MERCEDES Two South Texas Independent School District (STISD) campuses The Science Academy of South Texas (Sci Tech) in Mercedes and South Texas Preparatory Academy (STPA) in Edinburg were recently announced as part of the 2011 Texas Business & Education Coalition (TBEC) Honor Roll.

This marks the eighth time that Sci Tech has earned this prestigious award and the first time that the young STPA campus has been named to the Honor Roll. This year 253 elementary, middle and high schools - less than 4 percent of all Texas public schools - made the list. Sci Tech was one of only 34 high schools in the state to receive the award, while STPA was one of only 38 middle schools included.

TBEC's Honor Roll award, which has been distributed by the organization for 12 years, is regarded as the most prestigious award for sustained, academic excellence that a Texas public school can receive. It recognizes schools that have demonstrated three years of consistent, high performance in all subjects compared to other schools serving similar student populations. The schools selected for the award have the highest percentage of students performing at the state's most rigorous standard - commended - in every subject. The standards used for comparison this year were the most demanding in the history of the awards program.

An awards ceremony to honor the winning Texas schools will be held in Dallas on Friday, Dec. 2, and will be sponsored by H-E-B. Michael Aranda, principal at Sci Tech, and Ana Castro, principal at STPA, both plan to attend. While there, they will have the opportunity to attend seminars to learn about new opportunities to bring back to the school and the district.

Sci Tech and STPA are two of the five campuses in the all-magnet, Exemplary South Texas Independent School District (STISD). STISD is an open-enrollment district serving students from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. For more information, call 1-800-21STUDY or visit