first day of school


first day of school
Week of August 22, 2016
Like mother, like daughter - p.3
SA YES visits Gillette - p.4
Summer Graduation - p.5
Summer break came to an end
Monday morning as school buses and
cars filled with wide-eyed students
pulled up to Harlandale ISD campuses
for the first day of school.
The rainy morning weather didn’t
dampen the day as teachers and
administrators were on hand to greet
students with umbrellas.
Once inside, the halls of schools
across Harlandale ISD were bustling
with activity. Some students ran to
reunite with friends, while others
were excited to see old teachers.
Harlandale ISD’s youngest students,
however, tightly held on to their
parents. Some were able to keep
their emotions together, while others
broke down into a sea of tears.
They weren’t the only ones crying
though. Teary-eyed parents were
seen lingering behind and peeking
through closed-doors to make sure
their little ones were going to be
Teachers did their best to comfort
their crying students and soon
enough the youngsters were making
new friends.
On the other hand, older students
were pumped to be back in school.
They sported new back packs,
sneakers and fresh hair-cuts to kickoff another great school year.
Now that all 15,000 students and
2,000 staff members are back on
board, Harlandale ISD is ready to
reach new heights.
Harlandale ISD Gifted and Talented Middle School Teacher
Ms. Maria Esparza changed her life through the power of
education, and now her daughter, Elizabeth “Ellie” Herrera,
is following in her footsteps.
Growing up, Herrera saw her mother change her life by
gaining a college education. Esparza was a stay at home
mom when Herrera was younger, but her desire to give her
children a better future led her to Palo Alto College.
Herrera graduated third in her class from Harlandale High
School in 2015 and is currently an aspiring teacher in her
second year at Palo Alto College. Her unwavering dedication
to school recently earned her the 2+2 STEM Teacher
Scholarship from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas.
Soon enough, Esparza earned a bachelor’s degree from
Texas A&M – San Antonio and became an elementary
teacher. Her hunger for education, however, didn’t stop
there. While teaching, she attended graduate school at
UTSA and earned a master’s degree.
The scholarship will fund her associate’s degree at Palo Alto
College as well as her bachelor’s and teacher certification at
Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Esparza is currently celebrating her eleventh year as an
“When I found out that I was going to be a recipient of this
scholarship, I was ecstatic and full of joy,” Herrera said. “I
immediately called my mother, the person who has had my
back throughout all these years.”
“Seeing her overcome the odds and all the struggles shows
me that I can achieve anything I want no matter how bumpy
the road is to get there,” Herrera said.
Upon graduation, Herrera hopes to become a high school
math teacher for Harlandale ISD.
SA YES Visits Gillette Elementary
The San Antonio Youth Educational Support (SA YES)
foundation visited Gillette Elementary on Aug. 25 to
distribute school supplies to the students.
Each year, SA YES selects numerous elementary schools in
South Texas and supplies every student in those schools
with a free packet of school supplies.
Since 1998, SA YES has provided over 200,000 students with
free school supplies.
Along with the SA YES foundation members H-E-Buddy
visited the school to wish the students good luck in the
coming school year.
Film School brings home awards
Film School of San Antonio at Harlandale 2016 graduate
Drew Garces had a successful summer.
included a $2,000 prize, which will be beneficial this fall as
he attends the School of Visual Arts in New York.
He won first place in comedy in the San Antonio
Neighborhood Film Competition for his film “Taco Run,”
which he produced at the HHS Film School. The award
Garces was also a recipient of the San Antonio Association
of Hispanic Journalists Scholarship. Way to go, Drew!
Harlandale ISD celebrates summer graduation
The excitement was palpable at the McCollum High School
auditorium as Harlandale ISD summer graduates prepared to
walk the stage on Aug. 24.
When Harlandale ISD Superintendent Mr. Rey Madrigal
accepted the candidates, the audience erupted into
celebratory cheers. It was time to present the diplomas.
Proud family members, friends, teachers, counselors,
principals and other district representatives showed their
support with loud cheers and claps when the 10 graduates
donned in caps and gowns walked down the aisle to the
traditional “Pomp in Circumstance.”
One by one, each candidates shook hands with their principal,
received their diploma and posed for a photo.
To kick-off the ceremony, Harlandale ISD Board of Trustees
Secretary Mr. Ricardo Moreno delivered a congratulatory
message to the graduates and wished them the best of luck.
Frank Tejeda Principal Mr. Ricardo Salmon, Harlandale High
School Principal Mr. Fred Anthony and McCollum High School
Principal Mr. Jacob Garcia were all present to certify the
For each of them, the journey was different, but they all made
it. McCollum High School graduate Liliana Medina moved to
San Antonio from Mexico five years ago. Learning English and
tackling all of her school coursework was overwhelming, but
it wasn’t anything a summer class couldn’t fix.
“I’m so excited and proud that I finally did it!” Medina
Congratulations to all of the graduates!
Sweet Summer time
in Har landale ISD

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