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Spirit of Excellence brings schools from Laredo to Brownsville to UTPA
By Julia Benitez Sullivan, Director of University Rel
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Posted: 04/26/2002
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Representatives from 18 schools named 2001 Honor Roll Schools of South Texas or 2001 Top Performing Schools of the Rio Grande Valley received special recognition at The University of Texas-Pan American Thursday, April 25.


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UTPA officials and Don Brown, commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, were on hand to applaud the 18 schools recognized for their Spirit of Excellence. From left, John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment & Student Services; Jim Langabeer, vice president for Business Affairs; President Miguel Nevárez; Brown; Rodolfo Arevalo, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; and Roland Arriola, vice president for External Affairs.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Don Brown; Executive Director of Just for Kids Brad Duggan; Senator-elect Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa; Executive Director of the Texas Business and Education Coalition, John Stevens; UTPA President Miguel A. Nevárez; and others praised the work of the educators present at the Celebrating the Spirit of Excellence dinner and awards program.

"You represent the top 1 percent of the best. That’s how good you are," Duggan told the group. "It is an amazing accomplishment to say you are among the best in Texas, recognizing that Texas is among the best in the country."

Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs at UTPA, John Edwards, hosted the event. UTPA Provost, Rodolfo Arevalo, presided over the presentation of awards to the schools. Special awards were given to Joe Randolph who co-founded the Texas Scholars Program while working in the Texas Division of Eastman Chemical Company; and to Earl "Bud" Frankenberger, who is credited with helping UT Pan American become a leader in the number of students who qualify for the Texas Grant scholarship program.

"I use The University of Texas-Pan American as the best example of a higher education institution that is involved with the business community, with school districts and with the community to prepare students for success in education," said Stevens. "UT Pan American is number one in my book."

The schools honored by Texas Monthly as 2001 Top Performing Schools of the Rio Grande Valley were: Memorial High School, McAllen; PSJA North High School, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo; Rivera High School, Brownsville; Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa; B.L. Gray Middle School, Sharyland; Monte Alto Middle School, Monte Alto; San Isidro Middle School, San Isidro; Bonham Elementary School, McAllen; Dr. Rodolfo E. Margo Elementary School, Weslaco; Mims Elementary School, Mission; Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary School, Rio Grande City; and Thigpen Elementary School, McAllen.

Texas Business and Education Coalition – Just for the Kids 2001 Honor Roll Schools of South Texas were: Memorial Junior High School, Eagle Pass; Stell Middle School, Brownsville; Dr. Rodolfo E. Margo Elementary School, Weslaco; Mims Elementary School, Mission; Russell Elementary School, Brownsville; and Ryan Elementary School, Laredo.

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