Board hires new Sci Tech principal

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					                           BOARDWORKS                                                                    June/July 2007
   A Publication of South Texas Independent School District

                    Board hires new Sci Tech principal
The STISD Board of Direc-                                                                                  new challenge in his profes-
tors voted to hire Michael                                                                                 sional career.
Aranda of Weslaco as the
                                                                                                           “I’m grateful for the oppor-
new principal of Sci Tech
                                                                                                           tunity to apply my leader-
at its special-called July 12
                                                                                                           ship skills at a high school
                                                                                                           campus and continue work-
Aranda, an assistant principal                                                                             ing with a talented, experi-
at Med High, moved across                                                                                  enced staff,” he said.
the street and assumed his
                                                                                                           A Rio Grande Valley na-
position at Sci Tech on July
                                                                                                           tive, Aranda graduated
18. The 39-year-old educa-
                                                                                                           from McAllen High School
tor took the place of Edward
                                                                                                           in 1986. He went on to
Argueta of Harlingen, who
                                                                                                           graduate from Texas A&M
was principal for nearly seven
                                                                                                           University in 1990 with a
                                                                                                           bachelor’s degree in Biol-
According to Marla M.                                                                                      ogy and the University of
Guerra, Ed.D., superinten-                                                                                 Texas-Pan American in
dent of STISD, Aranda is a                                                                                 1996 with a master’s degree
strong administrator and will                                                                              in Education.
do well in his new role.
                                                                                                           Aranda and his wife, Steph-
“In the two years he was at                                                                                anie, live in Weslaco with
Med High, Michael quickly                                                                                  their two boys, 12-year-old
distinguished himself with                                                                                 Nathan and seven-year-old
his diligence and leader-                                                                                  Ian. When he is not work-
ship,” Guerra said. “He has                                                                                ing, Aranda volunteers as
the character and dedication                                                                               a member of the executive
it takes to be an excellent
principal.”                      “   Michael quickly distinguished himself with his diligence
                                 and leadership. He has the character and dedication it takes
                                                                                                           advisory board for Su Casa
                                                                                                           de Esperanza, a non-profit
                                                                                                           organization that empowers
Aranda started his career in
August 1990 as a high school
Science teacher with McAl-
                                 to be an excellent principal.
                                                 — Superintendent Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D.
                                                                                                           people who live in poverty
                                                                                                           with work skills, education
                                                                                                           and medical services.
len Independent School Dis-
trict. In 1993, he moved                      August 2005 as an assistant principal at
to Weslaco Independent School District,       Med High.                                               ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
where he started as a middle school Science                                                  Junior High to split from BETA in August
teacher and later became an assistant high    With 14 years in the education field, Aranda   2008 ... Page 4
school principal. Aranda joined STISD in      is eager to become a principal and meet a


