GEAR UP Ready, Set, College!
Gear Up Facilitator
Sgt. William G. Harrell Middle School
Jose Luna is Sgt. Harrell's Gear Up Facilitator. Gear Up stands for "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The goal of Gear Up is to help students prepare for a high school pathway that leads to a college, university, or technical school. Mr. Luna has been with the district over 10 years and has served as a History teacher, Department Head, Soccer Coach, Migrant Sponsor, UIL Sponsor, Librarian, and currently Gear Up Facilitator. Mr. Luna is a proud Mercedes 2001 graduate and holds a BA in History from the University of Texas at Brownsville and a Masters of Library Science from the University of North Texas.
Gear Up Facilitator
Sgt. Manuel Chacon Middle School
Mrs. Hilda Vasquez is the GEAR UP Facilitator at Sgt. Manuel Chacon Middle School. Mrs. Vasquez is the proud 2006 graduate of Mercedes High School and was a student in the first GEAR UP Cohort from 1999-2006. She pursued her educational career as a first-generation college student at the University of Texas – Pan American and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Spanish in 2009. In 2014, she graduated with her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas – Arlington. Mrs. Vasquez obtained her Principal Certification in 2018. Mrs. Vasquez spent 9 years as a bilingual teacher at Travis Elementary where she instilled a love for learning to her students as a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade teacher. She served as UIL sponsor, Migrant sponsor, member of SBDM and LPAC committees, and was the Campus Technology Coordinator. Currently, she is working with all 7th graders at Chacon Middle School to ensure their success in high school, college, and beyond. Through her work and dedication, Mrs. Vasquez helps students achieve their potential of being “College Ready, and Career Set.”
Objective 1: Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of GEAR UP students.
Objective 2: Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of GEAR UP students through a systemic transformation of schools.
Objective 3: Increase GEAR UP students' educational expectations and students' and their families' knowledge of postsecondary education, options, preparation and financing.
Objective 4: Increase students'/parents/ knowledge and skills, including STE-Computer Science skills and prepare them to be informed, thoughtful, and productive citizens.