February 2023 BoardBits

Decorative image: BoardBits cover

This e-newsletter highlights important news from the Feb. 28 regular board meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, as well as other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.


Congratulations! Medical Professions principal Criselda R. Flores named Finalist in 2023 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, moving on to next round of competition

HEB rep surprised principal and crowd with news of a finalist for HEB Excellence in Education Awards
Students in scrubs cheer on their principal who is a principal finalist for HEB Excellence in Education Awards
HEB rep congratulates STISD principal finalist for HEB Excellence in Education Awards
HEB reps pose with HEB principal finalist and team during surprise announcement ceremony

On Tuesday, March 7, a team from H-E-B visited South Texas ISD Medical Professions in Olmito to surprise principal Criselda Flores with the news that she is a finalist in the principal category of the 2023 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards. As a finalist, she was awarded a $1,000 check for herself and a $2,500 check for the school. She will move on to the next round of the competition and will compete with other finalists across the state for the chance to win greater cash prizes. Overall statewide winners will be announced in April. Let's show Mrs. Flores our support!

Click for full photo gallery | Check our South Texas ISD YouTube next week for a video recap of the surprise visit


STISD holds press conference and public presentation to address misinformation behind efforts to defund the district

STISD held a press conference and public presentation prior to the Feb. 28 board meeting to provide accurate information and data to dispel misinformation behind efforts to defund the district.

Media outlets from across the RGV attended, and the district had a large showing of support from students, parents, and community members - past and present - ready to stand behind STISD.

STISD superintendent addresses crowd during press conference
Board president and superintendent during district press conference
Board members look on district press conference
Crowd during district press conference


Reports: District and Campus Texas Academic Performance Report + 2022 Federal Report Card

During the Feb. 28 board meeting, Dr. Nereyda Trevino, Chief Academic Officer at STISD, reported on the District and Campus 2022 Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) and the 2022 STISD Federal Report Card.

A public hearing was held at the beginning of the meeting, during which Dr. Trevino provided an overview of the reports to the board members and members of the public who were present. Data shows that STISD students have higher average scores than the region and state.

Click here to access the full 2022 STISD Texas Academic Performance Report on the website

Click here to access the full 2022 STISD Federal Report Card on the website



District recognizes students for excellence in academic, athletic, and/or extracurricular endeavors

During the Feb. 28 board meeting, the administration and Board recognized and congratulated individual students and teams from throughout the district for excellence in academic, athletic, and/or extracurricular endeavors.

Family members watch students being recognized at board meeting
Student athletes recognized during board meeting
Students recognized during board meeting
Students who passed Phlebotomy certification exam recognized during board meeting

Above: The Board recognized the 15 Medical Professions students who passed the Phlebotomy Certification Exam by the National Health Career Association. This nationally-accredited certification is recognized and respected by employers through better pay, increased job security, and for our Medical Professions Angels, a start to a bright future in the medical careers.

Students include: Samantha Bargas, Natalie Castillo, Gabriel Gomez, Yareth Juarez, Raul Ramirez Jr., Mariana Gallardo, Luis Gracia Rodriguez, Olendy Lopez, Gabriela Maldonado, Marlin Martinez, Keilah Olvera, Israel Perez, Ashlyn Ramirez, Deyanira Saldivar, and Camila Villarreal

Instructor: Mireya Marroquin

Students who earned dental certification recognized at board meeting

Above: The Board recognized the 36 Registered Dental Assistant X-Ray Certification students of the Medical Professions Class of 2023. The Registered Dental Assistant certificate is an exam that is recognized by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. After students pass the exam, they will apply for licensure to become Registered Dental Assistants in the state of Texas.  

Students include: Antony Alaniz, Alejandro Alarcon, Ashely Arevalo, Arylene Benitez, Maria Blano, Valery Cano, Eddie Cardiel, Cecily Cisneros, Ramio Garcia, Manuel Garza, Angela Guttierez, Edith Gonzalez, Laura Mercado, Arturo Hernandez, Andrea Landin, Manuel Lerma, Alondra Medellin, Stephanie Marroquin, Mia Marshall, Cameron Rodrique, Kevin Salazar, Teliza Trevino, Jennifer Jasso, Arely Castro, Eddie Maldonado, Samantha Perez, Daniella De Leon, Olivia Serna, Arturo Vazquez, Santiago Verdin, Valeria Verdin, Donna Villarreal, Arianna Zapata, Annette Alonzo, Alyssa Ramirez, and Hailey Torres

Instructor: Angela Villarreal

RSA Mathletes recognized during board meeting

Above: The Rising Scholars Academy Mathletes advanced to state competition in Austin in March.

