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The Weslaco ISD Board of Trustees approved a $1700 pay increase for teachers for the 2022-23 school year during the May board meeting held recently. This three percent increase boosts the annual salary for starting teachers to $53,500.

“We want to recruit and retain high-quality educators,” Superintendent Dr. Dino Coronado said. “The board is taking steps to ensure our district is competitive.” 

According to a Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) report, WISD teachers are among the highest paid when compared to 12 neighboring school districts like Brownsville, Mission and Mercedes.

Professional and paraprofessional staff will receive a three percent raise from the midpoint of their pay scale as well. The board increased the hourly rate for school bus drivers to $20 an hour and for manual trades to $14 an hour.  Manual trades include bus aides, cafeteria and custodial staff. 

 “Weslaco ISD will continue to provide our students with innovative academic programs and our WISD family with competitive salaries,” Coronado said.   

The WISD board approved the pay increase while maintaining the lowest tax rate in the Hidalgo county.  Currently, WISD families pay $0.9807 per $100 in property valuation. 

Read More about WISD School Board approves pay increase
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The outstanding band, orchestra, jazz and mariachi programs have led to national recognition for Weslaco ISD. For the 5th consecutive year, WISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

“I’m proud to be a part of a district that values fine arts programs,” Fine Arts Director Christopher Fernandez said.  “The district really works as a team to build a well-rounded student.”

The high school music departments have received numerous awards involving the orchestra, marching bands and mariachi groups.  The district has implemented a music curriculum at the K – 5thgrades and currently offers after-school music clubs. 

“The success of the overall music programs begins at the elementary schools,” Fernandez said.  “Music is imbedded in the daily curriculum and elementary students are given the opportunity to explore music through extra-curricular activities. Weslaco ISD recognizes the achievement and growth of our students and is committed to providing this unique opportunity to all students.”   

  The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, WISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. 

Since the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school.  NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education. 

Read More about WISD receives national recognition for music program 5 years in a row
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It was a family reunion of sorts. After a long hiatus, elementary students from across Weslaco ISD gathered at Texas National Bank Field at Bobby Lackey Stadium in the spirit of friendly athletic competition. Representing all ten elementary schools, 4thand 5thgrade students took part in games like the tug-of-war and track and field during the day-long event known as the Little Panther/Wildcat Relays.

“This is an effort to return back to normal,” WISD Athletic Freddy Rodriguez said.  “The coaches reached out and wanted to bring this back.”

Acknowledging Weslaco’s rich athletic tradition, Rodriguez said the Relays help students learn important lessons.

“They are learning how to compete,” he said.  “That they need to put in their best effort. The future looks bright for Weslaco in all areas.”

Listed are students who won the championship title in each event.  From Airport Drive Elementary, in the 4thGrade Boys Division: Benjamin Lyle, Mathew Hernandez, Eliel Sanchez, Kaleb Flores, 1stplace in 4x400 meter relay; Devin Del Rio, Jose Lopez, Primotivo Martinez, Andre Ramirez, Christopher Regino, Mathew Reyna, 1stplace tie in Tug of War.  In the 5th Grade Boys Division: Abel Flores, Dylan Gonzalez, Logan Sanchez, Julian Treviño, 1stplace in 4x100 & 4x400 meter relays. In the 4thGrade Girls Division:  Camila Castro, Jenessa Ibarra, Maiela Martinez, Kassandra Sanchez, Angelina Valencia, 1stplace tie in Tug of War; Karina Torres, Hailey McFadden, Milka Garcia, Yvaine Flores, 1stplace in 4x100 meter relay; Katelyn Ortega, 1stplace in Softball Throw & 1stplace in Long Jump; Milka Garcia, 1stplace in 200 meter run. In the 5th Grade Girls Division: Brook Salinas, Jaiden Musquiz, Angelique Zapata, Carlie Leal, 1stplace in the 4x100 meter relay; Francisca Gomez, Rosa Martinez, Angelique Zapata, Carlie Leal, 1stplace in the 4x400 meter relay; Jaiden Musquiz, 1stplace tie in 200 meter run.  

From A. N. (Tony) Rico Elementary, in the 5thGrade Boys Division: Ethan Vega, 1stplace in 200 meter run; Bryan Gutierrez, 1stplace in 400 meter run; Miguel Rodriguez, 1stplace in Long Jump.  In the 4thGrade Girls Division: Diana Garza, 1stplace in 50 meter dash, Allison Ambriz, 1stplace in 400 meter run. In the 5thGrade Girls Division: Bailey Villarreal, 1stplace in 400 meter run; Gnai Ovalle, 1stplace in Long Jump.

