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Benavides First at DI Globals
The Benavides Elementary School Destination Imagination (DI) team earned 1st Place at the Global Finals held on May 24-28 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Benavides team won the prestigious top award in the Get a Clue-Fine Arts Challenge. The Veterans Memorial ECHS team earned 5th Place in the Close Encounters-Improvisation Challenge, Ortiz Elementary won 16th Place in the In Plain Sight – Scientific Challenge, and Keller Elementary posted 27th Place in the Close Encounters Challenge. The DI Global Finals drew over 14,000 students from 20 countries. It is the world’s largest celebration of creativity. DI global competition encourages teams of learners to focus, frame challenges, take risks, and have fun while incorporating STEM, the arts, and service learning. The participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Congratulations to all the district’s DI participants and to the Benavides team for earning 1st Place at the international competition.

Pace Tops in U.S
Pace ECHS was named the 2016 winner of the Gold National Excellence in Education Award in San Diego on Tuesday, May 24. View the story in The Brownsville Herald.

All Valley Sports Honors
Brownsville ISD received several nominations in the 2016 All Valley Sports Awards. The student athletes and coaches listed below will be honored at an awards banquet to be held on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 6-8 pm at the Double Tree Suites in McAllen. Congratulations to: Finalist School Category Jordan Rudd Jose Echevarria Alexis Armendariz Dianna Amaro Santiago Garcia Julie Lucio Anthony Garza Cassie Valdez Fred Villarreal Fred Villarreal Karla Sosa Brownsville Lopez Soccer Brownsville Porter Soccer Jose Espitia, Porter Soccer Brownsville Porter Soccer Veterans Memorial Lopez Porter Porter Hanna Hanna Rivera Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Porter Lopez Porter Porter Porter Girls Basketball Player of the Year Boys Soccer Player of the Year Boys Soccer Player of the Year Girls Tennis Player of the Year Boys Golfer of the Year Girls Golfer of the Year Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year Softball Player of the Year Baseball Player of the Year 6A Male Athlete of the Year Sub 6A Female Athlete of the Year Class 6A Boys Team of the Year Sub 6A Boys Team of the Year Boys Coach of the Year Moment of the Year Congratulations to these outstanding students and their coaches. Call Mark Guess, BISD Athletics Administrator at 548-8261 for more information.

Pace Brings Home the Gold
Pace Early College High School received the prestigious 2016 Gold National Excellence in Urban Education Award. The announcement was made on Tuesday, May 24 at the National Center for Urban Transformation (NCUST) awards ceremony held in San Diego, California. Dr. Esperanza Zendejas, Board Assistant Secretary Minerva Peña, Principal Rose Longoria, and Pace representatives received the award and a $5,000 check. Benavides Elementary earned the Silver Award and Breeden and Veterans Memorial were Bronze Award recipients. A total of 18 BISD elementary schools, Canales, Castañeda, Champion, Gallegos, Gonzalez, Keller, Martin, Morningside, Palm Grove, Paredes, Peña, Pullam, Resaca, Sharp, Skinner, Southmost, Vermillion, and Yturria were named to this year’s NCUST Honor Roll. All NCUST recognized schools serve low-income communities with an array of challenges but still boast achievement results that exceed state averages for all students. In 2015, Ortiz Elementary earned the NCUST Silver Award, Benavides and Breeden were Bronze recipients, and Paredes and Pullam were named to the Honor Roll.

Superintendent Awards $113,000 in Scholarships
Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas has announced the winners of the 2016 Superintendent’s Scholarships. A total of 113 graduating BISD seniors will each receive $1,000 to attend the college of their choice. The scholarship funds were raised at the 13th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament hosted by Dr. Zendejas at the Rancho Viejo Resort on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Scholarship recipients were selected by committees of local community members and district personnel. Over 433 student applications were reviewed by the committees to determine the winners. “We sincerely thank the tournament sponsors and dedicated BISD employees who have made this tournament one of the largest in the Rio Grande Valley. We will award $113,000 in scholarships, the largest amount to date, to our 2016 early college high school graduates because of the generous donations of many businesses and organizations that value our students and want to see them continue their postsecondary education. It was a great golf tournament that truly benefitted a worthy cause, our students,” said Zendejas. With this year’s proceeds, the Superintendent’s Scholarship Golf Tournament will have provided $901,000 to 800 deserving BISD graduates over the past 13 years. Dr. Zendejas will personally award the 2016 Superintendent’s Scholarships to the following seniors at special ceremonies which will be held at their respective high school campuses on May 26-June 1, 2016. View the scholarship recipicents by campus.

Wall Street in BISD
What would you do with $100,000? Students at Benavides, Paredes, Skinner, Faulk, and Stell virtually invested the money in The Stock Market Game where they learned about financial literacy, investing money, and buying and selling stocks. The students, with the guidance of their teachers, built and managed investment portfolios and participated in the simulation during the Fall and Spring Competition. The Spring Stock Market Game results were as follows: 1st Place Skinner Elementary 2nd Place Paredes Elementary 3rd Place Stell Middle School The Fall Stock Market Game results were as follows: 1st Place Benavides Elementary 2nd Place Faulk Middle School 3rd Place Skinner Elementary The teams were recognized on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Valley Federal Credit Union. The Brownsville Herald, Valley Federal Credit Union, Texas Council on Economic Education, and BISD Advanced Academic Services Department sponsored the competition.