                                                   Board Bits
   Approved: Hiring of the following          at Med Tech;                                   31; and
2007-08 professional staff:                   • Lee Streicher, English teacher at Sci        • The April pay date moved from Fri-
  • Nilda Camarena, Science Composite         Tech;                                          day, April 25 to Thursday, April 24.
  teacher, BETA;                              • John Whittier, Science teacher at BETA;   To see the final calendar, go to www.
  • Irma Castillo, assistant principal at     and                               
  Med High;                                   • Kelly Zarate, part-time Social Studies
  • Gerardo Cavazos, Physical Eduation        teacher at Med Tech.                           Approved: 2007-08 Student Meal
  teacher at Sci Tech;                                                                    Prices. The prices will remain the same
  • Andrew Cortez, Science Composite           Approved: 2007-08 Compensation Plan.       as last year: $.30 for reduced-price
  teacher at Sci Tech;                      Professional employees will receive a         breakfast, $1.00 for full-price breakfast,
  • Lydia Flores, English teacher at        $600 annual increase while paraprofes-        $.40 for reduced-price lunch, $1.50 for
  BETA;                                     sionals and hourly workers will receive a     full-price lunch and $2.75 for adult
  • Vivian Galloso, school nurse at         $400 annual increase. To see the complete     lunch.
  BETA;                                     plan, go to
  • Alejandro Garcia, Computer Science      html.                                            Approved: 2007-08 Student Code of
  teacher at BETA;
                                                                                          Conduct. This year, the code of conduct
  • Michele Guajardo, Science teacher
                                               Approved: Public hearing date for the      includes a new section, “Possession of
  at BETA;
                                            2007-08 budget and proposed tax rate. The     Electronic Music Devices,” on Page 7.
  • Nelly Houston, Technology Educa-
                                            hearing will be held on Tuesday, August       It states that electronic music devices
  tion teacher at Sci Tech;
                                            28 at 7 p.m. at BLA lecture hall, before      are permissible at school as well as the
  • Sandra Loya, Special Education
                                            the school board meeting. The final budget    bus with the use of personal earphones.
  teacher at Sci Tech;
                                            and tax rate will be approved at the August   These devices, however, may not be
  • Richard Martin, Technology Educa-
                                            meeting.                                      used in the classrooms during class time.
  tion teacher at Sci Tech;
                                                                                          To see the section or complete code of
  • Crystal Martinez, Science teacher
                                               Approved: 2007-08 Preliminary School       conduct, go to
  at Med Tech;
                                            Budget. Based on a tax rate of $.0492 per     html.
  • Diana Martinez, Science Composite
  teacher at Med High;                      $100 in property value, STISD’s projected
  • Brad McKinney, assistant principal      revenue and expenditures is $39,031,619. To      Approved: Announcement of va-
  at Med Tech;                              see the complete budget, go to www.stisd.     cancy for the 2007-08 positions:
  • Gerardo Monteagudo, Physical            net/finances/budget.html.                       • Child Nutrition clerk at Mercedes
  Education teacher at BETA;                                                                campus;
  • Lauren Payne, Business Education           Approved: 2007-08 Calendar Revision.         • Head cook at BETA; and
  teacher at BETA;                          The following changes were made to the          • Head cook at Mercedes campus.
  • Maribel Berrones, Technology Edu-       school calendar:                              To see all of the current job vacancies, go
  ation teacher, BETA Jr. High.               • Exam Break Day moved from Friday,         to
  • Drucilla Peña, librarian at BETA;         May 2 to Friday, April 25 to accomodate
  • Jody Peña, counselor at BETA;             the new Texas Assessment of Knowledge          Approved: Renovation of the Albert
  • Leticia Peña, assistant principal at      and Skills (TAKS) testing dates;            Hughes building at BETA. The job
  BETA;                                       • Med High’s graduation ceremony            will begin in September. Upon comple-
  • Ruben Ramirez, Science teacher at         moved from Saturday, May 31 to Mon-         tion, the Hughes building will house
  BETA Jr. High;                              day, June 2 while Med Tech’s moved          the high school music and theatre arts
  • Emily Reece, Mathematics teacher          from Monday, June 2 to Saturday, May        programs.


                                Recognition                                                             Board hires
                                                                                                       three assistant
                                                                                                     The STISD Board of Directors hired three
                                                                                                     new assistant principals at the summer
                                                                                                     board meetings, held June 19 and July 31.

                                                                                                     On August 13, Irma Castillo of Weslaco and
                                                                                                     Leticia Peña of Mission will join Med High
                                                                                                     and BETA, respectively, as administrators
                                                                                                     while Brad McKinney of Rancho Viejo will
                                                                                                     return to Med Tech as an administrator.

                                                                                                     Castillo, 33, was a Science teacher at W.A.
                                                                                                     Todd Ninth Grade Campus in Donna. A
                                                                                                     1992 Med High alumna, she earned her
                                                                                                     bachelor’s degree from Baylor University
                                                                                                     in Waco in 1996 and master’s degree from
                                                                                                     the University of Texas-Pan American in
                                                                                                     Edinburg in 2004. Castillo has worked in
Ray & Irasema Coody: Ray Coody, STISD Child Nutrition coordinator, and Irasema Coody,                education for 11 years.
BETA Child Nutrition supervisor, were recognized for their exceptional professionalism and dedica-
tion to the students and staff of STISD.                                                             McKinney, 47, was a Science teacher
                                                                                                     at Med Tech. He graduated from Saint
                                                                                                     Joseph Academy in Brownsville in 1978
                                                                                                     and received his bachelor’s degree from
                                                                                                     the University of Texas at Austin in 1983
                                                                                                     and master’s degree from the University of
                                                                                                     Texas at Brownsville in 1991. McKinney has
                                                                                                     worked as an educator for 20 years.

