April 2024 BoardBits

Decorative image: E-newsletter cover image

This e-newsletter highlights important news from the April 30 regular meeting of the STISD Board of Directors and other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.


 

District recognizes athletic teams that competed at state competitions

During the April 30 board meeting, the administration and Board recognized and congratulated tennis, golf, and soccer teams who placed at regionals and advanced to the state competitions.

Preparatory Academy Co-ed Tennis

Preparatory Academy Co-ed Tennis Team being recognized at board meeting for competing at state

State Qualifiers

Preparatory Academy Girls Golf Team

Preparatory Academy Girls Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Earned 1st place at State Competition

Rising Scholars Academy Boys Golf Team

RSA Boys Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Placed 1st at the State Competition

Rising Scholars Academy Girls Golf Team

RSA Girls Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Placed 3rd at the State Competition

Health Professions Girls Varsity Golf Team

Health Professions Girls Varsity Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Placed 2nd at the State Competition

Health Professions Boys Varsity Golf Team

Health Professions Boys Varsity Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Placed 2nd at the State Competition

Science Academy Girls Varsity Golf Team

Science Academy Girls Varsity Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Placed 1st at the State Competition

Science Academy Boys Varsity Golf Team

Science Academy Boys Varsity Golf Team being recognized at board meeting for placing at the state competition

Placed 3rd at the State Competition

Rising Scholars Academy Secondary Soccer Team

Rising Scholars Secondary Soccer Team being recognized at board meeting for being the Regional Champion

Regional Champion

Rising Scholars Academy Premier Soccer Team

Rising Scholars Premier Soccer Team being recognized at board meeting for being the State Champion

State Champion


 

Kudos: STISD introduces the 2024 South Texas ISD Campus Teachers of the Year

The STISD Board of Directors and administration recognized the seven 2024 Campus Teachers of the Year during the April 30 board meeting. These teachers are all in the running for the title of 2024 STISD District Teacher of the Year. This year's winner will be unveiled at the STISD Fun Fest staff appreciation event on May 24.

Dr. Ana Villarreal, World Scholars

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal, superintendent and board president

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Cynthia Chairez, STISD World Scholars Principal; Dr. Ana Villarreal, STISD World Scholars 2024 Teacher of the Year; and Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors

Criselda Siragusa, Virtual Academy

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal, superintendent and board president

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Mrs. Criselda Siragusa, STISD Virtual Academy 2024 Teacher of the Year; Maribel Valdez, STISD Virtual Academy Principal; and Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors

Megan Berryman, Rising Scholars Academy

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal, superintendent and board president

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Reynaldo Rodriguez, STISD Rising Scholars Academy Principal; Mrs. Megan Berryman, STISD Rising Scholars 2024 Teacher of the Year; and Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors

Nytashah Guerra, Preparatory Academy

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal, superintendent and board president

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Marco Zamora, STISD Preparatory Academy Principal; Mrs. Nytashah Guerra, STISD Preparatory Academy 2024 Teacher of the Year; and Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors

Hanani Vasquez, Medical Professions

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal, superintendent and board president

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Jose Lucio, STISD Medical Professions Principal; Hanani Vasquez, STISD Medical Professions 2024 Teacher of the Year; and Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors

Lane Dougherty, Health Professions

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal, superintendent and board president

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Michele Guajardo, STISD Health Professions Principal; Lane Dougherty, STISD Health Professions 2024 Teacher of the Year; and Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors

Cindy Key, Science Academy

STISD campus teacher of the year receives certificate from principal

Pictured, from left to right: Eric Gutierrez, STISD Science Academy Principal, and Cindy Key, STISD Science Academy 2024 Teacher of the Year


 

The Board approves big changes in Teacher Compensation Plan + Stipends for 2024-2025

The STISD Board approved updates to the Teacher Compensation Plan and stipends to include starting teacher pay of $60k, $2,000 content area stipends and a $2,000 retention stipend.

During the April 30 meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, the board approved increases in teacher compensation, the addition of content area stipends, and a retention stipend for all STISD employees for the 2024-2025 school year. For the retention stipend, half will be disbursed in December and the other half in May.

The board also approved increasing the College Incentive amounts for employees in positions that do not require a degree:

  • 30-59 hours - $100 monthly ($5.35 daily)
  • 60-89 hours - $200 monthly ($10.70 daily)
  • 90+ hours - $350 monthly ($18.73 daily)
  • BA degree - $550 monthly ($29.43 daily)

The district is still reviewing compensation plans for all other positions, and will bring recommendations to the board later this spring.


 

Board approves revision to 2024-2025 Academic Calendar

The STISD Board of Directors approved an update to the previously-approved 2024-2025 STISD Academic Calendar to align with partnering institutions of higher learning to better accommodate students taking courses with them.