Two BISD Schools Earn Library Grants
Two BISD elementary schools, Burns and Champion, were selected to receive library grants from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries in the amount of $7,000 each. Sandra Cruz is the Champion Media Specialist and Melanie G. Smith is the Media Specialist at Burns. The grants are to be used to fulfill school library book and magazine requests. More than $831,000 is being distributed to 130 school libraries in 30 states this year. The mission of the Laura Bush Foundation is to encourage a love of reading and learning for students. View the media release.

Summertime Student Fun
The BISD Athletic Department has released the 2016 summer recreation schedule. For more information, call Mark Guess, BISD Athletics/UIL Administrator, at 548-8261. View the summer recreation schedule.

We Appreciate Our Auditors
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed May 8-14, 2016 as Internal Audit Week in Texas. Internal auditors provide invaluable expertise and contributions. The Governor encourages all Texans to recognize and appreciate the role they play within their organizations. View the Governor’s proclamation.

Helping Students Communicate
May is Better Speech and Hearing Month. Brownsville ISD recognizes the hard work and commitment of the Special Services employees who work at the Regional School for the Deaf as well as those who work with students at our campuses. Thank you for your service and dedication.

BISD Teachers Recognized for Excellence
BISD teachers won five of the six available 2016 Brownsville Rotary Club Scholarships for Teaching Excellence in the amount of $1,000 each. Congratulations to Elisa Moreno, Brownsville Academic Center; Delia Lopez, Champion Elementary; Lucrecia Alanis-Cruz, Russell Elementary School; Virginia Ramirez, Lopez ECHS; and Dawn Hill, Vela Middle School. These outstanding educators will be recognized at a Brownsville Rotary Club luncheon on Wednesday, May 18 at 12 noon at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art.

Veterans Memorial Athlete to Represent Texas
Veterans Memorial ECHS Student-Athlete, Alfredo Villarreal Jr., has been nominated for the Gatorade Baseball Player Of the Year for the State of Texas. This award is sponsored by the USA Today and Gatorade. The winner will be announced on May 24. Below is some information on the USA Today/Gatorade Player of the Year Program: The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize and celebrate the nation's most outstanding high school talents for their athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character. Now in its third decade, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has become one of the most prestigious accolades in high school sports. The Gatorade State Player of the Year award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria: Athletic Achievement — success made at the club, national or international levels of competition, and standout performances in their respective sport. Includes statistical production, honors, skill-set evaluation, leadership ability, overall impact on team success and historical context of accomplishments. Academic Excellence — review of GPA and class rank, as well as SAT and ACT scores, academic honors and distinctions. Exemplary Character — overall sportsmanship, but also membership and participation in positive activities that demonstrate commitment to character and community. State Player of the Year award winners are eligible for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award in their respective sports.

BISD and UTRGV Forge Partnership
BISD Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas and UTRGV President Dr. Guy Bailey formalized a partnership between their two educational institutions on Friday, May 6 that will provide free concurrent enrollment to all current BISD sophomores and juniors. A special signing ceremony to mark the collaboration was held at the Buchanan Center with student representatives and principals from all six BISD early college high schools in attendance. BISD students who meet eligibility will be able to begin classes this summer and though next school year at all UTRGV campuses. View the story in The Brownsville Herald.

Pace Historians Advance to Nationals
Two Pace ECHS students, Alma Gamez and Madeleine Gregory, placed 2nd in the Senior Division of the Group Website category at the Texas History Day event on April 30, 2016. Their project, “Florence Nightingale: The Woman Who Encountered Unsanitary Conditions and Explored Visionary Methods in Healthcare,” will represent BISD and Pace at the National History Contest to be held at the University of Maryland, College Park on June 12-16. Their sponsor is Marisa Medrano. Congratulations to the BISD schools and sponsors who earned Distinguished Achievement awards from the Texas State Historical Association. View the results.

BISD Artists Tops at State
BISD early college high school art students excelled at the state Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) competition held in San Antonio on April 25. BISD sent the largest group of qualifiers in district history and 20 students earned exemplary ratings and state medals with their artwork. Four BISD students won the coveted Gold Seal. Their artwork will travel with the Gold Seal Exhibit to numerous Texas venues including the state capital. Out of 32,000 entries statewide, only 2,000 advanced to the state VASE exhibit. Congratulations to these artists and their teachers.

Tournament is Full
The 13th Annual BISD Superintendent’s Scholarship Golf Tournament is closed to additional teams. Donations and tee box sign purchases are still being accepted. Thanks for supporting our students with scholarship funds.

TSI Deadline
Friday, May 6 is the deadline for BISD students who are interested in taking dual enrollment courses next school year to take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment. For more information, call the Advanced Academic Services Department at 548-8291.

5 BISD Seniors Named Gates Scholars
The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program has announced the Class of 2016 award recipients which includes 5 BISD seniors. The BISD Gates recipients are Zahira Correa, Brownsville ECHS; Daniela Butanda and Paulina Montez, Pace ECHS; Yannira Herrera, Porter ECHS; and Cassandra Gonzalez, Veterans Memorial ECHS. Each of these students will receive a scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree in any undergraduate major and selected graduate programs at accredited colleges or universities. Established in 1999, the GMS program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


 
     
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