A. N. (Tony) Rico Elementary School was opened in the fall of 1994 and celebrated its grand opening in the spring of 1995 with the appearance of Vice-President Al Gore and his Yale college roommate, actor Tommy Lee Jones.
Rico serves a large rural area of northeast Weslaco, Texas, where kindergarten through fifth grade students enjoy all the amenities of an excellent education.
Our school is named after Antonio Noe "Tony"Rico, the former superintendent of the Weslaco Independent School District who served from 1974 to 1990.
His career in education began in 1955 as a classroom teacher in an elementary school. Rico's persistent drive and leadership abilities soon guided him to an assistant principal's post at Sam Houston Elementary. However, less than a year after that, he was assigned as principal of the district's migrant elementary school, and he was also made director of the Adult Migrant Night School. Later, he principaled the vocational school and directed the district's transportation department. In 1968 he was named principal of Mary Hoge Junior High, and not long after that became principal of Weslaco High School. From 1974 to 1990, Rico served Weslaco as one of its most noted Superintendents.
He is credited with carrying Weslaco's schools into the twentieth century, and his innovations and tenacity towards empowering all students to learn, helped create remarkable growth for Weslaco and all of the lower Rio Grande Valley. The Texas Association of School Boards recognized his hard work by awarding him its first-ever Superintendent of the Year Award on September 30, 1984. He was in charge at Weslaco ISD when it received an "exemplary" rating from a joint dissemination review panel in Washington DC for the district's Individualized Language Arts Program.
He left the office some six years later, retiring from education while continuing to pursue an active role in civic activities and a love of golf.
On February 25, 1995, he was immortalized when a new elementary school was dedicated to and named after him as a symbol of appreciation for his years of dedicated service to Weslaco and all of South Texas. Rico died of a heart attack in 1996 and was buried in Weslaco..