It was a fierce night at Socorro ISD’s SAC, as the Bel Air Highlanders battled the El Dorado Aztecs.
When the clock struck ‘0’ at the end of regulation, it was all knotted up and the teams went to overtime, where the Aztecs struck gold, downing the Highlanders 34-28.
Our very own Steven Cottingham was there and we bring you his view of the game in this, ‘Story in Many Pics.’
El Dorado High School students took a behind the scenes tour of the El Paso Zoo giving them the opportunity for project-based learning in their International Baccalaureate biology class.
The unique experience was made possible after their teacher, Amber Berestein, won the Innovative Teaching and Training grant by the Texas IB Schools Association (TIBS). The award recognizes outstanding IB teachers and programs, and provides enriching academic experiences for students.
Berestein was one of six Texas educators to earn the $1,000 TIBS grant for her unit of study IB Biology HL Zoological Cooperative. The program is the first of its kind in El Paso. It allowed students to learn about wild animals, their habitats, conservation issues, and the ways in which they can contribute to their preservation.
“Ecology and conservation are a very important part of our curriculum,” Berestein said. “It’s one thing to talk about it in the classroom, but I wanted to bring the kids to ecology and conservation, and what better way than at the El Paso Zoo.”
Students appreciated the two-day hands-on approach to zoological preservation. Aside from seeing the exotic animals, they signed petitions to help the critically endangered Mexican Wolf, visited the medical facility, and the commissary where the animals’ diets are prepared.
“I really enjoyed the firsthand experience,” said Riley Perez, a senior at El Dorado. “I was never aware of the conservation project that the El Paso Zoo is a part of, and the role they play in conserving different species and animals.”
Another student, Kaitlyn Rodriguez, said her favorite part was touring the medical center, seeing the equipment they use on animals, and how they care for them to keep them healthy.
“This has been a really cool,” Rodriguez said “It’s relatable to what we learn in school. It’s like we get a visual of what we are learning.”
“My students were impressed with the conservation programs,” she said. “They couldn’t believe how big behind the scenes is. It’s important to expose them because a lot of them haven’t been to the zoo since they were small and some of them haven’t been at all.”
The El Paso Zoo will work with Berestein to leverage the opportunity as a pilot for future high school programs with a science focus, said Zoo Director Steve Marshall.
“(Berestein) is an example of innovative teachers all over this region that think creatively and see the zoo as a powerful classroom resource,” Marshall said.
The Socorro Independent School District launched its seventh advanced academic academy at El Dorado High School at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
“Our students will be exposed to architecture all four years,” said Luisa Valenzuela, the academy instructor and an El Paso area architect. “They will build their knowledge and by their senior year they will know what it is like to be an architect. They will become excellent designers, they will have the opportunity to present to professional architects and civil engineers so that when they graduate they are prepared for the college environment and be ready for the real world.”
SISD officials add, “The Aztec Architectural Academy, the only one of its kind in the El Paso region, is a rigorous, hands-on program that allows students to gain a foundation in the fields of interior design, construction, civil engineering, and architecture.”
Students also earn dual credit and take career and technical education courses that will have them on an advanced pathway to earning a degree in architecture.
Forty-five students are in the academy’s first cohort. They will delve into several hands-on projects, including creating an actual blue print of a home and then building a small model of it; completing 25 hours of community service with an architect; and learning all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and green building codes, she said.
The academy class is divided into two groups. One class meets is in the morning. The other in the afternoon. The classroom is set up much like an architectural office with draft tables, metal architect swing arm, LED desk lamps, architect and engineer scales, protractors, sketchbooks, colored lead pencils, liner pens, tracing paper and storage tubes. New computers and projectors on either side of the room top out the class amenities.
“We want to make sure students have all the necessary tools to succeed,” said El Dorado High School Principal Cynthia Retana.
AAA will be working closely with the El Paso Community College architectural program. A committee from the college oversees the academy and, this past summer, students took a tour of the architectural facility at El Paso Community College.
“We are here to help you,” Alejandro Mireles, architecture coordinator at El Paso Community College, told students who attended the inaugural meeting. “Architecture is constantly changing. It’s competitive and this will challenge you, but it also will be a very exciting experience.”
“It’s exciting to offer an endorsement that many students are interested in,” Retana said. “It’s another opportunity for students.”
Desiree Cuevas, 14, can’t believe that the district is offering something she has been wanting to do since she was a little girl.
“I love building things,” Cuevas said. “I used to play with Legos all the time, making tall buildings and houses. This is pretty exciting.”