The team includes: Ethan Taw, Elliot Taw, Eliava Taw, Sunny Zhang, Richard Osos, Massi Mera, and Ethan Marquez

Sponsor: Hilda Marquez


RSA UIL state qualifiers recognized at board meeting

Above: Rising Scholars Academy UIL competitors who qualified for the state competition

State qualifiers include: Amber Acevedo, Kayla Aguire, Kikelomo Alabi, Kemi Albi, David Arroyo, Sarah Ayala, Ilyana Balli, Larissa Cano, Christian Chavez, Valeria Chavez, Justin Christopher, Miriam Cortez, Jan Escalona, Emily Garcia, Britthany Garza, Diego Guerra, Carlos Hinojosa, Elisha Madla, Ethan Marquez, Mackenzie Martin, Ramsses Martinez, Emily Mendez, Massimiliano Mera-Marin, Anderson Nowatz, Katlyn Nuncia, Alondra Ocanas, Dulciana Patel, Meera Patel, Savannah Pompa, Samuel Qin, Timothy Qin, Daniela Rodriguez, Juliana Rodriguez, Aditya Roy, Jacque Soto, Romina Sanchez, Laila Salinas, Eliva Taw, Elliot Taw, Ethan Taw, Aida Teran, Juan Miguel Vallas, Sunny Zhang, Juliana Lerma, Chelsea Villarreal, Rohaan Patel, and Mia Dominguez

Sponsors: Hilda Marquez and Brian Wilson


Science Academy UIL CX Debate Team recognized at board meeting

Above: Science Academy’s UIL CX Debate teams placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the recent District 32-5A meet, and are moving on to state competition.

The teams include:

  • 1st place: Bipul Soti and Stefan Sy
  • 2nd place: Evan Tomai and Simon Sy
  • 3rd place: Mia Flores and Paris Aquino

UIL coach: Joseph Wilson

National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists recognized at board meeting

Above: Science Academy students Nikhil Veeramachaneni and Richard Fleming, and World Scholars student Jacob Mercado. Not pictured: Science Academy student Daniel Chen

Our four National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists from throughout the district have all advanced to National Merit Scholarship Finalist status. 

The National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in March 2023.

World Scholars student recognized for musical achievements during board meeting

Above: Texas Music Educator Association (TMEA) finalist and World Scholars student James Sin was selected as a finalist to perform with the State orchestra group with all other top violinists in the state of Texas.

Director: Rozanne Martinez

World Scholars BPA State Qualifiers recognized during board meeting

Above: BPA State Qualifiers from World Scholars who will compete in Dallas

Student qualifiers include: Elisa John, Dante Tovar, Olivia Flores, Sarah Alamilla, Ximena Muñoz, Pamela Martinez, Caroline Lopez, Eileen Guzman, Hector Kidder, Angelina Villalobos, Silvia Tamez, Angelique De Anda, Computer Animation Team- Carlo Otero, Kaisha Uresti, Jacob Mercado, and Ximena Balli; Global Marketing Team – Romina Colion, Nicole Herrera, Allyson Gutierrez, and Isabella Mendez

Sponsors: Erika Sarabia and Thomas Sanchez



Health Professions Lady Mustangs golf team recognized during board meeting

Above: Health Professions' Lady Mustangs Golf Team placed 1st at the Inaugural STISD Golf Tournament at Tierra Santa Golf Club

The team includes: Paola Aleman, Nicole Sevilla, Mahaa Gahndi, Jin Joo Jung, and Ayesha Mumtaz

Coaches: Eric Calderon and Priscilla Calderon

Preparatory Academy Girls Basketball team recognized at board meeting

Above: The Preparatory Academy Girls MSP Basketball Team that advanced to the State tournament

The team includes: Danella Pinkey, Brooke Garza, Ivana Hephzibah, Kenya Camarena, Ava Thomas, Ily Lopez, Alicia Brown, Cailyn Hernandez, Sophia A. Saenz, Kayleen Mendoza, Kayla Garcia, and Samira Lozano

Head Coach: Armando Lira
Assistant Coach: Perla Barrientes

Preparatory Academy Boys Basketball team recognized during board meeting

Above: The Preparatory Academy Boys MSP Basketball Team

The team includes: Liam Hernandez, Rush Rodriguez, Zain Qubbaj, Aaron Prado, Cole Hansen, Sebastian Sabala, Zedrick Sanchez, Jude Salinas, Aiden Ramos, Roman Vela, and Aiden Garcia

