May 25
BISD Memorial Day Holiday

May 27
-BISD High School Decision Day
-BISD Student Recognition Ceremony
@ 5pm Rivera ECHS Gym

May 29
-BISD Alumni Hall of Fame
@ 5pm Holiday Inn

May 30
Rivera STEM Elementary Exposition
@ 9-11AM BISD Administration Building Parking Lot

May 31

2015 Baccalaureate Ceremonies
-BECHS, Hanna, Porter, Rivera
@ 3pm Rivera ECHS Gym

-Lopez, Pace, Veterans Memorial
@ 6pm Rivera ECHS Gym

June 2
BISD Board Meeting

June 4

Lincoln Park School Graduation
@ 6pm CAB Auditorium

June 5
-Last Class Day
-End of 6th Six Weeks
-End of 2nd Semester

June 9
Hanna ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 10
Veterans Memorial ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 11
Pace ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 12
Lopez ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 13
-Brownsville ECHS Graduation
@ 10am The TSC Arts Center
-Porter ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 14
Rivera ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

Memorial Day
Extended Day
Enrichment Program
Ortiz Earns Silver Award
Ortiz Elementary School won the Silver 2015 National Excellence in Urban Education Award. The announcement was made at the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) awards ceremony held in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, May 21. Dr. Esperanza Zendejas and Melissa Werbiski, Ortiz's principal, accepted the award which included $2,500. Benavides and Breeden Elementary were named Bronze award recipients and Paredes Elementary was named to the Honor Roll. The BISD schools were among 24 schools selected from across the United States as finalists for these distinguished national awards. The national finalists all serve low-income communities with an array of challenges but still boast achievement results that exceed state averages for all students. Congratulations to the Ortiz, Breeden, Benavides, and Paredes students, parents, and employees for earning these prestigious national honors.
Wellness is Hot Stuff!
Employees are welcome at the BISD Wellness Fitness Center during the summer. View the hours of operation and activities.
Weighing Less and Feeling Better
The BISD Weight Loss Challenge is over and participants lost over 2,700 pounds this school year according to preliminary calculations released by Personalized Prevention, the district’s wellness provider. Congratulations to the employees from the Hanna Cluster and Egly Elementary, Perkins Middle School, and Cummings Middle School for losing the most weight.
Good Luck
Best of luck to BISD’s high school Special Olympic athletes and coaches who will be competing at the State Summer Special Olympics Games in Track and Field in Arlington, Texas this weekend.
$63,000 Awarded to 9 BISD Campus Libraries
Nine BISD schools, Cromack, Castañeda, Del Castillo, Hudson, Palm Grove, Skinner and Victoria Heights Elementaries and Lucio and Stell Middle Schools, received grants of $7,000 each from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to add to and update their book and media collections. BISD schools received 9 of the 12 grants awarded within the Rio Grande Valley. Studies have shown that the quality of a school library has a major impact on the test scores and the academic success of children. Mrs. Bush, a former teacher and librarian, has long championed the importance of reading as the foundation of all learning. Congratulations to our Library Media Specialists and the BISD Grants Department for preparing the grant applications. Over half of all BISD campuses submitted applications.
BISD Chess Teams Compete Nationally
Several Brownville ISD Teams competed at the K-6 Championship National Chess Tournament held in Nashville, Tennessee on May 7-10. Congratulations to the Hudson Elementary Coyotes K-1 and K-5 teams for placing in the Top 10. View all results.
2015 BISD Superintendent's Scholarships Announced
Interim Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas has announced the winners of the 2015 Superintendent’s Scholarships. A total of 88 graduating BISD seniors will each receive $1,000 to attend the college of their choice. The scholarship funds were raised at the 12th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament hosted by Dr. Zendejas at the Rancho Viejo Resort on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Scholarship recipients were selected by a committee of local community members and district personnel. Over 250 student applications were reviewed. “The support of our sponsors has made this tournament one of the largest in the entire Rio Grande Valley. I sincerely thank the many businesses and organizations that generously donated to this event in order to provide scholarship funds for our 2015 high school graduates. It was a great golf tournament benefiting a worthy cause, our students,” said Zendejas. View the release.
Another Great Year for VITA students