The El Paso-area high school football season got off to a rousing start Thursday night, as the El Dorado Aztecs took on their inter-SISD rivals the Pebble Hills Spartans.
In the arena known as the SAC – Student Activities Center – the Spartans quickly jumped out to a lead, with their defense preventing the Aztecs from striking gold until late in the game.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there, and brings you his view of the contest in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
The Socorro Independent School District will begin the 2018-2019 school year on July 30 and continue its commitment to provide endless opportunities for students to succeed now and in the future.
More than 47,000 students are enrolled to begin classes at 48 campuses in Team SISD greeted by more than 3,500 educators.
Via a news release, SISD officials said, “[We] will continue working to ensure every student succeeds by providing a high-quality, well-rounded education with opportunities such as free Pre-K, free college classes, outstanding athletics and fine arts, advanced academic academies, top-notch career and technical education, the latest technology for digital learning, and state-of-the art facilities.”
Officials added that SISD continues to have the overall No. 1 student performance based on the latest assessment scores from the state, which shows the district outperforming the state and region overall in STAAR/EOC exams; while the district also has achieved its highest graduation rate ever at 91.5 percent.
The district also continues to provide a strong educational foundation to the youngest students in the community, as SISD provides free universal Pre-K to all 4-year-olds who live in the district.
A free half-day program is offered to all residents regardless if they meet state qualification requirements. A free full-day also is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify based on state requirements, and a tuition-based half-day program is offered to those who do not qualify for free Pre-K to combine the free half-day with a tuition-based half-day for a full-day option.
In conjunction with the early childhood education, district officials said that Socorro ISD has “significantly increased” its free college classes at all high schools in the district giving students the opportunity to get ahead and save money in future college expenses.
Last year alone, Socorro ISD students collectively enrolled in college courses to earn some 26,000 college credit hours valued at some $9 million in college cost savings.
SISD also offers the most early college high school programs in the region – Mission Early College High School, Socorro Early College, Rams Early College and Trailblazers Early College. The early college high schools give students the opportunity to graduate with 60+ free college credit hours and an associate’s degree before they leave high school.
In addition, the Texas Education Agency has approved SISD to pursue an early college program in El Dorado High School, Pebble Hills High School, and Eastlake High School. This will establish an early college program in every comprehensive high school in SISD giving more students opportunities to earn free college credit hours to get ahead and save money.
To ensure a well-rounded education, SISD provides award-winning and competitive fine arts and athletics programs. The SISD fine arts program earned a second consecutive Best Communities for Music Education award by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for its superb commitment to comprehensive music education for all students.
Last year, SISD’s athletics teams earned 34 team trophies – 12 district, 15 bi-district, 6 area and 1 quarterfinal title. Eighteen individual athletes qualified and competed at state and one wrestler won the state championship. In addition, 85 athletes earned scholarships to continue competing at the collegiate level.
Additional highlights for the 2018-2019 school year include a new advanced academic academy, a new school, afterschool and summer enrichment programs, and more technology.
The new Aztec Architectural Academy at El Dorado High School is the first advanced academics academy of its kind in the region. The unique program will allow students to gain a foundation in the fields of interior design, construction, civil engineering, and architecture. Students also will have the opportunity to take dual credit and career and technical education courses to be on an advanced pathway to earn a degree in architecture.
SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School has received candidate status as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) for this school year. The innovative middle school program will give students a global experience with international studies and civic mindedness.
At the completion of the program, the Hernando IB students will be prepared for a smooth transition to the El Dorado International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The students in the El Dorado IB program commit to achieving academic success and serving their community in pursuit of obtaining a higher education and becoming active participants in a global society.
Currently, the El Dorado International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is accepting applications from out-of-district transfer students.
The district’s newest school, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary, is opening for the 2018-2019 school year in the Pebble Hills area. It is the 48th school in the district and welcomes some 750 students in Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was built with savings from Bond 2011.
Just eight short months after voters overwhelmingly approved Bond 2017, SISD already has all major projects under contract and is ahead of schedule to break ground on major improvements.
The district remains committed to maintain “Promises Made, Promises Kept” in delivering Bond 2017 projects, which will improve existing facilities and address continuing growth in the district. The projects include: the reconstruction of Socorro High School, construction of two elementary schools and one middle school, improvements for three high schools, athletic facilities and support services, and the construction of multipurpose rooms at 16 elementary schools.