                                                                                                     Peña, 47, was a Math and Reading coach
                                                                                                     for Hidalgo Independent School District. A
                                                                                                     1977 graduate of Zapata High School, she
                                                                                                     earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas
                                                                                                     A & I University in Kingsville in 1980 and
                                                                                                     master’s degree from Laredo State Univer-
                                                                                                     sity in 1983. Peña has been an educator for
                                                                                                     27 years.

                                                                                                     The board will hire an assistant principal for
Med High: Med High ranked 21st in the na-         Sci Tech: Sci Tech ranked 52nd in the nation       Sci Tech at its August meeting. The 2007-
tion in Newsweek’s “Top 100 High Schools” edi-    in Newsweek’s “Top 100 High Schools” edition       08 school year marks the first time STISD
tion (May 18, 2007). Principal Barbara Heater     (May 18, 2007). Principal Edward Argueta ac-       hires four new assistant principals, one for
accepted the honor on behalf of the school.       cepted the honor on behalf of the school.          each school.

    Bulletin Board                                       Jr. High to split from BETA
• First Day of School: August 27
                                                                in August 2008
• Board of Directors Meeting: August 28
                                                   At its July 31 meeting, the STISD Board of      the students and increase the academic ac-
at 7:30 p.m., BLA (Mercedes)
                                                   Directors approved the separation of the        countability of the BETA junior high and
• Board of Directors Meeting: September            junior high at BETA, allowing the junior        high school programs.
25 at 7:30 p.m., BLA (Mercedes)                    high to operate as an independent school
                                                                                                   “STISD is known for its small schools,
                                                   starting in August 2008.
                                                                                                   focus on the individual student and strong
• Parental Involvement Conference: Octo-
                                                   At this time, BETA is the only STISD            academic curriculum,” Hembree said, “and
ber 13 at 9 a.m., BLA (Mercedes)
                                                   school to serve both junior high and high       the split will help us continue that focus.”
                                                   school students. Though the junior high
                                                                                                   Opening in August 2008, the junior high
BoardWorks is published for patrons of South       and high school students are housed in
                                                                                                   will have a new name, its own administra-
Texas Independent School District after each       different buildings, the Edinburg campus
regular meeting of the Board of Directors. Board                                                   tion and a dedicated gymnasium. The 2007-
                                                   currently operates as one school, with one
meetings take place on the fourth Tuesday of                                                       08 school year will be used to transition
the month at 7:30 p.m. Board minutes are the       administration.
final authority on action taken at STISD board                                                     BETA into two separate schools, allowing
meetings.                                          According to Deputy Superintendent Jeff         time for the construction of the additional
Editor: Andi Atkinson                              Hembree, STISD will implement the split         classrooms and new gymnasium at the
(956) 565-2454 or          to better serve the instructional needs of      junior high.

  WANTED: Community Members & Parents for the Educational Improvment Council & STISD Education Foundation. Call (956) 514-4216 for more details.

                                          100 Med High Dr.                                                                       Non-Profit
                                         Mercedes, TX 78570                                                                     Organization
                                                                                                                                U.S. Postage
                                        Phone (956) 565-2454
                                                                                                                                Permit #333
                                         Fax (956) 565-4639                                                                     McAllen, TX
   Think Outside the Book!              Website

                        Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D.

                     BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ernesto Alvarado, President                            Arturo Guajardo
David W. Vela, Vice-President                             Maria G. Leal
Robert “Bobby” de la Garza, Secretary                     Filomena Leo
Douglas E. Buchanan                            Robert J. “Bobby” Lerma
Cain Caceres                                              Henry LeVrier
Eduardo L. “Larry” Cantu                           Joe L. “Joey” Lopez
Mariaelena S. Champion                              Irma Perez-Treviño
Homero Garcia                                          Joe A. Rodriguez
Hector Gonzales                                     Julio S. Saldaña, Jr.
Eduardo “Ed” Gonzalez                                  Romeo Villarreal
Octaviano “Tony” Gonzalez