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Posted December 2011
BISD Board Earns TMEA Award
The Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) has officially recognized the BISD Board of Trustees for its strong support of the BISD Fine Arts Program. The Board was nominated to TMEA by Dr. Rebecca Rendon, BISD Fine Arts Administrator. A formal presentation will be made at an upcoming Board Meeting.

Board Unanimously Approves Montoya
At a Special Called Board Meeting held on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, Brownsville ISD Trustees officially named Dr. Carl A. Montoya as the Superintendent of the Rio Grande Valley’s largest school district. Montoya was named sole finalist by the Board on November 15. He has been serving as the district’s Interim Superintendent since June 8, 2011.

Immediately following his selection, Dr. Montoya outlined a central theme and key supporting goals for his administration. He pledged to the Board that he would work with all stakeholders to ensure that students graduating from BISD high schools are “College Ready, College Connected, and College Completed” under his watch. Montoya went on to state that he will begin the district’s strategic planning process next semester and will ensure that the final strategic plan reflects significant input from parents, community members and district personnel. The strategic plan will be closely aligned to the overall district improvement plan. BISD will continue to maintain a balanced budget while providing high quality student services. The district will also proceed with aligning all of the high school magnet programs to future career forecasts and student interests and will provide strong support to district and campus personnel as they prepare for the new, more rigorous state assessment known as STAAR. See media release.

Skinner Students are Tops on Big Board
A group of Skinner Elementary students won the regional and statewide competition of the Stock Market Game this semester. Students Diego Lopez, Axel Ramirez, Katherine Beltran, Lessly Garza, and Jennifer Prieto beat out 2,469 Texas teams including high school and middle school teams. Their teacher is Esmeralda Herrera. View the entire story in the Brownsville Herald.

Employee Payroll Notice
All Monthly Salaried (MS) and Monthly Hourly (MH) employees will receive their December check stubs on Thursday, December 15, 2011. This will allow employees to review their earnings and ensure amounts are correct. Any requests for corrections must be received by the Payroll Department no later than 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16, 2011. Any corrections will post to the appropriate bank account on Monday, December 19, 2011. Regular (December 25, 2011) payroll amounts will be posted to employee bank accounts on Friday, December 16, 2011.

STAMP Deadline Extended
The deadline to apply for the new Science, Technology, Architecture, and Medical Professions (STAMP) College Preparatory Program has been extended to January 6, 2012. Current BISD students should submit their completed STAMP applications to their respective counselors. Applications for students outside BISD should be delivered to Berta Pena, Assistant Superintendent/Support Services, Suite #207, BISD Administration Building, 1900 Price Road. For more information, contact Michelle A. Seney, STAMP Administrator, at Download STAMP applications for 9th grade or 10th grade.

Hanna Wins Music Trophy
The BISD Department of Fine Arts recently hosted the 6th Annual Estudiantina Competition. For the first time this year, all district estudiantinas received a ranking of “Excellent” or higher. For the third consecutive year, the Hanna High School “Estudiantina De Oro” won the Maria Aurora-Arrese Memorial Trophy. The director is Raul Molano.

Bands Continue to Break Records
A total of 153 BISD high school band students earned chairs in the 2011-2012 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-Region Band. That is over one half of all the chairs that were available this year. Another 198 BISD students earned TMEA District patches. In addition, 69 BISD high school band students have qualified to compete for a chair in the TMEA Texas All-State Ensembles. BISD students captured 46 of the 78 area spots available for 5A and 23 of the area spots for 4A. The TMEA Area 6 audition is scheduled for January 7, 2012 in Alice, Texas. The TMEA Region 28 All-Region Clinic will be held on December 9 in the Donna High School Auditorium. The All-Region concert will begin at 7 pm. View BISD results.

Administrators Named for STAMP and Breeden
Dr. Carl A. Montoya has announced some administrative moves for the upcoming Spring semester, effective Thursday, December 1, 2011.

Michelle A. Seney, the administrator for the Hanna Technology, Medical and Health Professions magnet, will assume similar duties at the district’s new Science, Technology, Architecture, and Medical Professions (STAMP) College Preparatory Program scheduled to open in Fall 2012 at Veterans Memorial High School. Seney has successfully guided the Hanna program for the last ten years. She will use her expertise in the next few months preparing to open the STAMP program. Students and parents who are interested in the STAMP program are invited to email Michelle Seney at

Dolores C. Emerson, principal of Morningside Elementary, will take the reins of the new Daniel Breeden Elementary School also scheduled to open in Fall 2012. During Emerson’s 5-year tenure, Morningside has earned national recognition from The Education Trust and has been recognized as a state-acknowledged Exemplary elementary school. The opening of Breeden, located on Dana Road, will alleviate overcrowded conditions at Hudson, Paredes, and Burns Elementary Schools.

In other news, Kimberly Hopkins, an assistant principal at Gonzalez Elementary for the last 10 years, will follow Emerson as the interim principal at Morningside.

”These staffing decisions are the next step in launching our new college preparatory model and establishing Breeden Elementary. Both Ms. Seney and Ms. Emerson have the experience and qualifications to assist us in making these new district initiatives successful,” said Montoya “I look forward to what they will contribute.”

Chess Program Makes National News
BISD’s award-winning chess program was the focus of stories in The New York Times and Texas Tribune which ran on November 24, 2011. The story, reported by Reeve Hamilton, features Eduardo Rodriguez and Adrian Castro, members of the Sharp Elementary Chess Team, and comments by Jay Harris, BISD administrator. This is not the district’s first time in the national spotlight as the result of chess. “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” a monthly sports magazine on HBO, featured BISD chess participants in a story which aired multiple times in 2010. View The New York Times article.



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