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NJ high school switches to distance learning due to high number of COVID cases

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UPDATE: NJ School Districts Report Hundreds of COVID Cases. Why the state’s numbers seem so much lower.

A high number of coronavirus case prompted authorities to shut down Robbinsville High School for the week, with all classes to be taught remotely starting Monday.

Mercer County High School sports teams are also on hiatus, Superintendent Brian J. Betze said in a statement.

In addition, a “significant” number of students at Pond Road Middle School in Robbinsville are quarantined and a class at Sharon Elementary School in the district is quarantined, although both schools remain open.

According to the district COVID-19 dashboard, As of September 17, 220 students in the district have been quarantined at Sharon Elementary School, 68 at Pond Road Middle School and 85 at Robbinsville High School.

The district also reported 22 positive cases among high school students and one staff member, 4 positive cases among middle school students and 4 positive cases among students and one primary school staff member.

About 62% of students aged 12 and over in the district are vaccinated, Betze said.

Students can return to high school on September 27 as long as they have not tested positive for COVID, have no symptoms, or the state health department orders the building to remain closed

In a video Friday, Betze said that 75 students at Pond Middle School who tried for the football team were forced into self-quarantine and that there have been three outbreaks unrelated to the city’s high school.

Township officials last week canceled the Robbinsville Community Day Festival – citing multiple coronavirus outbreaks.

NJ Advance Media staff writer Noah Cohen contributed to this report.

Jeff Goldman can be reached at [email protected].


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Philly school district plans more half-days for children

She and her husband both work full time and were unprepared for a sudden change in their child’s schedule. Roberts heard about the proposal via social media and says that while she supports devoting more time to teachers, she doesn’t understand why parents are just asking about the possible change.

“I don’t have a problem with the actual schedule change,” Roberts said. “I have a major problem with the way this was handled and how everyone was informed. The lack of transparency and the lack of planning amazes me.

Sonia Rosen, a former teacher and mother of three, also sees the benefits of giving teachers more time for professional development.

“In principle, the idea of ​​creating a dedicated area for teachers during their contract time to think deeply about the program, potentially collaborate with each other and do a lot of prep work… is a really good idea,” Rosen said. .

But to propose this change of schedule after the start of the school year, “without really doing anything to fill this time for the parents. [who have] already put aside their childcare arrangements, is actually not a great way to go about it, ”she said.

Rosen, who has a child at Beeber Middle School, fears the district is pitting teachers and parents against each other. She also wonders if teachers will have the freedom to effectively use their extra time or find themselves stuck in professional development sessions that are not always relevant or useful.

District officials did not respond to a request for further explanation in time for publication.


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Aspen High School’s class of 2021 reported high expectations and aspirations

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Aspen High School seniors, wearing their hats and gowns, take part in the annual graduation march on Friday, May 28, 2021 at the Aspen School District campus. The AHS graduation ceremony is scheduled for Saturday June 5 on the grass pitch. Photo by Austin Colbert / The Aspen Times.

According to a exit survey presented to the District Education Council at a regular meeting Tuesday.

The board tasked the district accountability committee with formulating the survey last year, according to committee co-chair Christa Geiszl. The survey was long – “clearly too long,” Geiszl said – but still garnered a strong response from 113 respondents among the 128 or so senior graduates who threw their hats off in 2021.

Most students answered most of the questions, although the survey did not collect 113 responses for every question on the list.



A question about GPA, for example, had 108 responses.

Almost half of those surveyed said they had a 4.0 GPA, earning all the “Aces” in their courses. Most of the rest (just north of 40% of respondents) were in the 3.0 GPA range. It’s “pretty incredible”, according to Geiszl. The remaining respondents (around 7% of those surveyed) fell into the 2.0 GPA category.



This group of highly-rated recent graduates also indicated that they have high aspirations for post-secondary education: 102 respondents indicated that they plan to attend a four-year college immediately after graduation. (Other post-graduate goals included two-year colleges and a vocational or tech school.)

