The Board of Trustees, district administrators, Harlingen officials, and community members came together to celebrate public education as Harlingen CISD kicked off its weeklong celebration of Texas Public Schools Week on Feb. 26 with an opening ceremony at Stuart Place Elementary.

“Today we celebrate ‘The Clear Choice in Public Education’ and the many educational choices and opportunities given to the more than four million students attending Texas Public Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “I’m honored to serve as the superintendent of an incredible and amazing school district that continues to reinvent and repurpose ourselves to meet the needs of the diverse population that we educate.”

Texas Public Schools Week (TPSW) gives students and educators the chance to highlight the outstanding work that takes place on their campus and other campuses around the state each day.

The event featured music from the Harlingen High School South Band and the Stuart Place Thunderbird Choir. Attendees were also treated to the premiere of an original composition by the Thunderbird Choir entitled “Ignite the Fire Within.”

“Public schools are the foundation of this nation in that they give us an educated citizenry. At Harlingen CISD, we embrace choice,” said Board of Trustees President George McShan. “We are preparing our students not for our past, but for their future. Choice in this district is driven by a strategic plan which has served as a catalyst that made transformation become a reality in this school district.”

HCISD’s strategic plan has led much of the transformation that has taken place throughout the district in the last four years. Since executing the plan, the district has opened Harlingen School of Health Professions, launched six new HCISD Academies including the Media Arts and Communications Academy and Apprenticeship Academy. The Speech Drama and Debate program has grown tremendously, expanding into the middle-school grades – 12  students have advanced to nationals this year.

Other speakers included Mayor Chris Boswell who expressed his support for public education and touched on the importance of having a strong public school system in a community. Stuart Place alumni Brandi Martinez (Early College High School), Grant Burbach (Harlingen High School), and Jamie Ambriz (Harlingen High School South) shared with elementary students the opportunities made available to them through various programs at HCISD. Joining the alumni was Katlyn Grant from Harlingen School of Health Professions who shared with students her experience as well as the first-hand knowledge she is gaining in the medical program at the specialty school.

Throughout the week, the campuses at HCISD will be hosting celebrations and different activities to honor public education.

“The Clear Choice in Public Education” has been designated as this year’s theme for TPSW.

Click here for a full schedule of events, and click here for photos from the kickoff event.

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