Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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STC unveils new public safety center

20180918 STCBuildingDedicationPHARR-As part of a partnership between multiple agencies across the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College unveiled their brand new Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence. The $9.9 million facility is intended to meet the demand for more professionals in public safety and law enforcement.

At the Tuesday dedication ceremony, officials from STC, the city of Pharr and elected officials such as Gov. Greg Abbott attended the event.

“What you’ve done is help fulfill an essential mission for the state, to insure the next generation will be better educated than the one before us, and you are doing an outstanding job in making sure that vision comes to fruition,” Abbott said in his keynote address. “The reality is, higher education and public safety are essential to our future. Keeping communities safe must be our top priority. If we’re going to have the safety and security to be able to educate your kids or have the vibrant economy that we have, then law enforcement officers, firefighters, public safety professionals are essential to that top priority to ensure security in our state.”

Read more: STC unveils new public safety center

Pioneer Marching Band prepares 5th year

20180907 PioneerMatchingBandWoodwindsNow in its 5th year of existence, the Sharyland Pioneer High School Marching Band is preparing for its latest marching band season with what its director is calling a “visually arresting show.”

If you’ve attended a Friday night football game featuring the Pioneer football team, you’ve seen their band performing their latest show “Spiraling into Madness” at halftime. “Spiraling into madness” features music from award-winning composers Frank Ticheli, Eric Whitacre and Samuel Barber.

“It’s an entertaining production,” Pioneer Band Director Arnold Salinas said. “It takes the listener from a happy place to a much darker place at the end of the show. It starts light in an ethereal way with major chords, and then it turns dark quickly. There’s lots of minor chords, very abrasive and the articulation style changes completely from a very smooth and pretty style to a second movement that is accented and sharp, resulting in a darker tonality as the music spirals into madness. You’re going to see it and hear it.”

Read more: Pioneer Marching Band prepares 5th year

South Texas College celebrates 25 years as enrollment reaches 34,000

STCLogoMcALLEN – As a young teen, Rose Benavidez, current STC trustee, recalls traveling with her father, the late Manuel Benavidez, across Starr County looking for support for what was then known as South Texas Community College (STCC) from the community.

Her father had just been appointed as a trustee for the college, and in the summer of 1995, public acceptance for STCC had snowballed in an election that saw voters approve three propositions essential for the college.

“When I was a kid driving around with my father I remember they were having classes in laundromats or they were allowed by school districts to have classes in old libraries,” Benavidez said. “I can recall my very first experience with the college was when I was maybe 15 years old. My father had just been appointed as a trustee at the college and they were going out for their first bond.

Read more: South Texas College celebrates 25 years as enrollment reaches 34,000

Sharyland superintendent discusses TEA rating

20180817 VidaurriMeetandGreetVerticalWhen the Texas Education Agency released their latest accountability ratings last month, Sharyland ISD had a lot to celebrate.

Under these new ratings, schools were graded on an A-F scale and Sharyland was one of 9 districts with an “A” rating in Hidalgo County.

“The rating goes back to the excellence that is expected of the district,” Sharyland Superintendent Maria Vidaurri said last month. “We’re looking to see what areas we can improve on to ensure we are progressing in the way we should be.”

Read more: Sharyland superintendent discusses TEA rating

Sharyland High School welcomes new band director

20180907 MarcPareaFor Marc Perea, the band instructors he interacted with as a student were the people responsible for pushing him to explore his talents as a musician.

“I had band directors that were encouraging and even took me to college auditions,” Perea, 38, recalled. “Band directors pushed me to explore my strengths and talents as a musician and I fell in love with it from day one. I always knew from a young age this would be something I’d see myself doing as an adult.”

Now, Perea hopes to return the favor to his students as the new band director at Sharyland High School.

Read more: Sharyland High School welcomes new band director

McAllen native discusses new movie

20180831 Raul-Castillo-Headshot-1---Stephanie-DianaWith parents from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Raul Castillo recalled always feeling like he was part of two worlds whenever he and his family crossed the border as a child.

“Being from the Valley, I always thought about where we as border residents belong on the fabric of this country,” Castillo, a McAllen native said. “We’re very much Americans and yet we’re surrounded by so much biculturalism that growing up down there I think creates a certain kind of character in us.”

That biculturalism shaped Castillo into who he is today as an actor and because of it he carries the Valley wherever he goes, he said.

Read more: McAllen native discusses new movie