Polls open at 7 a.m. on close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, for all local elections in Socorro County.

These are the following races that will be voted on next week:

Socorro Consolidated Schools Board of Education

Candidates for Position I are David Elfrigo Greigo III and David Roy Hicks. Kim Gonzales decided not to run for re-election.

David Griego III

David Griego

David Griego III

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: A school board member should be one that is attentive to the needs of children, community and district he or she serves. A board member should be able to address challenges that are presented to a board in a professional and engaging manner that serves the interest of those involved. One should also seek out opportunities that would be beneficial to the children of that district. A member should be a great advocate of all interests. Finally, a board member should have the ability to comprehend and uphold the essential functions of a board.

Q: What do you see as the board's roles and responsibilities?

A: A board is essentially the representative of the people the district serves. The board also collects information from the public on opinion that can be discussed during regular meetings. A board is also there to support a budget that is effective, balanced and has the interest of the children first and foremost. The board also creates a relationship with the administrator and develops expectations for that administrator that he or she would adhere to. It is the board and administrator that must keep an open line of communication for the purpose of creating an effective district. It is the board that promotes a closed gap between community and district.

What is your vision for education in this community?

My vision for education in our community is to create a more unified and supportive district that promotes and supports the success of each and every child, one that promotes the involvement of families in the education of our children and to provide opportunities to further their education in terms of vocational programs and higher Ed (college) once graduated. By doing so we are investing into the success of our children that the district serves and eventually to those that are educated at home or elsewhere.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: As interest of the charter continues to increase throughout the district of Socorro, we must be more considering and engaging of the opportunities charter presents to the community. It is now that we must consider that interest and provide a supportive and engaging relationship with both the district and charter which will allow for more children and families to receive increased access. By doing so our children will be offered new and creative education opportunities that will increase the chances of being more successful as a student and eventually as an adult, it also provides options for the families of the Socorro community to consider.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: Meeting our education goals (proficiency rating), we are not at an acceptable level district wide though some schools are doing better than others in the district. A lack of a transparent culture (trust), without transparency we continue to divide the community and district. Extending opportunities to a charter that has attracted interest from an increasing number of families within our community. Limited opportunities for our youth after graduation within the community in terms of higher Ed, vocational training and jobs. Finally, if we continue to overlook the challenges presented today, we will continue to face them tomorrow.

David Hicks

David Hicks

David Hicks

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: Very simple, put our children first. Care about our Children. Make decisions based on what’s best for our children. Have an open mind and the ability to think outside the box. Have the ability to create a short term and long term strategy and be able to hold your team accountable for that strategy. Have the ability to understand a budget and how to raise money. Have the ability to work with any and all agencies that can be a benefit to our goals.

Q: What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

A: First off, a successful board member needs to understand the role of the board. In the business world, if a member of the board of directors ignores the chain of command and goes directly to employees to address issues then that board member would be immediately fired. Period. There is a reason we hire a Superintendent, and if board members go around that position, how do we hold that position accountable?

Second, a board member must be able to listen to all issues and problems with an open mind and look for solutions from all angles, as well as have the ability to solve problems and make plans for the betterment of our children.

Third, a board member must be a leader, with the ability to set expectations and standards while holding the TEAM accountable for both. It is their job to ensure that our teachers have the “Tools” and training to be successful.

A successful teacher can be the most amazing influence in a child’s life! It is our role to create an environment in which that relationship can develop!

Q: What is your vision for the education in this community?

A: “The Education Capital of the Southwest.” I have already met with President Wells of NMT and discussed how we can achieve this. I believe it can be done in 3-5 years and that we are already half way there. We will create a community relationship that creates a center for K-12 educational development. It will include a community college that covers the trades, a creation of an advising program using Tech’s experience to guide Socorro county students in academic performances. Funding is secured and would not come from our current budget nor effect our current budget. This is not a political statement or empty promise, it is real and in motion!