From Cleckler-Heald Elementary, in the 4thGrade Boys Division: Eddie Desiga, 1stplace in Softball Throw; Damian Gonzalez, Angel Zacharis, Moises Valdez, Peter Ortega, Isiah Rodriguez, Eddie Desiga, Hector Perez, 1stplace in Tug of War; Mason Perez, Daniel Lejia, Ricky Luevano, Kaleem Hernandez, 1stplace in 4x100 meter relay. In the 5thGrade Boys Division: Ethan Rodriguez, 1stplace in 100 meter dash; Ivan Alvarez, Jayden Orozco, Luis Murillo, Robert Anzaldua, Juan Guzman, Vincent Guzman, 1stplace in Tug of War; Felix Perez, Joe Alex Meza, Edwardo Sanchez, Noah Zapata, 1stplace in 4x400 meter relay.  In the 4thGrade Girls Division:  Olivia Hoskins, 1stplace in 200 meter run; Ava Peña, Katelyn Quintero, Kayde Garcia, Annel Bautista, Cassandra Medrano, Jaelyn Salinas, Patricia Zamora, 1stplace in Tug of War; Isabelle Garcia, Olivia Hoskins, Alexa Vasquez, Alexiz Perez, 1stplace in 4x100 meter relay; Isabelle Garcia, Alexa Vasquez, Alexiz Perez, Scarlette Perez, 1stplace in 4x400 meter relay.  In the 5thGrade Girls Division: Tori Garcia, 1stplace in Softball Throw; Reagan Haas, 1stplace in 200 meter run; Jaelyn Edwards, Gabby Garcia, Sophia Huaracha, Dakayla Molina, Yarely Castillo, Corina Lamas, 1stplace in Tug of War; Emma Ramirez, Reece Murray, Elizabeth Longoria, Victoria Verdeja, 1stplace in 4x400 meter relay. 

From Dr. R. E. Margo Elementary, in the 4thGrade Boys Division: Aaron Guajardo, 1stplace in 200 meter run; Jermain Rodriguez, 1stplace in Softball Throw; Zaydan Chagoyz, Nathan Coronado, Richard Galvan, Jeremiah Rodriguez, Kristian Zamora, 1stplace in Tug of War; Aaron Guajardo, Fernando Muñoz, Jordan Rangel, Randy Villarreal, 1stplace in 4x100 meter relay.  In the 5th Grade Boys Division, Miguel Reyna, 1stplace in 50 meter dash & 200 meter run; Jayden Garza, 1stplace in 100 meter run. In the 4thGrade Girls Division:  Areli Valle, Julissa Ocana, Cereniti Barber, Arianna Borbon, Meldy Guerrero, 1stplace in Tug of War.

From Justice Raul A. Gonzalez Elementary, in the 4th Grade Boys Division: Damian Rivera, 1st place in 100 meter run; Josias Torres, 1stplace in 200 meter run; Josias Torres, Damian Rivera, Derrick Izaguirre, Mark Guevara, 1stplace in 4x400 meter relay. In the 5thGrade Boys Division: Jordan Martinez, 1stplace in Long Jump.  In the 5thGrade Girls Division, Allyson Martinez, 1stplace in 50 meter dash.  

From Memorial Elementary, in the 4th Grade Boys Division:  Jacob Garza, 1stplace in 100 meter run; Daniel Longoria, 1stplace in Long Jump. In the 5thGrade Boys Division: Sebastian Ortega, 1stplace in 400 meter run; Joaquin Ortegon, 1stplace in Long Jump.  In the 4th Grade Girls Division:  Julianna Garcia, 1st place in 100 meter run; Angelina Palomin, Katy Maldonado, Malerie Gamez, Sofia Ochoa, 1stplace in 4x400 meter relay. In the 5th Grade Girls Division: Lesly Muñoz, 1stplace in 50 meter dash; Lia Romero, 1stplace in 100 meter run; Sophia Martinez, 1stplace tie in 200 meter run; Alaina Sanchez, 1stplace tie 400 meter run; Lia Romero,        

From North Bridge Elementary, in the 4thGrade Boys Division: Angel Mendoza, 1stplace in 50 meter dash; Norberto Paredes, 1stplace in 400 meter run. In the 5thGrade Boys Division: Anthony Guerrero, 1stplace in Softball Throw; Andrew Gonzalez, Romeo Guerrero, Nicholas Cerda, Jeremiah Nuncio, Robert Davalos, 1stplace in Tug of War.  In the 4thGrade Girls Division: Alyson Serna, 1stplace in 400 meter run.  In the 5thGrade Girls Division: Daniela Lira, 1stplace in Softball Throw; Linda Rodriguez, 1stplace in 400 meter run; Rubi Gracia, Gwen Martinez, Brianna Matamoros, Daniela Lira, Denisse Meraz, 1stplace in Tug of War.