Head Coach: Raheem Muhammad
Assistant Coach: Alex Comple


Preparatory Academy Boys Basketball Team recognized during board meeting

Above: The Preparatory Academy Boys MSO Basketball Team

The team includes: Joaquin Rodriguez, Felix Shaju, Mateo Lowy, Schwartzaffel Gordon, Nathan John, Ibrahim Aman, Mauricio Morales, Joaquin Jara, Chevin Kim, Oscar Garcia, Eduardo Estrada, and Rocco Flores

Head Coach: Gerardo Monteagudo
Assistant Coach: Herlinda Garza



RSA Girls Basketball team recognized during board meeting

Above: The Rising Scholars Academy MSP Girls Basketball Team - Division Champions, South Texas Regional Runner-Up

The team includes: Jayme Villa, Naylea Pecina, Katalina Prukop, Johanna Comisky, Natalie John, Arleth Vazquez, Katie Sikes, Joselyn Zimmerman, Victoria Garza, Natalia Contreras, Isabella Zuniga, and Julianna Garza

Team Manager: Isidra Valero
Head Coach: Amy Benavidez
Assistant Coach: Rico Benavidez


RSA Girls Basketball team recognized at board meeting

Above: The Rising Scholars Academy Girls MSO Basketball Team - Undefeated Division Champions, South Texas Regional Runner-up

The team includes: Miranda Ramos, Addison Lopez, Katherine Meyer, Ambar Acevedo, Allison Reyes, Katherine Rojas, Sophia Meyer, Lyla Leal, Cadence Reyes, Camila Perez, Ana Hernandez, Brithany Garza, Elizabeth Negrete, and Ana Herrera

Coaches: Johnny Rodriguez
Assistant Coach: Cynthia Wilson


RSA Boys Basketball team recognized at board meeting

Above: The Rising Scholars Academy MSP Boys Basketball Team - Superintendent's Cup Middle School Boys Champions, Undefeated Division Champions, South Texas Regional Runner-Up, State Final Four

The team includes: Angel Chavez, Marco Contreras, Gabriel Dubon, Mark Anthony Garcia, Mariano Hinojosa, Ricky Camarillo, Lando Cisneros, Sam Qin, Marcelo Gutierrez, Tim Qin, and Jeremias Gonzalez

Team Manager: Gael Chavez
Head Coach: Rico Benavidez
Assistant Coach: Levi Landin

RSA Boys Basketball team recognized at board meeting

Above: The Rising Scholars Academy MSO Boys Basketball Team - Division Champions

The team includes: Henry Velasquez, Mariano Gonzalez, Matteo Noyola, Jacob Longoria, Joseph Lyssy, Antonio Moreno, John Kellam, Evan Cabrera, Karym Valle, Elimenas Herrera, and Matthew Stolp

Team Manager: Emmanuel Uribe
Head Coach: Robert Romero
Assistant Coach: Brian Wilson


Board passes resolution thanking MacKenzie Scott for $8 million donation

As discussed during the Jan. 24 board meeting, the STISD Board of Directors passed a resolution during the Feb. 28 meeting to more formally thank philanthropist MacKenzie Scott for her generous donation of $8 million to the district in the fall. In the regularly-scheduled monthly board update, the board and administration also discussed progress on determining how to use the funds for the benefit of STISD students, and additional ideas were shared. Discussions will continue at the campus and district level.

Click here to see the resolution


Report: 2022-2023 Staff Ethnicity, Gender and Degree Report

The STISD Board of Directors received the 2022-2023 Staff Ethnicity, Gender & Degree Status Report at the Feb. 28 board meeting.

Of the 677 full-time STISD employees, there are 311 teachers and 366 support and administration staff.

For teachers, the breakdown of college degrees is as follows:
• Non-Degreed: 0 (0 percent);
• Associates: 5 (2 percent);
• Bachelors: 195 (63 percent);
• Masters: 107 (34 percent); and
• Doctorate: 4 (1 percent).

The breakdown of ethnic status for teachers is 10 Asian (3 percent), 2 Black or African American (0 percent), 251 Hispanic (81 percent), 3 American Indian or Alaskan Native (1 percent), 43 White (14 percent), and 2 who are two or more races (1 percent). By gender, it is 180 females (58 percent) and 131 males (42 percent).

For administrators and support specialists, the breakdown of degrees is as follows:
• Non-Degreed: 227 (62 percent);
• Associates: 7 (2 percent);
• Bachelors: 66 (18 percent);
• Masters: 60 (16 percent); and
• Doctorate: 6 (2 percent).

The breakdown of ethnic status for this group is 355 Hispanic (97 percent), 9 White (2 percent), and 2 Other (1 percent). By gender, it is 204 females (56 percent) and 162 males (44 percent).

