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Home | Tag Archives: chapin high

Tag Archives: chapin high

Chapin senior earns QuestBridge scholarship to Rice University

EPISD seniors keep raking in the dough for college.

Chapin High School’s Gabrielle Franklin recently received the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship for a full-ride to Rice University in Houston this fall.

The Chapin senior, who is the top-ranked senior in her class, is one of two EPISD students from the Class of 2020 to receive the scholarship. Laurine Kim from Franklin also received the honor and plans to attend Vassar University in New York this fall.

“I’m so excited. I wouldn’t have been able to attend college without it,” Franklin said.

Kim and Franklin are among only 1,127 seniors to be a QuestBridge National Match recipient nationwide out of more than 15,000 applicants.

Franklin’s QuestBridge package to Rice is worth more than $200,000 in tuition, fees, room and board, books and other educational needs over the course of four years. Her original top three choices were Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Yale, but embraces the match with Rice.

“Rice was my dream school my freshman year, but I didn’t think I stood a shot until after QuestBridge,” said Franklin, sporting a Rice sweatshirt. “After QuestBridge, I learned that I can go somewhere like Rice without being in excessive debt.”

As a Pre-Engineering Magnet student, Franklin is already setting her path for double majoring in computer science and data analytics/analysis to become a computer scientist and develop software. But the possibility of joining the NASA program at Rice also has sparked her interest.

“I’d love to do it, so I can say ‘Houston, we have a problem’ legitimately,” she joked.

When not focused on studying for her five Advanced Placement courses, Franklin plays clarinet and oboe in the Chapin band, and participates in a variety of UIL competitions including debate, social studies and computer science.

Franklin is a military-connected student whose father retired from the U.S. Army last year to allow her to complete all four years of high school at Chapin. She admits that she was nervous about moving to the border region when her father was first transferred to Fort Bliss but quickly fell in love with the city.

“El Paso is amazing,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about the culture until I came here. As military students you don’t usually feel like you’re connecting to people, but I found a family here that I could relate to and have fun with on weekends.”

Story by Reneé De Santos  |  Photo by Erika Reyes  -EPISD

Gallery+Story: Chapin engineering students create mechanical winter scenes

Students in Chapin’s pre-engineering program took all the training they’ve received so far this school year and used it to show off their skills and spread some holiday cheer.

The sophomores designed holiday and movie-themed displays for the Principles of Engineering Holiday Villages Competition that included lights, motion and sound — all on display in the rotunda last week. The end-of-the-semester event showcased the students’ growing knowledge, skills and spirit.

Some of the holiday movies represented included “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory,” and “Polar Express.”

“Throughout the year we’ve done worksheets on this material,” said Alicia Ruiz, whose team recreated The Polar Express. “This gave us hands-on experience with everything we’ve learned up to now. It also lets us use creativity to show the love that’s present this time of the year.”

Ruiz’s display brought to life the different scenes of the movie with lights and movement.

“When the topic of movies came up, we thought of the Polar Express because we had all watched it when we were younger,” she said. “Everyone knew it. It brought back so many memories.”

Their project won top honors for creativity, use of materials, presentation and engineering design. It also swept the Kid’s Choice Awards judged by students from Powell Elementary School in categories like cool moving parts, decorations, artwork and inventiveness and creativity. The Polar Express tied with the Grinch for its wow factor among Powell students.

Zachary Magdeleno, a Chapin student and aspiring biomedical engineer, teamed up with other students to construct a Rudolph display featuring the Island of Misfit Toys.

“I thought it was helpful because we’ve been talking about a multitude of simple machine designs,” he said. “Projects like these help me prepare for what I’ll be doing in college.”

Engineering teacher Juan Clague said the displays were true STEAM projects requiring students to use their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math, coupled with art and creativity.

“The level of detail is amazing,” he said. “They hid the mechanisms so that the figures move in a magical way. It’s both beautiful inside and out … like a Swiss clock.”

Story and photos by Reneé de Santos – EPISD

Gallery+Story: Rebote Rumble Tournament is first among schools in EPISD

Chapin High’s Erik Hernandez and Cesar Higadera last week took top honors at the Tag Team Rebote Rumble, the first inter-school tournament of its kind in the city.

Doubles teams from Chapin, Bowie and Jefferson high schools competed in the first Royal Rumble at Bowie High for rebote bragging rights – showcasing the not-so-well-known but highly-competitive sport known in English as wallball or handball.

“It was good competition,” Higadera said, holding his rebote trophy. “I’m so happy we got the win.”

Administrators have been using rebote tournaments and games at their campuses to boost attendance and build a rapport with the students who hang out at the courts at lunchtime and before school. The campuses have noticed an increase in attendance and decrease in referrals.

