A community is in mourning after the Kingsville Independent School District announced the death of the Board of Trustees President Corando "Cory" Garza Jr. on Friday morning.
The late board president served as a member of the school board since 2018, and had recently announced his intention to seek re-election for his seat on Place 1.
In a Facebook post Friday morning, KISD Superintendent Dr. Cissy Reynolds-Perez said she was proud to have had Garza serve as their board president.
"Although, President Garza’s meeting has adjourned, his legacy will live on," she said in the post.
Reynolds-Perez later sent a statement to KRIS 6 News on how she felt about Garza.
"A superintendent and team of leaders can do so much to transform a district for the benefit of students and teachers," Reynolds-Perez said. "But, it can only occur with the common vision of a board president and trustees. President Cory Garza brought that leadership to his position. He will be missed, tremendously."
Other community members who have worked with Garza also shared their thoughts of the legacy Garza leaves behind.
"Today is a somber day in Kleberg County. Your County Judge is heartbroken," Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid said of Garza's passing. "Corey Garza is a lifelong best friend who was loved by everyone that knew him. Our Brahma Class of 1990 was built on his outstanding school spirit full of laughter, jokes and dedication to our FFA, DECA, Football, etc.
"We had an amazing childhood. He leaves behind an amazing family, friends and an entire community who supports them," Madrid added. "The pain of his loss can only be healed by carrying on his legacy and dedication to KISD. God Bless You Corey, and your entire family."
KISD Director of Special Education Dr. Ada Besinaiz said she appreciated seeing Garza in every capacity, involving the district.
"I've never ever had a board President show up at a Saturday training," she said. "When I went to ask him if I could help him, he smiled and responded 'No, I'm here to learn and support.'”
KISD Athletic Director Michael Davila said Garza will be "missed tremendously by our Brahma Nation."
"He was a champion for our athletic program and he made sure to attend and support as many events as possible," Davila said. "We will continue to celebrate his legacy here at KISD and we would like to send our heartfelt condolences to his family. He will continue to watch over as he now sits in the best seat in the house. Rest easy, Mr. Garza."
Harrel Elementary Principle Tomasita Trevino said Garza will be missed dearly. "His love and dedication to KISD, to all employees, faculty, staff and students was amazing," she said.
"No matter what role or position you had in the district, he listened and fought vigorously for everyone," Gillette Middle School Principal Max Segovia said of Garza.
KISD Technology Director Juan Diego Vazquez-Cruz said he enjoyed Garza's encouragement of all staff. "(He) came to our tech team to say thank for all the hours and planning put together for an event that he called a 'total success,'" Vazquez-Cruz said. "He said he 'can't wait for next year.'"
This story will be updated through the weekend with those who wish to share words on the late board president's passing.