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: I envision a great relationship. Charter school is doing a fantastic job and we should support them 100 percent! Many of my Diamond Dawgs baseball team kids attend Cottonwood, so I do see the great results they have achieved. The current issue of the need for 20 more students at Cottonwood has an easy solution. There is absolutely zero need to struggle back and forth for students between schools. Our budgets suffer from a simple economic term called Economies of scale. I will load up both schools’ administrators and take a trip to Santa Fe and fix this problem. We have elected officials that have fantastic agenda’s to fix education in NM. We must use them to get what we need. I will set that meeting up and solve the problem so both schools thrive and our children continue to win.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: #1- Recruiting and Keeping Teachers

How do we do this?

- By joining our schools with Tech we move our 110 teachers under the same umbrella as current Tech employees; we can then offer free tuition to the children of Teachers in the Socorro School system, just as current employees of Tech enjoy now.

- Offer a free Master’s of Science degree at Tech to all teachers in our system. This is an amazing opportunity for current teachers to further educate themselves and increase their base pay.

- Set up billboards at NMSU, UNM, ENMU, WNMU advertising our free Master’s program at one of the top universities in the world if you come teach in Socorro.

With these steps, within 3-5 years we will have the right to claim that Socorro Schools will have more Masters holding teachers per capita than any other community in the entire Southwest. No other small town in the southwest has a partner like President Wells and NMT. NMT is already the best, it’s time we use our resources and teach our children how to “Raise the Expectations” of themselves!

It is that simple, that is how we become the “Education Capital of the Southwest”!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Incumbent Carlos E. Vega will be facing challengers Gregory D. Ezell, Michael J. Hargather and Adam S. Paz for Position II.

Carlos Vega

Carlos Vega

Carlos Vega

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: A good school board member should have confidence, strong leadership and the willingness to work with all school and community persons. Must also care for students and be involved in the school from day one even if not a school board member.

Q: What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

A: The Board's rules and responsibilities include work with State of New Mexico for finances to make the schools function. Setting policy that works for the school district. The Board also appoints the Superintendent, who is the leader of all schools within the district.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: My vision for education in the community is to get all kids out to different businesses and see how they function and keep the community involved with the school district. We all need to be on board and support each other and help our children thrive for the future of our small town.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: The relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district is that we need to work together and make education work for all students within the school district. We also need to maintain a good relationship between both boards and stay focused on the needs of the children.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: The challenges that face the Socorro district is the dropout rate and the teachers that leave the school district. We need to find a way to keep both in Socorro. We need to focus on our childrens' weaknesses and help them have a better future as well as keep them motivated and get back to the idea of school being fun for the teachers and our children.

Greg D. Ezell

Greg D. Ezell

Greg D. Ezell

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: Essential is the ability to be able to work with others. Another is to have a genuine concern for the students and the community.

Q: What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

To write policies, for the betterment of the schools and the community that will meet standards and regulation set by the state. The board is the check and balance in the schools. When there is a change in the office of the Superintendent to find a new replacement. Help in the making of the budget for the system. Check that the monies in the budget go where it is set for.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: Prepare the students to be productive citizens in the community. Prepare them for college or trade schooling.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: The Charter school needs to prepare their students for the transition to the High school. Curriculum across grade levels need line up throughout the schools. All schools need to find a way to model their community support after that of the school in San Antonio.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: Many of our students are complacent in the community. This needs to change in our students, so they can ready for the work place or college. Have teachers that meet the standards of the state. There are more that I can list in this short paper.

Michael J. Hargather

Michael J. Hargather

Michael J. Hargather

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: I think that a successful school board has to be a leader, collaborator, and communicator. The first thing our school board needs is for someone to take a leadership stance and lead our community to a better education. This leadership has to come from the school board. A successful school board member must also be able to collaborate with others in the community, in the school district, and on the board. Our Socorro community is a tight-knit rural community that needs effective collaboration and people who can bridge between people and ideas to develop inclusive solutions. Finally, a successful board member has to also be able to effectively communicate. This communication must be a two-way skill: both speaking and listening. The current district and board has a communication and a public relations issue that needs, concerns, and solution approaches are not communicated on any level, and the board has to maintain clear communication for what it is doing, how it is doing it, and what the resulting successes or failures are.

