A science team from McAllen ISD will be competing at the state level following their performance at the Rio Grande Valley Regional Science Olympiad held March 7 at South Texas College in McAllen.

Fossum Middle School finished third in the Middle School Division standings in order to qualify for state. They competed against 11 other schools from across the Valley, San Antonio, Austin and Houston.

The Fossum team competed in 14 different events and took first place in Trajectory and Experimental Design.

The Rowe High team won first place in one category, Physics Lab, and finished eighth overall in the High School Division.

The Fossum team consisted of Robert Cochran, Claudia De Leon, Saul Vallejo, Javier Vela, Steven Lopez, Analicia Zarate, Aurora Gonzalez, Jennifer Pineda, Martell Valencia, Anastasia Rivera and Paola Pena.

The Rowe Physics Lab team consisted of Justin Cantu and Joshua Austin.

The teams were sponsored by Sylvan Learning Center.

McAllen cheerleaders perform well

In February, three high schools and one middle school competed in the National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Fla. Rowe High finished 12th in the Small Varsity Coed Division while Memorial High was third in the Small Varsity, Non-tumble Division. McAllen High competed in the Division 2 Medium Varsity but did not place while Lincoln Middle School took second place in the Small Junior Non-building Division.

Memorial DECA wins 4 awards at State

McAllen Memorial’s DECA team won awards in four categories at the DECA State Competition Feb. 28 in Galveston. The winners are:

Lauro Tijerina, Raul Resendez, and Mariano Gomez for Retail Marketing Research Event; Loren Castellanos, Daniela Ruiz, and Elias Sanchez for Internet Marketing Research Event; Natalie Rodriguez and Dana Reinitz for General Marketing Research Event; and Sam Aparicio and Stephanie Martinez for Internet Marketing Team Decision Event. The alternates are Mariana Curts, Alma Sanchez, and Natalie Gildeleyva for Financial Literacy Promotional Plan. The scholarship recipients are Jackie Stewart, Mariana Curts, and Raul Resendez for Northwood University. Students that won in their event will be traveling to the DECA International Convention in Anahiem, California at the end of April where there will be approximately 14,000 DECA members in attendance. DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America.

McAllen ISD Community Information wins 25 state awards

The McAllen ISD Community Information Department has received 25 state awards for excellence in school communications. The awards were announced at the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) Star Awards banquet Feb. 17 in San Antonio.

McAllen ISD received 20 Gold Star awards, two Silver Stars and three Best Of awards for best in the state of Texas for school districts with enrollments from 10,000-30,000.

McAllen High student wins writing award

McAllen High sophomore, Estefani Carrasquedo, won first place in the Abydos Dana K. Barber Student Writing Awards in the grades 9-12 prose category for her writing titled “One Last Look” it was announced Feb. 24.

This is a writing contest done by the New Jersey Writing Project of Texas now named Abydos Learning International. In order to enter, students must have a current teacher who has been to the three-week institute. Carrasquedo will attend an awards ceremony March 29 in Dallas.

McAllen High BPA sending 9 to state

The McAllen High Business Professionals of America team will be sending nine students to state competition March 4-8 in Austin. The members who participated Jan. 23 in Area competition in Harlingen include:

Caleb Elizondo — 1st Place Computer Security - State Qualifier

Sam Wenner — 1st Place Microsoft Network Administration — State Qualifier

Miro Arredondo — 1st Place CISCO Systems Administration — State Qualifier

Sam Antonio — 1st Place PC Servicing & Troubleshooting — State Qualifier

Mark Hanna — 1st Place Advanced Interview Skills — State Qualifier

Michael Guzman — 2nd Place — Human Resource Management — State Qualifier

Cassie Carillo — 2nd Place Entrepreneurship — State Qualifier

Alexis Quintanilla — 3rd Place Legal Office Procedures — State Qualifier

Justin Perez — 3rd Place Fundamentals of XHTML — State Qualifier

Cristal Jimenez — 3rd Place Graphic Design Promotion — State Alternate

Vashti Chan, Orlando Hinojosa and Andrea Hamann — 3rd Place Video Production Team — State Alternate

