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Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez appoints and administers oath of office to two new members of South Texas ISD Board of Directors

MERCEDES – South Texas Independent School District (STISD) welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors Tuesday evening as Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez administered the oath of office to his two recent appointments.

Cortez appointed Dr. Sandra Garza Ochoa of Weslaco to the unexpired term of Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Precinct 1, filling the elected term of Dr. Ricardo Ochoa.

He appointed Dr. Noel Garza of Mission to the unexpired term of Hidalgo County At-Large position, filling the term of the late Norberto “Beto” Salinas, who passed away last month.

The STISD Board of Directors is comprised of 24 members from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. Each county has four elected positions representing each County Commissioner’s Precinct.
In addition, each county judge appoints a member for every 100,000 people. The appointments of Dr. Ochoa and Dr. Garza to the board fill all 24 seats.

During the meeting, the district also recognized Dr. Ricardo Ochoa for his two years of service to the district, and presented a proclamation to the family of the late “Beto” Salinas in honor of his
contributions to the district and larger RGV community.

South Texas ISD is a state- and nationally-recognized public school district offering tuition-free college-and career-preparation to students from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. The all-magnet district is comprised of seven secondary campuses within the Rio Grande Valley, including four high schools serving grades 9-12 – South Texas ISD Health Professions (Health Professions) in Mercedes, South Texas ISD Medical Professions (Medical Professions) in Olmito, South Texas ISD Science Academy (Science Academy) in Mercedes, and South Texas ISD World Scholars (World Scholars) in Edinburg – two middle schools serving grades 7 and 8, South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy (Preparatory Academy) in Edinburg and South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy (Rising Scholars Academy) in San Benito, and one stand-alone virtual school to serve students in grades 6-12. For additional information, call 1-800-21STUDY or visit

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