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LEAVING LASTING LEGACIES!


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  • 05/23/2014 6:30 AM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    A 39-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Julián Castro, Jefferson Class of 1992, is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. First elected on May 9, 2009, Mayor Castro handily won re-election in 2011 with nearly 82 percent of the vote.

    Throughout his tenure, Mayor Castro has focused on attracting well-paying jobs in 21st century industries, positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy and raising educational attainment across the spectrum. In 2011, the Milken Institute ranked San Antonio the nation’s top-performing local economy.

    Mayor Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort turned nonprofit that has galvanized thousands of San Antonians around a simple, but powerful vision for San Antonio – to create a brainpower community that is the liveliest city in the nation.

    Under his leadership, the city in 2010 opened Café College, a one-stop center offering high-quality guidance on college admissions, financial aid and standardized test preparation to any student in the San Antonio area. In its first year, Café College served more than 5,000 area students, spurring an expansion of the facility in 2011.

    In November 2012, Mayor Castro led a voter-approved public referendum that will expand high-quality Pre-K services to more than 22,000 San Antonio four-year-olds over the next eight years.

    Mayor Castro also has brought a sense of urgency to revitalizing the city’s urban core, including the underserved East Side of San Antonio, by initiating the “Decade of Downtown” and approving a series of incentives to encourage inner city investment. These efforts have spurred plans for the construction of more than 2,400 housing units in the center city by 2014.

    In March 2010, Mayor Castro joined executives from Google and Twitter in being named to the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics. Mayor Castro also serves on the board of directors of the National League of Cities, is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow. In addition to his community service, Mayor Castro has taught courses at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Trinity University, and St. Mary’s University.

    Mayor Castro earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University with honors and distinction in 1996 and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2000. In 2001, at the age of 26, Castro became the youngest elected city councilman at that time in San Antonio history.

    He is married to Erica Lira Castro, an elementary school teacher, and they are the proud parents of Carina, born in 2009.

    Mayor Castro’s brother, Joaquin, serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Last year, Mayor Castro addressed graduates of his Alma Mater, Thomas Jefferson High School, at the 2013 Commencement Ceremony.

    The TJHS Alumni Association thanks Mayor Castro for this interview and for serving as a great role model for all Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata and Office of Mayor Julián Castro
    Photos Provided By: Office of Mayor Julián Castro

    Enjoyed this Spotlight Story? Please share it with our Mustang Family. Share your story by emailing us at contact@tjhsalumni.org. Additionally, you can help the TJHSAA share our legacy by becoming a contributing writer at contact@tjhsalumni.org.
  • 10/14/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    Ronald "Ronnie" J. Garcia '75 joined the Mustang Band back in 1972, and has kept music close to his heart. These days, most know him as "Ron." His wife, Cynthia (Rodriguez) Garcia, and sister, Brenda (Garcia) Farias, are also Thomas Jefferson High School graduates. Ron and Cynthia are the proud parents of Ronald Jr. and Amanda Garcia.

    Ron played the trumpet in the Mustang Band and Stage Band. He was selected as the Outstanding Band Member his senior year and was recognized at Chuckwagon. Ron was also a member of Senate, National Honor Society, Bi-Phy-Chem, Sophomore Scholastic Society, and served as a Junior Class Representative.

    After high school, Ron attended the University of Texas at Austin and marched with the Longhorn Band from 1975-78. His favorite year in the band was 1977. Ron witnessed every game of Earl Campbell's amazing 1977 Heisman Trophy winning season and performed at the 1978 Cotton Bowl. Starting his sophomore year, he participated in a Co-op program and alternated semesters working as a student engineer trainee with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Arlington, Texas. Ron graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1979.

    Later, Ron attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, on a part-time basis, after work, from 1981 to 1986. He graduated with a Masters in Business Administration.

