PSJA school district renames middle school to honor trustee

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Jesus “Jesse” Vela Jr.

In a unanimous vote Monday, the Pharr-San-Juan-Alamo Independent School District Board of Trustees renamed Alamo Middle School to Jesus “Jesse” Vela Middle School to honor the trustee’s lifetime of service to the community.

Long-serving trustee Jesus “Jesse” Vela Jr. is currently on the board and is the assistant secretary. He has over 50 years of dedicated service in various capacities as an educator, coach and administrator. Vela has also served the board as president and in all other trustee officer positions in his time at the PSJA school district.

“The renaming of Alamo Middle School stands as a testament to Mr. Vela’s deep and lasting impact on our community,” Alejandro Elias, superintendent, said in a press release. “His leadership, vision, and genuine love for education have been a guiding light for all of us. This is our way to ensure that his legacy lives on, inspiring generations of students to come.”

As a board trustee, Vela serves as the chairman of the Athletics and Budget Committee and as a member of the Facilities Committee.

Vela is also the president for the PSJA Education Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that promotes education by developing financial and non-financial support to PSJA students. The foundation was founded in 2013 and has since awarded $2.2 million in student scholarships, teacher grants and literacy initiatives.

The PSJA school district will celebrate the renaming with a ceremony unveiling the new school name sign at a later date, according to the press release.

“As we rename the school to Jesus “Jesse” Vela Middle School, we are not just assigning a new name to a building, but we are honoring a history of dedication, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of educational excellence,” the press release stated.” “It symbolizes a beacon of commitment, a home of nurturing knowledge and fostering young minds to achieve great heights.”