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Celebrating a successful start of their first year of high school, freshmen at the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School district gathered with community members, parents and administrators to mark the grand opening of one of the district’s largest transformation pieces.

With the students’ support and the community out in full force, the celebration was held in honor of HCISD’s newest campus, the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy on Nov. 25.

“It’s an honor to be here today and represent the legacy class of the Dr. Cano Freshman Academy,” said Class President Vy Mai. “This is amazing school and I’m proud to be a Raven.”

More than 200 individuals from Harlingen came together to mark the change in education the campus brings for students. For the students themselves, they showcased the positive impact it has had on them in the few short months it has been open and the expectations they hold for future students, said Mai.

The campus was designed to provide incoming freshman with additional supporting during a crucial year in their academic career. In addition to support, students have access to technology-rich environments and an opportunity to select one of five pathways to tailor their curriculum around.

“We are transforming public education in Texas and for the rest of the nation,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “What the campus represents is a strong foundation our incoming freshmen will receive their first year of high school that will prepare them for high school and future successes.

While celebrating what the campus represented, it was also a time to remember Dr. Abraham P. Cano, for whom the campus was named after. Dr. Cano was a longtime family physician in Harlingen and dedicated much of his life to sharing the importance of a quality education with those around him, said Anna Cano-James, daughter of Dr. Cano.

The ceremony also marked the official presentation of the academy’s school and victory flag, which were designed by studentsThe flags were selected as part of a competition that was presented to students at the beginning of the year.  In closing moments of the event, the campus also presented its time capsule, which will be filled with mementos throughout the year, said Norman Torres, campus ambassador for the School of Health Science.

“In fifty years, students can see what it was like during the school’s first year,” said Torres. “When I was standing on the balcony, I was thinking if people were going to remember this and with the time capsule I think they will.”

Voters in the 2010 $98.6 million bond issue approved the academy, located at 1701 Lozano.

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