The Board of the Year was announced at the Sept. 20 at the TASA|TASB Convention in Dallas. Since 1971, the TASA School Board Awards program has honored outstanding Texas school boards that have demonstrated commitment to their students and to their communities.
“This award is for our 18,600 students and our 3,000 teachers and employees who work tirelessly every day to make sure all students have every opportunity to succeed,” board President Dr. Nolan Perez said. “We have an incredible community that always comes together to support our district and it’s because of their support an amazing transformation has taken place at HCISD.”
During the convention, Perez also recognized the Harlingen community and thanked Harlingen CISD Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos for his leadership in ensuring the board’s innovative and forward-looking decisions are responsibility rolled out to “create a systemic transformation in our district for the holistic education of all our students.”
The HCISD school board was chosen from among five finalists that were interviewed by a committee of Texas school superintendents. The committee’s decision was based on several criteria, including the board’s support for educational performance, educational improvement projects and school transformation initiatives, commitment to a code of ethics, and placement of the welfare of children served by the school system above other motives.
The committee was impressed by the board’s collective “heart for people, service mentality, and passion for results,” their ability to see conflict not as a problem, but as a challenge, and the “great story they have to tell about what public schools can do.”
“The Harlingen CISD Board of Trustees knows that the public’s perception of the district and of public education in general begins with them,” said Robin Ryan, superintendent of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and chair of the TASA School Board Awards Committee. “They take their job as ambassadors for Texas public schools seriously.”
The HCISD Board of Trustees was nominated for the award by Superintendent Art Cavazos. “The board’s governance has allowed us to provide students with greater access to a world-class education that sparks creativity and discovery both inside and outside classrooms,” Cavazos said. “They have learned from and challenged one another so that equitable and high-impact decisions are made, and I am honored to have a seat among them.”
HCISD, located in the Rio Grande Valley in Education Service Center Region 1, serves more than 18,000 students. The district’s board of trustees was also selected as an Honor Board in 2000 and 1977 and received the Outstanding School Board Award in 1993.