Q: What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

A: Formally the School Board’s role is to set the policy for the district, but I believe that the school board also has a responsibility to set the vision for the district. The school board should be looking long term for how to grow, evolve, and strengthen the district on 5-, 10-, and 15-year horizons. The board needs to have some strategic planning and strategic thinking to provide long-term guidance for the district. The board also has a responsibility to the community and all district employees to hear and respond to complaints and issues. This includes being available to the community for discussions, as well as available to teachers, administrators, and staff at each of the schools to be able to voice concerns. The school board should also be responsive to students and provide support to students through everything the board enacts.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: Socorro is a community with education at its core. We have New Mexico Tech, NRAO, the NM Bureau of Geology, and other high-science opportunities in town, and we should have a K-12 education system to support and feed into the other education in town. Unfortunately we do not have the K-12 system, but we could. My vision is to build the K-12 education system to the same level of prominence and recognition as NMT has within the state, region, and nation. I think our community could be like Los Alamos if we build our schools, and work together as a community with a common vision to improve Socorro. Education is the key to the economy in Socorro, and growth of the education system will lead to economic growth, which will be a positive reinforcement to the district.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: I see the Cottonwood Valley Charter School as an integral part of the Socorro Consolidated School District. Cottonwood Valley is a charter school, which means that they have a different set of rules that they can play buy, which we as a district should be using to our advantage. Cottonwood Valley has developed an education model that is working in Socorro, we need to observe that model and identify aspects of the model that we can implement across all of the schools. As a charter school Cottonwood Valley should be our experimental playground, the teachers and staff there should continue to, and be encouraged to, innovate in the teaching and learning environment. The goal of that innovation should be to develop educational modules that can be implemented district wide for the benefit of all of Socorro. There have been a lot of things learned at Cottonwood Valley, it is time that we implemented those lessons in other schools in the district.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: Socorro is facing a lot of difficult problems including student discipline, student behavior, student home life concerns, teacher shortages, limited community/parental involvement, and a shrinking population in Socorro. There are other concerns I have that I would like to investigate if I become a Board member of whether the atmosphere in the schools is positive between teachers and administration, and whether our teachers and staff feel that they have advancement potential in the district.

Adam S. Paz

Adam S. Paz

Adam S. Paz

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: Willingness to help the district as a whole, ability to co-exist as a unified board, and most importantly willingness to go the extra mile in the legislative part of the board's duties ie. finding monies to help further and broaden educational possibilities.

Q: What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

A: Truly being advocates for every student, teacher, custodian, bus driver and all employees through out the district, but also understanding all the demographics in our community so local policies can be made accordingly to every students issues and barriers.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: The vision is simple, broaden the curriculum so that the non-college students have a want to be in school and finish their schooling, ie. more trades electives that are in high demand, there is definitely a rewarding career for a trade student as there is for a major college degree.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: The charter school is proven to be a popular and achieving attribute to the district, we should truly appreciate the presence and work closely with the school in using what's working so great for them and do what's necessary to transition it to our district.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: The need to settle for the status quo and not striving for more, the stagnant approach to bettering the district as a whole, for all students, faculty, ALL EMPLOYEES. If we don't advocate for the community in all demanding aspects then how do we expect to grow as a community with the ever evolving world.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Position III, Hamdy Soliman is a write-in candidate in District III. He will challenge incumbent JC Trujillo and Lindsey Lopez.

Juan "JC" Trujillo

Juan "JC" Trujillo

Juan "JC" Trujillo

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: A school board member must be able to address every issue without bias. A school board member must treat every decision they make with integrity and transparency. A board member must be courageous and willing to support the needs and priorities of their constituents, and not the needs of themselves. They must have the ability to listen to all sides and then have the ability to make the best decision for those involved.