    After graduating from UT Austin, Ron started work at Kelly AFB as a Mechanical Engineer. His job was to develop the computer aided design and manufacturing capabilities of the San Antonio Air Logistics Center in the maintenance and repair of C-5, B-52 and C-130 aircraft, and F100 engines. In 1988, he was selected to serve a one year fellowship with the Maintenance Policy Directorate, Office of Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Washington D.C., which gave him valuable experience regarding the inner working of the Department of Defense (DoD). In 1989, Ron returned to Kelly AFB and served in a variety of engineering and resource management jobs of increasing responsibility culminating in 1997, as Technology and Industrial Support Resource and Logistics Services Division Chief. Highlights of his career since include: serving as the Air Force Scientist and Engineer (S&E) Career Program Chief at Randolph AFB, where he was in charge of recruiting over 100 civilian S&Es per year for the entire Air Force and for the career development of 10,000 civilian S&Es across the Air Force, earning him the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award; serving as the Chief of the Aeromedical Test Branch at Brooks City-Base in 2008, where he led the safe-to-fly testing of medical devices for use on life-saving aeromedical evacuation flights with the military.

    Since 2010, Ron has served as the Chief of Engineering Policy and Force Development with the Cryptologic Systems Division at Lackland AFB, where he and his staff develop and oversee implementation of systems engineering policy used in the acquisition of critical secure communication devices used in the DoD, as well as recruit civilian S&Es for division force renewal. In his 35 years of federal service, Ron is most proud of his accomplishments in the recruitment, development and mentorship of hundreds of the Air Force’s current and future civilian S&E workforce. This includes working with the San Antonio community in encouraging K-12 students, many from underrepresented demographics, to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

    While at Kelly, in the 1990’s, Ron chaired five bowl-a-thons and raised over $50,000 for scholarships in support of a base-sponsored, non-profit organization. In 1992, while serving as President, he initiated the idea of bringing famed math teacher Jaime Escalante (subject of the movie “Stand and Deliver”) to San Antonio to speak to the community and to speak to students at Thomas Jefferson High School. Ron took the idea to the San Antonio Education Partnership, and with their help, he was able to bring this to fruition. Mr. Escalante spoke to an assembly of summer high school students from SAISD in the Thomas Jefferson High School Auditorium, and then proceeded to a math class, in session, where he gave some inspiration to the class students.

    Aside from Ron's parents, Arnulfo and Viola Garcia, who served as a tremendous inspiration to him growing up, Ron shared the following about the individuals were most influential:

    "Mr. Charles Kuentz, Jr., Thomas Jefferson Class of 1952, was the Mustang Band Director for my first year and a half at Jefferson. I first met him when I was at Longfellow Junior High. He allowed several 9th graders, including me, to participate with the Mustang Band in Summer Band Camp and also took the band to march at a Houston Oilers Pre-Season Halftime Show at the Astrodome. I could tell this man had big dreams and goals for the band, and I wanted to be part of it! He was demanding and a perfectionist as a band director, but also had a lot of charisma and a sense of humor. You really wanted to do well for him and not let him down. I learned a lot about perseverance and leadership from Mr. Kuentz, lessons I hold dear today.

    Mr. Pete Van De Putte was my band director my last year and a half at Jeff. He really encouraged my development as a trumpet player and leader, appointing me section leader in the marching, concert and stage bands. He selected me to play “La Virgen de la Macarena,” a major trumpet solo with band accompaniment, which I played in the Jeff auditorium for the spring concert my senior year.

    The summer before my senior year, was selected and attended a five-week summer science program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. I learned about computer programming and pre-calculus.

    The following teachers in Math and Science were influential in my decision to pursue engineering as a career: Ms. Werner, Mr. Serna, Mr. Weiss, Mr. Massey and Mr Sutton. They challenged me to do better in class and helped me hone my skills necessary to become an engineer."

