Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. Aims to Strengthen CTE Programs

The saying goes that “Actions speak louder than words.”  That was the scene at the 2019 RGV LEAD Annual Meeting and Superintendents’ Meeting when guest speaker, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., presented a gavel and the “Texas Lone Star” flag to Mercedes ISD superintendent, Carolyn Ann Mendiola, for co-hosting the RGV LEAD-sponsored event in the Mercedes Culinary Arts Center.   In addition, he presented equal tokens of appreciation to Naomi Perales, RGV LEAD Board President, and to Pat Bubb, RGV LEAD interim director.   He spoke to the Rio Grande Valley superintendents, RGV LEAD Board members, business partners, and special RGV LEAD Student Ambassador guests on the importance of getting students ready to lead in the future.  Senator Lucio also encouraged educators to share with the Valley legislative delegation success stories in the Career & Technical Education programs; and address any obstacles districts may be facing with the CTE programs.   His aim is to help strengthen the CTE programs.  Mercedes High School Regional Ambassadors Caitlyn Acosta and Leanna Briones shared remarks after Senator Lucio concluded his presentation.

Naomi Perales, Community Relations Manager, Texas Gas Service Company and RGV LEAD Board Chair, served as emcee and shared the important role that RGV LEAD plays in facilitating collaboration among employers and educators.  Pat Bubb and Dr. Norma Salaiz, two women who have been passionate about RGV LEAD and the role it plays in the Rio Grande Valley, talked about the activities that RGV LEAD has been promoting and the partnerships the organization has formed over the years.  Both stressed the impact the organization has made to students and school districts by providing such services as the Annual Superintendents’ meeting, Education & Career Expo, RGV LEAD Ambassadors, the Young Entrepreneur Challenge, P-16 Council meetings and other education-related activities.

Perry A. Vaughn, Executive Director at Rio Grande Valley Chapter-Associated General Contractors of America and Chair of the RGV LEAD Nominating Committee, directed the voting delegates to cast their votes for returning and new RGV LEAD Board members. New Board members elected for two-year terms included Theresa A. (Teri) Alarcon, Point Isabel ISD; Frank Almaraz, Workforce Solutions; Sarah Alvarado, Lasara ISD; Dr. Gisela Saenz, La Joya ISD; Kristina Leal, PE, CFM, Halff Associates; Luis Figueroa, AIA, ROFA Architects; Christina Lopez Garza, State Farm Insurance; Dr. Cornelio Gonzalez, Region One Education Service Center; Pat Hobbs, Workforce Solutions Cameron; Janie Sandoval, Rio Grande Valley Credit Union; Dr. Gonzalo Salazar, Los Fresnos CISD; and Carolyn Mendiola, Mercedes ISD.

What would a meeting be without a hospitable meal?  It goes without saying that a heart-felt “Thank You” is extended to the Mercedes ISD Culinary Arts department for providing a delicious, hearty breakfast for the annual meeting; and to Ms. Debbie Winslow, CTE Director, for ensuring that the stage was set for the RGV LEAD Annual Meeting and Superintendents’ Meeting.

A Brief Glance