Board Bios


Mark Aldrich
Vice President of Board

Mr. Aldrich has lived in Nome for most of his life and graduated from Hardin-Jefferson. Following graduation, he attended Sam Houston State University receiving a Bachelor of Science degree. He owns Aldrich Insurance Agency in Sour Lake. His agency provides both personal and commercial insurance to clients throughout the local community. He also owns Whittington Realty. Both businesses are located in Sour Lake. Mark and his wife, Karen have three children: Lindsey, Winston and Taylor. Mr. Aldrich was elected to the board of trustees in 2003. He looks forward to providing leadership for the district that is responsive to students, parents, and taxpayers.


Andrew Brooks

Board Secretary

Andrew Brooks attended Hardin-Jefferson schools from 4th grade through his graduation in 2000.  He graduated from Lamar University in 2005, majoring in Political Science and went on to acquire a teaching certificate for 8-12 mathematics, which he continues to maintain. Andrew taught mathematics at Central Medical Magnet High School in Beaumont ISD for two years, then joined the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a teacher and vocational training coordinator in 2007.  In 2011 he became the first Reentry Affairs Coordinator at the Federal Correctional Complex, Beaumont, and in 2016 was promoted to Assistant Supervisor of Education at the medium security component of the complex. Andrew and his wife Candace live in Sour Lake. Andrew has three children, all attending HJ schools.  He is very proud to serve the students, parents, staff, and citizens of the Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District.


Gary Hidalgo
Board Member

Gary R. Hidalgo is the Executive Director of the Arc of Greater Beaumont. He was the Chief Operating Officer of Spindletop MHMR Services from September 2000 to August 2011 when he retired. Spindletop MHMR Services is an agency formed by the merger of Beaumont State Center's MR services and Life Resource's MH services. Prior to the merger, Gary served as Executive Director of Beaumont State Center from December 1989 to August 2000.  He graduated from Lamar University (B.A.History 1971; M. A. History 1973; Mental Retardation Certification 1981; Special Education Supervision Certification 1983), Texas Tech University (Post Graduate work in Urban Studies). Gary has done seminars that are meant to inspire employees to provide consumer oriented services with enthusiasm humor, and compassion. Gary is a 1993 graduate of LSET and has previously served as chair of the alumni committee. He is married to Pam and has two (2) sons, Cory and Tyson whom both graduated from Hardin-Jefferson. Gary has served on the Board since 1991.

PadgettJimmy Padgett
Board Member

Jimmy Padgett grew up in Bevil Oaks and attended Beaumont schools through junior high.  In 1982, he moved to Sour Lake and graduated from Hardin Jefferson High school in 1985.  He continued his education here in southeast Texas earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Lamar University in 1989.  Following graduation from Lamar University, Jimmy moved to Houston where he became a full time Harris County Sheriff Deputy as well as a part time law student at South Texas College of Law.  In 1995, he received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and spent the next three years working for the Harris County District Attorney's office as a prosecutor.  Jimmy has spent the last 12 years in private practice in Beaumont.  Jimmy is married to his high school sweetheart, Stephanie Leger Padgett.  They reside in China and have four children.  Jimmy is extremely proud to live in this community and be a part of the proud tradition that is HJISD.  "I look forward to giving 100 percent of myself back to this community and school district, which I feel has given me such a good foundation to succeed."

Alex J. Stelly, Jr.Stelly
Board Member

Alex J. Stelly, Jr. is a Little League/Little Dribblers coach who practices law during the week with the civil defense litigation firm of Calvert Eaves Clarke & Stelly, LLP.  He graduated from Kelly High School (1984), University of Texas at Austin (BBA, 1988), and Texas Tech School of Law (JD, 1994).  Alex wasn’t always a resident of HJISD, but he got here as quickly as he could.  He moved to just outside of Meeker in 2001, and he is the proud father of two HJ graduates Madison in 2013, and Joey in 2016.  The youngest, Savannah will be a part of the class of 2026. He is married to Devin Stelly.  Alex has served in leadership roles for the Texas Young Lawyer Association where he was awarded the President’s Award of Merit.  He served as President of the Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association.  He is currently serving on the Diocese of Beaumont Finance Council.  He is active in his parish community, and involved in several youth-oriented organizations.  Alex is often found at most HJISD school activities, including being a “Paw-Paw” greeter at China Elementary on Wednesday morning and enjoys supporting the great administrators, teachers, staff and students of HJISD.  He is honored and humbled to serve ALL who are a part of the HJISD family.

Walters Brent Walters 
Board Member

Brent Walters attended Hardin Jefferson ISD schools beginning in elementary. He and his wife met while both attending Hardin Jefferson High School and went on to marry and have three children. Brent was deeply involved in athletics in high school and went on to play college football, then returned to Lamar University to finish earning his degrees. He has earned two Bachelor degrees, Accounting and Finance, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Brent is the owner of The Walters Agency, which is an exclusive Allstate agency with more than 20 thousand clients and 10 locations within Texas. With being from the area, this allows him to help families learn how to protect their assets as well as what matters most to them – their family! He is also co-owner of the retail chain Altar’d State that includes 105 stores.  Brent strongly believes in being involved within the community. He is always eager to give back in the form of time and sponsorships and donations. Brent strives to be the very best and motivates those around him to do the same. He looks forward to making his family, friends, and more importantly, the students proud of what he will bring to HJISD. Brent has 3 children currently attending school in Hardin Jefferson.


Michelle Yentzen
President of Board


Michelle Yentzen grew up and attended Beaumont schools, graduating from South Park High School. She has earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. She also earned a Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law. She has practiced law in this area since 1990 and has been employed as federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office in Beaumont for the past 12 years. Mrs. Yentzen is married and has three children that are all HJ graduates.  She and her family moved to the Pinewood subdivision in 1994 and have resided there since that time. She is very excited about the opportunity to serve the residents of Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District in keeping and improving the excellent educational opportunities provided for our children at H-J.