Longtime educator, TSC trustee advocates for students and community

As a lifelong educator, Texas Southmost College Trustee Eva Alejandro has spent nearly five decades shaping the future of classroom education. With great energy, she has pursued excellence on three fronts: educating future teachers in the classroom, establishing an exceptional Child Care and Development program at TSC as well as developing teachers through alternative pathways.

Alejandro, a Pawnee, Texas native who calls Brownsville home, has served on the TSC Board of Trustees for three years and is the current board secretary. She said TSC has held a special place in her heart since 1977, when she was hired to develop a Child Care and Development program at the college.

“TSC is a big part of why my career took off toward success,” she said. “My goal as an early childhood educator has always been to reach and impact as many students as I could. While I could do that in a classroom, TSC gave me an even bigger platform.”

The Child Care and Development program she established at TSC continues to thrive today. In fact, the TSC Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center, which is the on-campus lab school for the Child Care and Development program, is the only child care center in the Rio Grande Valley accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

“Children who are exposed to educational opportunities early in life have a better chance of excelling in school as they grow,” said Alejandro. “And it all starts with teachers. To have been given the honor to train future educators, who are going to shape young children’s lives, was a dream come true.”

Her passion for education is evident in her guidance and mentorship of those she has taught, who are now teachers in the community.

“TSC is where I belong. It’s where my heart is,” she said. “Even though I’ve never been into politics, I made an exception running for a place on the board because I am a teacher at heart, and I knew I could make a difference.”

After developing TSC’s Child Care and Development program, she continued to teach at TSC as an instructor before moving to the University of Texas at Brownsville, where she earned tenure and taught for 20 years.

Throughout her career, Alejandro has also taught in San Antonio and Brownsville classrooms, coordinated and monitored head start programs in Texas and served as an education consultant for local school districts, as well as districts across several states.

For the last 19 years, she has also been the sole owner of the Alternative-South Texas Educator program, a teacher certification program that has certified thousands of aspiring educators. Through this leadership program, she grooms local talent to help fill the demand for teachers. The impact of her work multiplies as these teachers are promoted and serve as principals and superintendents in our rapidly growing region.

The genuine passion for education Alejandro brings to the board of trustees was cultivated from an early age and continued through her formative years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Childhood Development from Texas Woman’s University in 1971 and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1974.

In and out of the classroom, Alejandro is a strong advocate for education. “What I love about TSC and serving on the board is that everyone we work with is student-oriented,” said Alejandro. “Everyone has the students’ best interest at heart and that makes it easy to support the work of the college leadership in championing students’ academic, personal, and career goals. It’s all about the students.”

Alejandro added that she knows, firsthand, the struggles students face as a first-generation college graduate. She remembers what it was like having to make $10 stretch for an entire month and the sacrifices her parents made to ensure she got a college education.

“I remember everything,” she said. “From sometimes not having enough, to the excitement of earning a scholarship, because it meant that I could continue with my college education. This is why it is my goal to continue working with the other trustees and college leadership in supporting our communities. We offer academic transfer and workforce programs that improve the region’s quality of life. We also ensure college stays affordable and work to provide scholarships, to help more students successfully graduate.”

Alejandro says she takes tremendous pride in the responsibilities and duties she has as a TSC trustee and looks forward to continuing to serve her community.