Welcome to the MISD Fine Arts Department


For the 9th consecutive year, the McAllen ISD Fine Arts Department has been chosen by the NAMM Foundation as one of the "Best Communities for Music Education"!!! A HUGE Congratulations to our incredible Music Teachers and Staff!

NAMM 2021

McAllen ISD Visual Arts shine at the Second Annual Inaugural Rio Grande Valley

Visual Arts Contest  

On Saturday, January 23rd, the Second Annual Rio Grande Valley Visual Arts Contest was held virtually.  Students were given three hours to complete a brand-new work of art based on a still life and a prompt.  The prompt this year was “Dreamy”.  The districts that competed were McAllen ISD, Brownsville, Edinburg CISD, La Joya ISD, Mission CISD, PSJA ISD, Rio Grande City CISD, Valley View ISD and Weslaco ISD.  Each district had their own local contest to qualify up to 5 middle school and 5 high school students to the regional event.  Our district contest is the MISD Creative Mind Art Challenge and was held virtually on Saturday, January 16th.   

After three hours, the artwork was adjudicated, and the top 6 students in each category were recognized.  McAllen ISD did OUTSTANDING!!!  McAllen ISD students were awarded 4 of the 12 available places and including FIRST PLACE in both Middle School and High School.  This is the second year in a row that McAllen ISD students won both Middle School and High School categories.  McAllen ISD students that competed are: 

  • Middle School 

    • Asya Hinojosa, 8th grader from Cathey MS – Regional FIRST PLACE (Asya also won both contests last year!) 

    • Isabella Slowinski, 8th grader from Fossum MS - Regional THIRD PLACE 

    • Amani Nguma, 8th grader from Cathey MS - Regional FOURTH PLACE 

    • Adrian Villegas, 7th grader from De Leon MS  

    • Gabriel Martinez, 7th grader from Morris MS 


  • High School 

    • Pedro Saenz, 9th grader from Memorial HS - Regional FIRST PLACE 

    • Deyanira Rodriguez, 12th grader from Lamar Academy 

    • Rong Hua Wang, 12th grader from Lamar Academy 

    • Samantha Garcia, 12th grader from McAllen HS 

    • Leslie Gaby Markle, 11th grader from Lamar Acadeny  

Here is a link to the student artwork: 


The MISD Visual Arts Teachers of the top 5 students are Travis Dillard (Cathey MS), Gloria Garza (Fossum MS), Alfredo Gonzalez (De Leon MS), Dante Mata (Morris MS), Veronica Martinez (Memorial HS), Xavier Perez (Lamar Academy), Lee Roy Garza (McAllen HS). 

Congratulations to all of these very talented MISD Art Students and their hard-working teachers!  Also big thanks to Lisa Saenz-Saldivar, MISD Lead Visual Arts Coach, for organizing and running both contests.  We are extremely proud of our Visual Arts Program in McAllen ISD that is second to none! 


Fine Arts COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Guidelines

and Re-Opening Protocols and Procedures

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2020 Best Communities for Music Education

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Meet Our Fine Arts Department Staff!

McAllen ISD Fine Arts Staff

Debra Loya Thomas
Director of Fine Arts
(956) 618-6085

Victoria Villarreal
Fine Arts Secretary
(956) 618-6085

Lisa Saenz-Saldivar
Visual Arts Coach
(956) 632-2920

Jessica Riojas
Fine Arts Bookkeeper
(956) 618-6085

MISD Fine Arts Teaching Staff

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McAllen ISD Band Teaching Staff

Please contact us at 

Department of Fine Arts 
2112 N. Main St.
Crockett Building G20
McAllen, Texas . 78501