The Laredo Independent School District announced Monday the death of current board member, District 1 Trustee Jose A. Valdez.
Valdez died Monday morning at the age of 81.
“LISD family, together we mourn and celebrate all he has accomplished for our students and staff during his 25 years of public service,” said LISD Superintendent Dr. Sylvia G. Rios. “Mr. Valdez consistently demonstrated a deep love for the opportunities education could provide for those he served, our LISD children.”
In honor of Valdez, LISD said it will postpone this month’s regular board meeting until further notice. It was originally scheduled for Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Jose A. Valdez had served on the LISD board of directors since 1997, including chairman of the board in 2008 and 2009. He was also a former member of the Laredo City Council.
In District 1, Valdez represented Farias Elementary School, Santa Maria Elementary School, Leyendecker Elementary School, Christen Middle School, and Martin High School.
“He was a passionate and committed leader who continually stood up for our children, knowing that together we could make a difference in their lives,” Rios said. “He strove to ensure that those who had no voice were heard through him, and in taking on this role he was largely responsible for bringing others together as he wholeheartedly dedicated his time and effort alongside his fellow administrators to establish a non-classical high school.”
LISD Board Chairman Hector “Tito” Garcia called him “highly respected” and “known for being a mainstay in providing educational opportunities for LISD children.”
“His dedication to LISD and the entire community was only exceeded by his commitment and love for his family and friends,” Garcia said. “Our district is immeasurably better because of Mr. Valdez, and his loss will be felt throughout our school community because he took his service on the board very seriously. LISD is forever grateful for his service. Due to his long tenure on the LISD board, he provided historical perspective on district policies and practices, and always remembered why and when decisions were made.
Rios added that Valdez was proud of his enrollment at North Texas State University, where he fulfilled his dream of receiving his bachelor’s degree at age 71, followed by a master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Valdez is survived by his wife, Romana, and their two sons and two daughters.
Renamed in his honor, Jose A. Valdez High School at 1619 Victoria Street adopted his name during the 2014-15 school year.
Jose A. Valdez High School states that it is a safe haven for high school students who are at risk of dropping out of school due to substance abuse. It also indicates that it provides a supportive learning environment to meet the individual educational needs, as well as the ongoing treatment needs of recovering adolescents.
And Valdez’s legacy will live on for those who need it in school.
“Jose A. Valdez High School continues to welcome and open its doors to students who have otherwise been left behind and are looking for another opportunity to succeed,” Rios said.
“As we pray for his eternal rest and peace today, we smile and are sincerely grateful for the legacy he left behind for all to cherish in our district and community.”