Board recognizes HCISD scholars, approves new hires

Droves of student scholars filled the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District board room during Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees regular meeting.

The evening started with the board highlighting student excellence at individual level with the district’s high school student recognitions and at the campus level with the Principal’s Report from Travis Elementary.

The board also heard a report on the district’s universal free breakfast program, and it approved two new hires — the current Director of Staff Development Deborah Fitting for the Director of Special Education position and Elizabeth Cowan for the Child Nutrition Area Supervisor for Marketing/Merchandising.

Fitting has been at the helm of the Staff Development Department since July 2005. Prior to that, she spent five years as the principal and five years as an assistant principal at Sam Houston Elementary. She also served the district as an academic coordinator, a gifted/talented teacher and six years as a special education teacher.

Cowan comes to HCISD after graduating from Texas A&M University this past spring with a Bachelors of Business Administration and Marketing. A product of Rio Hondo High School, Cowan most recently worked at MPC Studios in Harlingen as an account services representative.

Before board business began, student achievement took center stage. Bright, smiling faces of students from Harlingen High School and Harlingen High School South joined board members and Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores for photos during the presentation by Santiago Villanueva, Director for Advanced Academic Services.

The board recognized HCISD’s 2010 National Merit Scholars, National Hispanic Scholars, and College Board Advanced Placement Scholars as well as the University of Texas-Brownsville Distinguished Lecture Series Essay Winners.

PTSA Students of the Month from September and October were also recognized at the meeting.

Travis Elementary Principal Tiffany Salinas gave month’s Principal’s Report. The staff of Travis detailed the campus’s Accelerated Reading program as part of its presentation.

“Our belief at Travis is that if you can read, you can do anything,”  said Kelly Trolinger, the campus librarian in the video included in Travis’ presentation.

Travis’ commitment to reading scores has proven successful as the campus has earned an Exemplary rating from the Texas Education Agency for two consecutive years without the use of the Texas Projection Measure (TPM). The campus also received five gold stars for its excellence in the classroom, TEA announced last week.

“When you walk into Travis Elementary, you know something good is going on,” Flores said after Salinas’ presentation.

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