By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition June 2017
I started the “Men from Another Galaxy” series of articles in September of 2014. Meeting these professionals has been an honor. They hold important positions with the humongous responsibility that deals with the education of the future leaders of our country.
As superintendents of school districts, these individuals are unique. This time around, I had the pleasure to meet with Dr. J.A. Gonzalez, originally from Laredo, who he grew up in a small community called Hebbronville.
After graduating from Texas-A&M University — Kingsville with a Bachelor of Science in 1996, he earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Texas- Pan American in 1999. By 2003, he had received his Mid-Management Administrator and Superintendent Certifications. In 2008, he completed his Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership from UTPA.
Dr. Gonzalez oversees the McAllen ISD, which has four nationally ranked high schools among 33 campuses serving more than 24,000 students.
In this article, you will learn about him and his work with the programs he initiated, and the creation of STEAM-Plus in Pre-K-12 grades. This learning framework places a great emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math, included coding, rocketry, and robotics.
One elementary team finished third in an international coding contest. Also, some chess teams – some also based in elementary school – advanced to compete at state and national levels.
STEAM-Plus is works to address a child’s emotional intelligence focusing on key components of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. He pointed out that McAllen ISD continues to support the highly acclaimed International Baccalaureate Teaching and Learning Framework at elementary, middle, and high school levels.
I trust you will enjoy this article about one of the Valley’s master educators.
On another matter: Congressman Henry Cuellar announced that the Omnibus Appropriations Act passed by the House included funding and language to support international trade and relations between the United States and México.
Congressman Cuellar supported efforts to streamline commerce at land ports of entry by directing the federal agencies involved to improve their staffing models, and encouraged early steps to explore a rail line between the U.S. and Mexico via Texas. Read more inside this issue.
Despite all the challenges that Mexico is going through, the country is doing well according to Jesus Cañas, a senior business economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve in Dallas.
Mexico’s economy grew solidly in the first quarter despite higher inflation, interest rates and uncertainty over trade relations with the U.S. Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a 2.4 percent annualized rate, while fourth-quarter output was revised higher to 2.9 percent.
The consensus 2017 GDP growth forecast was revised up from 1.5 % to 1.7 %. Recent data on exports, industrial production, retail sales, and employment showed continued expansion but at a slower pace. Inflation increased, but the peso recovered some ground against the dollar in April for a third consecutive month. More inside.
In an attempt to address a significant nursing shortage in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College is creating a pipeline to prepare even more nurses going into the healthcare profession. A gathering of at least three school districts in the region, together with STC, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and Region One Education Service Center officially kicked off a professional nursing dual enrollment project called Project Health Education and Leadership for All (Project HEAL2).
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently honored a select group of quite exceptional women of the Valley. Read all about their contributions to our region.
Enjoy this issue, I know you’ll like it. TBB