Our partners modified their calendars for the upcoming school year, moving Spring Break one week later than expected. To avoid impacting students' instruction, transportation and access to resources, STISD has aligned Spring Break for March 2025, which will now be March 17-21, 2025. 

Click here to access the STISD calendars through the district website

2024-25 Academic Calendar with revision - approved by board on April 30, 2024
2024-25 AB Calendar

 

Graduation Weekend Information

All graduation ceremonies will be held at the Bert Ogden Arena, located at 4900 S I-69 C, Edinburg.

Click here to access Graduation Information and Resources

Saturday, May 18, 2024

  • Science Academy (Mercedes): 10 a.m.
     
  • Medical Professions (Olmito): 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

  • Health Professions (Mercedes): 10 a.m.
     
  • World Scholars (Edinburg): 1 p.m.

Congratulations, Class of 2024 Valedictorians + Salutatorians!

Health Professions valedictorian seen smiling

 

Alfia Bilal 
Health Professions
Valedictorian 
-
Princeton University
Molecular Biology

Health Professions salutatorian seen smiling

 

Danielle Arispe
Health Professions
Salutatorian 
-
University: Rice University
Biosciences

Medical Professions valedictorian seen smiling

 

Leonardo Zuñiga Duarte
Medical Professions
Valedictorian
-
Johns Hopkins University
Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry

Medical Professions salutatorian seen smiling

 

Anjali Pisharodi
Medical Professions
Salutatorian 
-
The University of Texas at Austin
Neuroscience

Science Academy valedictorian seen smiling

 

David Hovey 
Science Academy 
Valedictorian 
-
Princeton University
Mathematics

Science Academy salutatorian seen smiling

 

Mateo Boyer-Paulet
Science Academy 
Salutatorian 
-
Texas A&M University
Biomedical Engineering

World Scholars valedictorian seen smiling

 

Leo Yu
World Scholars
Valedictorian
-
Cornell University 
Biological Science

World Scholars salutatorian seen smiling

 

Viena Prinkey-Vizcarra
World Scholars 
Salutatorian 
-
Texas A&M University
Biomedical Science


 

Other Board actions

  • Dr. Nereyda Trevino reported to the Board on professional development for summer 2024.
  • The Board approved amending summer 2024 office hours beginning on May 27, 2024, and ending on August 8, 2024, to the following:
    Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. |  12:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  (Closed for lunch: 12:00-12:45 p.m.)
    Friday – Closed
  • The board approved the Instructional Material Allotment & Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Certification for the 2024-2025 school year.
  • The Board approved the following new Professional positions for the 2024-2025 school year and the Announcement of Vacancies: Director of Bilingual and ESL Education (1), District Student Wellness Specialist (1), Occupational Therapist - Co-Op (1), and Teachers (4).
  • The Board approved recommendations of Professional staff for the 2024-2025 school year for the following positions: Educational Diagnostician – Co-Op, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology Intern, Speech Language Pathologist Co-Op, and Teacher(s).

 

Congratulations, World Scholars! UIL District 32 - Conference 5A Sweepstakes Champion

World Scholars earned the title of District 32- Conference 5A Sweepstakes Champions for the first time in district history!

This was the first time in history the World Scholars UIL teams ranked first out of all the UIL events, competing against 15 other 5A schools in the RGV.

Congratulations to all academic coaches and participants on a job well done representing the World Scholars UIL academic teams.

Hear more about this historic achievement in the video below.

Group shot of World Scholars UIL teams celebrating District Champion title
World Scholars UIL District Champion trophies

 

The City of Edinburg hosts celebratory ceremony for World Scholars students who completed internships with the city

World Scholars student interns being recognized by the City of Edinburg for their completion of their practicums in business, law enforcement and audio visual technology

On Wednesday, May 1, the City of Edinburg recognized World Scholars students who recently completed internships with the City of Edinburg- Government. This year, the campus had 22 students intern in various departments related to their Career and Technical Education (CTE) program of study - business, law, and audio video technology - where they received hands-on experience and had the opportunity to utilize their skills for city projects and more. Congratulations, and job well done!

Click here to see additional photos from the ceremony


 

Science Academy named a Project Lead the Way Distinguished School for sixth consecutive year

Two students demonstrate engineering projects in front of the class

STISD Science Academy has been recognized as a 2023-24 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School, marking the sixth consecutive year the campus has earned this distinction.

The campus is one of just a few hundred high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through PLTW Computer Science and Engineering.