From Rodolfo “Rudy” Silva Jr. Elementary, in the 4thGrade Boys Division: Dennsy Villanueva, 1stplace in 50 meter dash and 1stplace in 100 meter run.  In the 5thGrade Girls Division: Ariani Camarillo, 1stplace in 100 meter run. In the 4thGrade Girls Division: Yarelli Camarillo, 1stplace in 100 meter run. 

Read More about Congratulations to all the champions from the Little Panther/Wildcat Relays
Weslaco ISD to offer Full-Day Pre-Kinder 3 Program at all elementary schools

Weslaco ISD is now offering pre-Kinder 3 to ALL students who will turn three years of age on or before September 1st  for the 2022-2023 school year. All families are encouraged to register regardless of income. This program is available for all income earners and is available at all elementary campuses.

Parents may now register for the Full-Day Pre-Kinder 3 Program at www.wisd.us.  

Weslaco ISD is excited to offer a full-day Pre-Kinder 3 program that will build strong foundational skills and opportunities that interest children with fully-certified teachers.  

Classes begin August 22, 2022!  

Read More about Weslaco ISD to offer Full-Day Pre-Kinder 3 Program at all elementary schools
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She is there for her patients every step of the way.  As a physical therapist Victoria Lopez looks forward to helping her patients regain their mobility and live fuller lives. 

“I enjoy having a part in the patient’s recovery,” she said. “One of the most rewarding things is developing a treatment plan that will improve their ability to walk and safely return to the activities they love.” 

Victoria graduated from Weslaco East High School in 2013 ranked 6thin her class.  She was a member of the Wildcat Regiment, Jazz Band and was class chaplain for her senior class.  She was also a member of the National Honor Society, HOSA and the Science NHS.  Victoria says she will never forget her high school years. 

“Summer band camp with the Wildcat Regiment, working towards Division One ratings at Pigskin, performing half-time shows at football games, traveling for State Science Fair and learning alongside my peers are my favorite memories at Weslaco ISD,” she said.

Once she left WEHS, Victoria went on to Baylor University and graduated with a degree in Biology.  She later obtained a Master of Science in Health Science with a concentration in Nutrition from UTRGV in 2018 and went back to Baylor for her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2020.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be in the healthcare field,” she said.  “When I had the opportunity to observe physical therapists, I realized that the work they are doing is special.”

While her work is rewarding, it can be difficult. 

“The most challenging part of being a physical therapist is using the physical assessment to determine the patient’s diagnosis,” she said.  “Sometimes, the patient’s presentation is a little more complex which makes arriving to the diagnosis a little more challenging.” 

Victoria credits her high school for helping her prepare for Baylor and her life’s work.

“I believe that taking AP courses in high school greatly prepared me for my college courses. AP Biology with Mr. Cruz allowed me to learn collegiate-level biology topics which helped me with my biology courses as a biology major,” she said.  Victoria also did extremely well in AP Chemistry, AP Physics and AP English. “Mr. and Mrs. Ramos not only prepared me for college English but for my profession as well, where writing evaluations and treatment notes are an essential part of everyday tasks,” she said.

Victoria urges her fellow WISD students to take advantage of the rigorous coursework to be competitive. 

““My education at Weslaco ISD allowed me to enter college with 14 credit hours and graduate a semester early,” she said. “Weslaco ISD adequately prepared me for my future and I have no doubt they can help you achieve your goals too.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions.  Use the resources provided to you to learn and study. Work hard towards your goals and make yourself proud.”

Read More about WEHS alumni serves community as physical therapist
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Three Weslaco East High School students were recently named to the District 5A One-Act Play All-Star cast and crew ending the season on a high note. Seniors Juan Arzuaga was named to the All-Star Cast for his role as ‘Marty’ and Francis Izaguirre earned the Honorable Mention distinction for her role, ‘Vera.’ Junior Paulino Buenrostro was also named to the All-Star Tech/Sound crew.

The WEHS cast performed “The Betrothed,” a play by Jerome McDoungh for the 2022 UIL season.  This was Juan’s first play after joining theatre for the first time.

“It was surprising,” Juan said when he made the All-Star Cast.  “It was definitely, terrifying, exciting and stressful but a good experience,” he said. 

The WEHS Betrothed ensemble went up against 5A schools like Edcouch/Elsa, Donna and Brownsville Veterans during the UIL Zone competition advancing to District.  East then faced off against 11 schools at District, including Sharyland Pioneer, PSJA South and South Texas ISD. While the group did not advance, cast members were recognized for their talent, picking up several All-Star awards.    

Betrothed tackles the death of a parent and how a young girl deals with the loss.  Throughout the play, ‘Vera’ begins to hear her mother’s voice and finds comfort.

“I like how complex and intriguing she was,” Francis said describing her role.  “She is actually bringing up her mother.  But it was never her mother.”

Francis received the “Best Performer” award during the Zone competition along with Honorable Mention in District.

“I was pretty proud of what I did accomplish,” she said.

On the technical side of the performance, it was Paulino’s sound effects that garnered him a top award at District. 

“You need to find the music and sounds effects to tell the story better,” he said.  “It can be stressful if you are not prepared, this is live.  Once the tech messes up, it’s pretty obvious.”

Paulino collaborated with the director to help establish the right mood for the scenes.

“I think the music I choose fit really well with the play,” he said.

His sound creations included instrumental music, car sounds, the running of a film reel.

“I was kind of in disbelief,” he said when he won.

WEHS theatre teacher and director Lucia Meints is extremely proud of all her students’ success and she strongly encourages students to try out for theatre.

“We have a very strong program,” she said.

Read More about WEHS students named District All-Stars
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It was a meeting of the minds for Weslaco ISD Superintendent Dr. Dino Coronado who recently visited with several city leaders to reestablish connections with the community and better serve the district.

“We have a working partnership with the city and we share services,” Dr. Coronado said. “The district is the largest employer in the city. It was about getting the district and city reacquainted,” he said. 

The superintendent met with City of Weslaco Mayor David Suarez and Interim City Manager Martin Garza as well as with Weslaco Police Chief Dr. Joel Rivera and the Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Steve Valdez.  

The superintendent and city officials discussed several issues during this ‘meet and greet.’ 

“We talked about the community, Wi-Fi service and drainage issues,” he said.

Dr. Coronado also met with several high school student organizations. 

“I met with our juniors and seniors,” he said.  “I encourage our students to travel and be exposed to outside the RGV.”

In his first few weeks as the district’s leader, Dr. Coronado is busy assessing the district.

“Our strength is at our campuses,” he said.  “We are creating a culture of learning.  I want to promote leadership opportunities for our principals.”  

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The Weslaco ISD celebrated students whose parents are active military personnel as part of Month of the Military Child with week-long activities throughout the district.  During Military Child Spirit Week, students dressed up as super heroes, wore red, white and blue attire and camouflage. 

 “It’s an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and ‘we support you,’” Director of Student Support Services Dr. Cindy Cid said.  “Military children face obstacles that other students don’t and recognizing them helps to build a sense of pride with their parents’ service.”

According to Cid, military children have to deal with an absent parent due to deployment and move in and out different schools as because of that deployment.  This constant change impacts the student’s academic progress.  

“We provide transition support to military children such as counseling, college, career, and military readiness services, targeted support to get them caught up academically,” Cid said.  “We also provide Tier 1 or 2 support on social-emotional competencies, especially provision of a sense of belongingness.” 

Currently, there are 121 students with parents in active-duty and reserve service enrolled at WISD.

Read More about Weslaco ISD celebrates Month of the Military Child with Spirit Week
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Members of graduating Class of 2022 have finalized their plans and will announce their college of choice during the inaugural Weslaco ISD College Decision Day celebration beginning tomorrow, Thursday, April 21.  CTE Early College High School seniors will gather at the Susan Peterson Center for Visual and Performing Arts for a special ceremony to officially proclaim their post-graduation plans.  The event begins at 9 – 10:30 a.m.

“We have prepared our students for the day they graduate for 12 years,” WISD Counseling Director Dr. Cynthia Cid said.  “We are so proud of them.  This is the most important step they will take and we are going to celebrate that.”

Weslaco High School College Decision Day is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27 and Weslaco East High School will host its day on Thursday, April 28.

“Our students have already received their college acceptance letters and I believe they should be celebrated like a celebrity or star athlete,” Cid said. “Whether the students attend a community college, a university, a certification program, or the military, College Decision Day shows support for their future.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama first launched College Signing Day on May 1, 2015 as part of her ‘Reach Higher’ initiative as a day to celebrate students who plan to pursue some form of education and training beyond high school.  

The WISD College Decision Day hopes to inspire students to take the necessary steps to achieve their plans after graduation. The event will be live-streamed through the Weslaco ISD YouTube Channel.

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Among the thousands of college students who made their way to the Valley during Spring Break, two Weslaco graduates stood out.  West Point cadets Emma Arndt and Mario Treviño returned from the state of New York during the break to spent time with family and friends for a few days.

Emma graduated in 2021 Weslaco High School and Mario was part of the 2020 graduating class of Weslaco East High School.    

Looking back on her first semester, Emma clearly remembers basic training as the most challenging aspect of joining the elite military school.

“A couple times we were out there in the field for five days straight with no showering,” Emma said.

First-year students are known are plebes, and all plebes must complete a six-week training exercise that ends with a 12-mile march carrying nearly 45 pounds of gear.

Overall, her experience at West Point has been very positive. 

 “It’s actually better than I thought,” she said.  “I thought I wasn’t going to make friends that easily. I figured out pretty soon that everyone is going through the same thing so it’s was pretty easy to make friends. It’s pretty easy to go through it when you have people by your side.”

Currently, Emma is enrolled in 18 hours of coursework and is now part of the West Point Black Knights Track & Field Team. She trains in the long jump and triple jump.

“It’s different transitioning. I don’t have my old high school coach pushing me as much,” she said. “It’s been a little tough for me but I think next year will be a lot better.” 

As part of her International Affairs major, Emma will take courses in foreign government, sociology and languages during her five-year stint at West Point.

“It’s a great school,” she said. “In the end, I would have gone through something that not everyone can and it’s going to set me up for a lot of opportunities.”

After a four-week military-focused training this summer, Emma will be able to head home in early July for vacation.

For two-year cadet Mario, leaving the Valley for West Point was life-changing. 

“The most difficult and most rewarding aspect was the adapting to being away from home,” he said.  “Just feeling comfortable in an environment, you are not used to it. It’s taken me a year to do that.  You really don’t have people to confide in.  Finding yourself where you are at, I would say was the hardest transition.” 

Like Emma, Mario also has a full schedule, taking 20 hours of coursework this semester while making time for the Black Knights Boxing Team. 

Mario is majoring in Systems Engineering with a course load that includes classes like Engineering Economy, Fundamentals of Design and Management of Engineering.  Like other college students, Emma and Mario also take basics like English, history and philosophy. But unlike typical college students, they have 6 a.m. wake-up call for formation the entire time they are at West Point.  Both are also enrolled in military doctrine classes. 

Mario attributes his success at West Point to his preparation at Weslaco East High School.

“I felt good from everything I had to take,” Mario said.  “From the standpoint of a student, what you get out is what you put in. In high school, I took that very seriously. I had great teachers supporting me, always guiding me.”

Through his participation in AP courses and football, Mario developed a work ethic that has served him well.

“Everything falls into line when you do the right thing,” he said.  “The values that you learn of hard work, they translate regardless to whatever situation you are at.  I feel that I carried that over. It’s worked out great.”  

Once this semester ends, Mario will travel to Argentina to take part in a study aboard program at the Colegio Nacional, a military school in Buenos Aires. While this will increase his course load, he is going for the experience.

“I really want to immerse myself in that culture, I can’t forget my Spanish,” he said. 

Mario plans to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration and has considered political office.

“Someday, I would like to try to go for senator or governor,” he said.  

Mario urges his fellow classmates to follow through on their plans. 

“You need to believe in yourself. The world is literally for the taking,” he said.  “I feel that a lot of people I went to high school with, kind of counted themselves out.  You are going to have a lot of people tell you ‘No.’ Do some self-reflecting and dream big. Nothing is stopping you.  We have great teachers here who are willing to help. Once you make a decision to do something, it’s already done.”

Read More about West Point cadets return to Weslaco for some R&R
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In an effort to bring awareness to autism the Weslaco ISD Special Education Department invites the community to an Autism Acceptance Celebration to be held from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, April 8, at the Roosevelt campus located at 814 E. Plaza.

“We want parents to feel the love,” district school psychologist Abbie Munoz-Rodriguez said. “We are here for them.” 

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), affects an individual’ssocial, behavior, and communication skills, in varying degrees. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today.

During the curbside celebration, parents will be able to pick up a Little Caesar’s ‘Hot-N-Ready’ pizza along with a goodie bag filled with valuable information and fun activities for the students.

WISD parents who have concerns about autism should contact the Special Ed. Department at (956) 969-6822.

“We test children for autism as early as about three months before their third birthday,” Munoz said. “If identified, they are eligible to receive services from the district.”

Currently, there are about 211 students who are identified with autism in Weslaco ISD. 

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Parents if your child had a COVID related absence during the 2021-2022 school year, you may qualify for a pandemic electronic benefit transfer also known as P-EBT. If your child was absent for a COVID-19 related reason such as exposure, illness or quarantine, please contact the attendance clerk at your child’s school by Wednesday April 6th. Make sure the school knows the absence was caused by COVID-19. 

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The Weslaco ISD School Board unanimously approved Dr. Dino Coronado as Superintendent during a special board meeting held March 31.  Dr. Coronado who was approved after a six-month long Superintendent search, will begin as the new WISD leader effective Monday, April 4. He is replacing interim superintendent Dr. Cris Valdez.

School Board President Armando Cuellar welcomed Coronado to the WISD family.

“We are very pleased and happy to have you as our next superintendent of schools,” he said.

Coronado addressed the school board during the meeting.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve Weslaco ISD,” he said.  “I look forward to the opportunity to serve this great community with a legacy and traditions that need to be carried on. I look forward to working with the leadership team, the staff, teachers and most importantly, our parents and our children.”

