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The new year has arrived, and it is time to move beyond 2020 — a year that has been marred by a major pandemic that has caused staggering personal and economic losses around the globe.
On this New Year’s Day, local leaders and prominent members of the community share their resolutions for 2021:
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz:
“My primary hope, prayer and resolution for 2021 is that now with the elections behind us and the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, the political and pandemic destructive divisive forces which captivated 2020 with all their fury and drama come to a screeching halt. That we as a nation and community learn from 2020 as to what not to do, so that we may begin to heal emotionally, spiritually and economically. We must realize that we are a diverse society in so many ways. We need to truly learn that words are hurtful, inciteful and destructive. We need to engage in mature and respectful debate, agreeing to disagree on varying viewpoints without personally scorching or obliterating the opponent’s self-dignity or self-worth. We must remind ourselves that as human beings, we have the capability of intellect which must be tempered with patience, love and compassion.
“In 2021, let us work to be a better you and I, and it begins with forgiveness; all for the sake of ourselves, community and country. God Bless – Viva Nuestro Laredo!”
Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina:
“I’m looking forward to taking Webb County to a whole other level. Your Webb County team will rise above any circumstance we face this New Year. God willing, it will be a year of healing, restoration and great accomplishments. My personal resolution is to maintain a healthy style, refine my future goals and focus on moving this county in a prosperous direction. Un abrazo Webb County!”
District IV Councilmember and Mayor Pro-Tempore
Alberto Torres Jr.:
“My good friend former County Judge Andy Ramos has always reminded me that a New Year signifies the possibility of 365 new opportunities in life. Those possibilities and opportunities are determined by oneself, as the power of transforming our lives is in our hands. Although perfection is difficult to attain, we can make the best of it and always aim for the righteous. My New Year’s resolutions are to live a healthier lifestyle, work diligently for the people I proudly represent and to continue growing my faith in order to share it with others. I hope 2021 brings us all a year filled with prosperity, an abundance of health and plentiful blessings.”
District V Councilmember Ruben Gutierrez:
My New Year’s resolution would be to get even more involved with the community and listen to their needs. Even though I am new, I know there is much more I can do in the community than I have done this year. Being a police officer, I was able to help the community one person at a time. Now, as a councilmember, I know I can help one neighborhood at a time.
“I do hope we will have some normalcy back to our city. With the vaccine at hand, I look forward to reopening our city 100% to make it thrive again. To see people working and smiling again, I miss seeing that in our community. Together, we will pull out of this situation.
“Let’s all stay focused and safe during these next few months, until the vaccine has been administered to all the people that need it and want it. If we stay optimistic and think positive, the future for this city will be a great one. Happy New Year! God bless you all, please stay safe.”
District VII Councilmember Vanessa Perez:
“My resolutions are to read more, listen more, talk less and get more steps in each day. My hopes and wishes for 2021 are that we find ways to stay connected to all the people important to us and that we see an end to this pandemic. Happy New Year.”
Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar:
“I want to wish all of our community a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Please remember that we need to stay healthy and strong. So keep on practicing all precautionary measures and safety guidelines recommended by the CDC. May God protect us all. Happy New Year!”
Laredo Police Chief Claudio Treviño Jr.:
“With 2020 behind us, it is that time of the year to reflect on the challenges of this past year with an eye toward 2021 and a hope of all it might bring. While 2020 was not the easiest, my resolution for this New Year 2021 is to not let the challenges of 2020 continue to affect me in 2021, but instead use them as inspiration for the upcoming year.
“I vow to continue to do my part to the best of my abilities by providing the department all the necessary equipment and training to do our job safely and professionally, with compassion and understanding to all the hardships and difficulties facing our community. On a personal note, I look forward to the comfort and satisfaction of holding my loved ones close and of giving colleagues and friends that handshake or congratulatory hug, all-the-while remembering that I must continue to strive to be a better man, loving father and, most importantly, remain close to God.”
Laredo Police Department Investigator and Public Information Officer Joe Baeza:
“With the experience of 2020 behind us, I look forward to 2021 as a truly progressive year. My simple goals are to be closer to family, friends and God. Continue to see the good in everyone and everything. I humbly pray for all those members of the community that have been lost this year. May they rest in peace.”
Rio Bravo City Commissioner Amanda Aguero:
“As we set our sights on the New Year, the one piece of advice I can offer is make time! Unfortunately, we get caught up on our daily life hustles and responsibilities that we elect a cycle of just that. This year with this pandemic, I learned the importance of making time for family. So don’t say ‘I didn’t have time,’ make time! Because time doesn’t stop for anyone, and by the time you know it, time is up!
“My New Year’s resolution is: Family first, the world can wait!”
UISD Deputy Superintendent for Administration and Operations Gloria S. Rendon:
“It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been a difficult year. Our sense of normalcy has been completely disrupted, and we have lost so many wonderful individuals and time with those we love. However, I know that with faith we will continue to endure. My only resolution for this year is to continue living by the following: ‘Let go and Let God!” Dios por Delante!”
UISD Superintendent Roberto J. Santos:
“I want everyone to stay safe, continue wearing their masks and keep social distancing so we can celebrate 2021 with all our loved ones and our friends! I especially want for all of our UISD students and staff to come back to a safe school setting. Happy 2021 everybody!”
