Over 200 people attended the unveiling of the plaque and signs designating the downtown pavilion the Maggie Salinas Pavilion on Saturday.
"Thank you for your presence; it is a proud moment for me and my family," said Maggie Salinas. "I am a mother, community activist, historian, and a small business owner; yo soy Latina," she said. "I'm so grateful for the love and support of so many people."
She also expressed her gratitude to the city of Kingsville for naming the pavilion in her honor. "It is a legacy for me, my family, my friends and the entire community." she said. The City Commission approved a resolution to name the pavilion in her honor on April 26, 2021.
During her speech Maggie said she was born on May 3, 1934 in Kingsville. Her parents Ramon and Damiana taught her Christian values and the need for compassion, sharing, education and a strong work ethic and to be willing to learn from one another and respect people of different social and ethnic backgrounds.
"I did not know at that time that we all have a story to tell and that is called history," she said. "Some of my local projects have been to promote our history to create a cultural zone as a potential for heritage tourism which benefits all. Todos los concemos, we all know each other, so let us highlight the cultural history of our local areas."
"Let us be proud of our local history; coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success," she said.
She also said she has been self-employed since 1965 and began working at the age of 17 with the Kleberg County Welfare Department.
"There is so much to talk about, but let me make you a promise to you that I will continue with my community work, give and love you from my heart always," she said.
The plaque states that the Maggie Salinas Pavilion was "Dedicated in honor of over 60 years of community service for the betterment of all citizens of Kingsville and Kleberg County. Maggie has had many achievements throughout her lifetime that impacted the City of Kingsville enriching the historical culture of our community."
The plaque also stated her contribution to the Mother Julia Project. The plaque states: "She spearheaded the renaming of the 6th street corridor to honor the King Ranch vaqueros; restored the original Historic Street names
to the La Colonia Mexicana rededicated Feb. 18, 2018. She originated La Posada Procession December 1990 and co-founded the Annual Community La Posada Festivities."
Before the unveiling Father Naul gave the blessing. Then several individuals spoke about Maggie's contributions and achievements for the betterment of the community.
Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate welcomed the audience and thanked Maggie for all her good work. Other speakers included Mayor Pro Tem Hector M. Hinojosa, City Commissioners Norma N. Alvarez, Edna S. Lopez and Ann Marie Torres.
Also speaking were: Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid, Kleberg County Sheriff Richard Kirkpatrick, Johnny Macareno with the Kleberg Hispanic Chamber, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Professors Dr. Manuel Flores and Dr. Shannon Baker, former NAACP President Terry Mills of Corpus Christi, and former Kleberg County Judge Pete De La Garza spoke and read a list of Maggie's awards and commendations she has received throughout the years.
DelaGarza related to the audience that Maggie was his maternal cousin and that she helped his family after his mother passed away." She became the matriarch of our family," De La Garza said.
Dr. Flores summed up the consensus of the accolades expressed by the speakers about her dedicated work. "Maggie is a communitarian," Dr. Flores said. "She is an individual who puts community above self and sees the good of the community as good for all its member. "She is totally unselfish and puts community first," he said.
Gloria Bigger-Cantu also read the city of Kingsville resolution.
Several people traveled to the event from Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, McAllen and other area cities.
After the ceremony, a reception was held at the City Hall Community Room with many people present.
All Kingsville Independent School District employees will be receiving a $500 stipend in November.
The administration recommended this proposal to the Board of Trustees as an incentive to retain all KISD employees at a regular meeting held Monday. This means every employee in the district ranging from teachers to bus drivers, janitorial, etc. will receive $500. KISD has 508 employees.
The administration also recommended a $500 stipend for teachers for the 2021-2022 school year. Teachers remaining with the district will receive this stipend in August 2022.
After discussing this proposal, Trustees Cory Garza, David R. Garcia, Brian Coufal, Elizabeth Ramos, and Delma Salinas voted yes. Trustees Col. Steven Crites and James Glusing voted against the proposal.
Crites said teachers deserved more money and deserved a $1,000 stipend or more.
KISD Superintendent Dr. Cissy Reynolds-Perez initiated the idea of retention stipends and met with the financial people to make sure funds were available. Funds were available through a federal grant that will pay for the retention stipends.
"I want to reassure the teachers we appreciate their dedication at KISD," she said. "During the holidays a $500 stipend can benefit all of our employees."
