Gallery+Story: El Paso history at the center of Hornedo humanities showcase

Hornedo Middle School students celebrated El Paso history by chronicling the people, events and markers that shaped the city over the last couple centuries.

The Hometown Historians Showcase was the culmination of a year-long seventh-grade humanities project. Students created books and crafted displays that offered insight into the most prominent to even the somewhat obscure El Paso-related topics.

Featured displays included UTEP President Diana Natalicio, the 1966 NCAA Champions from Texas Western College, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, San Jacinto Plaza, actress Debbie Reynolds, Ascarate Park, the Magoffin Home, Fort Bliss, the Plaza Theater and the famed gunslingers from the wild 1800s.

“They get to really talk about their display and what they’ve been learning,” said humanities teacher Debbie Vaugh. “This was a night of celebration.”

This year, the students focused on triumph and tragedy and offered displays that included travel guides, videos and songs.  Students enthusiastically talked about their topic – appearing as if they lived during the era or knew their subject personally.

“I chose gunslinger John Selman because he seemed like a cool character,” said Yazan Azzam. “I wanted to see why he was so prominent in the 1800s. It was interesting to see how people lived back then and to see how much has changed since then.”

Yazan dressed like the gunslinger he researched enjoyed learning more about El Paso and the wild west time of Selman.

“This project makes people more aware about what the city is and what it has,” Yazan said. “It was interesting to see how people lived back then and to see how much it’s changed.”

A few feet away Victoria Miller drew in visitors by challenging them a game of hoops to illustrate her topic: the 1966 Miners NCAA basketball championship team. She showed a video and offered insight into the victory that changed history – not just in El Paso but throughout the country.

“I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this so wanted to see what the buzz was,” said Victoria, who admitted she didn’t initially like basketball. “I thought it was interesting to learn about it. I like basketball now.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD