April 2022- BoardBits

This e-newsletter highlights important news from the April 26 meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, as well as other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.

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STISD Teacher Incentive Allotment header image

Board approves Teacher Incentive Allotment Local Teacher Designation System and Compensation Plan

During the April 26 board meeting, the STISD Board of Directors reviewed and approved the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) Local Teacher Designation System and Compensation Plan.


STISD to host second STISD Teaching and Learning Academy this summer

Teachers working collaboratively at district professional development

STISD will host its second Annual Teaching and Learning Academy from May 30 to June 2, 2022.

This year's Teaching and Learning Academy will build upon the one held during the summer of 2021, during which teachers developed a deeper understanding of curriculum design through "Backward Design." Through professional development during the 2021-2022 school year, teachers gained access to a plethora of instructional strategies for all student groups, and had the opportunity to implement and customize the strategies in their classrooms and to identify best practices, which can now be added to their curriculum documents.

Teachers will be grouped by content/course area to facilitate collaboration with other district teachers as they adjust or develop curriculum timelines for the 2022-2023 school year. Outcomes include district-wide aligned curriculum for all 2022-2023 courses and curriculum documents.


Updates on the New STISD Rising Scholars Academy Project

  • The Board received a report from financial advisor Raul Villasenor, of Hilltop Securities, on the status of the lease revenue bonds for the New Rising Scholars Academy project and where the district currently is within the process.
  • The Board voted to authorize administration to go out for Competitive Sealed Proposals (CSPs) for the New Rising Scholars Academy project, within the constraints of the funding timeline.
  • Sam Garcia from Sam Garcia Architects shared interior and exterior renderings of the new Rising Scholars Academy campus. See images below.

Renderings: New Rising Scholars Academy

RSA Rendering Full Site Plan
RSA Rendering South Facade
RSA Interior rendering
RSA Global Media Center Rendering

Other Construction Updates

  • Representatives from Gignac and Associates and D. Wilson reported on the progress of the New Central Administration & Professional Development Building Renovation Project, where construction continues on the interior and exterior of the building.
  • New Health Professions Gymnasium: This project is currently in the design phase.


Other Board Actions

  • The Board approved the awarding of the Request for Proposals (RFP 22-004) for Landscaping and Maintenance to Adams Total Lawn Maintenance for the services.
  • The Board voted to allow the Superintendent to apply for the creation of a new County District Campus Number (CDCN) with TEA for the Virtual Academy.
  • The Board approved amending summer 2022 office hours for employees under contract so that each 39-hour work week counts in lieu of 5 days of contractual employment. The amended summer office hours will begin on May 30, 2022 and end on July 29, 2022. The approved schedule is as follows:

Monday – Thursday
7:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon (4.5 hours)
12:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (5.25 hours)
TOTAL WORKDAY: 9.75 hours

Friday – Closed



All Health Professions students in Veterinary Program receive certifications

Congratulations to the students in the STISD Health Professions Veterinary Program!

All students passed the certification exam for Veterinary Assistant.

In video on right: Students who passed the exam, and Mrs. Pemelton, Health Professions Vet Program instructor.


Medical Professions senior awarded top UTRGV scholarship, on the path to becoming a cardiologist

Medical Professions senior Alma Rodriguez signs her UTRGV Luminary Scholarship acceptance

On Tuesday afternoon, representatives from The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) visited STISD Medical Professions in Olmito to present this year's salutatorian, Alma Rodriguez, with two scholarships, including the university’s newest and top award.

During a special presentation ceremony, UTRGV presented Rodriguez with the UTRGV Luminary Scholarship, valued at up to $137,000. The scholarship covers her undergraduate degree in full, along with two years of campus housing, and tuition and fees for graduate school. She was also awarded the UTRGV GM/EEOC Endowed Scholarship, worth $1,000

Rodriguez will enter the Biomedical Program at UTRGV in the fall, with long-term goals of attending the UTRGV School of Medicine and becoming a cardiologist.

Click here to read the full story

Group from UTRGV and Medical Professions at presentation of Luminary Scholarship


World Scholars students featured in South Texas College Emerging Artists High School Exhibition

South Texas College hosted its Emerging Artists High School Exhibition '22 this month, featuring some of our World Scholars International Baccalaureate (IB) Visual Arts Year 1 students! World Scholars/STC Dual Enrollment Professor, Maria Alcoser, is leading this great group of young artists.

Congratulations to Anna Sofia Martinez Aguirre, Ximena Balli, Jesus Borunda, Tiffany Ramirez, Soraida Rodriguez, Samara Saycocie, Amy Terrazas, Luke Trevino, Kaisha Uresti, and Joseph Zambrano for representing World Scholars and all of STISD at this special event.

World Scholars IB Art students and teacher stand in front of their artwork at South Texas College exhibit


STISD Science Academy wins Texas Envirothon, qualifies for NCF Envirothon

Group of students seen posing for a photo

Story from the Texas Envirothon --- A five-member team of high school students from Mercedes, Texas, is the winner of the 2022 Texas Envirothon championship. Richardson High School earned second place, and third place went to the Academy of Science and Technology. The hybrid event took place April 8 through 12 in Houston and via Zoom.

Students on the winning team are Linus Flores-Araujo, Sophia Cano, Alexander Vincent, Daniel Chen and Patrick Moss. The team will travel to Oxford, Ohio, to compete against teams from the states and Canadian provinces for scholarships at the NCF-Envirothon. Andrew Cortez and Esthela Pacheco served as the team’s advisers.

CLICK HERE TO Read THE full story


Students qualify to compete at International HOSA competition

40 students will represent STISD at the HOSA- Future Health Professionals International Leadership Conference, June 22-25 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Teams and individuals from our two medically-themed high schools: South Texas ISD Health Professions (Health Professions) and South Texas ISD Medical Professions (Medical Professions) continue to set the bar and advance to this level of competition, and our two middle schools: South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy (Preparatory Academy) and South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy (Rising Scholars) are now also following in those same footsteps. 

This season, high school and middle school students will compete in a mix of events in the following categories: health science, emergency preparedness, leadership and teamwork. 

Click here to read the full story

Image of gold medal


Photo Galleries: District Athletics


Course + Program Highlights for 2022-2023

World Scholars (Edinburg) - Grades 9-12

Virtual Academy (100 percent virtual from home) - Grades 6-10


Video Highlights: Inside STISD

2022 Superintendent's Cup High School Flag Football Highlight

Medical Professions Student Accepted into United World College Program


April Student in Frame: Health Professions' Seth Pina

Health Professions student Seth Pina in hallway
Health Professions student Seth Pina and World Scholars student playing soccer


Mental Health Matters: April is Stress Awareness Month

I'm So Stressed Out Fact Sheet from National Institute of Mental Health - page 1
I'm So Stressed Out Fact Sheet from National Institute of Mental Health - page 2

STISD is staffed to provide STISD students needed mental health supports, through School Counselors, Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), and Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs). To request support, please reach out to the counselors at your child's campus. Contact information is available through the district Counseling page here.


Alumni Spotlight: Eduardo Gamba, World Scholars (formerly BETA) Class of 2011

Eduardo Gamba graduated South Texas ISD World Scholars (formerly known as BETA) in 2011 before becoming a filmmaker. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, working on projects with actress Christy Carlson Romano.

World Scholars/BETA alumnus Eduardo Gamba poses outside of World Scholars entrance

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