In other action, the trustees unanimously approved the interlocal agreement between KISD and Communities in Schools of the Coastal Bend. The Communities in School asked to continue its partnership with the KISD. CIS cost will be $125, 641 funded with a federal grant.
The trustees also unimously approved the external audit contract of Raul Hernandez & Company, P.C. Certified Accountants for fiscal years ending August 31, 2021 and August 31, 2022.
Also approved unanimously, was the Optional Flexible School Day Program application for the 2021-2022 school year for H.M. King High School.
Trustees approved the 2021-2022 proposed budget and proposed tax rate times and dates. A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. on August 23 and August 24 to approve the budget.
Prior to the action item
agendas, KISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Mrs. Angie Perez updated the School Board on what they had done the past six weeks and future goals. During the past six weeks teachers worked on many projects such as elementary curriculum writing, Brahma Reading Series, evaluated STA AR data, aligned campus schedules with accelerated learning times embedded. The staff also developed prioritized needs for beginning of year professional development and will continue to develop systems/structures for instructional delivery.Throughout the year there will be scheduled curriculum writing in preparation for each 9-week period. Mrs. Ramirez also presented the RSSP, Resilient School Program COVID-19 Recovery and Acceleration Plan for the 2021-2022 school along with state research indications on student learning.
KISD students will return to in person learning this school year.
Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid said that he and Commissioner Marcus Salinas will be meeting this week to talk about a botanical gardens that will be built behind the Senior Citizens Center. Madrid discussed this issue at length at the Kleberg County Commissioner's Court Meeting on Monday.
Madrid said they would use some of the American Relief Fund to help fund the project. The garden would be fenced in behind the Senior Citizens Center during the day and opened up to the community in the evening. Madrid said the idea is to have an architect create a walking trail and then get sponsors to sponsor different plats throughout the trail. The county will be responsible for the architecture and engineering of each plat and sponsors will be able to design the plat however they would like.
Madrid said he hopes to have the trail built by February so the sponsors can start planting in March.
The Bishop High School Future Farmers of American traveled to Fort Worth to attend the Texas FFA State Convention earlier this month.
Treasurer Caroline Perez and Vice President Miguel Gaytan are two of the four seniors from Bishop's FFA who attended the convention.
The Texas FFA State Convention brings together every FFA chapter in Texas. At the convention, FFA members have the opportunity to meet other FFA chapters and learn from different FFA speakers.
During the convention, Gaytan was awarded his Lone Star Degree, which is the highest degree one can receive at the high school level.
Gaytan said that every FFA member has the opportunity to earn this degree, but they must
complete a supervised agriculture experience with documentation, participate in a speech or complete something above the chapter level, community service and fill out the required paperwork.
Gaytan said he has completed an SAE his freshman, sophomore and junior year. He raised a pig for the livestock show and had to document when he got the pig, how much it weighed, what he fed it with up until the livestock show.
After the show he had to document his successes and how much money he made at the auction. He was also a district officer for the Coastal Bend District FFA.
Gaytan said it took more than two months to fill out his Lone Star Degree paperwork and involved filling out a resume and taking two quizzes.
After all the hard work, he was awarded with the Lone Star Degree at the convention, where he got to walk across the stage when he heard his name called.
"It was cool for us. All of us are seniors, the ones who went [to the convention] and we were just so excited for him" Perez said
They said his name, Miguel Gaytan Bishop FFA, even that him being the only person from Bishop FFA is was so exciting for us, because it put us out there." After walking across the stage, Gaytan said he was pulled aside and told he won $200 in scholarship money for a random drawing in memory of Jerome Tymrak. Tymrak was a late Bishop native and had a large impact in the FFA community.
"It's just rewarding, of course, because I know that everybody should have the opportunity to get the Lone Star Degree and luckily I was able to do it and I just felt good walking across the stage, knowing that I did it," Gaytan said.
Gaytan has been in FFA since fifth grade. Perez joined her sophomore year. She said she switched her classes to fit her career path and her agriculture teacher encouraged her to do creed speaking.
She said at first she wasn't sure about it, but ended up falling in love.
"I honestly fell in love; I think I fell in love with the animals at first, but then I realized how fun it is to be with my friends and competing in the events," Perez said.
"All the events are so much fun and have helped me set up my life down the road."