District celebrates new school year at annual Kick-off


To celebrate the start of the 2013 – 2014 school year, the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District gathered for their annual District Kick off on Aug. 21.

Hosted by the district’s new Performing Arts Center (PAC), the kick-off celebration marks the start of another academic year by giving campuses the opportunity to come together as a district and set expectations for classroom performance.

“I can honestly say that this year’s kickoff was one of the most relevant and inspiring one’s I’ve attended throughout the nine years I’ve been blessed to work in HCISD,” said Amanda Banda, teacher at Harlingen High School South. The uplifting atmosphere, great friends, gorgeous new PAC facility along with amazing speakers really set the tone for an exciting new school year!”

During the events, which were held in two parts, one for the Harlingen High School feeder schools and the other for Harlingen High School South feeder schools, district administrators welcomed back more than 1,000 teachers to HCISD with words of encouragement.

Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores emphasized that with the welcome comes the need to prepare for students to enter HCISD hallways on the first day of school and for yearlong achievement.

“It’s up to us to set the tone on the first day for our students to succeed,” said Dr. Flores. “In the end, it’s about our students’ achievement. We reside in a district where we not only have success in one area, but also continually show achievement in the three a’s, which are Academics, the Fine Arts and Athletics. Let’s continue to our strong tradition of excellence, and get ready to enter what will be our district’s breakout year.”

In addition to Dr. Flores, the event also saw HCISD elementary and secondary Teachers of the Year Roxanna Shimotsu and Keith Di Santis, Board of Trustees President George McShan, and author and award-winning educator Ron Clark present.

The tone may have been one of excitement but the focus that remained consistent throughout all speakers was the importance of student achievement, and how educators can play a role in a student’s overall success.

“It takes each of you to connect with your students and inspire them to learn and succeed,” said McShan. “I challenge each one of you to connect. If you can connect their hearts, you can connect their minds.”

This year marks the start of the district’s PAC as the new home of district kick-off celebrations. The PAC, 3217 W. Wilson Rd., will now also host band, orchestra, and choir and theatre performances. In the future will potentially be the location of University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions. The building is part of the voter approved 2010 $98.6 million bond.

With the success of the first event held in the PAC, teachers are already anxious for what next year’s celebration will be, said Banda.


To see more pictures from the event click here.

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