Friday, December 10, 2010

U.S. President Recruits Local College Instructor

“I will miss my family and my students, but I will also miss the Mexican food in the Valley,” South Texas College Political Science Instructor Esteban Soto III jokingly said. “But, there is one little Tex-Mex place in D.C. that makes pretty good fajitas. Oh and there is no Whataburger!”

Soto is getting mentally prepared for his move to Washington, D.C. just following the fall 2010 semester. He has been given a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as the U.S. Marshal for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. He was nominated for the position by U.S. President Barack Obama.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my family here, my STC family and my students, but this is what I am called for and born for,” he explained.

A true law enforcement veteran, Soto began his federal law enforcement service in 1979 and joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 1983 as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in the Southern District of Texas. He rose through the ranks at the Marshals Service, including working in D.C. District Court as a Supervisory Criminal Investigator from 2002 to 2004. After a stint with INTERPOL, Soto was named by former U.S. President George W. Bush as the U.S. Marshal for the District of Puerto Rico. 

“After the administration change, I moved back home and tried teaching at STC,” said Soto. “I was born and raised in the Valley. My family was here and it made sense to try out a new phase in my life in the place that gave me my start. So I settled into teaching for the past year and a half and I have really enjoyed it, especially seeing the students grasp new concepts, and grow and mature as adults.”

He is looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.

“I will be serving a large and unique district and I hope that I can make the processes there even better and ensure everyone is treated fairly,” he explained. “By the nature of the location, it’s already going to be a unique situation, but I understand that jail space may be an issue and that we will be working with a tighter budget. That alone will be a challenge to ensure we provide the best services and the needed services with less money.”

In the end, he believes the move shows Valley students that anything is possible.

“I am a Valley native. I went to school here and so I have walked in the same shoes as my students and others at STC,” he said.  “It’s a hard choice to leave, but sometimes it’s important to go out and experience the world. See what it has to offer.”

Even though he is ending his time as an instructor, he hopes to pick up where he left off after he retires from the Marshals.

“I left the Valley for the first time in 1979 and now I’m leaving again. But, once I retire I believe I will come back and I will have even more knowledge and experience to offer. In the mean time, I look forward to finishing out the semester and letting my STC family know how much it has meant to me.”

Soto’s appointment is pending U.S. Senate confirmation.

Photo caption:
STC Political Science Instructor Esteban Soto III tapped by President Obama to serve as the U.S. Marshal for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

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