María Ester Cárdenas, a graduate of The University of Texas-Pan American, is one of two recent gubernatorial appointees to the board of directors of the Texas Council for the Humanities (TCH), a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Cárdenas, who spent 25 years as a high school classroom teacher in biology, science and Spanish, has been coordinator of the Parental Involvement Program in the Brownsville Independent School District since 1993.
She obtained a bachelor of arts in Spanish and biology from UTPA and an master of arts in Spanish and education from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She also attended a Summer Graduate Institute in Mexico through Texas Tech University.
Cárdenas' recent consulting and work-related service includes serving as chair and facilitator of the Brownsville ISD Spring and Fall Parent Conferences in 1996, 1998 and 1999; facilitator of monthly Parent Meetings in 1999; presenter at the Brownsville ISD Administrator's Workshop in 1998; and presenter at the Regional Parent-Teacher Association Conference in 1997.
She also has been chair of the Brownsville ISD Strategic Planning Committee in 1995 and committee member in 1996; committee member and local facilitator for the 1995 National Coalition of Title I Parents' Conference; and committee member for the 1995 Binational Conference for Families in South Padre, held in conjunction with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.
Also appointed to the TCH board by Gov. George Bush was Maceo C. Dailey Jr., Ph.D., director of African-American Studies and associate professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso. Other new directors include Belinda Silva Cook, development director for The Grace Museum in Abilene, and Virginia E. Mampre, president of Mampre Media International (MMI) in Houston.
"We are delighted Governor Bush appointed a director representing the Rio Grande Valley, as well as a K-12 educator," said Monte Youngs, TCH executive director.
"Over the course of our 28-year history, one of TCH's highest priorities has been to advocate and provide support for the vital role of humanities education in Texas schools. Cárdenas will provide the TCH board with invaluable insight in this regard, and will provide an important voice from the Valley."
Since 1973, TCH has provided funding to a broad range of Texas cultural organizations to develop public humanities programs of local interest, primarily for the adult, out-of-school, general public. It is a private nonprofit organization and state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.