We’re just one week away from the start of a new school year in many valley schools. More than 3,500 McAllen ISD teachers are getting ready to welcome students to its 33 schools. But first they say a final good bye to a former teacher and student.
The beginning of a school year begins with lots of news. A new backpack. New sneakers. New outfits. New friends. McAllen ISD employees are celebrating a new school year. But they’re also celebrating life.
Vivian Tamez, French Teacher remembers, “24 years ago, I got the chance to work with him. He was someone who taught me about literary terms, a love of literature. He was an amazing individual, he taught me to give back to the community.”
46 year McAllen ISD Veteran Bill Hetrick died over the weekend. Former colleagues say they were shocked to hear of his passing. But the district hopes other teachers continue his legacy of being the best teacher any student can ask for.
Rosie Larson Director of Special Education said, “Mr. Hetrick was an English teacher at Memorial High for 20 years, and his passion was exactly what we talked about today, doing what’s right for kids. We were his family and he was our family, and so we will miss him every day.”
But the grief doesn’t stop there. The district recently lost a McAllen High School graduate, whose passion for sports will never be forgotten.
Kevin Brewer, Head Football Coach said, “He was a great kid. He had a great family. It was very sad to see him pass, but I’ll tell you what, it was encouraging to see all the people that showed up to his memorial service and all the great messages that people had for his family.
At just 20 years old Nic Garcia lost his life. But his family is hoping to raise awareness about drug abuse and overdose. To prevent this from happening in the future. Educators say they want this new school year to be better than the last, despite the loss of two family members.