For most of those surveyed, the COVID-19 pandemic has not had an impact on these post-secondary decisions. Almost 84% of the 112 respondents indicated that their plans were not affected by the pandemic; 8% said the pandemic had changed their plans to go straight to college, and 8% said it had “maybe” had an impact.

And many don’t plan to quit after four years of graduate school: Less than a quarter of all survey respondents said their ultimate education goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Almost 40% say they are aiming for a master’s degree and more than 10% are considering a doctorate; about a quarter of respondents were undecided and a marginal fraction planned to complete their university education with a high school diploma.

The survey also showed high participation in the International Baccalaureate courses for the class of 2021 – although this does not necessarily translate into the same high participation rates for the IB diploma program.

Almost half (49.1%) of the 112 respondents have taken at least five IB courses and 28.6% have taken three or four IB courses in high school; 16.1% have taken one or two IB courses and 7% have not taken any.

But less than a fifth of all investigators have actually completed the degree program, which also requires an extended essay and project of creativity, activity, service and comes with some timing restrictions; meeting program requirements can sometimes conflict with other activities, courses and commitments.

“Some of the most interesting parts of this came from some of our IB questions. … Since I’ve been part of this school district in terms of coming to DAC, we’ve definitely been pushing for IB for everyone, ”Geiszl said.

Respondents identified this surge in an open-ended section of the survey: While some students said they appreciated the wide variety of courses and the rigorous offerings the IB had in high school, others felt that the pressure to take these IB courses and expand the program has come at the cost of paying attention to other non-IB classes.

Overall, students said they felt their teachers had high expectations and asked students to do their best, according to 90% of 110 respondents.

Another question about the students’ overall experience with their teachers was “overwhelmingly positive,” according to Geiszl.

“Another thing that really stood out was how much they really love their teachers and how much we have good feedback from the teachers,” Geisl said. “I just think this is a testament to the fantastic teaching staff I have always heard about at Aspen High School. … I just felt like those numbers for high school graduates were off the charts.

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Cedar Rapids Bus Driver Shortage Impacts College Sports Activities

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Fall sports seasons have started for colleges in Cedar Rapids, but the schedules for those sports have changed dramatically.

The shortage of bus drivers for Cedar Rapids public schools has impacted several games in every fall sport.

“I would say that in every college that we’ve probably had, per sport, at least three to four have been affected as a result of that out-of-district trip,” said Kathy Dvorak, director of operations at Franklin College.

Dvorak and other administrators had to reorganize schedules and cancel matches and fixtures in several sports. She said she understands how this affects parents.

“The parents are obviously working and they asked for time off to be able to attend these events. They had to go back and change things because the schedules have changed, ”said Dvorak.

Cross country has been one of the hardest hit sports, but several colleges in the Cedar Rapids area were able to hold a meet at Cherry Hill Park last Thursday.

Eighth grade student Adam Gray finished first among the boys. It wasn’t just his first meeting of the year, it was his very first meeting.

“It was really good to be my first meeting. I played soccer so I think it helps a bit, ”Gray said.

No matter where their kids ended up, parents and grandparents were just thankful that fall sports were back.

“Anything we can do to get them out. This last year has been really tough so all we can do about it is what we want to try to do, ”said Sabrina Tapps-Fee.

“Well, it’s wonderful because it’s been so long,” added Bob Wangsness.

This meeting will be the first, but not the first in a long series. Several fixtures in Iowa City, Prairie and Linn-Mar were canceled for middle schools in Cedar Rapids, leaving them with only a small handful.

“Yes, it would be really good to show their talents a little more with four or five meetings instead of two. I mean that’s why you go across the country, but you still get the benefits, ”Wangsness said.

Some parents who are able to change their work schedules have volunteered to take the kids to meetings outside of Cedar Rapids.

“We were able to line up some parents who were ready to step in, myself being one of them,” Tapps-Fee said. “We feel very lucky to be able to step in and help because I know not everyone can. It’s just one of those, if we can, we’ll do it, so we can make sure the kids can do it.

Franklin’s Dvorak said that as stressful as the situation is, it’s the young student athletes who get things done.

