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.

Living a Better VIDA

Anna Martinez is a patient care technician at Weslaco Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. She will soon graduate from South Texas College in July with an associate’s degree in nursing, thanks in part to financial aid and support services from VIDA. (photo Ruben Garcia)

Anna Martinez may not have imagined what coming home would mean for her and her 8-year-old daughter.   Born and raised in Weslaco, Martinez and her family moved to Houston when she was in fourth grade. The years that followed were difficult. When Martinez became a teen parent, depression and anger sent her on a downward spiral.  Then Martinez’s parents separated, adding to her pain. Three years ago, Martinez decided to…

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McAllen: Que FRIO!

McAllen, the Official South Pole of Texas! Que FRIO!

Who says it doesn’t snow in McAllen? Actually, thanks to Peerless Production Group and the City of McAllen, expect to hear, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” now through Jan. 6. In fact, due to this sudden change in Valley precipitation, city leaders have dubbed McAllen “The Official South Pole of Texas.” It will be so cold in McAllen, they will be using the Spanish word, “FRIO!”  …

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Uniting the Valley for a Better VIDA

Oct. 1 at the South Texas College Library Rainbow Room in McAllen, VIDA career counselor Leslly Blancas discusses with VIDA students the importance of managing stress. .

In Spanish, the word vida means “life.” In the Rio Grande Valley, VIDA means a much better life for individuals and families and a stronger economy for communities across Deep South Texas. The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by Valley Interfaith and a group of local business leaders. They realized providing people with education, training and support to obtain higher-paying jobs would…

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If You Can Help Somebody … Then Help

Edna Posada enjoys a quick conversation with customer Irma Burr as make-up artist Yvette Hinojosa matches the foundation best suited for her at Spa La Posada’s Matte About Hue event Oct. 15 in McAllen.

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back. ~Author Unknown Things were quite different for Edna Posada in the early years as a business owner. With a degree in computer programming but a passion for fashion and makeup, she opened her first business, a Merle Norman store in McAllen, in 1989. Over the next five years, she opened another in Harlingen, went through a…

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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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