“Education starts with attendance, if they have a reason they will continue go,” said Marty Roland Lara, Bowie assistant principal. “We have all grade levels here. If we have an adult to check their grades and attendance, we can make sure they walk across the stage at graduation.”

Chapin assistant principal Jose Carlos, who had previously worked at Jefferson and conducted tournaments there, sees rebote competitions as a great motivator for his students.

“This has been an awesome thing for our kids,” Carlos said. “The rebote kids are the same culturally at all the schools. They don’t ask for much but they are very grateful for what we do for them. They’re humble kids.”

The lunchtime tournament united 16 teams or 32 players on the courts at Bowie. After teams were eliminated, they continued playing against each other on other courts for fun.

“It’s special to us,” Roland Lara said. “It shows we’re united. We are all one community.”

The passion for the game was evident at the competition as students fought hard for points and strategized against their opponents.

“People don’t think of it as a sport but you need skills to play,” said Hernandez. “We play with our love.”

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

FanCon brings comic book culture to Chapin

Smash Brothers tournaments, 3-D printing, green-screen video recording and even a traveling planetarium were only part of the attractions featured at the Big Daws FanCon — Chapin’s first ComicCon.

The event, which is modeled after the comic-book conventions that have become popular in cities throughout the country, was organized by the Chapin Library as a way to promote literacy and the love of reading.

At Chapin, the FanCon featured costume based on comic books and video games. But organizers also invited students to show off their pop-culture knowledge through the use of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math).

Michelle Gutierrez, Chapin’s librarian and one of the organizers of the event, said the FanCon is one more way to show the relevance school libraries can have nowadays.

“We always want people to know that libraries are so much more than just checking out books,” she said. “The library has become a hub of the school.”

She said Chapin students do more than just access books and computers. Huskies often use the library to hang out during free time, access college readiness documents, socialize in a healthy environment and – with the creation of EPISD Makerspaces — tap into their creative side.

Chapin student Kody Cambell said the FanCon made him excited about attending a larger ComicCon in the near future.

“They’re real great,” said the 18-year-old senior. “They give us a community where we can come together and explore our common interest.”

Fan-Con was held last week, on the campus of Chapin High.

Story by Elena Fitzmaurice  |  Photos by Erika Reyes – El Paso ISD

Video+Story: Chapin Senior is Semifinalists for National Military Child of the Year Award

A Chapin High School senior who is Harvard University-bound and received a nearly perfect SAT score is on the shortlist to become one of the few students named 2018 Military Child of the Year by a nonprofit working with military families.

Operation Homefront announced earlier this month that Chapin’s Bryce Kim is one of 15 students nationwide to compete to represent the U.S. Army in the national scholarship contest. A total of 95 semifinalists were announced for all six branches of the Armed Forces.

“El Paso doesn’t always have a semifinalist every year and so it’s an honor just to bring this kind of recognition to our school and Chapin,” Kim said.

The Military Child of the Year is awarded to six students representing each branch of the Armed Forces – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. The honor is awarded to students based on their volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life.

“This is my 11th school now and the fact that I was able to transition smoothly and succeed academically as well as be involved in athletics and community service really helped,” Kim said.

The Chapin Husky, who competes in cross country and track, also is a Student Ambassador and member of the National Honor Society.

“Bryce understands the special and unique microcosm for the family of United States Army soldiers’ families,” said Donna Churchill, Kim’s AP English IV teacher. “That fabric that unites military families provides a solid foundation for support and confidence which has allowed him to adapt wonderfully to his new city, the diverse cultures and new school. He is an excellent role model as a military child.”

Churchill wrote a letter of recommendation on Kim’s behalf for the application process. Her letter stressed how he embodies the army’s core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor and integrity and personal courage which makes him an ideal candidate to represent the Army as the Military Child of the Year.

“Bryce is one of those rare students that teachers adore due to the depth of discussion that results from his questions, observations or comments,” Churchill said. “He is unafraid to march to his own drum. He also has a unique ability to be serious without taking himself too seriously.”

The award recipients will travel to Washington, D.C. to be recognized at an April 19 gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards.  The winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship, a laptop and other gifts. Kim is the only finalist in the El Paso area and among three in Texas competing to represent the Army.

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

Story in Many Pics: Chapin Charges Past Austin 19-14

In a battle pitting one of the newer northeast teams versus one of the original El Paso County schools, new bested old as the Chapin Huskies defeated the Austin Panthers at Irvin High’s Tony Shaw Field Friday night.


Local Watercolorists Honor Chapin Student’s Work

Every year the Rio Bravo Watercolorists teams up with the EPISD Fine Arts department to present one student with a $100 scholarship award for their artwork.