“The kids you know ride with it. “Just let me play. “That’s what it is for them,” she said.

The district says it is working to make sure high school students have a full activity program. Colleges executive director Adam Zimmerman said in a statement the district will work with schools in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to revise schedules and minimize bus requirements while ensuring students can have a full schedule. . They will rearrange bus drop-off and pick-up locations to avoid traffic jams, explore the possibility of staff and parents carpooling for targeted activities, and explore the possibility of adding additional meetups and games to the area. by Cedar Rapids.

Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.


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Ten Washington County High School Sporting Events To Watch This Week

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• Monday: Football preparations, Tuscarora at North Hagerstown, 6 – This has been rescheduled from Friday. It’s a chance for the Hubs to bounce back from a loss to Manchester Valley, as North faces a Titans side that were ruled out in their first two games.

Bryce Hartle of Boonsboro throws on the 12th green during the Washington County Golf Tournament at Black Rock on November 3, 2020.

• Tuesday: Golf, Boonsboro, Clear Spring, Smithsburg and Williamsport in Maryland District 1 Class 2A-1A Tournament at Black Rock, 9 – Maryland’s first playoff event of the year is one in which the Warriors and Leopards will have high hopes. The best players to watch are Morgan Dehoff for Boonsboro and Andrew Bushey for Smithsburg, but both teams have others capable of posting low numbers.

• Tuesday: men’s soccer, Clear Spring at South Hagerstown, 6 – The Rebels won their first three games by a 13-0 margin, as star goaltender Aden Mills has yet to give up a goal. Kevin Diaz, Brockton Rhodes and CJ Bryan fueled South’s attack.

Williamsport's Joey Pierce controls the ball in a 2-0 win over Saint James in the Stan Stouffer Showcase consolation match.

• Tuesday: men’s soccer, Boonsboro at Williamsport, 7; Women’s football, Williamsport to Boonsboro, 7; Preparatory volleyball, Boonsboro at Williamsport, 7 – A trio of clashes between the Warriors and the Wildcats. The Boonsboro women’s football team got off to a 3-1 start with a 13-2 margin, led by goalkeeper Micah Stine. Men’s football teams have struggled so far, with a combined 1-5 record and a 4-16 margin (Carlos Pazos scored both goals for Boonsboro). The volleyball game is a clash of undefeated teams (in best of five sets), with the Wildcats 2-0 and the Warriors 1-0.

Clear Spring's Audrey Allen (2) pulls off a double block assassination attempt against North Hagerstown and Gabby Grantham-Medley's Armani Kenney (10) in a volleyball game last week.

• Thursday: men’s soccer, Williamsport at Clear Spring, 6; Women’s football, Clear Spring at Williamsport, 6; Preparatory volleyball, Clear Spring at Williamsport, 7 – Two days after their trio of meetings against the Warriors, the Wildcats face another county rival, the Blazers. The boys ‘soccer game is expected to be a tie game, as the Williamsport girls’ soccer team faces reigning Herald-Mail girls athlete of the week Kayda Shives. Clear Spring’s early-season volleyball glove continues after losses to Oakdale and North Hagerstown centrals.

• Friday: pre-season football, Catoctin at South Hagerstown, 6 – The Cougars are off to an unusual 0-3 start with losses to Boonsboro, Mountain Ridge and Thomas Johnson. The first and third games were close, however. The Rebels have just suffered a surprising one-point loss to Smithsburg.

Smithsburg rookie Cora Gentzel finished fourth in the girls' small schools division clocking 22: 46.6 in the season opener Interstate Classic in Clear Spring on September 4.

• Saturday: Cross country, Wildcat Invitational at Williamsport, 10 – Clear Spring and South Hagerstown have already hosted invitational competitions in Washington County this season, and now it’s Williamsport’s turn. After dominating the Hereford’s Bull Run Invitational on Saturday, Caroline Matthews of Boonsboro will look to continue her winning streak.


