Retired Marble Falls coach jumping into MFISD school board race

LARRY BERKMAN

LARRY BERKMAN

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MARBLE FALLS — For more than three decades, Larry Berkman helped turn teenage boys into young men as the Marble Falls High School basketball coach. Now, he’s hoping to extend his influence as he recently announced his candidacy for Place 4 on the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees in the May 10 election.

Berkman, known simply as “Coach” to many people, brings with him a long list of qualifications, including a master’s degree in education; teaching and coaching experience; and a small business background.

“I’m running for school board because I’ve been asked to,” Berkman said. “With my experience working for MFISD, as a business owner, a member of the (Marble Falls/Lake LBJ) chamber’s advisory board and as a parent, I understand how decisions made by the school board affect students, teachers and school administrators as well as the taxpayers and the business community.”

During his time in education, Berkman served as a head boys basketball coach, a classroom physical education teacher, a science teacher and a coordinator for the MFISD Safe and Drug-Free School program. And though he was the high school coach, Berkman knew the value of helping younger children develop a love and appreciation for basketball, sports and physical fitness, so he created the youth basketball program Little Dribblers, now known as Young Guns.

Berkman’s love for all students went further than his class or his baskeball court. As a man of strong Christian faith, Berkman always realized the role religion could play in the lives of others, especially youth. He sponsored a Bible study in his home for area high school athletes for 12 years. This eventually became the current Fellowship of Christian Athletes program.

And he was one of the members of the initial group that brought Young Life, a youth Christian outreach program, to Marble Falls. Berkman also helped raise the money for the first Marble Falls Project Graduation event for graduating seniors.

Since retiring from education, Berkman has become a business owner. He owns and operates Coach Wash, a full-service car wash in Marble Falls. He has remained active in the community through numerous paths, including serving on the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce advisory board and as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Marble Falls.

Berkman and his wife, Tammy, have four children who attended MFISD schools. Tammy served MFISD as a reading teacher at the former Marble Falls Primary School (now known as Colt Elementary School) and was the food service director for the district.

The couple’s oldest daughter, Lane Freeman, is an area dentist and was the salutatorian of the Marble Falls High School Class of 1994. Their son, John Allen Berkman, is the Marble Falls area pastor for Hill Country Fellowship, but previously taught and coached at the high school level. He is a 2001 graduate of Marble Falls. The couple’s other daughter, Becca Lambert, graduated from Marble Falls in 2009 and lives in Horseshoe Bay. Their youngest child, Beth Ann Berkman, attends Baylor University.

The couple have two grandchildren, who attend Spicewood Elementary School.

“During the years I worked for MFISD, the school did so much for me and my family,” Berkman said. “I’d be happy to serve on the school board as a way of saying thanks.”

Two other people have filed for the MFISD Place 4 position: Kerry Loader and Billy Inman. The other MFISD board position on the ballot is Place 3, and Lee Ann Johnson is running unopposed.

Early voting for the election is April 28-May 6 with the Election Day set for May 10.

Go to www.burnetcountytexas.org for more on the election and to look at sample ballots.

editor@thepicayune.com