    In his spare time, Ron performs with the Helotes Area Community Concert and Jazz Band, under the direction of Mr. Charles Kuentz Jr., his former Jefferson Band Director. They perform at Helotes Movie Nights and celebrate Spring, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day and Christmas. Ron also performs with the Northminster Presbyterian Church Brass Choir. He leads this group in performances during Easter, Christmas and other services. His son, daughter and nephews perform with him in this group. Ron performs once a year with the University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band, where as many as 700 former Longhorn Band Members get to reunite and perform during halftime at a UT Austin Football Game at D. K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin. In recent years, Ron promoted and supported the Thomas Jefferson Alumni Band halftime performances by recruiting former band members to march during a halftime show as a fundraiser for the current Mustang Band.

    Ron offers the following advice to fellow Mustangs:

    "Take advantage of every possible opportunity to attain higher education. Opportunities are out there; it takes perseverance and hard work to find them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from advisors and teachers.

    Don't be afraid to be mobile and, if necessary, leave San Antonio or Texas, in pursuit of higher education or career opportunities. Too many students, especially those pursuing STEM careers, limit their education and careers to the local area, many times missing out on education and job opportunities, not to mention the chance to discover and explore other parts of our nation. San Antonio is a wonderful place to live, and opportunities abound here; however, so much can be learned by living, even temporarily, in other parts of our state and nation. It can be difficult to be away from family and friends, but, if necessary, take the bold leap and discover the opportunities that are available in this great nation of ours; San Antonio will still be here to return to.

    Take pride in your community and school. You have the good fortune of attending one of the nation’s most beautiful schools with a tradition of graduating many past national and local leaders and talented individuals. Keep the tradition alive by being the best that you can be!”

    The TJHS Alumni Association thanks Ronald Garcia for this interview and for serving a great role model for all Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photos Provided By: Ronald J. Garcia

    Enjoyed this Spotlight Story? Please share it with our Mustang Family. Share your story by emailing us at tjhsalumni@gmail.com. Help us share our legacy by becoming a contributing writer at tjhsalumni@gmail.com.
  • 10/07/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    Daniel R. Granados '90 has made being a Jefferson Mustang a family tradition. This proud father of four still lives in the Jefferson area. His family includes his wife Cathy '91, his son DJ '10, his daughter Samantha '14, his son Jason '16 and his youngest daughter Allison '19.

    While at Jefferson, Daniel was a member of the Mustang Band and ROTC. He was also a Feature Editor for The Declaration. Daniel mentioned, "In high school, I loved the fact that each organization I was a part of ... felt like a family. I still see and hang out with my band friends."

    After high school, Daniel pursued a career in customer service and later moved into the financial legal field.

    Currently, Daniel is in his eighth year with the Jefferson Band Boosters and is this year's President. He is also the Cheer / Lil' Lasso Director for Jefferson Mustangs Pop Warner, an Advisory Board Member for the TJHS Historical Preservation Society and is a former President of the SAISD Fine Arts Coalition.

    Daniel offers the following advice to fellow Mustangs, "Keep the tradition of Jefferson going so future Mustangs can have the same great experience that we have."

    The TJHS Alumni Association thanks Daniel Granados for this interview and for serving a great role model for all Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photos Provided By: Daniel Granados

    Enjoyed this Spotlight Story? Please share it with our Mustang Family. Share your story by emailing us at tjhsalumni@gmail.com. Help us share our legacy by becoming a contributing writer at tjhsalumni@gmail.com.
  • 09/30/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    Bill (Billy) Irwin ’73 was an active Mustang during his time at Thomas Jefferson High School. Bill’s sister, Becky ‘65, is also a Jefferson graduate. Bill was involved in the Senate Club, German Club, Orchestra, Sophomore Scholastic Society and National Honor Society. Bill and his fellow Sophomore Scholastic Society members maintained a 4.0 GPA.

    Bill states, “Our class was a great group of individuals that had pride and spirit.” He was active at games with the Senate Club and helped with the many dances the sister social clubs worked. Bill was also active in the Orchestra that provided the music for several plays and special holiday music for the school. He served as a Senate Club Officer and Orchestra President.

