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STISD Superintendent Retiring from Live’s Work in Education

Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D. Photo: STISD

Special to La Feria News

MERCEDES – After 17 years leading South Texas Independent School District (STISD) – and a career in education surpassing 40 years – Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D., STISD superintendent of schools, is retiring from her life’s work.
The STISD board of directors voted to accept Guerra’s retirement resignation during the July 24 meeting. Guerra will continue in her position while the STISD board searches for a replacement.

Guerra took the helm at STISD in 2001. Within the 17 years under her leadership, the district has seen a rise in student success, with performance in state accountability consistently surpassing set targets and levels of others across the state, and campuses consistently ranking among the best in the state and nation in various polls. The district currently ranks first in the state and sixth in the nation in the Niche 2018 Best K-12 School Districts rankings.

She has also driven the expansion of academic offerings, and opportunities for hands-on learning and networking, through new and strengthened partnerships with local businesses and organizations and with institutions of higher learning. New initiatives have also enabled students and teachers to extend learning beyond the classroom walls.

Of her experience as superintendent at STISD, Guerra shares, “I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead this district, and am truly grateful for the experiences it has afforded me. Ending my professional career is certainly bittersweet.” She adds, “We are a family at South Texas ISD, and the district will always remain near and dear to my heart. I look forward to hearing of many more success stories coming out of our district in years to come.”

Joe Lopez, president of the STISD board of directors, shares a message of appreciation for Guerra’s work at STISD, saying, “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Dr. Guerra for her dedicated years of service to the district and for her strong leadership, which has propelled the district to unprecedented levels of success. Dr. Guerra has a way of bringing out the best in those with whom she works – inspiring and leading by example. She has impacted the lives of countless students throughout the Rio Grande Valley, and we thank her for empowering them to make our future brighter no matter where they establish themselves.”

Even prior to her tenure at STISD, Guerra devoted her time and energy to bettering the community through education and social services. She started her career as a social worker, and she held nearly every role possible within a school district as she continued through her career in education. Guerra touched thousands of student lives as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent and college professor.

The STISD board of directors is working with a search firm to find a replacement for the superintendent position. For additional information on this process, visit www.stisd.net or contact Sonia Rodriguez at 956.514.4216.

STISD is a tuition-free public school district offering college- and career-preparation to students in 7th-12th grade from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. The district is comprised of six schools: Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas (Rising Scholars Academy) in San Benito, South Texas Academy for Medical Professions (Medical Academy) in Olmito, South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA) in Edinburg, South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High) in Mercedes, South Texas Preparatory Academy (STPA) in Edinburg and The Science Academy of South Texas (Sci Tech) in Mercedes.

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