(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Javier De Leon has called Texas State Technical College home for 33 years. He will retire from TSTC at the end of this month.
In his three decades at TSTC, he has served as the college’s vice president of College Readiness and Workforce Training, and most recently as its executive vice president of Government Affairs.
De Leon has many memories at TSTC that will make it hard for him to say goodbye, but one thing is certain: TSTC changed his life.
Among his notable achievements at TSTC are his recommendation for a College Readiness division and the implementation of the Challenger Learning Centers in Harlingen and Waco.
“Bringing the Challenger Learning Centers to those campuses was one of my proudest accomplishments,” he said.
In addition to his many professional achievements, De Leon also has his fair share of personal memories at TSTC.
“It’s very hard to think that the individuals that I’ve worked with for so many years will no longer be in my day-to-day life,” he said. “This just showed me that once a TSTC family member, always a TSTC family member.”
Those memories have also been shared with many TSTC students who he has seen make it to the finish line.
“For me, the biggest joy is when their parents, siblings or even neighbors tell me a story about a student and how proud they are that they get to see that person now financially self-sufficient and with a confidence that they did not have before,” he said. “It showed me that TSTC is not just making a difference by giving them an education, but also a huge financial difference in their lives.”
De Leon leaves behind relationships with colleagues he has come to know on a personal level — colleagues he said he will never forget.
“I would like to thank them for always being there for me and allowing me to be a small part of the difference we are making for students,” he said. “I’m retiring from TSTC, but I will never stop supporting and promoting this great college.”
His TSTC family feels the same way. Provost Cledia Hernandez said that the efforts he has put into TSTC will continue.
“I have had the honor of working alongside Javier for the last seven years of his 33 years of service,” she said. “His dedication to TSTC and the success of our students is admirable. During his time here, he has helped lead various programs, each having a unique impact on student success. We know that the programs he established will continue to give guidance because of him and the team he developed to continue the work that he started.”
De Leon’s next path will take him to the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce to serve as president and CEO. His passion for representing TSTC will not be far behind.
“My new role at the chamber will allow me to continue to be a champion, cheerleader and huge advocate for the best technical college in the nation: TSTC.”