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Alumni Rising Star: Mark Estrada

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By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

This upcoming week, from Oct. 26 to Oct.30, is Homecoming week. It is a week of opportunity for alumni to reconnect with their alma mater. Last week, I had the honor and privilege of interviewing alumni Mr. Mark Estrada, Superintendent of Lockhart ISD. He attended Texas State and earned a bachelor’s degree in 2006 and a master’s degree in 2010.

When Estrada first attended TXST, he was amazed by the university’s ability to educate as well as the beautiful town of San Marcos. He enjoyed taking study breaks in-between classes at Sewell Park and being outdoors. Estrada had classes at Jowers and Strahan which provided convenient proximity between his studies and free time.

Estrada attended Texas State because he knew the university had an amazing education program. He wanted to become a teacher. Estrada made his dream a reality after walking across the stage at his graduation ceremony.

Estrada at his dormitory
Estrada when he was attending Texas State. Photo provided by Mark Estrada.

“I went to a teaching job fair that same day and I got my first job,” Estrada said. “In part, because I was a Texas State graduate and I remember the people doing the interviews said that they love hiring teachers from Texas State because the program was so good.”

Since completing his studies, Estrada strives to maintain contact with his alma mater. That effort includes becoming involved with the Texas State Alumni Association.

“To me, being involved helps me stay in touch with my university, it’s about having pride, and it’s about being a Bobcat and helping other Bobcats to enrich the network,” Estrada said.

Estrada’s flashback picture from 1989
Estrada when he was in elementary school. Photo provided by Mark Estrada.

According to Estrada, whether Bobcats are currently graduating or have graduated, it doesn’t mean that they are done with the university forever. Texas State and college life in general will always be meaningful.

“After I got my master’s degree, the experience was similar,” Estrada said. “A lot of principals and assistant principals in Central Texas went to Texas State so that alumni network was strong and it opened up doors for me.”

As the saying goes: Once A Bobcat, Always A Bobcat. This is prevalent in Estrada’s professional daily life.

“As an educator, it’s important for me to not just give people opportunities to learn but to ensure that they learn,” Estrada said. “I help them by not just opening the door of opportunity but help them walk through that door to be successful and I got that from Texas State.”

Estrada with students
Estrada, as superintendent, interacting with students. Photo provided by Mark Estrada.

The theme for Homecoming Week 2020 is “Home is Where Old Main Is” and this is the truth for Superintendent Mark Estrada. Texas State has given people, like Estrada, great opportunities that most would never forget in their lifetime. This year’s activities are different due to COVID-19. Stay safe and let us bond, remembering the meaning of why we are Bobcats!

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