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News & Events

Trustees approve vice president's contracts, data center upgrade
The SWTJC board of trustees acted on a myriad of items during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday (Feb. 16) in Uvalde.

In the agenda items approved was the new EMT-Basic and Paramedic programs, with the EMT-Basic program scheduled to begin in Eagle Pass this fall. The Paramedic program will be initiated sometime within the next year.

Board members voted to extend the vice president’s contracts until Aug. 31, 2020.

In other business, trustees voted to approve a data center upgrade and financing. The upgrade includes reducing from 49 servers down to six servers. Implementing a disaster recovery site in Eagle Pass, a storage area network, virtualizing servers, and new back-up system.

According to the proposal submitted by IT Director Scott Baker the upgrade would cost approximately $300,000.

Earlier during the meeting, Baker updated the board on the current status of completed IT projects, which included Office 365, upgrading email for students, enhancing customer service response time, active directory migration, and newcopiers.

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Students attend Community College Day in Austin
Community College Day VisitUvalde, Texas, Feb. 10 – A group of approximately 20 SWTJC students, administration, faculty, and staff attended Community College Day on Feb. 7 at the state capitol in Austin.

Students from Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde campuses joined over 1,500 other college students from across the state at the capitol.

The day began with a complimentary breakfast at the Robert Johnson Conference Center. Immediately after breakfast, the students met with District 80 State Representative Tracy O. King of Uvalde in his office, where he spoke on various topics.

“I am very fond of SWTJC, I went to school there after graduating from Carrizo Springs High School,” said King. “As a matter a fact, my first elected office was at SWTJC as president of the student council.

After meeting with King, the SWTJC group visited with District 74 State Representative Poncho Nevarez of Eagle Pass. Students were able to state their concerns to Nevarez, such as tuition and school funding.

“You’re preaching to the choir,” said Nevarez “I always do my best in looking out for schools like yours. I encourage you to continue to lobby for your school to all the other representatives and me.”

Students also had the opportunity to speak with staff members of District 19 State Senator Carlos Uresti and District 53 State Representative Andrew Murr of Kerrville.

Also, included in the day's activities were visits to the gallery of the house as it conducted the business of the day. SWTJC President Hector Gonzales, Ph.D., accompanied the group during their visit to the capitol.

The event was sponsored by the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

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SWTJC alum participates in presidential inauguration
Nano Rendon in Washington


Uvalde, Texas, Jan. 26 – The exact year escapes my memory, but I remember waiting outside the Uvalde Police Department waiting for a police officer to pick me up for a ride along.

The officer who drove up was a young kid right out of the academy, the rookie’s name: Nano Rendon.

Now fast forward to 2017, where on Saturday morning (Jan 21) I received a text from a mutual friend with a photo of Nano standing on Pennsylvania Avenue. The text was to notify me he had been chosen to work security detail for the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C.

If someone told me back then that a kid from Uvalde, Texas would be part of the ceremony that would inaugurate Donald Trump as our 45th President, I would have had a good laugh.

Long ago have been the days since Rendon patrolled the streets of Uvalde. Lately, he spends his days riding in a patrol car marked SAPD as in the San Antonio Police Department.

Rendon is a 2005 graduate of the Southwest Texas Junior College Middle Rio Grande Law Enforcement Academy. Immediately after graduating, he joined the Uvalde Police Department where he worked until 2007.

In late 2007, he was accepted to the San Antonio Police Department Police Academy where he graduated in May of 2008. Rendon currently serves on the DWI task force with the SAPD.

According to Rendon, the process to be part of the inauguration began last July, when he submitted his request letter.

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Trustees extend presidentís contract, approve financial statement
Uvalde, Texas, Jan. 20 – Thursday night (Jan 19) SWTJC board of trustees voted to extend Dr. Hector Gonzales’ contract one more year as president of the college during their regular monthly meeting.

In other business board members approved the financial statement as of Dec. 31, 2016.

Trustees received an enrollment update from Margot Mata, vice president of student services.

According to Mata, the current head count is at 6,072, which is approximately a 10 percent increase compared to the spring 2016 enrollment numbers.

“As of this afternoon, our current number is 6,072. However, I project us to hit the 6,100 number by next week, said Mata. “We are currently registering for our 12-week semester, students still have the opportunity to register for spring classes if they are unable to get into 16-week semester classes.”

Kirk Palermo, physical plant director, gave board members an update on the current status of the construction of the new library building in Crystal City.

“The project is progressing nicely, the building is beautiful,” said Palermo. “We have a minor issue with the grading, which the architect and the contractor on working on. A grate will be added to provide better drainage.”

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Entries being sought for annual college creative arts contest
Uvalde, Texas, Jan. 12 – Calling all artists! Southwest Texas Junior College is seeking entries for its 36th Annual Creative Arts Contest.

Plans are underway, and entry deadlines have been announced for the yearly creative arts contest.

Rules and entry form are available at The entry deadline for literary and visual arts is 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 23. ENTRY FORM

Cash prizes, trophies, and medals will be awarded in the annual event, which attracts thousands of art, photography and writing entries from across the region.

Trophies and medals will be awarded to first through fourth place in all age groups and categories. Judges will also select an overall literary and visual arts winner in each age group. Cash prizes of $20 will be presented to overall winners.

Age divisions will be the same as last year and will include: Pre-K and Kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grades 5-6, grades 7-8, grades 9-10, grades 11-12, college and community.

The SWTJC Arts and Sciences Division and the SWTJC Public Information Office coordinate the annual event.

“The college has a strong commitment to supporting and promoting the creative arts, and we look forward to another year of outstanding entries,” said Cheryl Sanchez, dean of the college of liberal arts.

Sanchez encourages all area English and language arts teachers in public and private schools, as well as home school teachers, to have their students to enter the contest.

“We know the demands on teachers are enormous, but this doesn’t have to be work written specifically for the contest,” Sanchez said. “I encourage teachers to get their top writers to submit entries from their best efforts during the school year, even if they were turned in last fall.”

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