The award this year went to Chapin High School senior Jesus Saenz for his painting “Sombras di Bleu” – a self-portrait he submitted for the 2017 EPISD student art show last month. Last year, the award went to an Irvin High School student.

“I feel very grateful. It really feels nice when people notice your work,” Saenz said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Saenz’s painting was among the 600 submissions to the art show – a fact that does not escape him.

“There are so many talented students at Chapin and other EPISD schools, so this is amazing,” Saenz said.

Teacher Carol Parsons is proud of her student and hopes he will continue to flourish as an artist and person.

“This is the third year I’ve had him as a student so I know what his potential is,” Parsons said. “I know I can push him to new limits, and he’s always thrilled with the results. He’s grown and progressed. I’m happy for him, especially now that he’s a senior and he knows he can do this.”

Saenz plans on saving the scholarship award money for college, where he plans to pursue a career in the arts when he graduates.

EPISD Visual Arts Facilitator Rosa Aguilar last week presented Saenz with the check from the watercolorists group at Chapin.

“We have the Rio Bravo Watercolorists come by our big student art show. They are really good at promoting the creativity and talent of our kids,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar feels the award is a good learning experience for the EPISD art students.

“Our kids take a lot of pride in the recognition,” Aguilar said. “It goes a long way because it inspires them to keep on going with their artwork, and that their work is being validated outside the district.”

New Principals Announced for Irvin, Chapin High Schools

El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera this week announced the appointment of two new principals and a new executive director in the human resources department.

Irvin-MaryAnnaH.GibaMary Anna Giba is the new principal at Irvin High School. Ms. Giba had been serving as interim principal at Irvin and previously served as principal at Cielo Vista Elementary School and assistant principal at Alta Vista Elementary.

She is a Northeast native and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Robert Marsh is the new principal at Chapin High School. Mr. Marsh had been serving as interim principal andChapin-RobertMarsh assistant principal at Chapin, and previously served as interim principal at Bassett Middle and Irvin and Austin high schools. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso and Sul Ross State University.

Mr. Marsh is a former head coach for the Austin High School football team.

Nancy Tovar is the new Executive Director of Talent Acquisition and Personnel Administration. Ms. Tovar had been serving as EPISD’s Director for Area Personnel and Recruiting. She will be charged with workforce planning to meet the current and future needs of the District.

EPISD-NancyTovarMs. Tovar – the current president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association – has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UTEP.

“I am pleased to have Nancy, Mary Anna and Robert on board as part of the school and central office leadership team,” Cabrera said. “Their appointment puts us on track to meet the goals of the District, which all center on providing high-quality teaching to our 60,000 students.”

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Chapin High Team earns National Title at CTE Conference

A team of Chapin High School students won the national championship in a literary storytelling competition during the Technology Student Association National Conference earlier this month in Nashville, Tenn.

The team of Celeste Casarez, Lertchaal Hale and Sarah Willis earned first place out of 134 teams in the Children’s Stories category — a competition that asks students to spend months drafting, writing, illustrating and publishing a literary work aimed at promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education to young students.

Chapin’s team used their knowledge of STEM — as well as their research in educational philosophy, child development and writing — to create “Macy McNeer: The Little Engineer.”

The story is an original literary work detailing the lessons and successes of an aspiring engineer.

The story features hand-illustrated and computer-enhanced artwork by students and editing by Chapin High School English teachers. The EPISD Print Shop published the book.

“The story of Macy is amazing, because she invents many things that unfortunately don’t always work,” said Chapin engineering teacher Pamela Cook who co-sponsors the Husky TSA. “But along the way Macy learns many valuable lessons of perseverance, encouragement and achieving goals.”

Cook said the book also helps promote engineering and science among young girls.

Other Chapin teams also fared well at the Nashville conference.

The team of Casarez, Hale, Ray Hernandez, martin Lopez and Gabriel Marquez earned a third-place in the Digital Video Production category for their work on a thoroughly-researchedand well-produced story on social media bullying.

Also, Tim Kalavatis came in sixth in extemporaneous presentation, while Hale earned an eighth place in desktop publishing and ninth in promotional graphics.

Chapin’s Percussion Winter Guard Team is Making Waves

The marching season may have ended in the fall for Chapin High School band students, but that doesn’t mean the drum corps is sitting idle.

Chapin is the only high school with a winter guard percussion team, and the squad is already making waves in regional competitions.

The team competed in the Winter Guard Arizona championships last week and earned second place, missing the top spot by fractions of a point.

This is the first year the team competes so it was a great honor for assistant band director Christopher Lawhorne and all his students.

“The kids worked hard. I worked hard. They truly earned that award,” said Christopher Lawhorne, the assistant band director at Chapin andnews2_2391_m (1) the coach of the percussion team. “Since this is our first year we just wanted to get our feet wet.”

