South Texas Independent School District

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South Texas Independent School District
Logo by itself.jpg
Think Outside the Book!
Type and location
Type Public School District
Grades 7-12
Established 1964
Country USA
Location 100 Med High Dr
Mercedes, Texas 78570
District information
President Homero Garcia, Board of Directors President
Superintendent Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D.
Students and staff
Students 3,398
Teachers 231
Other information
Website South Texas Independent School District

South Texas Independent School District (STISD) is a magnet school district headquartered in Mercedes, Texas (USA).[1] STISD operates magnet schools that draw students from three counties: Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy. STISD covers an area of 3,643 square miles (9,440 km2), overlapping 28 other school districts.

The only all-magnet school district in the state, STISD offers students with an educational alternative. STISD schools provide hands-on training in various professional career fields.

Because it is a magnet school district, there is no cost for students to attend, and bus transportation is also free of charge. STISD schools maintain an open enrollment policy, meaning any student can attend so long as he or she resides within the tri-county area.

All schools are accredited by the Texas Education Agency and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Over 95 percent of STISD graduates continue their education at major universities or technical colleges.

In 2009, the school district was rated "recognized" by the Texas Education Agency.[2]


The mission of South Texas Independent School District, a public, open-enrollment magnet school district, is to nurture and develop lifelong learners by providing challenging, focused educational experiences.[3]


The vision of South Texas Independent School District is to engage students in a focused, challenging curriculum within a small, caring community of learners.


The district was created in 1964 by the Texas legislature to provide education to disabled youth who were then excluded from public education. It was known as Rio Grande Rehabilitation District until 1973 and renamed South Texas Independent School District (STISD) in 1974.

STISD started as a residential school in Edinburg, named South Texas High School. To better accommodate the students of the lower Rio Grande Valley, STISD opened another school by the same name in Harlingen in 1967. In 1982, STISD moved the Harlingen school to a new facility in San Benito.

Lawmakers extended STISD’s purpose in 1983 to encourage the operation of vocational magnet schools. Soon after, South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High) opened in Mercedes in 1984. It was followed by The Science Academy of South Texas (Sci Tech), also in Mercedes, in 1989.

In 1993, South Texas High School in Edinburg was redirected and reopened as The Teacher Academy of South Texas (Teacher Academy).

In 2003, Teacher Academy added business and technology programs and the school was renamed South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA). That same year, South Texas High School in San Benito was redirected and reopened as South Texas Academy of Medical Technology (Med Tech).

In 2008, the junior high from South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA) separated and opened as South Texas Preparatory Academy (STPA).

Though the district’s mission has evolved since 1964, STISD continues to provide educational and occupational training to students with special needs through the Half-Day Career & Technology Program offered at each school.



  1. ^ "Contact STISD." South Texas Independent School District. Retrieved on May 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. 
  3. ^ "STISD - Mission". 

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