Press Release
April 7, 2006
Contact: Larkin Tackett
(512) 463-0121

(LAREDO) -- Students, faculty and staff at Zaffirini Elementary School today (Friday) each received a gift edition of If Judy Pappas Can Do It, Anybody Can!, compliments of Laredo National Bank-Grupo Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria (LNB/BBVA Group). Senator Judith Pappas Zaffirini (D-Laredo) handed a copy to each student before reading excerpts to students in second and third grades.

"It truly is a pleasure to share my story with the wonderful students at Zaffirini Elementary School," said Zaffirini. "If Judy Pappas Can allows me to share with students the lessons I learned while transforming rejection into acceptance, failure into success and disappointment into joy. I'm grateful to LNB/BBVA Group for making this possible."

The title first was expressed by Mother Mary Andrew, O.S.U., principal of Ursuline Academy, when Judy Pappas received her first high school academic award there. The senator quotes her often in motivating students to overcome barriers and to strive for excellence.

"Judy is a great example of a person who came from a modest background and has never lost sight of who she is," wrote Laredo National Bank Chairman, Gary G. Jacobs, in a letter to ZES students. "Learning is important to her, and we both wanted this book to serve as a remembrance of the value that learning offers you."

Published by LNB/BBVA under the supervision of Adrienne TreviƱo, the book was illustrated by Lynda Ramirez.

It highlights relevant milestones in Senator Zaffirini's life, from her first memory of learning to read at the age of three, to her recent accomplishments as vice chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Photos and stories describe her educational experiences, her dedication to family and her work as a communications specialist and Texas senator.

Hosted by Zaffirini Elementary School Assistant Principals Isabel Valdez and Simon Villarreal, Zaffirini emphasized the importance of education. "We can make no greater gift to society than to prepare educated young men and women who reflect honesty, integrity and ability."

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst recently appointed Zaffirini chair of the newly created Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education and re-appointed her to the Senate Education Committee and to the Subcommittee on Higher Education. The Texas Legislature will convene on April 17 for a special session regarding public school finance.