Coronado served as the Interim Superintendent of Schools at Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD before coming to Weslaco.  He has more than 15 years of experience in public education, beginning his educational career as a substitute teacher, before working as a middle school Special Education teacher and head football coach. Coronado later became a Principal, Area Superintendent and Superintendent. Prior to his educational career, he served in the U.S. Army for nearly 22 years and retired as First Sergeant/E-8. 

Coronado earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at El Paso; a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa.

Read More about School Board approves new Superintendent
Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA)

Weslaco ISD is pursuing participation in the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), with data collection beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, and teacher payouts beginning in Spring 2024. Weslaco ISD will be submitting the Teacher Incentive Allotment application to the Texas Education Agency on April 14, 2022. This plan is in the process of being developed by a stakeholder committee that includes teachers, curriculum strategists, principals and campus instructional facilitators, and directors. Other committees with district personnel at various positions were also formed to assist with the application process and ensure transparency. Below you will find a list of each committee and its members.

 

If approved by the Texas Education Agency, the TIA could lead to large pay increases for teachers in Weslaco ISD.

Click here to read more about TIA

Read More about Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA)
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The fundamental skills of reading and writing have helped Jamie Giron serve her clients, convince judges and win cases as a litigation attorney in Austin. 

“Reading and writing are the most important parts of my job,” she said.  “It is extremely important to understand relevant case law, judicial opinions and the reasoning behind those opinions, because during an oral hearing or written submission, this comprehension and legal information is conveyed to the judge in order for him/her to make a final decision on the subject issue.” 

Jamie graduated from Weslaco High School in 2011 where she excelled in cheerleading, track, cross country and swimming.  She credits her teachers for helping prepare for a career in law.

“English teachers helped mold me into a strong reader and writer, that is what my job entails daily,” she said. 

She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and attended the Michigan State University College of Law. Jamie currently works with over 80 attorneys for one of the largest law firms in the state.

Her work revolves around representing her clients in court.    

“My main responsibilities include keeping clients informed on the status of their cases, working closely with other coworkers at my firm to develop a strong defense, and seeking the best resolution for my clients whether that be litigating the case at trial or reaching a settlement agreement with the other party,” she said.

While a career in law may be intimidating, she encourages students to take on challenges. 

“Knowing that attaining a law degree would be a huge accomplishment motivated me to pursue the challenge,” she said.  “As of January 2021, there were 1,327,910 active lawyers in the U.S. 37 percent are female (all races/ethnicities), and 4.8 percent are Hispanic (both male and female). Hispanic female attorneys account for less than 2 percent of all U.S. attorneys. With these statistics in mind, I was driven to get through the challenge of law school,” she said. 

No matter what her fellow classmates decide to do after graduation, she offers some tried and true advice.  
“Put in the hard work and it will always pay off,” she said.  “Work hard, have fun and believe in yourself always.”

Read More about Weslaco ISD Alumni Spotlight (WHS)
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After a lengthy process of gathering stakeholder input, a nation-wide search which included the review of many applications, and a comprehensive interview process of the top applicants, the Weslaco ISD School Board is pleased to announce Dr. Dino Coronado as the lone finalist for Superintendent of the Weslaco Independent School District.

Dr. Dino Coronado is currently the Interim Superintendent of Schools at Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD and serves as a Monitor for the Texas Education Agency. Dr. Dino Coronado has more than 15 years of experience in public education. He started his educational career as a Substitute Teacher, then worked as a middle school Special Education teacher and head football coach. Dr. Coronado later became a Principal, Area Superintendent, Superintendent. Prior to his educational career, he served proudly as a combat arms soldier in the U.S. Army for nearly 22 years and retired as First Sergeant/E-8.

Dr. Coronado earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at El Paso; a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from The University of Northern Iowa. Dino and his wife Roxanne are empty nesters and together have seven children and four dogs. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the open road on his Harley.

Weslaco ISD Board President Armando Cuellar believes Dr. Coronado is a great fit to serve the district as its next leader.

“We are thrilled to announce Dr. Coronado as the superintendent finalist for the Weslaco Independent School District. We are confident that his experience and tenure as an educator has prepared him for this transition to be the superintendent of Weslaco ISD,” said Cuellar. “Dr. Coronado has demonstrated professional excellence as a thoughtful leader, team builder, exceptional communicator and strategic thinker with a commitment to serve students and staff.”

Other board members agreed.

“Dr. Coronado stood out because he is a leader of leaders. He knows we have good leaders, he wants to motivate and encourage our personnel to become better leaders,” Trustee Isidoro Nieto said.

“I am very excited to bring Dr. Coronado into our district. I am 100 percent confident he is going to get us going in the right direction. He has a military background and he was a monitor for TEA and that speaks volumes about the type of experience and leadership he will bring to Weslaco ISD,” Trustee Jesse Treviño said.

Dr. Coronado looks forward to working with the School Board, parents, staff, students, and the Weslaco community on a shared vision of providing the very best educational experiences for all students.