    After graduation, Bill worked continuously to earn money for college. He received a scholarship from Trinity University his freshman year and later transferred to UTSA where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Economics.

    After college, Bill began his career as a Stock Broker/Financial Analyst and then ventured into Insurance Underwriting Branch Management. For the last 15 years, he has been a partner of a local insurance agency. Bill retired from insurance and has owned/operated a bed and breakfast in Helotes, Texas, since 1998. His property is a venue for special events. Additionally, Bill owns rental properties in the area as well as other commercial properties.

    Bill offers the following advice to fellow Mustangs: “Cherish those years at Jeff. Study hard and engage in activities the school offers. Because of Jeff, it helped me to be the person I am today! All I have now are the wonderful memories to share.”

    Thank you Bill for this interview and for serving as a great role model for all TJHS Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photos Provided By: Bill Irwin

    Share Your Story on the #TJHSMustangs Spotlight! Email us at tjhsalumni@gmail.com.
  • 09/16/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)

    W. E. Moerner '71 is a Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. W.E. participated in many activities at Thomas Jefferson High School, including: Band, Speech and Debate, Math and Science Contest Team, Bi-Phy-Chem, Masque and Gavel, National Honor Society, Boy Scouts, Amateur Radio Club, Russian Club, Forum Social Club, Toastmasters, "On the Spot" Team and Editor of Each has Spoken.

    After graduation, W.E. attended college at Washington University and earned a B.S. EE, A.B. in Mathematics and a B.S. Physics in 1975. His studies then took him to Cornell University where he earned a M.S. in Physics in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 1982.

    W.E. mentioned, "After finishing my Ph.D. in Physics, I was interested in doing research in one of the great industrial labs. I was fortunate to be offered full-time positions at Bell Labs and at IBM, and I moved out to California (where I was born) to join IBM Research as a Research Staff Member." W.E. was a Research Staff Member at IBM Research in San Jose for 13 years, which was followed by a 3-year Professorship in Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego. Currently, W.E. is the Harry S. Mosher Professor at Stanford University in the Chemistry Department, with a courtesy appointment in Applied Physics. His group of graduate students and postdocs are currently involved in: single-molecule spectroscopy and super-resolution imaging in cells, physical chemistry, chemical physics, biophysics and nanoparticle trapping. W.E. has been with Stanford since 1998.

    Regarding his time at Longfellow and Jefferson, W.E. shared the following: "Beyond the truly critical role of my parents, I was encouraged to excel by Mrs. Gates in the Math department at Longfellow Junior High. At Jeff, I had many favorite teachers, but perhaps the most important was Mrs. Rodriguez, the counselor, who encouraged me to take a Langsdorf Fellowship to attend Washington University for college - and it was central to my future development to go to another state. Band was a key central activity for me, as it furthered my love of music while giving me a chance to make great friends and attend many football games! I am also very grateful that I was able to engage in debate with Jim Hickey and Libby Garcia as that sharpened my analytical skills, and going to Math or Science competitions was always fun. Editing Each Has Spoken was a great activity - if you read those poems and essays now, there are wonderful thoughts from so many Mustangs there. Being on the "On the Spot" team was a truly fun experience - we got to study the newspapers all day in the front office in preparation - a special treat. I value the fact that I got my first amateur radio license at Jeff with friends like Larry Perry, and I am still a ham. Many, many other people influenced me (such as my girlfriends!) but that is for another time and place."

    W.E. and his wife, Sharon, are enjoying the activities of their son, Daniel, who just graduate from college and now will spend a year at Cambridge University in England for graduate study in philosophy.

    W.E. offers the following advice to fellow Mustangs: "Explore your passions and live life to its fullest -- it takes practice and persistence to be "good" at something, but it is well worth the effort. The work you do now lays the foundation for the rest of your life, so don't be afraid to study hard or be a geek!"