SISD has been awarded a $1.4 million 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Texas Education Agency. Team SISD is one of 51 entities in the state to earn the grant and the only school district in the region to be eligible for four years of grant funding.
The grant will allow the district to enhance its afterschool and summer academic enrichment programs providing students an additional safe learning opportunity while school is not in session. The grant will be used to implement Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (Texas ACE) program at Campestre, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, Escontrias and Rojas elementary schools; Escontrias Early Childhood Center; Desert Wind and Ernesto Serna K-8 schools; and Salvador H. Sanchez and Socorro middle schools.
The Digitally Nurturing Academics 1:1 program (one student to one laptop) continues to grow in Team SISD providing more students with personal technology devices for 24/7 digital learning.
This year, all students at Socorro, Pebble Hills and Mission Early College high schools, and seventh and eighth grade students at SPC. Rafael Hernando III, and Salvador H. Sanchez middle schools will receive a laptop.
In addition, eighth grade students at John Drugan, Socorro Middle, Sun Ridge and Ernesto Serna School will receive laptops for the 2018-2019 school year.
On Saturday, April 21st, an opening reception will be held for the Metamorphosis Art to Treasure II exhibit, which will feature artwork made from recycled materials.
The artists created the pieces for the annual contest in a community project spearheaded by El Dorado High School art teacher and event organizer Candace Printz.
“We are so thrilled for the Metamorphosis: Trash to Treasure II exhibition this year. We will have live music from Carambola Community Music, food and giveaways,” Printz said. “We are so grateful to the El Paso Museum of Art for hosting us at such a beautiful venue. Our hope is that people will leave the show with a greater appreciation for art and information about how they can make a difference in their community.”
The event is part of the It’s Your World community art project, which creates art work with recycled material and raises awareness about environmental conservation. El Dorado students and community members involved in the project regularly take part in desert clean ups and turn the trash into art.
The contest for the Metamorphosis exhibit invited all community members in the El Paso, Las Cruces and Juarez area to enter their artwork created from recycled materials.
In addition to promoting the arts and recycling, the Metamorphosis exhibit supports non-profits in the area, such as the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, which helps preserve the local land, and MuttLove, which helps take care of abandoned or sick animals that the It’s Your World community project members have found at the desert cleanups. Proceeds from the sale of select works at the exhibit will go to one of these organizations.
Metamorphosis Art to Treasure II exhibit will be on display from April 21 through May 13 at the El Paso Museum of Art. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. during the reception.
What: Metamorphosis Trash to Treasure II recycled art exhibition
Who: El Dorado High School art students; El Paso, New Mexico and Mexico artists; community members
Where: El Paso Museum of Art | 1 Arts Festival Plaza
When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 | Reception from 2 to 4 p.m., awards at 3 p.m.
Candace Printz, a visual arts teacher at El Dorado High School, was awarded a grant by the National Society of High School Scholars’ to enhance the delivery of International Baccalaureate courses for the 2017-2018 school year.
“My students and I want to make a difference in our community by cleaning up the land, educating adults and children alike about the decisions they make, and raising awareness about our local non-profits,” Printz said. “We are doing this by cleaning up four miles of land, inviting local non-profits and the community to help, and turning the trash into artwork.”
The grant will allow her to sponsor upcycling workshops and teach students, parents, teachers and community members how to create something useful out of discarded materials.
Printz, with the help of her students, pioneered various environmental programs such as the innovative It’s Your World community project and the Metamorphosis Trash to Treasure Art Contest.
“International Baccalaureate teachers are challenging our students to strive for excellence and our organization is pleased to be able to enhance their efforts,” said NSHSS president James Lewis, in a press release.”
Students in the El Dorado International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme are committed to achieving academic success and serving their community in pursuit of obtaining a higher education and becoming active participants in today’s global society.
El Dorado High School art teacher Candace Printz was recognized as a top educator in Texas and a 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award finalist on May 7 at a special H-E-B awards ceremony in Austin.
The Socorro Independent School District educator was one of five Texas teachers selected as a finalist in the leadership secondary award category which honors educators for their outstanding dedication and commitment to students.
“I am extremely grateful to be an H-E-B finalist,” Printz said. “There are so many great teachers and amazing mentors in the state, so I’m deeply honored to have received this recognition.”
Earlier this year, Printz was recognized with a cash prize of $1,000 for herself and another $1,000 for her school during a surprise visit by H-E-B representatives and SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza.
“We are extremely proud of Ms. Printz for being selected as a finalist of this prestigious award,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Her work, dedication and passion for students is admirable and truly embodies what our district is about. I commend her for her great work and thank her for being a role model to our children!”
