Students from Gua dalupe Regional Middle School in Brownsville cheered and shook pom-poms as a travel bus pulled into the school’s parking lot Friday.
The bus, carrying representatives from the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Cath olic Education, is traveling through 50 cities to highlight the importance of a Catholic education.
While in here, the group also honored University of Texas at Brownsville President Juliet V. Garcia and the Most Rev. Daniel Flores, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.
The ACE program has been present at GRMS since 2006, said Michael Motyl, president of the Catholic tuition-free school in Brownsville. Each year, the ACE sends two students who are earning their master’s degrees at Notre Dame to Catholic schools across the country for two years.
Student Jose de Jesus Martinez said he was excited to meet next year’s ACE teachers.
“For us, the ACE teachers are a blessing to the community,” Motyl said. “They bring a lot of energy and excitement.”
Molly Boyle, 25, teaches science at the school and is about to finish her second year, but she’s enjoyed it so much that she will be returning for one more year, she said.
“It’s a wonderful school,” said Boyle, from Minnesota.
She said she’s found it to be a very caring and supportive environment.
“They do so well at educating the whole person,” Boyle said.
Motyl also went through the ACE program. Motyl said he initially taught at a school in Mission and then returned to the northeast, where he is from originally.
But eventually he returned to the Rio Grande Valley because he said he missed it.
Motyl said it’s very valuable to have Guadalupe Middle School students taught by people who are not from the region because they bring different perspectives with them.
“So many kids today don’t get to meet people from other areas,” Motyl said.
“They (teachers) teach us a lot, and I think we teach them a lot as well,” he added.
The stop in Brownsville will last two days. On Saturday, The festivities will continue at Guadalupe Regional Middle School’s annual Mardi Gras gala at the Rancho Viejo Convention Center in Rancho Viejo.