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PSJA continues to rake in the accolades

King’s long journey from Rio Hondo Ed. note: Love his leadership style or not – straight to the point, blunt, not afraid to step on delicate toes -- there is no denying that Daniel King has proven a boon to PSJA ISD during his 12-year tenure. At least that’s my opinion, going back to when I first landed here in 1982. Gus Guerra was the superintendent, the school board was still meeting inside that tiny boardroom inside the old small administration building on Bus. 83, and the district only had one high school. My, how times have changed. Currently, as he gets set to retire at the end of this month, PSJA ISD Superintendent Daniel P. King’s personal story shows that if one has a passion for something – in King’s case, education – it’s still possible to rise to the pinnacle of your profession no matter the humble beginnings from which you sprang. Twotimes, he’s been named the Texas Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. Not bad for a kid born and raised in Rio Hondo to a family that eventually grew to include 10 children. The early years Born in Wilmington, Delaware, King arrived in south Texas when he was three years old. His dad, a Baptist with a soft heart for the poor, had felt a call to the missionary fields in Mexico. So with a willing wife and five kids in tow at the time, King’s dad packed up the family clunker and headed south in 1957. By the time the family hit Corpus, funds were running low. Someone in tune with God’s work directed King’s dad to go and see Howard Butt, son to the company’s matriarch and founder, Florence, and himself a Baptist. At the time HEB was headquartered in Corpus, and Howard Butt was the company president. “Mr. Butt recommended to my dad that instead of going to Mexico, he should make the Rio Grande Valley his home missionary base,” King says, recalling a bit of family history. ‘Mexico will come to you,’ he said.” Looking at today’s Valley demographics, turns out, Butt knew what he was talking about. Growing up, the young Daniel King saw how his parents’ hearts went out to the poor, their compassion toward the down-and-out, their strong sense of justice and right and wrong, and how everyone should be treated the same, no matter how they were born, rich or ...

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