A total of 195 students from Hanna, Pace, Lopez, Rivera, Porter, Veterans Memorial, and Los Fresnos High Schools participated in this year’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program sponsored by the United Way of Southern Cameron County. The VITA students spent countless hours preparing and e-filing income tax returns for working families that qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit. These student volunteers and their sponsors filed 3,810 returns at no cost to the families. The families received $4,636,070.00 in Earned Income and other tax credits. The total refunds received were $7,073,120.00. Every penny went to the families because there were no tax preparation or refund anticipation fees. This is the sixth year that Porter ECHS, under the direction of Albert Velez, has offered free income tax services. Special thanks to BISD’s VITA students for assisting the Brownsville community through this United Way program.
Veterans Student Wins Scholarship to Study in Italy
A team from Veterans Memorial Early College High School competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held on May 10-15 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. One team member, Aleida Olvera, a Veterans junior, won one of only two scholarships from the Fondazione Bruno Kessler Foundation to study in Trentino, Italy. This scholarship will allow Aleida to participate in a three-week summer research project to learn about and participate in programming a database to receive medical information from patients with wearable sensors. Aleida will be hosted by the University of Trentino. Her parents are Saul and Abigail Olvera.
Rivera Athlete Named Texas Player of the Year
Isidro Martinez, a Rivera ECHS senior, was selected as the Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year for Texas. His selection is based on his athletic production, impact in the 2014-2015 season, and his demonstrated high academic achievements, and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Congratulations to this outstanding Rivera student. View Isidro Martinez’s credentials.
3 BISD Schools Named to Best List
Three BISD Early College High Schools, BECHS, Veterans Memorial and Hanna, earned medals in the National U.S. News and World Report 2015 Best High Schools ranking. BECHS received a gold medal for its #18 spot on the list of best Texas high schools. Both Veterans Memorial ECHS at #168 and Hanna ECHS at #188 earned silver medals on the Texas list. Schools are differentiated with gold, silver and bronze medals with gold indicating the greatest level of college readiness. A total of 6,517 high schools were awarded medals nationwide. View the individual rankings for BECHS, Veterans Memorial, and Hanna.
6 Teachers Earn Rotary Endowment
The Brownsville Rotary Club has released the names of 6 BISD teachers who have been selected for the annual Rotary Endowment for Teaching Excellence. Congratulations to Shirley Munoz, Brownsville ECHS; Ronda Lewis, Oliveira MS; Maria Elena Ayala, Ortiz ES; Louis Leal, Keller ES; Juanita Casanova, Pullam ES; and Alejandro Rivera, Hudson ES. All 2015 Rotary winners are BISD teachers. For over 20 years, the Brownsville Rotary Club has sponsored a teaching excellence endowment to recognize and reward local teachers. The 2015 BISD endowment recipients will receive recognition and a check at the Rotary luncheon on Wednesday, May 6.
5 BISD Students Named Gates Scholars
The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program has announced the Class of 2015 high school recipients and 5 BISD students are on the list. Congratulations to Kevin Berlanga, Porter ECHS; Keila Garcia and Rebeca Gonzalez Farias, Brownsville ECHS; Tanya Llanas, Pace ECHS; and Karina Mireles, Rivera ECHS. Each of the BISD students will be awarded a scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree in any undergraduate major and selected graduate programs at accredited colleges or universities. Established in 1969, the GMS programs is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. View the media release.
Student Summer Activities
The BISD Athletic Department has released the 2015 summer recreation schedule. For more information, call Mark Guess, BISD Athletic Program Administrator, at 548-8261.
Oliveira Band Students Receive Special Scholarships!
The Lagunitas Music Foundation has awarded $10,000 in summer music scholarship funds to the Oliveira Middle School Band Program in memory of William Carroll. This scholarship will be used to send Oliveira Dolphin band members to summer music camps at various universities throughout Texas. Three band programs in the United States have been selected for this award. Wheeling High School, Wheeling IL (Brain Logan, Director); St. Charles East High School, St. Charles, IL (Jim Kull, Director); and Oliveira Middle School, Brownsville, TX (Mike Kuntz, Director). These schools were selected because Bill Carroll taught all three of these band directors when they were Bill’s students at Buffalo Grove High School. View William Carroll’s biography.
Summer Programs
The BISD schedule of summer academic programs is now posted on the BISD homepage. Find out the dates, times, and locations of programs available to students this summer. View the summer schedule here.
BISD's College-Going Culture
BISD high school students are actively applying to colleges and universities using the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION. See the latest numbers below by high schools. Please note that the Brownsville Learning Academy, Lincoln Park School, and the Brownsville Academic Center students are also included in these counts. For questions, call Pilar Janis at the Guidance and Counseling Department, 548-8251.

Name of High School
Apply Texas%

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