Q: What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?

A: NM State law defines the roles and responsibilities into 14 separate items under NMSA 22-5-4. One of the most important is to develop educational policies for the school district. These policies must include the strategic plan, curriculum to use, curriculum alignment, educational expectations, and the way student success will be measured and tracked. This will ensure that students are ready to progress through their learning and achieve their ultimate K-12 goal of High School Graduation.

One of the next roles is to review and approve the annual budget. The board must align the budget with the strategic plan and vision of the board. The board must also be accountable for ensuring that the district’s funds are being spent throughout the year to support strategic plan and goals. This will ensure that students and staff are supported in learning.

As I said, there are 14 categories of roles and responsibilities, however, one of the last I will point out, but absolutely the most important is the employment and evaluation of the superintendent. The superintendent is the only employee of the board, and all of the decisions he and his administration make, falls on his/her shoulders. The board must hold the superintendent accountable for executing his/her duties and responsibilities. The superintendent must also share the vision and goals of the board. While the superintendent is ultimately responsible to the board, he/she must hold all staff and students accountable to federal and state laws and regulations, as well as, the expectations, vision, and goals of the board.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: Education is the foundation to any successful future! My vision for education in Socorro is to support ALL students in their learning and life paths in order for 100% of our students to graduate. Failure is not an option. To achieve 100% Graduation rate, we must deliver Increased Access to Educational Opportunities, Accountability for all, and Community Collaboration with all of our community partners.

We must provide opportunities for students to engage in education. Increased Access for students is absolutely the priority here. There are funds available to offer innovative programs that we must take advantage of. Increased access for before and after school programs to help student proficiency, extra-curricular activities for our elementary students, and Career-Technical Education opportunities for high school students. The decisions the Board makes must be made for betterment of our students first!

The Board to the administration, to staff, to parents and student MUST all be held accountable. The board is held accountable through transparency and open decision making. Administration is held accountable for executing the strategic plan, vision, and mission of the board. Both the board and administration are held accountable to ensuring faculty is supported. District faculty must have the ability to share both their concerns and triumphs without the fear of retaliation. To have a positive work environment, we must have equality and transparency. Faculty voice must be heard AND respected! Staff is held accountable to support student learning and safety. Students must be held accountable to show up ready to learn, and their behavior. Parents must be held accountable to be involved in their child’s education, and have their child to school ready to learn.

Next, but possibly the largest, we must build upon our community collaboration and partnerships. It truly takes a community to raise a child! We must respect what our community partners provide and bring them to the table and discussion to build a strong strategic plan for student success. When the community is part of the discussion, they will be more receptive to the plan, and will also actively participate in executing the plan.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: Cottonwood Valley Charter School is a district charter school. The district must work hand in hand with charter school, and provide all the necessary support. CVCS has proven to deliver successful results with their students. We need to set aside the “them vs. us” battle and support the success of ALL children in our community.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: One of the largest challenges facing education in Socorro is the state of our economy. What role do our schools play in economic development? One of the first things potential businesses and employers look at when considering whether or not to invest in a community is the public school system. It is no secret that we need to improve within our schools and our community, and produce higher marks. We need a system that not only measures students’ academic success, but also student opportunity to succeed. We need to recognize all the great things we have happening in our schools. We have very successful Science Olympiad, FLL, and MESA teams. We have extremely successful athletic programs with many district and state championships.

We need to celebrate and recognize the success of the 62% of students in 2019 that did graduate, but we must identify the barriers that students face that lead to dropping out. We must identify why 38% of students in a 4 year cohort drop out. However, identifying is the first step. Once we have identified, we must take action to implement solutions and opportunities to close this gap.

This is one of the larger issues of what a data driven District level strategic plan will address. With a strategic plan that is specific and goal oriented, administration and faculty will know what their expectations are. Collaboration for the strategic plan MUST include all community stakeholders. This plan will also be clear to the community, which in turn will allow for better communication and acceptance when the district is implementing change.

