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Donna ISD Board of Trustees Named 2024 Outstanding School Board of the Year

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The Donna Independent School District is thrilled to announce that its Board of Trustees has been named the 2024 Outstanding School Board of the Year by the Region One Education Service Center.

The Board, led by President Fernando Castillo and comprised of Vice President Jose Rogelio Reyna, Secretary Ida M. Garcia, and members Eloy Avila, Jose L. Valdez, Dr. Maricela Valdez, and Eva Castillo Watts, is recognized for its unwavering commitment to student success.

“As a committed team of seven, our school board exemplifies unity and dedication in every decision we make, all aimed at enhancing student success,” said Board President Fernando Castillo. “Unlike previous boards, we are a cohesive group that works harmoniously, ensuring that our collective efforts lead to the best outcomes for our students.”

This collaborative spirit is evident in the Board’s focus on student outcomes. Over 50% of the Board's monthly meetings focus on student outcomes, ensuring a laser focus on their success. This dedication is particularly crucial considering the challenges faced by our student body. Ninety-five percent of our more than 13,000 students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and over fifty-six percent are second language learners. The Board recognizes these hurdles and is fully invested in our district's number one goal: graduating all students college, career, or military ready. Their commitment extends beyond board meetings, as they routinely engage with students, staff, and the community to create a supportive learning environment for all.

Superintendent Dr. Angela Dominguez echoed these sentiments, highlighting the Board’s supportive partnership. “The trustees in Donna ISD believe that they are here in service to our students and staff and truly work hand in hand with the superintendent to accomplish the goals of our district. This team truly collaborates and keeps each other in alignment with the focus of our district. They operate as a unified team and actively contribute to the ongoing success of Donna.”

The Board's dedication has led to numerous other accolades for Donna ISD, including:

  • Finalist for the 2024 H-E-B Excellence in Education Outstanding School Board Award
  • Implementation of a successful two-way dual language program
  • Recognition as a prestigious three-star, masters-level Lone Star Governance school board
  • Winning the M. Rivas Primary Discovery Academy H-E-B Excellence in Education Early Childhood Award
  • Championing innovative programs like the Student Transitional Eighteen Plus Program (STEPP)
  • Selected to present at state and national conferences

The Board's commitment extends beyond this regional level title. They are now among the top 20 school boards in the state, vying for the coveted title of Texas Outstanding School Board.

“Congratulations again to this remarkable group,” said Dr. Dominguez. “We're all cheering you on!”