St. Augustine High School Principal Olga Gentry:
“To more fully appreciate all of God’s blessings — most especially faith, family and friends; and to better serve the St. Augustine Catholic School community; as well as to take advantage of life’s many special opportunities!”
TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz:
“2020 has been a year of challenge, asking all of us to find the reserves of strength many didn’t realize they had. We have all been impressed and inspired by the commitment and resolve of our frontline defenders, our scientists, our service providers and, of course, our TAMIU faculty, staff and students.
“Through all of our individual and combined sacrifices, we’ve sustained a momentum that has powered our mission forward and helped our students to succeed despite the pandemic. With a vaccine now making its way to our nation and world, we can all be filled with the optimism promised by a New Year.
“And just as we begin to pack away 2020, TAMIU finds itself the most fortunate recipient of a truly life-changing gift of $40 million from MacKenzie Scott. This visionary philanthropist believed in the transformative work we do at TAMIU, and the inspiring success of our students. With her generous gift, we are resolved to continue to advance that work and that transformation with an amazing measure of security and support … well into the New Year and beyond.”
Laredo College President Dr. Ricardo Solis:
“The next year will make us reevaluate our priorities and appreciate and value what is important in life. This will compel us to continue innovating, changing and adapting to improve our lives and our community. Driven by leadership with purpose, I wish for a new year filled with prosperity and positive change for all.”
Laredo College Sr. Director of Strategic & External Initiatives Michael Gonzalez:
“This year has been filled with tragedy and loss that has been incalculably widespread and unfathomably large. As we close the book on a challenging 2020, I wish for a new year filled with focus on a future fueled by innovation that will remedy the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Laredo College Board Trustee Karina “Kari” Elizondo:
“My New Year’s resolution is to leave this world a better place than how I found it. To illustrate the needs of our people and address such needs accordingly. To be their voice, to bring change, hope and inspiration to future generations because we deserve a better tomorrow — and tomorrow is now. Happy New Year, Laredo!”
LISD Director of Child Nutrition Program Roberto Cuellar:
“My resolution is to not only continue to eat healthy but balance my healthy eating with more physical activity. And continue to bring more smiles to children in healthy eating.”
Harmony Public Schools Public Relations/Outreach Coordinator Nicole Marie Romanos:
“My personal New Year’s resolutions are to make a more conscious effort to refine and expand my professional knowledge as a public relations & outreach facilitator to be of better service to my Harmony Public Schools Laredo community, and to apply the same amount of effort to my second resolution which involves wonderful changes for my son and I. I wish all our Laredo community a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! Welcome 2021! I look forward to a year of healing for all.”
Laredo ISD Board of Trustees President Hector J. “Tito” Garcia:
“I resolve to work with the Laredo ISD Board of Trustees, our administrators, parents and school community to get through this pandemic and get all of our children back in class. We will do whatever it takes to assure the health and safety of our students and staff. I also resolve to provide LISD campuses with all the support they need to bring the district more National Blue Ribbon School awards from the U.S. Department of Education. I am confident that we can fulfill these resolutions by working together as a family. Finally, I would like to wish everyone a new year filled with good health, prosperity and happiness.”
Dr. Sylvia G. Rios Laredo ISD Superintendent:
“I will focus on the well-being of our students, employees and loved ones as we work together to overcome the pandemic and provide all with the opportunity to shine brightly in the year to come. We want to do our part for Laredo and to raise each other up. We are blessed with all who are part of Laredo ISD’s family and who contribute to our greater community.”
Cigarroa High School Principal Jose Iznaola:
“My New Year’s resolution is to be more conscious of living in the ‘now.’ During 2020, it was clear to me that life is very fragile and that not living in the present cannot give us peace. So finding peace in the present will be my goal this 2021.”
Laredo ISD Health Services Coordinator Gracie Lopez:
“I would like to connect myself more toward my family and focus on our health and well-being.”
Garcia Early College High School Principal Margarita Taboada:
“Personally, I would like to eat less red meat and salt to lower my cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart. Professionally, I would like to continue to work with the faculty and staff to support and encourage the students at the Hector J. Garcia Early College High School on their academic journey.”
Laredo ISD Executive Director of Communications Veronica Castillon:
“I want to live in such a way that I can reflect Gold’s love, illuminate dark spaces and help the community around me flourish. I also plan to spend more time encouraging and praying for my family and friends.”
J.W. Nixon High School Principal Cassandra Mendoza:
“I resolve to continue my journey for a healthier lifestyle both physically and spiritually.”
Martin High School Principal Guillermo Pro:
“I am committed to better serve my community.”
Cigarroa head football coach Carlo Hein:
“I hope to play a season next year with no global pandemic going on.”
Alexander head basketball coach Luis Vadlez:
“My resolution is to be a better dad to my kids, be a better son to my dad, be a better brother to my brothers, be a better teacher to my students, be a better coach to my team, and be a better husband to my wife. Overall, to be a better God-loving man this coming year.”
St. Augustine head basketball coach Rodrigo Romo:
“For 2021, I plan to appreciate everything a lot more, to not take anything for granted and to count my blessings daily.”
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