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PSJA ISD Celebrates Decades of Dedication at annual Service Awards & Retirement Celebration

PSJA ISD Celebrates Decades of Dedication at annual Service Awards & Retirement Celebration

PHARR – Pharr-San-Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) hosted its annual Service Awards & Retirement Celebration on May 8, 2024. The event, themed “A night in the Spotlight,” highlighted the dedication and commitment of staff members with 25 years of service or more, as well as honored the district’s honorees. 

Dr. Alejandro Elias, Superintendent of PSJA, extended heartfelt congratulations to the dozens of service award recipients and retirees, emphasizing their significant contributions to the district regardless of their role. "Your commitment to PSJA over the years has positively impacted and shaped our district," Dr. Elias said. 

The celebration included a dinner, dance and special remarks from district leaders. Among the honored individuals was Integration Specialist Debra Pingel, recognized for an exceptional 35 years of service to PSJA ISD. Pingel, reflecting on her journey, expressed profound gratitude for the warmth and support she found within the PSJA Family upon relocating from Iowa to the Rio Grande Valley. "I love education, and I do feel like we have a family here at PSJA," Pingel remarked, emphasizing the strong sense of community within the district. 

The celebration paid tribute to a diverse array of 115 service award honorees and 100 retirees, including teachers, administrators, food service staff, transportation personnel, and many others, all of whom have played pivotal roles in ensuring the best learning experiences for students at PSJA ISD. 

Veronica Quintana, the Pathway Towards Independence Director, reflected on her journey of growth over 30 years of service to PSJA. Quintana's passion for her work and dedication to PSJA ISD students were evident as she reflected on her award and recognition, emphasizing the profound impact she has had on the lives of many students. 

Also among the retirees honored was Major Thomas Oaks, the PSJA Early College High School JRTOC instructor, who has proudly served his students for over 24 years. Major Oaks expressed deep humility and gratitude for the recognition, sharing the joy of witnessing his students' achievements as a career highlight. Looking ahead, Major Oaks expressed a desire to enjoy his “Golden Years” with his wife. 

The event served as a reminder of the lasting impact of dedicated educators and staff within the PSJA ISD community who regardless of their role embody the district's commitment to excellence.  



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