“It is an honor to be selected as the Superintendent and it is a privilege to serve the community, parents, staff, and most importantly, the children of Weslaco ISD,” said Dr. Coronado.

“My dad is my hero and is a product of the district so I know that our students have it in them to be all that they can be. Organizations move at the speed of trust and that trust is earned by honoring decency, civility, and respect for difference. I look forward to earning the respect of the community, parents, staff, and students of Weslaco and the Rio Grande Valley,” claims Coronado.

Read More about Weslaco ISD names Dr. Dino Coronado Lone Finalist for Superintendent
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The sound of the cheering crowd never faded and will erupt once more for the all-time track and field greats of Weslaco.   

As a tribute to Weslaco’s long-standing athletic prowess, Weslaco High School and Weslaco East High School former track stars will be commemorated at the Jimmy Platt Track and Field Meet to be held Friday, March 11 at the Texas National Bank Field at Bobby Lackey Stadium. 

Representing 34 track and field events from over the span of 50 years, WHS and WEHS district and state champions, some who still hold school records, will reunite as the Centennial Team to celebrate the district’s 100-year anniversary and the new track and field talent. These former star athletes will present the winners with their medals and assist during the awards ceremony.

“We wanted to bring back the history of our track program,” WHS Girls Track Head Coach Pablo Almaguer said. “We thought it would be really cool to do this for Weslaco.”

Event organizer Almaguer graduated in 1995 and still holds the school record for the 300 meter hurdles.

“Some still follow the track team and just to be able to talk to our former teammates is an honor,” he said.  

Almaguer, with the help of RGV sports historian Carlos Vela, put together a who’s who of Weslaco legends.  

All-stars like Rochelle Barker, Mishak Rivas and Lillian (Cavazos) Skalitsky will be in honored.  

Skalitsky was in the WHS track team as freshman and sophomore and moved to Weslaco East High School when it opened. She still holds the Wildcat record for the triple jump and is currently an assistant track coach alongside Almaguer.  

“I think it’s great honoring all the hard work and acknowledging all the records,” Skalitsky said.  “I hope our athletes realize that their coaches were athletes themselves and maybe see themselves as coaches and think about leaving a legacy behind.”

 

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Read More about Weslaco ISD to honor all-star track athletes during centennial celebration
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Helping patients feel better is the ultimate goal for clinical pharmacist Tatiana Saenz.

“When you think about it, pharmacists are the medication experts,” she said.  “A lot of doctors rely on us to give recommendations, so knowing that we can give that help, is awesome.”

Tatiana graduated from Weslaco East High School in 2013 whereshe was ranked 10thin her class. She was a member of the Wildcats powerlifting team and cheerleading. Tatiana became interested in the science of medicine through one of her classes. 

“Mr. Nelson was my chemistry teacher and that’s where my love for chemistry started,” she said.  “I vocalized interest in pharmacy and he got me in touch with a pharmacy student. Not a lot of teachers show that much interest, but he truly wanted the best for his students.”

Tatiana went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2016 at University of Incarnate Word.  In 2021, she graduated as a Doctor of Pharmacy from the Feik School of Pharmacy at Incarnate Word.

She is currently works at the University Health Discharge Pharmacy at the University Health Systemteaching hospital in San Antonio.

“I work in the discharge pharmacy so it’s primarily the medications that the patients leave with,” she said. “We clinically assess that the medication orders make sense and are the correct form of therapy, and then at the end make sure that the patient is getting the correct product.”

Working in the medical field has proven to be stressful. 

“I think trusting your gut sometimes is the most challenging part,” Tatiana said. “There are things you learn in school that aren’t the way things are in real life, so learning to trust your own clinical judgment was definitely a learning curve.”

However, she attributes her success to her preparation at Weslaco East. 

“I think going to school where everyone knows everyone gave me the opportunity to network at an early age and really know the importance of it,” she said.  “There were also a lot of AP college classes towards my undergrad education which helped me graduate sooner.”

Tatiana encourages current students to explore and try different things while in high school because you never know where it may lead.

“If you’re considering trying a sport or organization, go for it. You don’t want to look back and regret not doing it,” she said.  “I had never lifted weights before and joined powerlifting my junior year and I placed at state and during my senior year as well.” 

Read More about WISD Alumni Spotlight
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Weslaco ISD is gearing up for the Pre-K and Kinder Round-Up for all students new to the district who will be four years old on or before Sept. 1, 2022.  Pre-registration for the 2022-2023 school year will be held in-person beginning February 15 – 25 at the USDA Building located on 400 S. Oklahoma.

 

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Read More about Weslaco ISD to hold in-person pre-K & kinder registration beginning February 15
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It’s about more than just sending the bad guys to jail.   As an Assistant District Attorney for the Bexar County Criminal District in San Antonio, Everardo Villarreal, Jr. ensures that justice is served.  