     

    Update on October 8, 2014: W.E. Moerner '71 won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. W.E. joins Robert Floyd Curl Jr. '50 as the second Thomas Jefferson graduate to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. [Read More on Nobelprize.org]


    Help celebrate this achievement! The San Antonio Express-News and San Antonio Independent School District is writing a story on W.E. Moerner and needs our help. If you have any photos of W.E. or would like to share your memories of W.E., please contact William Luther (wluther@express-news.net) or Rene Lynn (rlynn@saisd.net).


    The TJHS Alumni Association thanks W.E. Moerner for this interview and for serving a great role model for all Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photos Provided By: W.E. Moerner

    Share your story by emailing us at tjhsalumni@gmail.com. Help us share our legacy by becoming a contributing writer at tjhsalumni@gmail.com.

  • 09/09/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    Major General Alfred "Freddie" A. Valenzuela '66 established his military roots as a member of the Thomas Jefferson High School JROTC program. Although no other immediate family graduated from Jeff, his nephews, Jacob and Jason Valenzuela are also Jefferson graduates.

    After graduation, Major General Valenzuela attended St. Mary's University and received a B.A. in Government and a Master's degree in Political Science and Latin American Affairs. He graduated from St. Mary's with two degrees and U.S. Army Commission in Field Artillery and Special Operations.

    After college, Major General Valenzuela spent 33 years in the military and served in Korea, Turkey, Colombia, Germany, Panama, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Kuwait, Grenada and Somalia. Major General Valenzuela is highly decorated for Heroism and Valor and spent 12 years in covert and interagency assignments. From 2000 to 2005, he was the youngest and highest ranking General of Hispanic Heritage. He was influenced by his peers, his teachers, the Boy Scouts and the Boy's and Girl's Club mentors. He is an Eagle Scout, a Boy's and Girl's Club Hall of Fame member and a distinguished St. Mary's University Alum. Major General Valenzuela was named one of 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Magazine. Recently, he was selected by President Barack Obama to serve on his WWI Centennial Commission. Major General Valenzuela is the President/CEO of several companies, consults overseas and recently published the book, "No Greater Love: The Lives and Times of Hispanic Soldiers." All proceeds from the book go to the families of Soldiers he buried from the War.

    Major General Valenzuela offers the following advice to fellow Mustangs: "Stay humble; never forget who and how you got there, and you can do anything you set your heart to do. Education is the key to success."

    The TJHS Alumni Association thanks Major General Valenzuela for this interview, for serving a great role model for all Mustangs and for his military service.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photo Provided By: Major General Alfred Valenzuela

    Share your story with alumni! Let us feature you on the #TJHSMustang Spotlight. Simply email your name, graduation class year or TJHS affiliation (faculty, staff, former student, etc.) and your contact information to tjhsalumni@gmail.com. Remember, we also spotlight student groups too!
  • 09/02/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    David Saathoff ‘79 was a member of the Mustang Basketball Team when he attended Thomas Jefferson High School. David was also involved in the Humanities and English accelerated classes. Although David did not consider himself to be a great academic student, he did enjoy hanging with, and learning from, the phenomenal speech and debate folks who also took those classes. David was never involved personally in the "one act plays," speech and debate competitions, etc., but was friends with many actors and debaters.

    After graduation, David earned a degree in English, with a minor in philosophy, from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in 1984. He has also completed graduate-level coursework at Southwestern Theological Seminary.

    Currently, David is the Lead Pastor of CityChurch (formerly Bandera Road Community Church - BRCC). CityChurch has about 7,000 people – non-typical church attendees. The San Antonio media has branded CityChurch as "The Church That Rocks."

    David offers the following advice to all Mustangs: “Involve yourselves in the kind of activities that will serve the common good of our city such as the Urban Renewal Project and multiple other parts of the Mayor's SA2020 plan." He mentioned that he and the church are trying to be more involved in the Mayor's plans for a better SA. Lastly, David shared, "Of course, continue to pursue a spiritual life - Jesus died so that common people of his day, and ours, might begin a relationship with God. There are many ways to pursue knowing God. Each must find their own path...”

