Even though the number of visitors to the park drops a bit during the hot summer months, there is still plenty going on behind the scenes at Palo Alto. This summer there are several different programs and projects being worked on at the park.
Arnoldo, Maritza, and Oscar came to the park thanks to a Park Stewards Grant from the National Park Foundation.They will be developing field trip programs and assisting with a Girl Scouts Journeys project.
"My name is Arnoldo Mendoza and I am both a spouse and a parent. My wife's name is Melba and my kids' names are: Stacey (21), Jennifer (18), and Richard (11).
I am a teacher at the Los Fresnos High School and I have been teaching there for fifteen years. The subject that I teach at the High School is U.S. History. I am also an adjunct at UTB/TSC and teach Freshman-level U.S. History in both English and in Spanish. My education consists of a B.A. in History, a Composite Social Studies Degree, and an M.A.I.S. in History.
In April 2012, I received an e-mail that invited all LFCISD teachers to voluntarily apply to work the summer at the Palo Alto Battlefield. Since I wasn't going to be working at UTB in the summer I chose to apply. I was notified by Karen Weaver that I had been chosen to work at Palo Alto. My official title at Palo Alto is Teacher-Ranger-Teacher. My duties consist of creating new activities and modifying some of the activities that are currently in place. I am also supposed to master these activities and in the fall, along with Karen Weaver, train some of my High School students to lead educational tours at the Palo Alto Battlefield."
"My name is Maritza Lopez. I am glad to be a member of this park. I love to experience new things and challenge myself to become a better person. I started this job because I thought it was a great opportunity to start my summer off and learn more about the National Park Service. So far it's been awesome to see people come out and see what Palo Alto is all about."
"My name is Oscar Casanova and I have learned lots of interesting facts about Palo Alto. I am very excited because this is my first job. This will help me decide upon my career as a teacher because of the interactions with the students that come and visit the park. I am a person who likes to meet new people and have lots of fun. I also like to have challenges in my life because that how people succeed in life.
I started this job because of a grant Palo Alto received for park stewards. My partner and I were fortunate that we applied for the park stewards positions. So far I like what we are doing with the kids because you can see the enjoyment in their faces."
Sandra and Sean are part of the National Park Service's Teacher to Ranger to Teacher program here at Palo Alto. Some of the projects that our TRTs will be working include, a Girl Scout Journeys project and a Mobile Living History Camp program. This is the 7th year that the park has hosted this program.
"I have 20 years of teaching experience. I have worked in Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District for 10 years. I teach Business Information Management and Principles of Business, Finance, and Marketing at Harlingen High School South. I have a master's degree in Occupational Training and Development from Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. I have a bachelor's degree in Business Education from University of Central Oklahoma. I am a Rio Grande Valley native."
"Hello, my name is Sean Carney, and I am pleased to be working as a National Park Ranger this summer. I am a Navy veteran. I've been a math and/or art teacher for the HCISD for 6 years. I am helping Palo Alto with their living history program during the summer because I've been a living history volunteer here at the park since the living history program started some 7 years ago. I have the honor of helping to create programs that are field trips that show up at the schools, which should help out teachers in these days of tight budgets and no field trip money available. Come on out and see what we're about!"
Harrison is currently working on fine tuning the park's Junior Ranger program, including integrating it with the park's cell phone tour.
"Hi, I'm Harrison Murphy. I'm a member of St. Joseph Academy's most recent graduating class. I will attend Texas A&M-College Station in the fall. I'm currently serving as an SCA intern for Palo Alto, helping to revamp its Junior Ranger Program."