McALLEN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush stressed the need for leadership and public service to the Edinburg school district’s top achieving students Tuesday morning at the McAllen Convention Center.
Bush delivered the keynote address to the seniors in the top 10% of their graduating class during an honor banquet. Students from all four high schools were present, receiving recognition, a plaque and tassel to symbolize their achievement.
About 240 students and their family listened to Bush’s address, as he urged them to follow their dreams and encouraged a life toward public service.
The current legislative session is heavily focused on education, he said, which is one of his office’s responsibilities.
The Texas General Land Office serves students, veterans and the environment by overseeing the state land and its resources, according to the office website. Since 1876, the state constitution created a Permanent School Fund to help fund public schools, and the office manages these lands to ensure money flows into education, according to the website.
McAllen was his 11th stop on Bush’s public education tour throughout the state, and leadership became a major topic for his keynote with the Edinburg students.
“There are never enough leaders, people willing to fight for what’s right, for what they believe in, they care for othersor to serve the community,” Bush said addressing soon-to-be graduates heading into higher education or the workforce.
Bush said he had a simple message for students who have shown a “commitment to excellence.” The first message was to show gratitude to friends and family for helping them achieve their status as top students.
“It’s to never stop dreaming — this is an important milestone in your life, but there’s so many more successes and achievements to be made after high school,” he said.
Family and his life growing up in a prominent political dynasty also pushed him toward public service.
As the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, he said his grandfather was a role model who instilled values in him toward serving the community. The late former president served during World War II.
George P. Bush followed family tradition in serving the public through becoming an educator and a military officer, having served as a U.S. Naval Reserve Offi cer in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Edinburg CISD Superintendent René Gutiérrez said he hoped students will “pursue their dreams and their goals that they have established.” These students are “wellrounded” with experiences in extracurriculars, volunteering and athletics.
“We’ve prepared them for that, now we want them to continue with that motivation.” he said.