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Philly Students Explore Art of DJing Through School District Program | Way of life

When Christian Harrison first found out that Hill-Freedman World Academy would be one of the pilot schools for the Philadelphia School District DJ program, he didn’t hesitate to enroll.

“I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of it,” said Harrison. “I thought a program like this would help improve my own musical skills.

“Since becoming a part of the program, I’ve learned to break down songs, assess the audience for which songs to play, and smoothly switch between songs,” he added. “I also learned to make the experience enjoyable for anyone who listens to music.”

18-year-old Harrison started DJing at the age of 12. Known as DJ Blacx Rose, he graduated in 2021 from Hill-Freedman.

“My mom was traveling a lot for work, so I spent a lot of time with my uncle,” Harrison said. “He had turntables in his basement so I started to get into DJing and it became something that I really enjoyed.

“I am naturally a musician, I have been playing instruments since the age of three,” he added. “I play drums, bass and keyboards. Music is my thing; it has always been my passion.

Launched in 2019, as a pilot program at Hill-Freedman and Strawberry Mansion High School, the DJ program provides students in the Philadelphia School District with professional-grade DJ equipment and the opportunity to learn and improve their skills from the city’s professional DJ community. .

The district launched the initiative with the aim of deepening the connection between music education and the city’s strong community of music artists.

Some of the musical artists who have participated in the program include DJ Active, DJ Matthew Law, DJ Cool Out, and DJ Top Choice.

“In schools, where the curriculum is more structured, we envision weekly instruction that includes introductory and skill development,” said Frank Machos, director of music education for the Philadelphia School District.

“We teach the students how to use the DJ controller, what the software involves, and how to load tracks and set up cue points,” he said. “Students will probably spend a semester learning all aspects of DJing.

“We also create opportunities for mentors to connect with them and then create platforms to present what they have done in a real context,” he added,

This school year, the program will be presented at Philadelphia High School for Girls, Palumbo Academy, Joseph W. Catharine Elementary School, and Bache Martin Elementary School.

Bartram High School will be expanding the program to a full class this school year and Frankford High School will be adding additional program stations to their school.

In addition to Hill-Freedman and Strawberry Mansion, other district schools that have been part of the DJ program include Edison High School, CW Henry Elementary School, South Philadelphia High School, and Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High School.

“One of our priorities right now is to align our alumni with professional DJs from their alma maters,” Machos said.

“We’re looking at the professional DJ scene and where we might attract some of these people and then reach out to their school, just like we did with George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science and the track from Carver records, ”he said. .

“We really want our students to be incredibly well connected with the musical landscape of Philadelphia,” he added. “Philly is such a rich musical city. We want to continue to honor the heritage and history of the city through this program.

Despite the success of the DJ program, Machos said the district is still finding ways to improve the program.

“We are working with our partners to develop the program and the infrastructure so that it is easier for teachers to integrate the program into the classroom,” Machos said.

“That way, if the teachers have students who want to DJ, we will already have a curriculum, a list of equipment and all the materials and resources available,” he said.

“We also want to connect the network of professional DJ artists who are available to come and work with them for their own professional development, which will bring teachers to work directly with their students,” he added.

Since graduating from Hill-Freedman, Harrison has continued to build his skills as a local producer, drummer and performance DJ. He was also part of a few groups.

He is currently a freshman at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He specializes in drums and bass performance with a minor in music technology.

Harrison said he’s learned a lot since joining the school district’s DJ program.

“The program has given me an outlet to meet other people, especially people who work in this field,” Harrison said. “I was able to network, refine my skills and gain more experience and visibility.

“It’s a great program overall,” he added. “I encourage the students who have the program in their school to take full advantage of this opportunity. “


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Silverado High School to Host Silver Anniversary Events This Month

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Victorville’s largest high school is celebrating a quarter of a century with a weekend of events this month, the Victor Valley Union High School District announced.

