Friday, May 12, 2017

Volume VIIl, Issue 33

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” Abraham Lincoln

Good afternoon LISD,

LISD has an abundance of remarkable students but one LISD fifth grader at Don Jose Gallego Elementary School stands out among the rest. For exemplifying all the characteristics of a true leader, Amanda Aguirre was named the recipient of the State Board of Education’s Student Hero Award. She is the only student chosen for this honor in a geographical area from El Paso to Laredo. SBOE Representative for District One, Georgina Perez, traveled to Laredo to present this award personally to Amanda at Thursday night’s board meeting. She also attended an assembly at Gallego Elementary to recognize Amanda in front of her peers. Amanda has donated her hair to the Locks of Love, prepared care packages for local soldiers, collected bottle caps with proceeds going to local cancer patients, and donated to Bethany House and the Salvation Army during the Christmas Season.  

On Tuesday, I had the honor of attending the Laredo Kiwanis Club Recognition Luncheon for the top ROTC cadet from each Laredo high school JROTC Program. Three LISD JROTC cadets were recognized during the third annual All City Honor Guard Award for their academic accomplishments and leadership. Congratulations to the cadets representing LISD. They are C/CPT Beatrice Siklo of Cigarroa High School, C/CPT Yutnara Rubalcava of Nixon High School, and C/MAJ Irma Zamora of Martin High School. I would like to thank the JROTC sponsors at each high school for guiding and inspiring our students. I commend the Kiwanis Club of Laredo for taking the initiative to recognize these fine cadets. 

More than 30 students from the Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health Science Magnet School graduated from the Laredo Community College’s Nursing Assistant Program. The young men and women were pinned during a formal ceremony at the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center. Iridian Lucas was the recipient of the Mary Alice Lopez Award, which is given to a student who best demonstrates what it means to be a nurse, and Jocelyn Rangel was the recipient of the Merit Award, which is given to the student with the highest grade point average within the program. The Pinning Ceremony serves as a symbolic welcome to the nursing profession. The graduates also recited the health professional covenant.

Best wishes to the five LISD students traveling to Austin for the State UIL track meet. These incredible athletes have given us so much to be proud of this year. 
We are cheering for Martin High School students Abril Escamilla in the 1600 mile run, Eduardo Vela in the high Jump, and Angel Davila in the 300 meter hurdles, Cigarroa High School’s Antonio De La Torre in the triple jump, and 
Nixon High School’s Veronica Garcia in the discus.

“Tear it Down,” was the battle cry on Monday morning for this year’s Operation Crackdown. In cooperation with the City of Laredo, the Texas Army National Guard, and the U.S. Border Patrol, an abandoned home on Frost Street suspected of being a den for criminal activity was demolished in front of students from Sanchez Ochoa Elementary School. The youngsters hobnobbed with Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz and shook hands with military leaders who are working to keep our neighborhoods safe.

This morning LISD dedicated the competition gymnasium at Cigarroa High School in memory of Alfredo “El Toro” Montemayor. The beloved educator served as Cigarroa High School’s first principal when the new campus opened its doors in 1983.  Montemayor worked with LISD for 32 years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. His love and dedication to education inspired his children to follow in his footsteps. 

Our school district remains in good hands while we begin looking for LISD’s next superintendent. This week our Board of Trustees appointed Roberta “Bobbie” Ramirez as Interim Superintendent. Ramirez, who has served LISD as Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction and is currently our Chief of Staff, brings many years of education experience to the position. While our Board continues the formal search for LISD’s next permanent superintendent, it will be business as usual at Laredo ISD. Together we have achieved so much but there are still new heights to be reached. 

I would like to remind you that LISD’s Annual Banquet is scheduled for next Tuesday, May 16, at 6:00 p.m., in the Civic Center Ballroom. Come see who is named the Para Professional and Teachers of the Year. We are also going to be wishing the 2016-2017 retirees a fond farewell. Music will be provided by the Ric Cortez Jazz Trio. Drop by the district’s Cashier Office for tickets to the banquet.  

On Wednesday, May 17, LISD’s long-time employees will be honored during the Service Awards Ceremony at 6:30 p.m.in the Civic Center Ballroom. Awards will be presented to the employees with 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 years of service to the district. 

Next time you see one of our school nurses, please make sure you thank them for taking care of our boys and girls. It is easy to forget how important our school nurses are the well being of our students. Let them know that we don’t take their efforts for granted. I appreciate our hard working nurses and the good health they bring to our campuses. 

Our Parental Involvement Office hosted a Mariachis with Mom luncheon on Wednesday. The social included live music by the Martin High School Mariachi Tigres Del Sur and Roel Rivera, a delicious meal, and hand crafted decorations on every table. We are so grateful for parents who join us as partners in their children’s education. Thanks to Pat Campos and all of the Parent Liaisons for this lively gathering.

To all the moms who work at LISD, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day. Every day I am grateful for my mama. She might think I never listen to her, but to be honest with you, I live by her words every single day.  

Have a great weekend.

Dr. Marcus Nelson

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” Stevie Wonder 
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