Printz’ was nominated as a finalist for a plethora of accomplishments, including her innovative It’s Your World community project, which aims to collect trash and recyclables in the El Paso area and turn the waste into beautiful art; being the first-ever SISD Wall of Honor recipient in 2016; and being named an SISD campus Teacher of the Year in 2011 and 2017.
“We’ve learned so much this year and I look forward to continue this project by starting a non-profit organization where students who spearheaded the project can be our board members,” she said. “The objective will be to research our city’s laws, make suggestions and educate the community to be more progressive when it comes to recycling.”
This is the second year Printz has been recognized by H-E-B. Last year, she was one of 140 semi-finalists selected for the award out of the more than 1,400 submissions in Texas.
THE H-E-B award was created in 2002 as a way to support public education in Texas and pay tribute to educators who go the extra mile each day to serve their students, communities and inspire others to do the same, according to the H-E-B webpage.
In an effort to raise awareness and increase the number of organ donors within the state of Texas, student council organizations in the Socorro Independent School District partnered with Donate Life Texas to participate in “Dare to Dream. Dare to Do,” the annual Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC) campaign to help the cause.
The statewide project will allow Team SISD student council groups to educate the community about the need for organ/tissue donations, and encourage them to register as donors. The goal is to make a difference by saving lives.
According to Donate Life America, 125,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants, and every 10 minutes another person is added to the list.
“A few weeks ago I met a lady who shared her story of battling cancer for more than ten years and how grateful she was for her lung and kidney transplant,” said Flor Dominguez, senior student at Socorro High School and the student council community service chair. “It wasn’t until I looked into her eyes that I fully understood the impact a donor can have.”
Each campus will strive to meet its goal of 200 registrations to have a collective total of more than 1,000 registrations. The schools will promote registrations at basketball games, school assemblies, parent nights and on their school websites.
“This is a unique project,” said Lorraine Varela, student activities director at Americas High School. “It’s teaching students the importance of giving back and true service, helping one another. We are extremely excited to be a part of such a large project that will essentially help save lives.”
To learn more about the “Dare to Dream. Dare to Do” initiative click HERE. Below are the links for the SISD school campaigns.
Chelsea Clinton was welcomed by hundreds of students and the Mariachi Azteca band at El Dorado High School during her visit on Thursday.
Clinton visited the school and addressed two separate groups of students at the school as a grand prize in the Get Going Day project contest. The first group Clinton addressed comprised of more than 300 students, teachers and area partners that will be actively involved in the project.
The project, submitted by Art Teacher Candace Printz, is a collective movement by students at El Dorado High school and El Paso area partners and organizations to clean up a section of the Chihuahuan Desert and transform the trash into artwork.
Artwork made from the trash would then be part of a traveling exhibit in El Paso and Juarez. An estimated $30,000 is needed to fund the project.
“One of the biggest impediments and barriers is an imagination gap, it’s often really hard for us to see how we might the changes that we want to make to imagine it and clearly you have already imagined it,” Clinton said to the students at El Dorado regarding their project.
“One of the things that really impressed me about your project was you were already closing imagination gap.”
The contest, sponsored by Barnes and Noble Bookstores, invited students in grades pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade to submit ideas that would improve their local communities. Contest winners would receive a visit from Chelsea Clinton.
Students and teachers could submit their ideas from Oct. 19, 2015 through Jan. 29, 2016 according to the Barnes and Noble website.
The project by the El Dorado High School students has five phases. Juniors Claudia Holton, Melanie Marentes; and seniors Laura Rivera, Alberto Santos, Jazmin Olivas and Evan Valdez-Gibson explained each phase to the audience, which comprised of the following:
Phase 1: Adopt a portion of the Chihuahuan desert and clean it up.
Phase 2: Wash, sort and count all the trash. Data will be collected so students can inform the community about how much trash and the types of trash are found in the desert and the harm it’s effect on the environment.
Phase 3: Creation of the artwork from the trash.
Phase 4: Local artists and environment services will provide the students with resources to help them understand the impact the trash has on animals, soil and plants in the desert. Local artists will teach the students how to transform the trash into fully functional art.
Phase 5: The artwork becomes part of a traveling exhibit in El Paso and Juarez.
In order for the project to be successful the students need volunteers from the school, the community, supplies and donations. Partners in this project include the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, the Humane Society of El Paso, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and several others businesses and organizations.
