La Joya ISD is a school district that has grown leaps and bounds in the past decade and to make room, they’ve revamped a historic building that many in the city call their alma mater.
“It brings back a lot of great memories,” said Becky Villareal, Secretary, Internal Affairs Department.
That pretty much sums up the sentiments of La Joya ISD’s new central office. The building has the smell of new paint but the air is full of nostalgia.
Becky Villarreal used to walk down these hallways as a high school student decades ago.
“I graduated from La Joya High School in 1972. This was the last graduating class as a high school for this building,” said Villareal.
Now she works for the district. Although the building has received a facelift, the memories of adolescence fills every room, even down to her office.
“This was a biology room. I had this class with Mr. Canales. It was very interesting at that time, and I’m just really happy to be here,” said Villareal.
Becky’s story isn’t unique. She used to call many of co-workers classmates.
“It is, if not one of the oldest buildings in the community, it might be the oldest one,” said Raul Gonzalez, La Joya ISD Police Chief.
The building has been on city soil since 1926. La Joya High School was named after “Nellie l. Schunior,” a pioneer in the Rio Grande Valley.
In the early 1900′s she taught others in western Hidalgo County that education was the foundation for success. And that can still be felt nearly a century later.
“It’s always a win-win situation because at the end of the day, we want to make sure that our employees feel that they want to come to work, because we feel that if we keep our employees happy they will keep our kids happy,” said Gonzalez.
“I’ve lived here all my life. I really am really proud to be an ex-student of this district and to be a part of this staff,” said Villareal.
If you want to walk down memory lane, the district is inviting the public to their Dedication Ceremony orrow at 9 a.m., with tours taking place starting at 10 a.m. For more information, call 956-580-6025.
Vicki Gonzalez, FOX 2 News