    Thank you David for this interview and for serving as a great role model for all TJHS Mustangs.
  • 08/26/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    Patricia Joyce Schroeder Moss ’67 would be right at the top of the list if you asked the Lasso Alumni Association about this year's most dedicated member. Pat currently serves as the TJHS Lasso Alumni Association President.

    When Pat attended Jefferson, she was in Lassos and the Lassos Roping Team. Pat was also in Student Council, National Honor Society, the Martha Skelton Club and German Club. Her three brothers also attended Jefferson. John graduated in 1958, and Mike and Doug, her twin brothers, graduated in 1965. After high school, Pat completed coursework at Southwest Texas State University and San Antonio College.

    After college, Pat worked as an office manager for Liberty House (Rhodes) Department Stores for over five years. Additionally, she worked for KSAT-TV for 20 years as the Accounts Receivable Manager and Credit Manager. Pat was also a personal bookkeeper for several people. Outside of work, Pat was a Girl Scout Leader and Cookie Mom for three years.

    Currently, Pat gives back by volunteering. She participates in the occasional mission work at church. Additionally, Pat has been with the Lasso Alumni Association since 2010 and has served as the 2012 and 2013 President. Although Pat stays very busy, Pat likes to “spend as much time as I can with my Daughter’s Family and with my sweetest husband in the world.”

    Regarding her biggest influences, Pat said, “Lassos taught me many things. It taught me responsibility, self-confidence and fun! I learned to be a team leader and had great respect for the Lasso Sponsor Bess Richards.” Pat credits Mr. Weiss for teaching her to love math. Pat mentioned, “Algebra I and II were my favorite classes next to Lassos. Go Lassos Go! Yea Roping Team!”

    Pat offers the following advice to the next generation of Mustangs: “Go Mustangs! Have pride in your school; it is the best high school in the USA, and the most beautiful one. Treat your school with respect. Have school spirit and be involved in school activities. Learn leadership, and stay busy. There is no time for boredom at Jefferson. Be friends with everyone you meet, and remember to give your smile away everyday. Encourage others to be their best, and do the same for yourself. Help others when you can. Study hard, and establish your goals. Be positive all the time. You can do anything!”

    Thank you Pat for this interview for serving as a great role model for all TJHS Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photos Provided By: Pat Moss and Michelle Resendez Mata

    Do you know a Mustang who should be featured on the #TJHSMustangs Spotlight? Email their name and contact information to tjhsalumni@gmail.com.
  • 08/17/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    Nancy Ann Graham York ’65 has been married to Victor Allen York ’65 for 43 years. They attended Thomas Jefferson High School and met during their senior year. The couple began dating after graduation. Nancy’s brother, Jim Graham ’68, is also a Jefferson Graduate as well as Victor’s siblings, Connie York ’69, Leo York ’72 and Donnie York ’76.

    As a sophomore, Nancy was a member of the Girls Glee Club. She remembers singing for Easter sunrise services at the Municipal Auditorium in 1963 with Mr. Moses serving as director. Nancy also belonged to Future Teachers of America, Shakespeares and Lassos. She served as a Shakespeare Officer and Senior Class Officer; however, her favorite activity was Lassos. Nancy was the 1st Lt. of Company H while Bess Richards served as their beloved sponsor. Nancy also loved working in the Attendance Office for Ms. Atkins.

    Some of her favorite fun memories of Jeff, aside from being a Lasso and performing at pep rallies and football games, was working on the banners that hung across the main hall for various events such as the Shakes' Valentine Dance or Style Show. She fondly recalls the dances held in the gym and how they decorated the gym ceiling with parachutes! Nancy said, “We also had many dances in the Main Hall.”

