Monday, February 8, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found


VideoREWARD. LOST CAT: Gray and white male cat, since Nov. 13, on C.R. 429, Stockdale, wearing a silver collar. Call 512-629-2005 with any information.
Found: Basset Hound, Hwy. 97 W./Hospital Blvd., Floresville. Call 830-391-2153 between 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

The Cutting Edge Salon and Spa in Nixon is looking for experienced hair stylist and manicurist. Call 830-582-2233.
The City of Falls City is taking applications for the City Clerk position. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, have one year experience or more with QuickBooks, Microsoft Word – Excel, and bookkeeping. This is a full-time position with benefits. Salary is negotiable. Applications are available at City Hall located at 208 N. Irvin, Falls City, Texas. All applications are kept on file for two years. The City of Falls City is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
RE/MAX homeRichardson Chevrolet homeTNMC
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Head Start honors Mary Anna Gonzales


Head Start honors Mary Anna Gonzales


E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Julia Castro
Apple Pie and Salsa
March 13, 2013
2,679 views
Post a comment

My friend and former coworker at Head Start, Mary Anna Gonzales, was given a prestigious award on Nov. 3, 2012, at the annual Central District Reunion of the Mujeres Metodistas Unidas (United Methodist Women) in Dallas. Mary, as she’s known to all, was unable to attend the reunion because of her husband’s failing health. (Fidel is my second cousin and God willing, will turn 95 in April.) The theme of the reunion was Mujeres Impactando Nuestras Vidas (Women Impacting Our Lives). Mary was awarded a certificate that read “Special Mission Recognition.” In the program book for that day, two pages were dedicated to her, listing all the different ways she has served the women’s organization. Others from La Unidad attended the reunion in Dallas and presented the program and the certificate to Mary at a Sunday service at El Mesias with her family present. Mary has been a member of the organization since 1954 and has served as membership coordinator, treasurer, secretary, and president. She has served her church community in many ways.

But her service has not been limited to her church community. Mary has made an impact in the lives of many children. She was there from the beginning of the Head Start program here in Floresville. She remembers well one day in 1965 when three well-dressed men walked into her classroom. She was teaching a class of 5-year-olds sponsored by El Mesias under the title Susana Wesley Kindergarten. Her son, Rudy, and our daughter, Sara, were members of that class, as were many children of El Mesias members. It was Mary’s second year of teaching 5-year-olds. Others that had helped with that project were the late Lucy Garcia and the late Beatrice Toscano.

The men had been observing her and liked what they saw. They explained to her that they were representatives from Washington, D.C., and were looking to open a Head Start center right there at El Mesias. They asked if she would be willing to work for Head Start. She candidly informed them that she had no formal education, not even a GED. They told her that Head Start would pay for her education. She was to continue doing what she was doing but to consider herself a part of Head Start on a volunteer basis until the beginning of the next school year.

The Susana Wesley Kindergarten had its graduation in May 1966. By then, Josephine Garza had joined Mary. She had been recruited by Cipriano Villarreal, chairman of the church council. He was also the father of our present Floresville mayor, Diana Garza. Head Start opened in 1966. Sylvia Barber was hired as a teacher/director, with Mary working under her. In time, Mary went on to get her GED and an associate degree in child development. Mrs. Garza had her own classroom because she already had a teaching certificate, having taught at the Lodi School. They had 41 children between the two classrooms. In time, the enrollment grew so large that Sacred Heart Church opened a classroom of its own in the school basement. According to Mary, the teacher there was Nell Baker and her assistant was Vickie Guerra.

Mrs. Garza took over as teacher/director when Mrs. Barber left about two years later, and held that position until the fall of 1983, when she left Head Start because of a medical condition. She too had long before acquired an associate degree in child development through the Head Start program. She devoted 17 years to children of this community. Ms. Garza, now widowed, said that leaving that job was very difficult for her because she missed being around the children so much. At that time I was fortunate to be promoted to fill that position. It was a tough act to follow. In 1985 I relinquished the position and Mary took over as teacher/director.

In 1989 a new position was created throughout the agency -- that of MSL/director. The MSL (Multi-Service Liaison) carried out the duties of a nurse. That position was already in place, but now they combined it with the duties of the center director. That made it easier for the one that took over Mary’s classroom. Mary considers that change to be the biggest change in the history of Head Start up to then.

For me, one big change came when a new director of the Tri-County Head Start Agency, Irene Waak, came into the program in 1990, and said that it was absurd that the teachers had to do the cleaning in the centers. She set about hiring people to do the cleaning so that the teachers could devote more time to their duties as teachers.

Mary was once unjustly accused of physical abuse of a child. She was exonerated when people who knew her came to her defense. The parent had no evidence to back up the accusations. Shortly after that she received a certificate from a licensing representative from the Texas Department of Human Services, which read in part, “In recognition of meeting the qualifications for Child Care Facility Director.” Mary said her biggest satisfaction is when men and women approach her and tell her they appreciate having had her as their teacher. And there are former parents who tell her how she helped them by encouraging them to further their education. Mrs. Garza said the same about herself, that people still come up to her and ask her if she remembers them. Mary was responsible for bringing the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to Wilson County after much opposition. Young mothers have much to be thankful to Mary for.

Mary retired in 1992, after having spent more than 20 years in the classroom and six years as center director. Mary, now almost 85, these days devotes her time to her husband, and after raising four boys, is still helping to bring up grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She remains a faithful member of El Mesias United Methodist Church and the Mujeres Metodistas Unidas.

I would say that Mary has made a big impact on many people.

Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is juliamcastro1@gmail.com.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Agencies uncover $400K in stolen vehicles, parts (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. China Grove begins vote on tax rollback (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Clock running out for Floresville recall issue (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Connally expands high-tech health care (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Council action changes boards (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deputies charge Floresville spurned lover with arson (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deputies investigate recent thefts (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The demand for villains (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: What’s in a city charter? Is it like a … Constitution? (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Eight-liner opponents face deadline (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS pools tornado damage claim with city, Floresville ISD (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville USDA accountant resigns (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free CERT disaster course (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get a free heart health screening in Kenedy Feb. 12 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Greater LV Chamber to meet (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. H-E-B recalls cookware (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hold on for now (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s all happening at Nixon-Smiley Elementary (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kicaster area will have fire coverage (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Landfill welcomes China Grove junk (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Apple Pie author extends thanks (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Gonzales differs with writer’s conclusion (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Talamantez truly a man of the people (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Life Line Screening event set in Floresville Feb. 28 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mock Republican Debate Feb. 20 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nixon-Smiley livestock show set for March (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. One dead in game-room robbery (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pioneer Award honors Burnside (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pirates Cove in Poth offers after-school care service (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Save the date for Lincoln Dinner (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. School district cops ink deal with city, county (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Second responders to meet (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale, La Vernia units respond to back-to-back fires (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger is top agent (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Weigh in on Loop 410 changes (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wilson County Hermann Sons lodges meet new-member goal (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Loving’ heart-shaped treats are for the birds (February 3, 2016)