Joe Callandret School to receive historical designation

The Callandret family of San Benito is shown in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of the San Benito Historical Society)

The Callandret family of San Benito is shown in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of the San Benito Historical Society)

Special to the NEWS

George McShan

George McShan

In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Joe Callandret School, and to commemorate Black History Month, the San Benito Historical Society will dedicate the 11th marker in its series of historical designations with a brief unveiling ceremony at 5 p.m., Tuesday, February 19, at the San Benito CISD Joe Callandret Positive Redirection Center.

Also, George McShan will speak at the historical society’s “Windows to the Past” series at 6 p.m. inside the Community Building. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, marking the 60th anniversary of the school, the descendants of Jean Marie Callandret and his wife, Fannie Sanco, held a family reunion in July, hosted by their granddaughters, Linda Brock and Doris Baker.

The public is invited to both events.

McShan has lived in Harlingen for over 40 years and was employed 32 years at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen; the last 20 years as College Dean. In 1988, he was elected to the Harlingen CISD School Board; this is his 22nd year on the board. He has served in every officer position, including six different times as president. In 1998-1999, he was elected President of the Texas Association of School Boards, its first African American, and in 2004 he was elected President of the National School Boards Association, only the second Texan to hold this position in its 66 year history. In 2006, he was selected to receive the TASB Celebration of Leadership Award which honors school board members who have made a significant contribution to their community. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Annual National Hispanic Caucus (Abrazo) Award for outstanding leadership, as well as the recipient of the Lifetime PTA Membership for Texas and the National PTA Association.

McShan is certified as a Master School Board Trustee by TASB and is a registered provider by the Texas Education Agency for School Board/Superintendent training.

Read this story in the Feb. 17 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

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    • Lonny on January 12, 2020 at 4:12 pm
    • Reply

    Do you have more information about Joe Callandret’s life and how he died?

    • Aikeysha Rolls on November 4, 2016 at 4:56 pm
    • Reply

    Trish i am a descendant of Jean Marie and Fannie. I can b found on facebook under AiKeysha AiKeysha. Please inbox me so i can hear and share our family story. Thank u hope to hear from.u soon!!

      • Lonny on January 12, 2020 at 4:14 pm
      • Reply

      Hey cousin

    • Trish on May 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm
    • Reply

    Connection to Joe (Jean Marie) Callandret. I believe Joe Callandret’s grandmother, Angelique Fanguy is my GGG grandmother. My mother’s family is still in Arnaudville, LA. We’d always heard the story of the son of Angelique and Carlos Artigue’s daughter Bertha marrying Jean Marie Callandret. They named their son Jean Marie. He married in Arnaudville and started a family……….then moved to the Rio Grande Valley and started a school. There was no more info on that branch of the family. I got curious and did a little research….not that hard to find Joe Callandret and his school in San Benito.

    Please feel free to pass along my email to any descendants of Joe Callandret. My mom’s family always spoke well of him as the story was passed down through the generations. There is more to the story and I’d love to share. The Arnaudville Callandrets also built a school for underserved children. That building still stands as well.

    Take care,

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