Another special attribute of the Chapin winter guard percussion team is that it is not just a Chapin team.

“I extended the invitation to all the El Paso Independent School District band directors,” Lawhorne said. “We have two students from Coronado and one from El Paso High performing with us.”

The team competed in Arizona since the winter guard circuit in El Paso does not have a percussion event. To compete at state teams have to compete in four prior competitions inside the circuit, but since Chapin is a Texas team they only had to perform at the Winter Guard International Regional in Phoenix to qualify.

That competition allowed the Chapin team to fine tune their show for the state championships.

“We took those judges comments and improved the show. We changed some of the third movement to really enhance the visual effect of the show,” Lawhorne said.

Winter guard percussion teams have to have a custom written show and drill, which the drummers perform in front of judges in a span of five minutes.

“The show can be grueling at times. It’s hard work. They perform it to the best of their abilities and get rated for it,” Lawhorne said. “It really is a way to keep the drum line alive through the winter months.”

To prepare for competition the team practiced 14 to 15 hours every weekend starting at the beginning of the year.

“It’s really demanding, but we pushed each other to produce a great product. It was all worth it. I can’t wait to compete next year,” sophomore Josh Procell said. “I am section leader so it was very interesting learning to collaborate with the other sections. I really gained some great lead

Check out EPISD Live’s coverage of this event!

Chapin Students get Lesson from World-Renowned Musicologist Joseph Horowitz

Chapin High School students received a special music presentation about baritone African American classical composer and singer Harry Burleigh, and his impact on American music.

American cultural historian, or musicologist, Joseph Horowitz shared the unique history of Burleigh, who inspired classically trained musicians like Antonín Dvořák. Burleigh also composed his own pieces and was well known for composing art songs.

“Burleigh is mainly forgotten, but what he did is historic. Before Harry Burleigh no one had sung a spiritual in concert as a solo song,” Horowitz said. “That was his inspiration. He wrote the spirituals down and sung them himself. He made a great contribution to American music.”

Horowitz was set to share the Chapin auditorium stage with one of America’s leading bass-baritones Kevin Deas to perform samples of Burleigh’s music. However weather conditions on the east coast prevented Deas from arriving today.

Students were still treated to Deas’ voice via recorded videos, as well as a live performance by Horowitz on piano and UTEP professor Dr. Lorenzo Candelaria on violin.

chapin hs“Whenever I get a chance to reach out to the community and meet with students at high schools that’s always a highlight for me. It’s a treat,” Candelaria said.

The duo performed a movement from the Sonatina in G major for violin and piano by Dvořák.

Choir student Chloe Curtis doesn’t like listening to modern music. Instead she dotes on classical composers and musical theater –a fact she proudly proclaims.

“I think this is amazing,” Curtis said. “I have always been interested in learning about different composers and classical music. I didn’t know about him (Burleigh), but I am glad I do now. I am going to look more into his music.”

Horowitz hopes his lesson inspires students to embrace music.

“What I hope is apparent is that the power of music is embodied in these songs,” Horowitz said. “They were sung by slaves. It was a spontaneous utterance that was necessary for their own spiritual well being because their lives were so difficult. They found consolation and hope through music.”

800+ Student Council members attend conference at Chapin

More than 800 high school student leaders from throughout the county bonded and learned to step outside the box on Tuesday at the 2015 District IX Student Council fall conference at Chapin High School.

unnamed (2)The event’s baseball theme “Sometimes it’s not bad to step out of the box” encouraged students to step outside the box by embracing their individuality to become more effective leaders on their respective campuses.

“Our students are here today to build on their leadership skills, so they can take those skills back to their home campuses and share their knowledge,” District IX President Advisor Kelley Akins said.

Keeping with the theme, former MLB pitcher Jeremy Bleich spoke to the students about overcoming hardship. He had suffered a major shoulder injury while playing for the New York Yankees. Bleich is currently signed with a Pittsburgh Pirates minor league team.

“What’s really important is leadership and staying positive. I wanted to focus on adversity in a positive light –how to be prepared for it and how to handle it,” Bleich said. “I’m super excited to be here and seeing all the kids’ enthusiasm. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this.”

The event kicked off with team building activities before each school shared their unique cheers during roll call. unnamed (1)

“This is such a great atmosphere to be in. All of us are enjoying it,” Chapin senior Caitlyn Polloni said. “I really enjoy being part of student council and getting out in the community and help people.”

District IX spearheads several events throughout the year including a spring conference and two social events.

“We offer lots of opportunities for these young leaders to grow in their school and beyond,” Akins said. “I myself was part of student council when I was in school, and it made a great impact in my life.”

Author: EPISD

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