Click here for the full report
Included in the Miscellaneous Reports section


Reports and Action: Construction projects from across the district

The Buildings and Grounds Committee and Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations Marla Knaub reported on the following construction projects from across the district:


Other Board Actions

  • The Board received a report on the procurement methods available for construction projects and the Board-approved ranking criteria for all construction projects.
  • The Board received a report from the STISD Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations, Marla Knaub, on the budget calendar for 2023-2024.


February 2023 Student in Frame: Medical Professions' Carmen Herrera

February Student in Frame
February Student in Frame


Inside STISD Video Highlights

STISD 22-23 Middle School Tennis Tournament

STISD Inaugural Golf Tournament

STISD Superintendent's Cup Soccer Tournament

Office of Undersecretary of Defense Tours STISD Science Academy


Mental Health Matters: Sleep Awareness Week

On March 12, we will “Spring Forward” into Daylight Savings Time, and our internal clocks will be forced to adjust to the time change. Spring Break will allow us to take on a different daily pace, and our sleep patterns will likely change over the next week.

Sleep is a crucial part of our health and wellness, and the National Sleep Foundation recognizes March 12-18 as Sleep Awareness Week.  This is a time to elevate the importance of our sleep health. We encourage our STISD families to consider the importance of sleep as we move into this season of change. Please take a moment to read the articles and watch the videos linked below for additional information about improving your teens’ sleep to impact their overall health and wellness.


El 12 de marzo, "avanzaremos" al horario de verano y cambiaremos nuestros relojes internos una vez más. Las vacaciones de primavera nos permitirán tomar un ritmo diario diferente y nuestros patrones de sueño probablemente cambiarán durante la próxima semana.

El sueño es una parte crucial de nuestro bienestar, y la Fundación Nacional del Sueño reconoce del 12 al 18 de marzo como la Semana de Concientización sobre el Sueño. Este es un momento para elevar la importancia de nuestra salud del sueño. Queremos alentar a nuestras familias de STISD a considerar la importancia del sueño para la salud y el bienestar de todos a medida que avanzamos en esta temporada de cambio. Tómese un momento para leer los artículos y ver los videos vinculados a continuación para obtener información adicional sobre cómo mejorar el sueño y la salud y el bienestar general de sus hijos adolescentes.



Sleep and Your Teen for Parents-Nemours Kids Health
El sueno y su hijo en edad adolescente para Padres version impresa-Nemours Kids Health


Decorative image: Spring Break: March 13-17 + Tour STISD: April 1

Reminders: Holidays and District Events

  • March 13-17 is Spring Break!  Classes resume on Monday, March 20.
  • Good Friday - April 7 (District Holiday) + Monday, April 10 (Bad Weather Day) = 4-day Easter weekend
  • STISD East vs. West All-Star Senior Weekend Games - Thursday, March 30 - Saturday, April 1
  • April 1 - 'Tour STISD' Spring Campus Showcases - invite your friends and family and show off what you're doing here at STISD!
  • April 22 - STISD Superintendent's Cup Softball Tournament

Save the Date for Graduations:

Saturday, May 20:

  • Health Professions Graduation at 10:00 a.m.
  • Medical Professions Graduation at 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 21:

  • Science Academy Graduation at 10:00 a.m.
  • World Scholars Graduation at 1:00 p.m.

All graduations will be held at the Bert Ogden Arena (4900 S. I-69 C, Edinburg).



Nominate a teacher today for 2023 STISD Teacher of the Year! - - Deadline is March 22

South Texas ISD proudly presents the STISD Teacher of the Year Awards Program!


Let’s take some time to honor those special STISD educators making a difference in our campuses, our district, and our lives. 


Nominate a special teacher for 2023 Campus Teacher of the Year! We are currently accepting nominations from our district community – students, parents, faculty/staff, and administrators –through the Campus Teacher of the Year Nomination Form. 


The deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22. 


The three “most nominated” teachers from each campus will get the opportunity to apply to be this year’s campus Teacher of the Year. The 7 teachers selected Campus Teacher of the Year across the district will have the chance to apply to be STISD Teacher of the Year and move on to the Region One ESC competition. 


For more information on this awards program, visit: https://www.stisd.net/teacher-of-the-year.

Nominate a teacher for 2023 STISD Campus Teacher of the Year!


STISD Alumni: Let's Connect! We want to tell your story.

Complete the Alumni Questionnaire

STISD Alumni:

We want to connect with you! 

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the STISD Alumni Questionnaire to share with us your success after STISD. If you’re interested in participating in a district testimonial, let us know through the form, and we’ll reach out.


We look forward to hearing about what you’re doing now!

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If you’re not already, follow us on social media to keep up with all things STISD:
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