Clinton added that she was impressed in the student’s foresight to work with area partners. She encouraged the students to keep moving forward with their idea.
“I’m a big believer that the worst thing anyone will say is ‘no,’” Clinton said. “And you don’t know what they are going to say if you don’t ask. So I hope you will ask and ask and ask whether it’s for clothes, or gloves, or storage space or food, water or sunscreen.”
After Clinton shared words of congratulations and encouragement to the students, she took three questions from the audience. The questions ranged from her views on feminism, gender equality and events in her life that inspired her to work toward change.
Clinton spoke of the influence her grandmother had on her and the importance of education.
“When she was 13 she had to start working to support herself and she was a nanny in someone else’s home,” Clinton said. “And she was so proud of the fact that even though she had to work, she had employers that could provide a roof over her head and encouraged her to get educated.”
The importance of education was imprinted on her by her grandmother, Clinton said, but it wasn’t until she was 15 when she went with her mother to India, that she fully understood it’s impact.
“There are millions of kids that aren’t in school because there aren’t schools for them to go to, there are not teachers to teach them and there are no resources for them to use,” Clinton said.
After speaking to the first group, Clinton was escorted to the El Dorado gymnasium where she informed freshmen and sophomores about the Get Going Day Project and provided examples of other students across the country whose projects were featured on her website www.itsyourworld.com
Printz said she was inspired to enter the contest when she saw a yellow flyer featuring Clinton’s book, “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going.”
Then over spring break she received the email stating that she had won the grand prize, she thought it was a joke. “I thought someone that knew I had entered the contest somehow got into my email,” Printz said.
Printz then got in touch with Clinton’s representatives and asked if Clinton was in fact going to visit the school. “I wanted to make sure that the real Chelsea Clinton is coming, that it wasn’t a look a like or not someone that has the same name as her, and they said, ‘No, it’s really her.”
Clinton’s visit officially launched the beginning of the student’s environmental project. Recruitment of volunteers for the project will begin in July.
A safety meeting and the collection of trash will take place in August, September and October. Workshops are scheduled for November and December and the creation of the artwork is scheduled for January through March. The first exhibit is expected to be open in April.
Printz said they need venues to showcase the exhibit in El Paso, Las Cruces and Juarez.
Clinton added that she will promote the ongoing project on her website in the hopes that it will continue to inspire other students and children to act as well.
Donations Needed – Source Socorro Independent School District.
Donations of water and food for volunteer cleaning team.
Monetary donations and sponsorships from local organizations and businesses.
Sunscreen for the volunteers collecting the trash in the desert.
Art supplies- mat boards, glue, string/ yarn, scissors, beads, paper, tape, paint, brushes, charcoal, etc.
Building materials- wood, glass, power tools, saws, pliers, wire cutters, wire, tile, fencing, nails etc.
Safety items- trash bags, gloves, masks, soap, scrubbers, storage containers, first aid kits, etc.
Pedestals for the display of any sculptures.
Vinyl letters for the wall for the exhibits.
Printing of any or all the informational brochures, invitations, labels, Banners, and labels for the exhibits.
Framing services for the completed art.
A storage facility to house the collected useable material.
Catering for our exhibit receptions.
Exhibition spaces in El Paso, Las Cruces, New Mexico, & Juarez, Mexico.
For more information about how you can help with this project, you can contact Ms. Printz at 731-6271 or e-mail her at email@example.com
For more information on Clinton’s book or It’s Your World Project visit www.itsyourworld.com
El Dorado High School wins Barnes & Noble’s national “Get Going Day with Chelsea Clinton” contest for a unique community-focused project idea.
To celebrate the win, the school will receive a special visit from Chelsea Clinton on April 7. Chelsea will hear from the students and community groups involved in the project first, and will then speak to a larger group of students at a special assembly.
The school will also receive a $1,000 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.
Led by art teacher Candace Printz, EDHS came up with an idea for a campaign to combat trash and pollution in the city. The proposed plan involves a partnership with community groups to help collect the trash and sort it. Once it’s sorted, students from the school will work with local artists to design and create their own individual art work out of the “junk.”
The best art pieces will then be displayed in local art galleries to highlight the project and instill a sense of pride in the city. As part of the proposed project, the artwork will also be available to buy with proceeds going to the community groups who helped collect the trash, including the Humane Society of El Paso, the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The “Get Going Day with Chelsea Clinton” contest was a partnership between Barnes & Noble and Penguin Random House, inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s book, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! (Philomel Books), which helps motivate young readers to do what they can to make a difference in the world around them.