Silverado High School welcomed its first students – about 900 ninth and tenth graders, the Daily Press reported – in 1996 and commemorates its silver anniversary this fall, after nearly 13,000 graduates walked through its doors.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years,” said Principal Heather Conkle, longtime High Desert resident and chief administrator of the Hawks for the past nine years. “Looking at the photos (of the old campus and the surrounding neighborhood), it’s hard to believe how much the neighborhood has grown. I literally watched the school build, never realizing that I would be the principal.

The anniversary festivities begin with a cheering rally for all schools on Friday, September 24. The cheer gathering is only for current students, but the school welcomes alumni to the Silver Anniversary Homecoming Game and the halftime parade later in the evening. The Hawks football team will face Martin Luther King High School at 7 p.m. at Hawk Stadium.

The parade theme will focus on each of the school’s first four graduating classes (1999 to 2002) with corresponding decor, costumes and music to match their respective years, VVUHSD officials said.

The district views the stadium that will host the football game as a monument to Silverado’s development over the past two and a half decades. Completed in 2013, the facility remains one of the most modern in the High Desert, with synthetic pitch and booths that can accommodate thousands of fans, the district said. Prior to its construction, the Hawks spent years playing their home games at Victor Valley High School.

The stadium is part of a state-of-the-art athletics complex that also includes an Olympic-caliber aquatic center and a beach volleyball facility.

With a new coat of paint and renovated murals this school year, the campus is not showing its age. That said, the murals – each donated by a graduating class – honor Silverado’s growing history.

“(The campus) doesn’t feel old or dated,” Conkle said. “And from an infrastructure and technology perspective, we’re 100% up to date. “

Conkle and his colleagues will introduce the campus to alumni, as well as their families and friends, on a free campus tour at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 25. Light refreshments will be served and clothing will be available for purchase.

“(The tour) will allow alumni to see the new campus and all of the changes that have taken place,” Conkle said. “They can take a trip down memory lane, but also see some of the exciting things we’re doing now.”

The events will end with an anniversary-themed Homecoming Dance, the Silver Soiree, which is not open to the public.

Former students interested in attending the visit can visit https://forms.gle/remmmg6rjKkFWoqM9 to RSVP and share their favorite memories from school.

Visit https://gofan.co/app/school/CA8045 to purchase tickets for the Silver Anniversary Homecoming Game.


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School District 54 Hosts Grand Opening of New Walnut Park Elementary School

The school has been in session for almost two weeks, but School District 54 has hosted a grand opening for the new Walnut Park Elementary School.

The public, dignitaries and staff gathered in front of the school on Saturday (September 18) to celebrate the opening and tour the new building.

The students have been at school since the start of the school year on September 8.

The school has been under construction since 2018 after the province announced it would provide $ 29.17 million to the school and SD54 would contribute $ 2.36 million.

Stikine MP Nathan Cullen said the new Walnut Park Elementary School is one of the prettiest buildings in the Northwest.

“I think we are the ones who show and express our dedication, our confidence and our desire to invest in our children. We live in a world where our ability to provide our children with the best possible opportunities requires buildings like this with such a dedicated staff, ”he said.

Cullen added that his two sons attend Walnut Park and are delighted to come to school every day.

Walnut Park manager Nicole Davey was also present at the opening.

She said the new school has exceeded all expectations.

“It’s a modern 21st century learning environment that supports our values ​​of collaboration, curiosity and creativity. Students and staff love the bright open feeling, ”said Davey.

She added that there are currently 311 students enrolled at Walnut Park, but it can accommodate up to 440 students and there are also 42 new child care spaces.

A classroom at Walnut Park Elementary School (provided by: Lindsay Newman)

The new school includes a sports hall, technical rooms, large classrooms and a learning center.

In addition, a totem pole in honor of the Wet’suwet’en people should be placed in front of the school currently under construction at the K’san Historical Village and Museum.


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Parents sue Merrimack Valley school district over mask warrant

A group of 17 parents are suing the Merrimack Valley School District on behalf of their children over its policy of requiring students to wear face masks to school.

The group, represented by lawyer Robert Fojo, claims that the mask mandate violates the right of parents to make medical decisions for their children and that the district lacks the power to develop mask policies, since this power has not been expressly granted by the state legislature. The plaintiffs filed their complaint on September 3, and the district received legal documents on Tuesday.