“I’m responsible for prosecuting crimes,” he said.  “My primary duty is to ensure that justice is done in each case and that an equitable and fair outcome results. As a representative of the State of Texas and an officer of the court, I must also represent the interest of the community and victims of crime.”

Everardo first received an associate degree from San Antonio College and completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Texas – San Antonio.  He then went on to St. Mary’s University of School Law.  

The Weslaco High School 2010 graduate first received a glimpse of law enforcement as a member the Criminal Justice Club. 

“The club helped me learn that I wanted to work in the criminal Justice system in some capacity,” he said. “Extracurricular activities are important because they help students learn whether or not they would like to pursue careers that involve those extracurricular activities. It also provides students with an early opportunity to learn important skills in addition to what you’re learning in class.”

He also thanks his former high school principal Isidoro Nieto for his guidance.

“Mr. Nieto really Influenced me to do better as a student as member of my community,” he said. “He was strict but he was fair.  I appreciated how Mr. Nieto trusted us to do the right thing but also steered us in the right direction when necessary.”

Everardo encourages all students to concentrate on their studies but to have as much fun as possible.

“I would recommend really focusing on doing well in class and keeping grades up. I know I wish I would’ve place more emphasis on that,” he said.  “High school flies by and it’s only four years of your life.  Make it count but make sure you enjoy it. My best memories were at Panther football games where I got to support my friends who played football.”

Overall, Everardo credits the school district for the success he has achieved. 

“Weslaco ISD provided a place where I could be myself but learn at the same time,” he said.  “That taught me that I shouldn’t try to change people but to meet people where they’re at in life and provide opportunities to grow in a way that doesn’t compromise who they are as a person.”  

Read More about Weslaco ISD Alumni Spotlight
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Four Weslaco High School students have qualified to audition for the Orchestra UIL State Solo & Ensemble competition to be held at UT-Austin this coming May.

Violin players Antonio De Anda, Matteo Houston, Fernando Perez and Camila Rios received Superior I ratings performing memorized Class I solos.

“I’m just so excited because they have worked so hard,” Orchestra Director Yram Leal said. “These students were affected by COVID and they were able to push through,” Leal said. “They practiced three to four hours a day for these four to six-minute solos.”

A committee of college music professors select the music compositions for the Class I solos and judge the students based on tone, technique, blend and musicianship.

The students auditioned at the regional competition held in Harlingen.    

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Read More about Weslaco High School music students advance to State Solo & Ensemble
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Weslaco High School sophomore Anthony Ortiz has recently earned the title of best trumpet player in the state after winning 1st chair in the 6A Texas All-State Band competition.  Anthony, along with Isabella Sanchez and Raymond Sanchez were selected to perform as part of the prestigious All-State Band in San Antonio, February 12 at the Henry B. González Convention Center as part of the 2022 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention.     

“It’s an incredible accomplishment for our students,” WHS Band Director Rodrigo Leal said. “Anthony making first chair is unheard of. I am so proud that they are able to experience this once in a life time opportunity.”

Isabella will join Anthony as 10th chair in the trumpet section and Raymond will represent WHS in the All-State Band clarinet section as 26th chair.   

This is Isabella’s second trip to All-State.  She made the 5A All-State Band as a sophomore while at Weslaco East High School.  As underclassmen, all three will return next year and continue excel in the music program at WHS.

“I have enjoyed watching them grow as musicians,” Leal said. “Just getting to All-State auditions is extremely difficult and these students have put in the time and effort.”  

The last time WHS students made the All-State Band was in 2013.   

High school students are selected to perform in the All-State concerts through a competitive process held every year across the state at district, region, and area levels. The state competition begins with auditions hosted by 33 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in eight TMEA Area competitions. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. Only the top 2.6% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians. All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. 

 

Read More about Weslaco students selected as Texas All-State musicians, best in the State
announcement

Due to weather conditions, Weslaco ISD will be delaying the start of the instructional school day for two hours tomorrow, Friday, January 21, 2022 to ensure the safety of our students.

Middle schools will start at 9:35 a.m.; elementary schools will start at 9:45 a.m.; and high schools will start at 10 a.m.  Bus pick-up times are scheduled as follows: middle and high schools will be at approximately 8:15 a.m. for campus arrival at 9 a.m.; and elementary school pick up will be at approximately 9 a.m., for campus arrival at 9:30 a.m.

All outdoor athletic events and games are cancelled today and Friday, January 20 & 21, 2022.

The following staff will work regular hours, Friday, January 21, 2022: Central Office Administration, Campus Administration, Food Service, Custodial and the Safety and Security departments.  All other staff will report to work at 9 a.m. 

WISD will continue to monitor weather conditions and post updates on the district’s social media.

Read More about Weslaco ISD delays start of school tomorrow due to weather

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