STISD receives $8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

STISD receives $8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

This week South Texas Independent School District (STISD) received a generous unsolicited gift of $8 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the largest donation in district history.                   

With a focus on identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, her team has assisted her with her mission of sharing her wealth. Scott announced on her Medium on Monday that, with the help of her team, she had given $1,990,800,000 to 343 organizations over the last seven months.

The funds provided are not tied to any specific purpose, but may be used in the way the district sees fit. STISD plans to look closely at how the donation can best complement what the district is already doing to serve the RGV community and will align with district goals.

Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of schools for South Texas Independent School District, expressed gratitude for the gift received on Nov. 16 and excitement for the future. “We are humbled by this recognition and grateful to Ms. Scott for her generous donation to STISD. We have an important mission – to provide middle and high school students within the Rio Grande Valley with the best educational opportunities possible to prepare them for life. Every single member of our educational community has played a part in our success to-date, and we look forward to continuing our work. Here, we are always innovating, and these funds will allow us to achieve even higher goals for our kids.”

STISD is comprised of four magnet high schools – South Texas ISD Health Professions in Mercedes, South Texas ISD Medical Professions in Olmito, South Texas ISD Science Academy in Mercedes, and South Texas ISD World Scholars in Edinburg– as well as two middle schools – South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy in Edinburg and South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy in San Benito – and one virtual campus that includes middle and high school – South Texas ISD Virtual Academy. All campuses are tuition-free and serve students from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. For more information, visit