Six people posing for a photo.

San Marcos Chamber of Commerce Hosts State of the City Luncheon

By Emily Martin and Hunter Buttner
News Director and Senior News Reporter
eam229@txstate.edu and h_b138@txstate.edu

SAN MARCOS – At The State of the City luncheon last Wednesday, San Marcos Mayor, Jane Hughson, as well as Superintendent of Schools for the CISD, Michael Cardona, said that the state of the city and schools are strong. Hughson focused her attention on five strategic initiatives for the city: stormwater management, community partnerships, workforce housing, multimodal transportation and workforce development combined with downtown vitality. Hughson said that during her time in office, she wants to make sure the city is helping people, especially by providing residents with jobs.

The current population of 64,000 could eventually grow to 85,000 in the upcoming years. Hughson said that strict city codes will help protect the environmentally sensitive area as the population increases.

“We’re directing that growth to the east side of the interstate where it’s not over Edward’s contributing and recharge zones,” Hughson said.

Cardona spoke about how the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District has been helping its students succeed.

Partnerships with local workforce organizations is one method that superintendent Michael Cardona wants to use to help San Marcos students.

“When our students leave, we want them to be college competent, career and military ready,” Cardona said. 

One way that SMCISD does this is through their community partnerships, such as those with Texas State, A+ and Lions Club. Cardona said that partnerships like these allow him to carry out his academic vision to ensure no student is left behind.

Cardona went on to talk about how teachers at Mendez Elementary School simulated what a trip to France would be like for their students. Knowing that taking a group of kindergarteners to France was impractical, teachers took children to see what it was like to get passports. They even had a French Airline employee come and talk the students through what flying to and landing in Paris would be like. The students then boarded a “tour bus” and went on a simulated trip through Paris.

For the older students, Cardona spoke about San Marcos CISD’s A.V.I.D. program. The program will be taking 12 lucky and hardworking students to the east coast to tour Harvard, TUFFS and Brown University.

“We are trying to find the right school for the kids and they need to understand that when they step into Harvard that there is no difference between those kids at Harvard and the ones here in San Marcos, Texas,” Cardona said.

SMCISD offers multiple possibilities to its students. Not every students attends college out of high school and Cardona wants to ensure military and career bound kids succeed just as much as college bound ones. However, Cardona said that schools get less credit for helping non-college oriented students pursue their goals. Cardona wants future changes to standardized testing to properly identify successful children, whether that be academic, professional or military success.

Image by Hunter Buttner.

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