TOP NEWS: Harlingen Education and Community

HARLINGEN, TEXAS (Oct. 7, 2019) – TSTC Automotive Technology fine-tunes alum’s career

Juan Ochoa’s father gave him his first vehicle, a 1993 F-250 diesel truck, and it was this truck that led Ochoa to Texas State Technical College and a successful career. The 21-year-old earned an associate degree in Automotive Technology in Spring 2019 becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.

“My first truck started it all. It would break down and I would fix it. I was self-taught,” said Ochoa. “Slowly my passion for mechanics grew.”

The Harlingen native went from wanting to become a game warden to an automotive technician. A family friend realized Ochoa’s skill progression when it came to repairing his truck and took notice of his passion. He was impressed enough to offer him a part-time position at his automotive shop in San Benito.

“This was my first step into the automotive world,” he said. “I’m grateful that he gave me this opportunity because it was my time there that made me realize that I wanted to pursue this field as a career.”

This is when TSTC came into play. Read more.

TASA names HCISD Board of Trustees the state Board of the Year

The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) named the Harlingen CISD Board of Trustees the 2019 Outstanding School Board.

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 a 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. 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,” board President Dr. Nolan Perez said.  Read more.

Museum Fundraiser, A Taste of Harlingen, to be held Oct. 17

“Taste of Harlingen,” which began in 2004, is pretty much old hat now. And if you have an appropriate old hat that fits this year’s gala theme, wear it.

A Taste of Harlingen is the biggest museum fundraiser of the year, and this year’s event will be held the evening of Oct. 17. The theme is “A Night in Old Mexico,” and that means a chance to get out and dress up for those so inclined.

“Costumes for one thing,” said Sue DeBrooke, a Taste organizer and a museum board member.

“Last year we had everybody dressed up with tie-dye and hippie rigs and it was all kinds of fun,” said Frances Keim, coordinating chair of the Taste committee, referring to the 50-year-old “Feelin’ Groovy” theme from last year. “But every year it’s different. We get a lot of people and each year the honorary chair seems to bring in different people, maybe who have not been here.”

Learn more.

New Sensory Rooms Providing Therapeutic Space for Students

Five Harlingen CISD elementary school incorporated sensory rooms within their campuses this school year, thanks to a generous donation from the Harlingen Area Education Foundation, a non-profit organization.

“It’s enhanced the children’s motivation to learn … If we bring them here to decompress, they’re calmer they have a clear mind; they’re able to absorb more when they return to the classroom,” said Laura Mancilla, a teacher at Rodriguez Elementary School.

The Harlingen Area Education Foundation donated $5,000 to Rodriguez as well as Sam Houston, Milam, Long and Zavala elementary for the sensory rooms.

The sensory room serves as a therapeutic space for children that allow them to use their energy in a calming environment. Read more.