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Mercedes ISD Profile

Mercedes, Texas, is a rural town with a population of 15,000. Ninety-three percent of children live at or below the poverty level and a large percentage of those children live in sub-standard housing (colonias) that lack basic utilities. The school district is the largest employer in Mercedes and they experience a low turnover rate.

When Jesus Gandara became superintendent in 1996, he began an intensive project to rebuild all eight schools in the district and create a technology infrastructure to improve learning and prepare students to succeed in the global economy. Today, the schools are a source of pride and inspiration in the tightly knit community.

Major infrastructure upgrades and equipment purchases have equipped all classrooms with network access and 3 to 4 computers. Elementary schools have labs where students use Playstation devices connected to televisions to access Lightspan educational software, and they have mobile laptop carts for 1:1 computing lessons. Now that the schools have capacity, Technology Director David Avila would like to see classroom integration beyond educational game software.

Mercedes Independent School District
5000 students
99% Hispanic, 1% Other
93% Economically disadvantaged
15:1 Student to teacher ratio
8 schools, 5 involved in the NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge program

  • Taylor Elementary - 6 members
  • Travis Elementary - 6 members
  • Ruben Hinojosa Elementary - 4 members
  • Mercedes Early Childhood Center - 3 members
  • Mercedes Jr. High - 4 members

Taylor Elementary 1-4th
Diana Dominguez, Principal
900 N. Missouri Avenue
Mercedes, TX 78570

554 students, # classroom teachers, # resource teachers
100% Hispanic
95% Economically disadvantaged
47.3% Limited English proficiency
47% of teachers have been teaching for 6 or more years, 64% state average

Travis Elementary 1-4th
Pearl Guerrero, Principal
1551 S. Georgia Avenue
Mercedes, TX 78570

495 students
99% Hispanic, 1% other
91% Economically disadvantaged
37.2% Limited English proficiency
66% of teachers have been teaching for 6 or more years, 64% state average

Ruben Hinojosa Elementary 1-4th
Judy Power, Principal
500 S. Rio Rico Road
Mercedes, TX 78570

510 students
100% Hispanic
94% Economically disadvantaged
59.4% Limited English proficiency
61% of teachers have been teaching for 6 or more years, 64% state average

Mercedes Early Childhood Center
Rafael Leal, Principal
Hwy 83 and Mile One E
Mercedes, TX 78570

723 students, # classroom teachers, # resource teachers
99% Hispanic, 1% other
93% Economically disadvantaged
19.6% Limited English proficiency
70% of teachers have been teaching for 6 or more years, 64% state average