HCISD celebrates new school year with district-wide kickoff


The Harlingen Performing Arts Center was packed Thursday as teachers, staff, and administration congregated for HCISD’s annual district-wide kickoff, a gathering celebrating the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

Principals, teachers and staff brought their best school spirit as they heard about the district’s notable accomplishments.

“The district kickoff requires a lot of endurance,” said Joseph Decilos, a rising senior at Harlingen High School South. “These students have been rehearsing for hours on end, trying to get everything right.”

Decilos, who assisted with musical performances for the event, is excited to be one of the first graduates of the Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory this year. The Conservatory, a new educational program launched this year, provides students with educational enrichment opportunities in acting, musical theater, technical theater, and dance. Students enrolled in classes at the Conservatory will spend their practicum hours learning from industry experts.

“I’m excited to have a theater track that’s specifically tailored to what I want to do in the future,” Decilos said. “I already have a lot of experience compared to others my age going into the field. I’ve been a stage manager, called a show, directed a show, and now at the district kickoff, I’m heading projections, which is really new for me.”

Vivian Bauer, the incoming principal at Harlingen High School, expressed similar enthusiasm for what the new school year has to offer. 

“I’m really excited about being the new principal at HHS,” Bauer said. “I’m always enthusiastic when it comes to education, so being ready for our students, teachers, and parents is my primary responsibility. I love what I do, and I can’t wait to see where we take HHS this year.”

Along with watching engaging videos during the kickoff, staff from all 30 campuses enjoyed students’ dance, theater, and musical performances during the nearly two-hour production.

Additionally, the staff heard messages from the superintendent and board president, who advocated this year’s themeGreat Stories Start Here.

“We are embarking on the start of a brand new year, a new chapter in our story,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “We are all looking forward to another exceptional school year.” 

Harlingen CISD Board President Dr. Nolan Perez echoed Dr. Cavazos’ message.

“Educators inspire and guide our children,” Dr. Perez said. “Each great story starts with a phenomenal educator. It is incredibly rewarding to impact someone’s life and for that, we thank you for all that you do to guarantee that great stories start here at HCISD!”

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