“Our concern is that the school board is overriding the rights of parents and whether they decide whether to bring their child with a mask or not with a mask, it should be up to the parent for sure,” said Jen Lacasse of Boscawen, l ‘one of the plaintiffs in the case and the parent of two students at Merrimack Valley High School.

Lacasse, who is a mental health counselor, said she was passionate about the issue as she has seen an increase in mental health issues among her school-aged clients and believes masks make the problem worse.

“I work with kids every day and they’re really struggling because of the last year,” Lacasse said. “The kids feel like it’s like this threatening atmosphere they go to school in. I don’t think people understand the mental health ramifications down the road.”

Parents also argue that mandatory masks constitute “unlawful coercion” under state law that restricts the use of child restraint practices in schools, including physical restraint or confinement that ” involves covering the face or body with anything, including soft objects such as pillows. , blankets or washcloths.

“Schools cannot confine children; they don’t have the power to do it, ”said Eric Corliss of Loudon, another plaintiff and parent of four children who attend Loudon High School, College and Elementary School. “They can’t put masks on children. We believe the school is violating their authority by doing this.

The plaintiffs also filed a motion to immediately suspend the mask’s warrant, but this was dismissed by Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman on September 3.

“The school district has the right and the responsibility to ensure the safety of its students and staff,” Shulman wrote. “Masking protects other students and faculty, as well as the wearer. Masks are not medicine, and requiring this simple expedient does not interfere with parental rights. Period.”

Merrimack Valley School District officials declined to comment for this article.

Lacasse said she and the other parents started discussing their concerns on August 25 at a rally she hosted at Rolfe Park and that they managed to generate more than 400 signatures on an online petition asking the school district to drop the mask policy. Lacasse said that when she and the other parents did not receive a response from the district regarding their petition, some of them decided to take legal action. They found lawyer Fojo because of his involvement in similar cases.

The lawsuit against the Merrimack Valley School District’s mask policy is one of many underway in New Hampshire. Parents from Epping, Londonderry and Timberlane school districts are also suing the districts over mask policies and are also represented by Fojo. Similar challenges to the mask have been dropped in Exeter, Stratham, Newfields, Brentwood, Kensington and East Kingston. Two other similar lawsuits were dismissed.

The plaintiffs in the case against Merrimack Valley High School are Eric and Amy Corliss of Loudon, Jen and Gerry Lacasse of Boscawen, Jonathan and Sammantha Rose of Loudon, Jamie Turgeon of Penacook, Alicha and Michael Kingsbury of Loudon, TereseGrinell of Loudon, Michael and Christine Longver of Loudon, Dave and Erin Fortier of Loudon, Joseph and Jennifer Jackson of Loudon and Joel Eugnides of Salisbury.

“I know my children. Every parent knows their kids, we know what’s best for our kids, ”said Eric Corliss. “If I choose to have my child masked at school, I want to be able to make that decision. I don’t think it’s the power of the school district to make that decision. I believe their only purpose is to provide an education for our children and I think they are overstepping their authority to make this happen. “


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United ISD names college after former Korean War veteran Laredo educator

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Korean War veteran, husband, father, and jack-of-all-trades educator, Elias Herrera entered the world of education and became a supporter of education throughout Laredo. And despite his passing in 2016, his legacy will continue.

On Friday, in UISD’s 60th year, an official groundbreaking ceremony was held at the former United High School campus. It will now serve local students as Elias Herrera College, in honor of Herrera’s 40 years of dedication to the district and as a catalyst for the start-up of the entire district.

The ceremony was unfortunately postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, but that could not prevent administrators, teachers, students, friends and family from meeting to talk about the creation of UISD and the value Herrera brings to new and old students.

According to UISD Superintendent David Gonzalez, Herrera was part of the foundation upon which the district sits in the 1960s. Along with many other speakers, Gonzalez praised his dedication as he held a plethora of positions, d ‘jobs and responsibilities during his 40 years before retiring in 1977.


