Educator Day events encourage teachers to cultivate students

Stephen Ritz, CEO of Green Bronx Machine

Stephen Ritz, CEO of Green Bronx Machine, speaks to more than 100 school teachers and administrators at HESTEC Educator Day on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus. Now in its 16th year, HESTEC Week offers students and educators hands-on activities, presentations from world-renowned speakers and other resources to encourage more students to consider careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

By Jennifer L. Berghom

EDINBURG, TEXASOCT. 2, 2017 – Stephen Ritz considers himself a farmer, but he doesn’t consider the fruits and vegetables he and his students plant as his main crop.

“I’m a people farmer,” Ritz, the CEO of Green Bronx Machine based in the South Bronx, said. “My job is to plant seeds.”

Ritz’s presentation was part of UTRGV’s 16th annual Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week, which began Sunday with a Congressional Dinner and ends Saturday with Community Day.

More than 100 educators filled the University Ballroom on Monday on the Edinburg Campus for Educator Day.

Ritz shared the story about how he has been educating children through agriculture. His efforts have improved the health and educational outcomes of students in the South Bronx and garnered accolades throughout the world.

He encouraged the packed room of educators to continue doing their part to improve the lives of their students.

“We are the gatekeepers of equity and opportunity,” he said.

Educator Day included:

  • A panel discussion on STEM literacy.
  • Remarks by Tina Aguirre, downstream retail services and operations manager of Shell.
  • A keynote address from Scott Thompson, assistant executive director of the Panasonic Foundation.
  • And a presentation of the UTRGV HESTEC ExxonMobil Educator Day 2017 Awards to educators Jerri Pineda, a math teacher at Santa Rosa High School, and Ricardo Ramirez, a science teacher at San Benito High School.

HESTEC continues Tuesday with Student Leadership Day.

Visit the HESTEC website for a complete list of events and News to read more about HESTEC.

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

UTRGV presented its HESTEC ExxonMobil Educator Day 2017 Awards to educators Jerri Pineda(pictured front right), a math teacher at Santa Rosa High School, and Ricardo Ramirez (pictured center), a science teacher at San Benito High School, Monday, Oct. 2, during HESTEC Educator Day. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

UTRGV presented its HESTEC ExxonMobil Educator Day 2017 Awards to educators Jerri Pineda(pictured front right), a math teacher at Santa Rosa High School, and Ricardo Ramirez (pictured center), a science teacher at San Benito High School, Monday, Oct. 2, during HESTEC Educator Day. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)


HESTEC EDUCATOR DAY PHOTO GALLERY: https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000OxOMyzQL3z4/G0000syctn6mLy_s/20171002-HESTEC-Educator-Day-EC-PC
Password: hestec (case sensitive)

HESTEC VIDEO QUOTE OF THE DAY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWtdLGlDN1c&feature=youtu.be

MEDIA CONTACTS

Jennifer.Berghom@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Senior Writer / 956-665-7192

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742