Author Archives: Chris Ardis

Chris Ardis is a retired teacher. She is a freelance writer, editor, and social media manager and works with Tony Roma's and Macaroni Grill to help schools and nonprofit organizations raise money. Chris is also an education blogger, and you can her blog at the link below. You can reach her at cardis1022@aol.com.

Homecoming for Valleyites

Dr. Leonel Vela, senior associate dean of education and academic affairs, and Dr. John H. Krouse, executive vice president of health affairs and dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, help Class of 2023 student Roman Silva into his white coat at the White Coat Ceremony July 27. (Courtesy Diane Nixon)

There’s no place like home.  ~ Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz When Roman Silva left McAllen in the fall of 2013 to attend the University of Texas at Austin, he did not give much thought to whether or not he would come home after graduation. But Silva quickly fell in love with Austin and began envisioning himself making it his new home. Silva declared business management as his major; however, by…

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The Road Home

UTRGV School of Medicine Class of 2023 student Roman Silva at the school’s White Coat Ceremony July 27 with his aunt Jennifer Nixon, mom Amy Silva and uncle Beau Nixon. (photo Diane Nixon)

Roman Silva returned to McAllen in July to take his place in the UTRGV School of Medicine Class of 2023.  He spent the past five years in Austin, earning his bachelor’s in business at UT. Upon graduating in 2018, he then began working full time while applying to medical school.   Silva’s days are grueling, going to class from morning to early evening. He then heads directly to the School of…

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#clearthelists Founder Helping RGV Teachers

Courtney Jones, creator of #clearthelists, is now in her third year of teaching.

After a couple of weeks of summer vacation, teachers tend to begin the back-to-school countdown. Courtney Jones, a teacher in a rural school district in Tyler County is no exception. She learned early on that the resources she dreamed of for her fourth-grade math and third- to fifth-grade gifted-and-talented students could not be met by the district’s budget. It is a problem teachers face across the nation. A May 2018…

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#clearthelists of RGV Teachers

Letty Macias, Belinda Trevino, and Karen Aguirre, teachers at Perez Elementary in McAllen ISD, look over their Amazon classroom wish lists.

On Aug. 8, I received this Facebook message from Susan Valverde, a close friend who lives in McAllen but is the chief franchise operations officer for Sylvan Learning’s corporate offices in Maryland:  “Hey Chris – are you familiar with clear the list Texas? It is an effort to help teachers with their back-to-school supplies list and has gained a lot of traction. A teacher can set up an Amazon wish…

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It Truly Takes a Community to Inspire Students

Judge JoAnne Garcia presides over the Hidalgo County Probate Court. When she was asked to serve on the PSJA ISD Pre-Law Institute Advisory Board, she readily agreed.  As she looks back on its first year, she identifies three aspects of the Institute that stand out for her. “Number one,” Garcia said, “is it’s a great opportunity for the kids, at a minimum, to be exposed to professionals in the legal…

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PSJA ISD: Pre-Law Institute Pioneers

PSJA ISD Pre-Law Institute students have the opportunity to ask their law mentors questions about the practice of law. (photo PSJA ISD)

PSJA ISD has emerged as a visionary district, home to four specialized “schools” (much like “colleges” in a university system) offering certificates or associate’s degrees in specialties ranging from cybersecurity and graphic arts to biology and basic firefighter technology. Last year, PSJA’s college-readiness vision went though an expansion with the launching of the PSJA Pre-Law Institute. “The vision is to make a legal education attainable to all students in PSJA…

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