Elias Herrera was an advocate for education in the region, especially for children from economically disadvantaged families. Born in 1929, he graduated from Martin High School, then joined the 82nd Airborne Division before being honorably demobilized. After years of engineering studies, he decided to turn to teaching, a year before obtaining his engineering degree.

This decision would impact the community of Laredo in a way that residents of the time would not have realized at the time. Despite the many obstacles and adversities, he and many of his relatives began to create a new school district.

However, since a new neighborhood does not inspire confidence in terms of education and job security, Herrera chose to take on these responsibilities himself.

He has been a principal of Nye Elementary, Nye Junior High School, director of lunch programs, director of transportation, director of janitorial services, director of school elections program, district disciplinary officer, assistant superintendent, superintendent, founder Directory and Photographer, Coach and Suite.

UISD communications officer Alexander Meyer said that after watching a video dedicated to Herrera, the biography was the short version of his actions and accomplishments. To strengthen the bond between the audience and Herrera, his family shared more about who he was and how his daily life impacted students in the fledgling neighborhood.

“I don’t think he wanted all the fuss,” said his wife Olga Herrera.

She indicated that he was a very humble man and that he would constantly work to make the district work. In some cases without a salary or title, she said, explaining that due to the low funding of the district, he was also the district recruiter and bus driver.

“He got up at 4:30 am, there were three things he had in his pocket: it was his wallet, the keys to the school bus and the rosary,” she said. “He loved doing this route because he was like, ‘Olga, you should see the sun come up in the morning, they were beautiful.'”

Through a series of bus changes, he would do his best to transport the children across town to their designated schools. Plus, he always encouraged students to work hard, play sports and ask for help when they needed it, Olga said.

In one case, a student asked Herrera if he could take her to pick up her prom date across town. Without hesitation, Elias, Olga and the student jumped into the vehicle and drove, regardless of the distance, she said. Once picked up and dropped off, Herrera handed the student a dollar in case he needed it.

“He was the kind of man he was, he would give the shirt off his back if you needed help,” she concluded.

Between the multitude of responsibilities he has taken on throughout the district, the staff he has invited to join the district, the care and assistance he has given to students, even the co-signing of loans on multiple occasions. , all of Herrera’s contributions paved the way for the first class graduation at United High School in 1965.

Sixty years later, Elias Herrera Middle School has moved to the old and nostalgic United High School campus. The school has 43 classrooms, nine science rooms, three computer labs, two specialized teaching rooms, large music rooms, meeting rooms, a security room and a recently renovated gym.

It is the 11th college, its colors are orange, blue and yellow, and its mascot is a hawk. The mascot of choice is another commemorative sign for Herrera, as he coached a small league team whose mascot was also a hawk.

The principal of the school is Carlos Martinez, who has said that while he doesn’t know or meet Herrera, he wants to emulate his dedication to the campus. Now part of the Herrera legacy, Martinez said he understands the expectations are very high for him and the staff.

“The support was endless, the pride everyone took to make sure this happened,” he said. “I’m not going to lie to you, it was a little difficult at first to open a new campus as a new principal with new staff during a pandemic … but what do you do when you have good colleagues and good staff Support ? You go through it, and you get there.

He added that the falcon mascot has additional meaning, as each letter signifies an attribute taught and cherished on campus. H represents honor, A is attitude, W is wisdom, and K represents kindness. EHMS students are expected to maintain these attributes and be hawks throughout their school day and beyond.

Juan Herrera and Rosana Saldivar, Herrera’s children, attended UISD in the 80s and 90s and remembered their time as students under the watchful eye of their father / principal. They spoke of their father’s commitment and the same HAWK ethic he lived with during his tenure as a trustee at Nye. From promoting Broadway productions, to bringing community and the arts together, to advocating that all students need an education, much of the time has been spent caring for the neighborhood.

The children of Herrera are proud of the achievements and decisions made. Juan said his dad would say the most important thing in life is time – time spent with family and time spent working to be the strongest.

version of oneself, leading to real impacts.

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