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Donna ISD Board of Trustees Named State Finalist for 2024 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award

The Donna Independent School District’s Board of Trustees celebrated the start of the new year with exciting news.

The team of seven received word on January 3rd that it had been named one of five state finalists for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Outstanding School Board Award. The Board is made up of Mr. Fernando Castillo (President), Mr. Jose Rogelio Reyna (Vice President), Ms. Ida M. Garcia (Secretary), and Board Members Mr. Jose L. Valdez, Ms. Eva Castillo Watts, Dr. Maricela Valdez and Mr. Eloy Avila.

“We are honored and extremely excited about being selected as a finalist for this prestigious H-E-B award,” Fernando Castillo, DISD Board President said. “I am proud to be part of a school board that is committed to putting students and staff at the forefront of every decision we make. We have gone through extensive training and follow the Texas Education Agency’s Lone Star Governance model that keeps us focused on our primary objective, which is improving student outcomes. We operate as a unified team and work hand-in-hand with the superintendent to accomplish the goals of our district.”

Every year since 2002, the grocery retail giant announces finalists for the Outstanding School Board Award and in five other categories including Teacher, Principal, School Counselor, School District and Early Childhood. Winners are rewarded with cash prizes and grants. It’s all part of H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Awards Program that recognizes public school professionals for their dedication and commitment in serving their students and their communities.

The Outstanding School Board honor recognizes school boards that have demonstrated real leadership in the community that it serves. The criteria are based on three factors:

• academic/student progress within the district,

• identification of community needs and specific actions taken based on those needs, and

• new and creative methods for community engagement.

Donna ISD Superintendent Dr. Angela Dominguez commended the district’s Board of Trustees for receiving this honor. She said the board members see their role as an act of service and advocacy. “We are incredibly fortunate to have seven trustees who are relentless in their efforts to do what is best for students,” Dr. Dominguez said. “There is no doubt that our board members believe in the mission of Donna I.S.D. and are fully invested in our number one outcome of graduating all students per their expected graduation date ready for college, career, or the military.”

The winners of the excellence in education awards including Outstanding School Board will be announced in the spring during the H-E-B Excellence in Education’s 22nd Annual Awards Ceremony in San Antonio.