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Newest Hall of Fame members inducted

The weather took a dip but spirits were still high November 6 as alumni, family and friends gathered for the 2013 Harlandale ISD Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Charles Boggess Center.

The crowd of about 150 people got a good laugh when this year’s Community Service inductee, Becky Gonzalez, had to share her own G-rated story because her nominators had problems coming up with one when shooting her video.

Margaret Vera, Harlandale High School Class of 1981, described the struggles her family had while putting her – the 10th of 11 children – through college and law school.

Jesse Ayala, from McCollum’s Class of 1978, explained how he followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a television and radio repair man but then took it one step further by starting his own business, X-Technologies, Inc.

Then there were the family members of inductees being awarded posthumously. Larry Royal accepted the award on his sister’s behalf. Donna Royal Tobias was a Harlandale High School graduate from 1955. She went on to have a successful career in education, teaching at Texas A&M - Kingsville. A wall in the speech building is dedicated in her honor.

The sister of Jodie Michelle Castro-Saenz tearfully represented her, saying she left this earth too soon but made a huge difference while she was here. Jodie was a 1997 graduate of McCollum High School and after attending college, she began her teaching career at Carroll Bell Elementary. She loved children and they loved her.

It was a night filled with memories, stories and applause. Getting it started were students from HISD’s Culinary Arts program who served appetizers to all guests in the courtyard while McCollum High School senior Rigo Navaira and Luke Salas serenaded the crowd. The music continued inside as the district’s mariachi group, Los Aguilas de Oro, entertained everyone while they were eating dinner provided by Don Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant.