2000 DAA Recipients
James "Jim" Richard Batsell
Retired Businessman; Former Long-time Commissioner, Brownsville Navigation District
"We had friends from San Benito and Harlingen who came to the junior college by bus and so we developed some new friendships."
In those days money was hard to come by, so many students worked part time. James Batsell worked in the family store and at the college, where he was a yard monitor. He said his job was to keep students off the lawn.
Batsell was on the yearbook staff that produced the first yearbook called El Charro. He also served as class secretary-treasurer. After graduation he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, and was one of three graduates to earn a bachelor of business administration degree in retailing.
Returning to Brownsville, he worked in the family business and was active in the community. He served as a port commissioner for 30 years during a time of steady growth and progress at the Port of Brownsville.
Raul A. Besteiro Jr.
Former Chief Executive Officer/Port Director, Port of Brownsville; Former Superintendent,
Brownsville Independent School DIstrict
"When I went to TSC, I had some of the finest teachers I ever had. What they gave me was an education and a foundation that I could not have received anywhere else."
Raul A. Besteiro, Jr. or "Mr. B" as everyone affectionately knew him, attended TSC in 1952 after graduating from Saint Joseph Academy. In a 1999 interview, he said staying close to home gave him time to mature and appreciate the individual attention he had received as a student at TSC.
The junior college also had a special place in Besteiro’s heart. It was where he met his future wife, Mina. Mina was the Bougainvillea Queen and Besteiro was her escort.
After attending TSC, Besteiro pursued his studies at The University of Texas at Austin where he graduated in 1957 with B.A. in zoology and chemistry. He also has a Master of Arts degree from Texas A and I University in Kingsville.
Before joining the Port of Brownsville, Besteiro was a long-time educator serving as a teacher, assistant principal and principal of Brownsville High School, the city’s only high school at the time.
While he was principal, he was the first in Texas to introduce the dual division concept to relieve the overcrowding at the high school. At that time, Brownsville High School was the largest high school in the country.
In 1976, Besteiro was appointed superintendent. During his 13-year tenure, he led the district through tremendous growth overseeing the construction of ten new elementary, junior high and high schools, and a new administration building. Today, a middle school bears his name.