“Recognition as a PLTW Distinguished School is a tremendous honor for us as a campus community, as this achievement aligns perfectly with what we work so hard for as a school. We value our partnership with PLTW, and we truly believe all students should have access to these types of transformative learning experiences to better prepare them for college, career, and life,” said Eric Gutierrez, Science Academy principal.

Click here to read the full story

 


 

All South Texas ISD high schools ranked in the top four percent in the state and nation in U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best High Schools

Students cheering in crowd - All four STISD high schools claim top 100 in state - U.S. News & World Report

All four South Texas Independent School District (STISD) high schools ranked within the top four percent of schools in the state and nation in the 2024 Best High Schools Rankings recently released by U.S. News & World Report.

In the state rankings, South Texas ISD Science Academy (Science Academy) in Mercedes ranked 41st, South Texas ISD Medical Professions in Olmito ranked 65th, South Texas ISD Health Professions in Mercedes ranked 69th, and South Texas ISD World Scholars (formerly South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy) in Edinburg ranked 88th.  Out of nearly 18,000 public high schools from across the nation ranked in this year’s list, Science Academy ranked 291st, Medical Professions ranked 506th, Health Professions ranked 514th, and World Scholars ranked 644th.

According to U.S. News, the six measures that determined each school’s rank include: College Readiness (30% of the ranking); College Curriculum Breadth (10%); State Assessment Proficiency (20%); State Assessment Performance (20%); Underserved Student Performance (10%); and Graduation Rate (10%).

Click here to read the full story


 

STISD Health + Wellness

STISD Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health Resources Newsletters: May 2024

STISD SEL + Mental Health Resources - May 2024 Newsletter

Mental Health Awareness Month On-Campus Activities

This Mental Health Awareness Month, our district student wellness specialists organized on-campus activities to promote the importance of mental wellness and to provide our faculty, staff and students an opportunity to destress and have some fun.

Students coloring mural during Mental Health Month activities on campus

 

Science Academy held its 10th Annual Engineering Design & Development “(EDD) Presents” Conference

STISD Science Academy held its 10th annual Engineering Design & Development “(EDD) Presents” Conference on May 3, marking a decade since the longstanding EDD capstone project evolved into a campus wide event.

The following are this year’s top 3 teams, who received scholarships from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and the Science Academy Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO).

  • 1st Place: Botulism Busters: Leila Lieu, Nikolas Regener, Pablo Reynoso and Wang Zhang 
  • 2nd Place: Soothwave: Daniella Cedillo, Sumita Dantu and Lauren Krawczynski
  • 3rd Place: The MiraPad: Francisco Delgado, Osiel Gomez and Analicia Torres

The PTSO also awarded four additional scholarships this year for: Most Polished Prototype, Most Real World Need, Most Passionate and the Student Choice Award.

STISD also extends a huge thanks to keynote speaker Dr. Ala Qubbaj, Dean of the UTRGV College of Engineering & Computer Science.


 

Now registering: STISD Summer Opportunities

Below are flyers for a couple of the district wide summer opportunities.


 

STISD April 2024 Students in Frame: Rising Scholars Academy's Samuel and Timothy Qin

April 2024 Students in Frame
April 2024 Students in Frame

 

Inside STISD Video Highlights

STISD Student Helps Lead RSA and Health Professions' Girls Basketball

Virtual Academy Student + Parent Testimonial: Lucia Fuschetto

Health Professions Senior Alfia Bilal Named 2024 Coca-Cola Scholar

Rising Scholars Academy Celebrates Designation as a Texas School to Watch


 

Upcoming Events

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Sun, Jun 30
Mon, Jul 1
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Tue, Jul 2
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Wed, Jul 3
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Thu, Jul 4
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Fri, Jul 5
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Sat, Jul 6
Sun, Jul 7
Mon, Jul 8
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Tue, Jul 9
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Wed, Jul 10
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Thu, Jul 11
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Fri, Jul 12
Offices closed for Summer Break
Central Office and All STISD Campuses
Sat, Jul 13
Sun, Jul 14
Mon, Jul 15
Tue, Jul 16
Wed, Jul 17
Thu, Jul 18
Fri, Jul 19
Sat, Jul 20
Sun, Jul 21
Mon, Jul 22
Tue, Jul 23
Wed, Jul 24
Thu, Jul 25
Fri, Jul 26
Sat, Jul 27
Sun, Jul 28
Mon, Jul 29
Tue, Jul 30
Subscribe to Alerts Meeting of the STISD Board of Directors
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Central Office Teaching and Learning Center, 7001 E. Expressway 83, Mercedes
Wed, Jul 31
Thu, Aug 1
Fri, Aug 2
Sat, Aug 3

Calendar & Category Legend:

  • South Texas ISD