Dr. Richard Rivera- Superintendent
No one can dispute that one of his greatest love is the education of boys and girls. Following his motto, “education is the great equalizer,” Dr. Richard Rivera has spent a lifetime working to ensure that his students at Weslaco ISD receive the education they deserve.
Dr. Rivera was named Weslaco ISD Superintendent in May 2023, returning to the district after a 12-year absence. Rivera first retired as Superintendent in 2011 and returned to serve on the WISD School Board for eight years where he helped set policy for the district.
A second high school, an aquatic center, a Career and Technical Education complex, a middle school and several elementary schools were added during his tenure. The FFA Pavilion and Transportation buildings were also renovated.
Recently, Dr. Rivera spearheaded a $160 million bond campaign which went before the community of Weslaco in November 2023. The voters passed the bond supporting school improvements addressing safety and security, fine arts and athletic facilities. This ensures that the needs of the students of Weslaco will continue to be met well into the future.
Dr. Rivera began this journey with WISD in 1967 as a classroom teacher and coach at WISD. He would later take on the significant role of high school principal where he shaped countless lives for 17 years. He transformed the district during his 14 years as superintendent, improving state test scores, upgrading facilities and expanding student programs.
Dr. Rivera worked hard to ensure that all the boys and girls of Weslaco would attend classes in facilities that he proudly referred to as “second to none.” As a former football player and track star, Dr. Rivera strongly believed in the contribution athletics made to a well-rounded education. The athletic programs are among the most competitive in the Rio Grande Valley and state.
A life-long learner himself, Dr. Rivera returned to school and earned his doctorate degree in 2008. Recognized for his contribution to education, Dr. Rivera was named the Region I Superintendent of the Year award in 2003 and 2007. Also, the Texas Classroom Teachers Association named Dr. Rivera, Administrator of the Year and he received the Exemplary Superintendent Award from the University of Texas at Austin.
Many of his former students have returned to Weslaco to become WISD teachers, principals, administrators, coaches and city leaders, some serving on the school board alongside him. Rivera went on to serve as superintendent for the Edcouch-Elsa, Mercedes and Monte Alto school districts before returning to Weslaco.