May 2023 BoardBits

Decorative image: BoardBits cover

This e-newsletter highlights important news from the May 23 regular meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, as well as other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.

We've Moved: Visit STISD Administration at the New Office

South Texas ISD's new Central Administration Office, located at 7001 E. Expressway 83 in Mercedes, is now open.

Exterior shot of the new South Texas ISD Central Administration and Teaching and Learning Center

District Begins Summer Hours

  • On Monday, May 29, STISD kicked off its summer schedule, which includes:
    • 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
  • Summer hours will end on July 21, 2023.


  • The district will be closed for non-contract vacation days July 3-14.



Decorative image: STISD Class of 2023

Photo Galleries: Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremonies


STISD Hosts Inaugural 'Fun Fest' Staff Appreciation Event

The district held its inaugural 'STISD Fun Fest' staff appreciation event on May 26 to close out an amazing 2022-2023 school year and celebrate all employees for their role in making STISD the district it is. Employees from all seven campuses came together at the Mercedes complex for a day of fun, camaraderie and competition.

Click here to access the STISD Fun Fest photo gallery

Talent Show performance during Fun Fest
Audience cheering during Fun Fest event
Employees high-five during Fun Fest volleyball tournament
Staff pose during Fun Fest
Cook off team seasons their meat
Staff serve waters and sodas at district food truck
Employees playing in Fun Fest volleyball tournament
Employees cheer during Fun Fest
Talent Show performance during Fun Fest


STISD Announces 2023 District Teacher of the Year, Dale Coalson of Science Academy

STISD District Teacher of the Year Dale Coalson holding awarded crystal plaque

Dale Coalson, STISD 2023 District Teacher of the Year, accepts crystal plaque at STISD Fun Fest Awards Presentation

During the inaugural STISD Fun Fest, the district recognized the seven 2023 Campus Teachers of the Year and announced the 2023 STISD District Teacher of the Year, Dale Coalson of South Texas ISD Science Academy.

Coalson has taught at the Science Academy since 1989. He is one of the founding teachers of the school, and he co-authored the curriculum and helped build the school's prestigious engineering program to what it is today.

After 33 years of teaching, Coalson officially retired at the end of this school year. We thank him for his many years of service to STISD, and we wish him the very best!

Click here to watch the 2023 District Teacher of the Year highlight video


Board recognizes Rising Scholars Academy for award for reaching gender parity in computer science

RSA teacher Katherine Castaneda recognized with award at board meeting

From left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Katherine Castaneda, Computer Science Teacher at STISD Rising Scholars Academy; and Henry LeVrier, STISD Board President

STISD Rising Scholars Academy (RSA) and Computer Science Teacher Katherine Castaneda were commended during the May 23 board meeting for being recognized by the Expanding Pathways in Computing (EPIC) program at The University of Texas at Austin. This program is dedicated to broadening participation in K-12 computing, particularly for young women, who make up only about 27 percent of the students enrolled in high school Computer Science (CS) courses in Texas.

Research by the organization found that young women made up at least 50 percent of RSA computer science course enrollment in the 2021-2022 school year. As one of less than 100 secondary schools in the entire state to reach gender parity in computer science, RSA was named a member of the Accelerating Women’s Success and Mastery (AWSM) in Computer Science inaugural Honor Roll.  

RSA and Ms. Castaneda will be honored at the annual WeTeach_CS Summit on June 16-17, 2023, in Houston.


STISD to serve free meals to community throughout month of June

Student grabs a tray of healthy food off the counter in the cafeteria

STISD will serve free breakfast and lunch meals to children 18 years old and younger from our local communities and enrolled students up to 21 years old with disabilities throughout the month of June.

The meals will be served via dine-in only at the cafeterias of four STISD campuses: World Scholars (Edinburg), Health Professions (Mercedes), Medical Professions (Olmito), and Rising Scholars (San Benito). Breakfast will be served from 7:30-9:00 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday through June 29.

These meals will be provided at no cost to the family, and children do not have to be enrolled within STISD to receive meals.

Click here for the full story, including meal locations.


Board Approves 2023-2024 District and Campus Improvement Plans

During the May 23 board meeting, the STISD Board of Directors approved the 2023-2024 District Improvement Plan and 2023-2024 Campus Improvement Plans, which are developed annually in alignment with state and federal requirements.

Although the campus plans are all unique to the individual needs of the campuses, all plans tie back to the district plan, which focuses on 7 primary goals. The following are the goals that form the core of the DIP:

  • Goal 1: By June 2024, student mastery achievement will increase by 10%.
  • Goal 2: By June 2024 special education students will increase their STAAR performance by 5%.
  • Goal 3: Implement and monitor the district comprehensive attendance plan to ensure overall district compliance with federal and state accountability guidelines.
  • Goal 4: Engage families and the community to support student achievement and enhance district goals.
  • Goal 5: Recruit, develop, and retain highly qualified teachers and staff and to increase the percentage of teachers with more than five years of experience.
  • Goal 6: Promote district and campuses to increase student enrollment by 5%.
  • Goal 7: Develop a district and campus Technology plan to meet the needs of instruction.

The Campus and District Improvement Plans will be posted on the district website at


Board Receives Report on College Board National Recognition Programs Eligibility

2023 College Board National Recognition Programs Eligibility

Dr. Nereyda Trevino, STISD Chief Academic Officer, reported to the board on this year's College Board National Recognition Program eligibility. College Board's National Recognition Programs create pathways to college for students from underserved communities by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country.

For 2023, 278 STISD students have been invited to apply for these recognition programs. These students have demonstrated exceptional achievement based on their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and AP assessments.

This year’s National Recognition Programs awardees will be notified by September and will be able to access their certificates on Big Future.

The following is the breakdown of eligible students by school within the district:

  • 132 STISD Science Academy
  • 57 STISD Health Professions
  • 53 STISD Medical Professions
  • 35 STISD World Scholars
  • 1 STISD Rising Scholars

We are encouraging and supporting invited students to apply by June 12, and we look forward to announcing the awardees in September.


May 2023 Student in Frame: Science Academy's Moises Nava-Lopez

May Student in Frame Moises Nava-Lopez
May Student in Frame Moises Nava-Lopez


Inside STISD Video Highlights

STISD Science Academy Student Places 1st in Congressional App Challenge

STISD World Scholars Student Certified through Texas Master Naturalist Program

Inside STISD Videos: Alumni Highlights

STISD Alumna + Government Affairs Consultant Maricela De Leon Shares Her Health Professions Experience

STISD Alumnus + Mission Deputy Fire Chief Chris Navarrete Shares His Health Professions Experience


Mental Health Matters: Self care summer for secondary students

Self care summer tips for secondary students

It’s summer—time to rest, relax, and recharge!

Click for Self-care summer for secondary students information

We encourage our students to take time to care for your mental health. Check out these resources from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families for tips and activities to support your #selfcaresummer.


These activities are not a substitute for mental health support; sometimes we need to reach out for help. If you or someone you know needs immediate mental health support, call or text 988, or call 911.



Faculty/Staff News


Tell your friends and family: STISD is hiring for 2023-2024!

Take the next step in your career. Work with South Texas ISD.

STISD is hiring for various positions and at various locations across the district, including:

  • Teaching positions
    • Math
    • Science Composite
    • Physical Education
    • Social Studies Composite
    • Special Education + Core
    • English/ESL
    • DAEP
    • CTE- Health Science Technology
    • Technology Applications
  • Bus Drivers/Custodians
  • Special Education Classroom Aides

Visit the Employment page to see available vacancies and apply


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