San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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The San Marcos Education Foundation will honor the distinguished scholars of the Class of 2008 of San Marcos High School at the annual Academic Recognition Banquet on Sunday, May 18, 2008, at 6 pm, in the LBJ Student Center at Texas State University. The event highlights the top seniors and their chosen educators who have been the most influential persons throughout their academic careers. The featured speaker this year will be State Representative Veronica Gonzales (SMHS Class of 1984) who is serving her second term in the House of Representatives representing District 41: Hidalgo County and portions of McAllen, Edinburg, and Mission. Gonzales is the first female elected to represent District 41 and currently sits on the Judiciary and Public Health Committees. In her first term, she was elected by her colleagues to serve as Secretary of the State Democratic Caucus and distinguished herself by passing the highest percentage of bills by any Democrat legislator in the House. Subsequently, she was recognized as Freshman of the Year by the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus and was named a “legislator to watch” by the Texas Observer and “an Emerging Leader” by the Dallas Morning News.

In her second term, Gonzales also chaired the Immigration Task Force and was recently appointed as a member of the Aspen-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership program, a national organization consisting of 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the country considered to be rising stars who are brought together to discuss issues of democratic governance and effective public service.

Gonzales was raised in San Marcos, Texas, and was the first person in her family to go the college. She graduated Cum Laude from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1986 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Spanish. After completing her undergraduate studies, she enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law and earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1991. She sits on the board as an advisory member to the Children’s Defense Fund, the South Texas College, and Texas Rural Aid. Gonzales has authored numerous publications, is a frequent speaker at conferences, and has received many awards and recognitions for public service.

The San Marcos Education Foundation (SMEF) has a ten year history of supporting excellence in education in San Marcos CISD schools. Cheryl Warren Norton serves as the event chairperson this year. There are a limited number of tickets available that can be purchased by contacting SMEF Executive Director Rosina Valle at 393-6930.

By Iris Campbell
Public Information Officer

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Rep. Veronica Gonzales, SMHS Class of 1984, who will address 2008 top scholars and mentors on May 18

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