Lindsey Dawn Lopez

Lindsey Dawn Lopez

Lindsey Dawn Lopez

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: This person has to be honest, non biased, a good listener, a strong advocate, have good leadership skills, able to compromise, a true public servant, and be able to make data driven decisions with accurate and consistent data.

Q: What do you see as the board's roles and responsibilities?

A: The board is responsible for making decisions together for the most important public service our county offers which is educating our next generation and to support educators to provide a high quality education to the children of our community. If we make decisions together for only the children, educators and staff, and to support education we will always make the correct decisions.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: To build better partnerships with parents and our district, create teamwork on our board, and continue building strong partnerships with our district and New Mexico Tech and local businesses to educate our children and create professionals to work in our community.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: We are so lucky to have the Charter School in our community as another high quality education option. We can continue to strengthen our relationship and support with this school and collaboration to support each other with ideas and systems. We have a lot to learn from them, our district’s outlier schools, and neighboring districts to support the success of all of our schools.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: Some challenges facing education in Socorro are areas of opportunity for growth such as parent and family partnerships, community division, lack of funding, recruiting and retaining qualified teachers within early childhood education through high school, retention and consistency of administrators, offering opportunities for educators and families to support in decision making, transparency, and systems to support families.

Hamdy Soliman

Hamdy Soliman

Hamdy Soliman

Q: What attributes are essential for a successful school board member?

A: A successful board member should be an ethical, enthusiastic and passionate about education.

The member also needs to: have a positive attitude, be a good team player to collaborate well with the other board members and superintendent, and balance discussion of running the district business and paying close attention to the district’s academic achievement.

Q: What do you see as the board's roles and responsibilities?

A: The school board roles are to oversee the local school district policies, make certain the needs of the community are met, and keep the public informed of the district’s progress and challenges.

The school board’s responsibilities are to:

• Overlook the district’s vision and goals that focus on students and all the stakeholders to ensure the district’s success.

• Adopt policies that guide the district in setting priorities and achieving its goals.

• Hire and evaluate the superintendent.

• Adopt and oversee a fiscally sound annual district’s budget.

• Advocate for strong public education at the local, state and national level to communicate the needs of public schools

• Additional business items are: approving the school calendar, constructions and contracts with vendors.

Q: What is your vision for education in this community?

A: Utilize students’ education to achieve a positive outcome of becoming good citizens with successful professions. As a professor in NM Tech, I will promote more collaboration between the schools’ district and different NM Tech’s entities to use available resources for motivating students to like reading, math, and science.

Q: How do you envision the relationship between the charter school and the rest of the district?

A: As a board member I see Socorro as one community. Charter school and the rest of the district should be able to work together to reach our common goal for our children success. Sharing the best practice is a must to fulfill our students’ needs.

Q: What are the challenges facing education in Socorro?

A: Budget issues, getting qualified teachers, administrators, and counselors, dealing with discipline problems and special education.

In spite of these challenges, Socorro district still has good qualities.

We all know there are so many successful graduates from Socorro schools which we are proud of.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Magdalena Municipal School District

In Magdalena, five individuals have filed for three open positions on the local school board. Three candidates have returned their questionnaires.

District III

Vying for the District III position are incumbents Marva L. Brunson and Sharon L. Harris.

Sharon Harris

Hello.  I'm Sharon Harris and I'd appreciate your vote on November 5th in the Magdalena School Board election.  I believe I am highly qualified for this position since I have 39 years of classroom teaching experience, 25 of which were in the Magdalena District where I taught Language Arts.  I have served four years on the Magdalena Board, including two years as secretary and two years as board president.  Additionally, I have completed over 100 hours of board member training sponsored by the NM School Board Association.

Of the many issues facing our district, perhaps declining enrollment presents the greatest challenge to our school.  Our school budget has been greatly reduced due to a significant drop in pupil numbers, a reduction all too common in rural NM schools.  If re-elected I will work with our administration closely to monitor the budget as it changes for better or worse, and I will make budgetary decisions which are always in the best interest of our students.

