple for him.
“Being engaged with the actual people who will be effected instead of being engaged with the top people,” Canas said. “Getting feedback from the community before we start doing things we think is the right thing. We can’t make commitments that might not benefit the community.”