LAREDO, Texas – United ISD is doing so well that the Texas Education Agency has been down to see what is going on. 

United, which covers much of Webb County, is now the largest school district in Region 1, with 43,000 students. It is 77 percent economically disadvantaged. 

A-rated by TEA, the district celebrates its 60th anniversary next year. 

“We write our own curriculum with our own teachers. We have been very, very successful. Our students have been competitive,” said Gloria Rendon, deputy superintendent for United ISD.

In an exclusive Zoom conversation with the Rio Grande Guardian, Rendon noted that schools from far afield are coming to United to learn about its successes.

“The state is looking to us for a model curriculum program. They want to know what is going on in United ISD and in Laredo, Texas, because we are competing and sometimes succeeding the scores of our counterparts in North Texas.”

Superintendent Roberto J. Santos has worked at United for 38 years. He is soon to retire after serving as superintendent for the past 16 years. In the Zoom conversation, Rendon pays tribute to Santos. Like Santos, a native of Laredo, Rendon is believed to be on the shortlist to succeed him as superintendent. “He has been a tremendous leader,” Rendon said. “He has been a consistent force in our community for educational leadership.”

Rendon also talks about the partnerships that have been forged to make United a highly-rated school district.

“We not only work on the academic needs of our students but also their emotional and social well-being needs. I have to attribute this to our tremendous teachers who take the students as their own and our administrators at each of our campuses. That is a tribute to everybody’s collaborative efforts,” Rendon said.

“The teamwork approach that we have in our community, in our school system, I think that is what is key to success. Our parents as well. It is a partnership. I do not have to tell you that. It is nothing new to anybody who is in the field of education. It is truly a partnership.”

Here is the Zoom:

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