 It is essential to our district that our students have highly-qualified teachers and I am extremely pleased that our current staff is excellent.  Certified teachers are very hard to find and keep in today's world.  At the end of each school year, a few staff members inevitably retire or move away for personal reasons;  their loss is difficult to overcome.  I have a strong commitment to appreciating and recognizing ALL staff members----not only teachers---so that it is desirable for our employees to continue to work in Magdalena and remain with our district.

 Recently, it was decided by NM's First Judicial District Court and reported by the Albuquerque Journal that "the state has not adequately invested in public education nor adopted the educational instruction and programs constitutionally required to close achievement gaps for N.M. students, especially low-income, Native American, English-language learners and students with disabilities."  This landmark decision will impact education in NM schools far into the future. Acquiring the necessary staff training and making needed educational changes in order to meet the requirements of the court ruling will, indeed, be a challenge to Magdalena as well as to each of NM's public schools. I am a candidate who has the experience and will acquire the technical training to help oversee all legally-required yet wise changes to our school. I believe such changes are needed and will greatly benefit every student in the long run.

District IV

Brett Bruton is the lone candidate for the District IV school board post.

District V

In District V, incumbent Linda Montoya will face off against Kayla Kersey.

Kayla Kersey

First, my perception of the current issues would be limited to my exposure as a parent, without yet spending enough time intentionally listening to the concerns from other perspectives I would have a hard time truly knowing what the biggest issue facing our School District is.

Second, I imagine the school as a large flywheel. Picture every student & staff member aboard a HUGE Ferris wheel that is only operated by the parents, the board and administration pushing to make it turn it would take the whole community to make sure that it keeps moving at the speed it needs to move. If even only one or two people choose not to push in the same direction as everyone else it not only slows momentum, it stops it, and if too many people are pushing in the wrong direction, we may even start to move backward. The school will have a hard enough time keeping up with the change in direction from the state and federal regulations they are required to fulfill without people compromising what direction we are headed, we need everyone willing to push in the same direction.

I do not believe it is my responsibility to solve an issue, it is ours as a whole. It is the board’s responsibility to effectively support, challenge and bring accountability and empowerment to the superintendent who sets this vision, to fight for the highest possible good of the students, teachers, staff and administration as a whole.

The first issue I see that needs to be resolved, is proper communication and understanding of the role of the school board and increased communication of the school’s vision, and how we can all be involved in making sure that vision is brought to fruition. Are you pushing or pulling on the flywheel?

Linda Montoya

I am Linda Montoya, a 45 year resident of Magdalena and retired special education/ social studies teacher who continues to substitute in the Socorro schools. With 2 years on the board and over 50 hours of state board training, I have experience with legal, budget, and classroom issues.

 One of my concerns is the retention of highly qualified teachers in our district. We have been fortunate to keep most of our elementary staff which helps to insure continuity and reflects their commitment to student success. The mid and high school staff have mentors for new personnel which will assist in retaining and encouraging them.

 Another area the district needs to continually update is the technology for the classroom. This  process includes updating our computers, installing white boards and training staff on current technologies. This also includes vocational technology classroom updates.

Attendance is a high priority for our schools. The staff is tackling our daily attendance with motivating posters and weekly contests. I want to continue these methods and develop school and community relations with activities involving parents and staff. Recently there was a successful pancake breakfast which brought in parents for an open house.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Magdalena Trustee, Municipal Judge

There is only one candidate each vying for trustee and the municipal judge position in Magdalena. Donna Dawson is the lone candidate for the Magdalena trustee position, and Simon Armijo is only candidate seeking the Magdalena Municipal Judge post.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Socorro Soil and Water Conservation District

Three individuals are vying for the District 1 position for the Soil and Water Conservation District. Candidates include Sam Olney, Edward Harris and Vernon Leseberg Sr.

There is only one candidate for the District 2 position, Brian Stephen Durkin.