Wyatt Ranches, on behalf of The Wyatt Foundation, has donated $100,000 to the Ben Bolt – Palito Blanco Independent School District and $60,000 to the Freer Independent School District.


At the Ben Bolt – Palito Blanco schools, grant funds were requested for security fencing, computer technology, and for the school’s award-wining mariachi program. In Freer, the grant funds are needed for continued upgrades at their school district’s recently renovated swimming pool.


Ben Bolt – Palito Blanco ISD Superintendent Mike A. Barrera, Ed.D. met at the Foundation’s headquarters, with Jim Wells County Sheriff Danny Bueno, to request their funds, after Eloy Perez, President of the Reclamation Water District, originally made a petition for the school several months ago. During the meeting, Sheriff Bueno highlighted the need for the school security fencing, and he referenced two recent vehicle pursuits on the nearby U.S. Highway 281, where the occupants reportedly fled on foot in the community.


The Sheriff stressed the need for school safety and said, “Obviously perimeter fencing plays an important role with securing the campus.”


Billy Wells, president of The Wyatt Foundation, expressed concern about school safety and all concurred with Sheriff Bueno’s remarks about securing the school when nearby criminal incidents create danger. Dr. Barrera also expressed the need for greater classroom computer technology and gave details about the technological advances needed for the district’s teachers.


Regarding the funding request for the mariachi program, Wyatt Ranches’ Administrator Bradford Wyatt remarked, “Well, of course…everyone loves mariachis…and the school has certainly demonstrated their commitment to achieving excellence in this area as well.” The Foundation’s Board was also impressed with Dr. Barrera’s report of the District’s State of Texas rating having increased from a D to a B, within such a short time period. A grant for $100,000 was awarded to the school system with funds to be released this week to Dr. Barrera.


Situated south of Alice and in Jim Wells County, along the U.S. Highway 281 corridor, the Ben Bolt – Palito Blanco ISD is recognized in the area as a preferred educational provider in a rural setting. The District’s Board of Trustees include Zelda Saenz, President; Julie Garcia Ramos, Vice President; Maria Saenz Garza, Secretary; Noe Cadena, Trustee; Higinio Garcia, Trustee; Jessica Molina, Trustee; and Esteban Perez, Trustee.


Freer ISD Schools Superintendent Conrad Cantu, accompanied by Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez, then made their presentation at the Foundation’s headquarters. Sheriff Ramirez had originally petitioned Wyatt Ranches for upgrades to the District’s swimming pool in the summer months. Superintendent Cantu discussed his progress with renovating the swimming pool since his being appointed as Superintendent. He then expressed his desire to continue with these renovations. He provided details for more sheltering, security fencing, equipment storage facility upgrades, surface upgrades, and other enhancements for the pool. Sheriff Ramirez reminded the Board of their previous donations, made to the District for livestock handling equipment, and how these donations enable Duval County children to stay safely engaged at school, and not elsewhere. He said the pool donation would be another example. Superintendent Cantu and Sheriff Ramirez also commented on the mandatory swimming lessons that are now a part of the school’s curriculum for life safety. The Wyatt Ranches Foundation board members were impressed with the school’s progress with the pool, and the enhancement made to the community. Foundation Director Don Nelson advised the Sheriff and the Superintendent their request for $55,000 would be increased to $60,000. Their funds will also be granted and presented this week.


Located in northwestern Duval County, between Corpus Christi and Laredo, Freer ISD is often recognized for their innovations in rural education and acknowledged for their community engagement as well. Their Board of Trustees include Steve McQuagge, President; Adrian Perez, Vice President; Anita Pulido, Trustee; Marty Perez, Trustee; Cresencio “Jr” Acevedo, Trustee; Pamela Garza, Trustee; and Christina Lichtenberger, Trustee.


Situated in South Texas and also in West Texas, Wyatt Ranches has six cattle ranching divisions. These cattle ranches are scattered south from Agua Dulce to the Rio Grande River; and west from Marfa to Valentine, with some ranches supplemented with agricultural farming operations.


The Wyatt Foundation has made numerous donations to governmental entities and non-profit organizations in the rural areas of both South and West Texas…as well as donations for hospitals and teaching universities in the metropolitan areas of Texas. The Foundation’s Board of Directors include the Hon. Ana Lisa Garza, Billy C. Wells, Don C. Nelson, Oscar S. “Trey” Wyatt III, and Bradford A. Wyatt.