Angela Moreno — 4th Place Extemporaneous Speech — State Alternate

Angela Moreno, Melissa Luna, Cristal Jimenez and Caleb Elizondo — 6th Place Administrative Support Team — State Alternate


Denisse Barba participated in Banking and Finance

Christina Merwin participated in Keyboarding Production

Brittany Keith, Sammy Ortega, Veronica Perez and Cam Meyer participated in Web Site Design Team

Frank Caballero participated in Interview Skills

Yihan Zhang, Cassie Carillo, Alexis Quintanilla and Mark Hanna participated in Presentation Management Team.

McAllen ISD has 17 All-State music students

McAllen ISD has 17 students in band, choir and orchestra named to the All-State list. The All-State band students include Calvin Almarez (Rowe, French horn), Isaac Guajardo (Rowe, trumpet), Manuel Hernandez (Rowe, saxophone), Jesus Ruiz (Rowe, tuba) and Alexa Yunes (Memorial, saxophone). Jason Barrios (Rowe, saxophone) was named to All-State Jazz Band. The All-State choir students include Julia Walker (McAllen High, alto), Vanessa Marroguin (McAllen High, alto), Colton Pugh (McAllen High, bass), Hannah Arguelles (Rowe, alto), Ana Sousa (Memorial, alto), Josh Arguelles (Rowe, bass), Damiam Mirelez (McAllen High, bass), Anjali Nambiar (Memorial, soprano), Dulce Velasquez (McAllen High, alto). The All-State orchestra students are Joshua (cello) and Zachary Weber (violin), both from McAllen High. These students will perform at the Texas Music Educators’ Association All State Convention Feb. 11-14 in San Antonio.

New honor for McAllen teacher

Dora Newell, a third-grade teacher at McAllen’s Thigpen-Zavala Elementary, is one of two elementary school teachers selected from nominees across the state to receive the Texas Exes Awards for Outstanding School Teachers. There are twelve honorees in the state, two elementary and ten high school teachers, who will receive this prestigious annual award. Mrs. Newell was named Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year Nov. 22.

Mrs. Newell will be honored at the Texas Exes Awards for Outstanding Teachers Banquet and Awards Ceremony on the UT Campus on Feb. 20. UT President Bill Powers will present her with a check for $2,250 dollars and a specially commissioned custom designed bronze sculpture

As part of the award package, she will attend the two day Conference on Texas Excellence in Education February 19-20 which precedes the Awards Dinner.

McAllen ISD attendance awards

The attendance award winners for the third six-weeks grading period (Nov. 10- Dec. 19) include Thigpen-Zavala Elementary (pre-kindergarten, kinder, second, third, fourth and fifth grades), Alvarez and McAuliffe Elementary (first grade), Fossum Middle School (sixth, seventh and eighth grades) and Rowe High School (ninth-12th grades). The school district’s attendance average for the third six-weeks was 95.2 percent.

McAllen student wins leadership award

Marquesa Cassandra Figueroa, a 2008 McAllen High graduate, has been awarded the Texas Lyceum scholarship. She is the only graduate from the Valley and one of just five in Texas to receive this award. She was chosen for, demonstrating her leadership capacity in student government, orchestra, golf, debate and volunteering for numerous community service projects. Figueroa, a recipient of the Girl Scout Bronze, Gold, and 12-Year Awards, is attending Texas A & M University and majoring in architecture. The Texas Lyceum is a statewide non-profit, non-partisan leadership group. The purpose in offering these scholarships is to assist the next generation of Texas leaders and help them achieve their goals through higher education. More than 230 students applied this year for Texas Lyceum Scholarships. Each of the following award honorees will receive a $2,000 scholarship.