    Nancy earned her bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin and earned her Master of Education degree from Southwest Texas State University (presently Texas State University – San Marcos). She also earned a mid-management certification from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

    Nancy returned to the SAISD and embarked on a career in education. She started out teaching English, Texas History and Speech at Twain Junior High School. Then, she was a counselor at Emerson (now Wheatley) Middle School and Sam Houston High School; a vice principal at Lowell Middle School and Edison High School; and was principal of Whittier Middle School, Fox Tech High School and Navarro High School. Regarding her 42 year career, Nancy said that she is “blessed to have worked with so many wonderful students, many of whom I enjoy seeing today all across the city as police officers, teachers, doctors, and lawyers.”

    Nancy mentioned that she had wonderful teachers at Jeff. She shared, “I truly believe that was one of my influences to become an educator. My major works English teachers, Mrs. Mann, Mrs. Goerner, and Ms. Sain, were inspirational. I will always remember my US History teacher, Sandra Gray, because I was in her class when the department chair, Mrs. Taliaferro, walked in and whispered something in her ear. She then announced to the class that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. My sociology teacher, Ms. Pedlar, was also great! And I adored my advisory teacher, Mrs. Fleming!”

    Currently, Nancy and Victor are empty nesters. Their son is an actor who lives in Los Angeles, and their daughter lives in San Antonio and works at the University of Texas Health Science Center and is finishing her masters at UTSA. Nancy also has Dulce, a cat Victor rescued from a San Antonio Water System Treatment Plant.

    Nancy works part-time for the district as a financial aid counselor for seniors at Burbank High School. She also provides educational consulting, most recently for the Dallas ISD. Nancy is also an animal activist working to make San Antonio a true no-kill city. Nancy is very active with the Lasso Alumni Association and is serving as this year’s President-Elect. Nancy said, “It is exciting to work with a new generation of Lassos and pass on the love and pride of being a Lasso to these young ladies.”

    Nancy’s advice to the next generation of Mustangs is simple: “Make good decisions about your life both in and out of school. Know that education is the key to success and the more education you have, the more success you will have. Always believe in yourself and your ability to get the job done. And finally always be proud of where you came from, Thomas Jefferson High School!”

    Thank you Nancy for this interview for serving as a great role model for all TJHS Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata
    Photos Provided By: Nancy York

    Do you know a Mustang who should be featured on the #TJHSMustang Spotlight? Email their name and contact information to tjhsalumni@gmail.com.
  • 08/12/2013 11:30 PM | Thomas Jefferon High School Alumni Association (Administrator)
    “Coach” Orlando Vera is Thomas Jefferson High School’s newest principal. Although Principal Vera is new to this role at Jefferson, he has deep roots in the Jefferson Community. Many Mustangs have come to know him as Coach Vera over the years. From 1985 to 1988, Principal Vera taught at Horace Mann Middle School. He also taught Business classes and coached several sports at Jefferson from 1988 to 1998 and served as the National Honor Society Sponsor for two years.

    Principal Vera earned his B.S. in Education from St. Mary’s University in Physical Education/Health and Business Education. He also holds a M.S. in Mid-Management from Texas A&I and a certificate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents, teachers and coaches influenced him to go into the education field.

    Principal Vera wants Mustangs to be involved in extra-curricular activities and community activities during their years at Jefferson. He offers the following advice and guidance to all Mustangs:

    “Academics lead to Success! Tradition has always been a big part of Jefferson. It is time to continue that trend! We also want to build leaders at Thomas Jefferson High School and for them to someday give back to the Jefferson Community.”

    Thank you Principal Vera for this interview, for joining the Thomas Jefferson High School Alumni Association Planning Committee at our first meeting in June and for serving as a great role model for all TJHS Mustangs.

    Contributing Writer: Michelle Resendez Mata '97
    Photo Credit: David Segura '67

    Do you know a Mustang who should be featured on the ‪#‎TJHSMustang‬ Spotlight? Email their name, graduation class year or TJHS affiliation (faculty, staff, former student, etc.) and their contact information to tjhsalumni@gmail.com. Remember, we also spotlight student groups too!
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TJHS Alumni Association, PO Box 461003, San Antonio, TX 78246-1003 | contact@tjhsalumni.org | 210-570-TJHS
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