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Hidalgo County Commissioners Court approved a resolution recognizing the Edinburg Consolidated School District Board of Trustees for receiving the 2013 Outstanding School Board of the Year by the Texas Association of School Administrators for the implementation of the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.
In July, the Board was named as the 2013 Regional School Board of the Year by Region One and in August they were selected as 1 of 5 Texas Honor School Boards. During a ceremony on September 27th in Houston, Texas the ECISD Board were interviewed with the Texas Association of School Board Committee and after careful consideration they were chosen as the 2013 Outstanding School Board of the Year, beating out over 1250 school districts in Texas.
The ECISD Board of Trustees oversees a district that encompasses two thirds of Hidalgo County and serves 34,000 students and 4,500 teachers and employees. Following the December 2011 Harwell Middle School tragedy and the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, reinforced the ECISD Board belief that the lives of students and staff are irreplaceable. The ECISD Board worked vigorously with school district's and administrators, law enforcement, and parents to address school safety, thus embarking on the implementation of a Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.
The initiative included safety audits conducted at every campus and plans implemented to improve safety. New schools were built to the 2008 Bond Code, with double door entrances. A District Bullying Task Force was put into place to address school bullying and memorandums were also signed by city, state, county, and university law enforcement understanding the initiative. ECISD implemented visitor identification systems and video cameras were installed in schools district-wide; communication equipment was purchased for school principals to communicate directly with district police. ECISD also employed over 80 school police officers to provide protection placed an armed school police officer at the entrance of each of the 31 elementary campuses. In January, a 13-member SWAT special response unit was organized to be on call in case of any threatening situations. ECISD is the only school district in Texas to have its own SWAT SRT team.
Members of the ECISD Board of Trustees include President Juan "Sonny" Palacios, Vice-President Dr. Martin Castillo, Board Secretary Jaime R. Chavana, Member Carmen Gonzalez, Member Robert Pena, Jr., Member Jaime Solis, and Member David Torres. Also present at today's recognition were ECISD Superintendent Rene Gutierrez and ECISD Assistant Superintendents Rebecca Morrison, Mario Salinas, Eddie Morin, Maria Luisa Guerra and Area Director Carlos Guzman.
Upon receiving the resolution, ECISD Board Vice-President Dr. Martin Castillo thanked Commissioners Court and stated that their achievement was based on the protection of their students, faculty and staff. He also expressed great gratitude to the employees of ECISD who joined in the collaborative effort and put the initiative to action.
Hidalgo County Commissioners Court congratulates the ECISD Board for their distinguished award and for its continued efforts towards "Securing a Safe Learning Environment" for the schools and students of ECISD.