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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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PSJA Superintendent continues mission for excellence and opportunity 

School Board of Trustees extend contract

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The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD School Board voted to extend Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo’s contract through 2025 during a recent regularly scheduled board meeting.  Courtesy Image
The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD School Board voted to extend Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo’s contract through 2025 during a recent regularly scheduled board meeting.  Courtesy Image

Texas Border Business

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PHARR, Texas – The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD School Board voted to extend Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo’s contract through 2025 during a recent regularly scheduled board meeting.  

Through his leadership, PSJA ISD continues its successful trajectory as an innovative district in the region, state, and nation. 

“We applaud the work of our Superintendent as he has successfully navigated our district in the right direction and continues to look out for the best interest of our students and families,” said PSJA School Board President Rick Pedraza. “The continuity of leadership during and after a pandemic is crucial for our continued success.” 

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Under Dr. Arredondo’s leadership, PSJA ISD engaged staff and community members on a new version of the district’s Vision and Mission. This work also led the district’s new Strategic Direction focused on continuing the legacy of learning, excellence, and innovation at PSJA ISD. 

The worldwide COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges. Arriving to PSJA ISD, only months prior to the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Arredondo prioritized health and safety, ensuring all students and staff were provided with the necessary resources, to meet the district’s educational goals.  

PSJA ISD became one of the first to have curriculum online to continue instruction while at home and equipped all facilities with the necessary equipment to prevent the spread of the virus. A COVID-19 Dashboard was launched to keep the community informed of cases and responses within the district.  

PSJA, also became the first school district in Texas to be approved to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, assisting to decrease the number of cases in Hidalgo County by providing preventive measures for more than 50,000 people in the last two years. 

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Prior to the state’s approval of a virtual learning model for the 2021-2022 school year, PSJA ISD opened its own Virtual Learning Program as an additional option for students to maintain healthy and safe learning environments. In addition, PSJA ISD also provided academic technologies and teacher support throughout the pandemic, including providing all Pre-K 3 to 12th grade students digital devices such as laptops or IPADs.  

A new Social and Emotional Learning Model was also adopted as part of the district’s emphasis of ensuring health and safety for all, employing Licensed Professional Counselors and additional Wraparound Social Workers to assist students and their families to build and enhance social emotional growth and connect them with resources to meet their basic needs to succeed in school, career, and life. 

With the support of the PSJA School Board, Dr. Arredondo secured the continuation of salary increases for all staff, including a recruitment/retention, and a COVID-19 vaccine stipend making PSJA’s compensation package the leader in the Rio Grande Valley.  

PSJA ISD also continued its trend of decreasing the tax rate during the last two years and successfully identified additional funding for construction projects of approximately $80 million within the same two-year span ensuring the construction of additional recreational facilities and outdoor learning spaces. Another source of financial stability has been refinancing bonds, saving the district $11.9 million.  

Growing PSJA’s own has also been an instrumental program embedded to build capacity from within. Led by the Spirit of PSJA, the district’s leadership definition, PSJA ISD staff wanting to grow in their professional careers are guided by leadership experts to equip them with the experiences and credentials needed to reach their goals.  

Most recently, PSJA ISD began work on diversifying its Portfolio of Schools, which includes the redesign of two existing campuses for continued growth and innovation: the PSJA Collegiate School of Health Professions, the district’s first 6th through12th grade campus; and PSJA Elvis J. Ballew School of Business & Energy, which includes project-based learning and partnerships.  

Reflecting on the progress and opportunities at PSJA, Dr. Arredondo is looking forward to continuing the district’s growth, such as ensuring the continuous success of achieving high graduation rates and post-secondary degree opportunities for all students. PSJA ISD is at the top of the region in number of students graduating with Associate Degrees, Certificates and/or college hours. This is possible thanks to the numerous partnerships with local higher education entities such as South Texas College and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

“PSJA is a true family, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead the district,” he said. “We have continued to inspire our students and families to take full advantage of the great educational and life-changing opportunities provided at PSJA. Our vision becomes a reality when we prepare all our students to participate, compete, and excel in a global society. Together we can foster multi-generational prosperity for many years to come.” 

Dr. Arredondo will present the district’s most recent achievements and projects at the annual State of the District on April 28, 2022. Businesses are invited to participate in this event by visiting: www.psjaisd.us/stateofthedistrict. Proceeds will benefit the PSJA Education Foundation to assist with scholarships for the Class of 2022.  

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