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Socorro ISD high schools gear up to celebrate 2019 homecoming

Socorro Independent School District officials announced that their seven high schools are set to start homecoming celebrations with an assortment of events and activities this month.

Students, teachers, staff and alumni will celebrate a week of festivities at their respective schools, including dress ups for spirit week, parades, the big homecoming games and cleverly themed dances.

The 2019 homecoming schedule is as follows:

El Dorado High School
El Dorado High School’s festivities will be from Sept. 9 to 14. The Aztecs will be pulling their theme right out of a Disney movie with “Can I Have This Dance” from “High School Musical.” Dress up days will include “The Boys are Back – Wear Baseball Tees” and “Waka Wednesday – Dress Hawaiian.”

The parade will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 followed by the Birth of the Aztec Sun ceremony in the football field. A pep rally will be during eighth period Sept. 12 followed by the El Dorado vs. Andress homecoming game at 6:30 p.m. at the SAC. The homecoming dance will be from 8 to 11:45 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Empire.

Pebble Hills High School
The Pebble Hills Spartans also will celebrate their homecoming Sept. 9 to 14 with their theme “Don’t Stop the Music,” a tribute to music festivals. Dress up days through the week will range from “Gnarly Neon,” “School of Rock,” “Coachella Vibes,” and “Nostalgic Nineties.” Activities throughout the week will include window decorating for student organizations on Sept. 9, Movie Under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10, and the homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Sept. 11.

A homecoming volleyball game will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 against Carlsbad High School. The homecoming pep rally will be Sept. 13 during eighth period followed by the Pebble Hills vs. Chapin High School homecoming football game at 7:30 p.m. at the SAC.

The homecoming dance will be from 8 p.m. to midnight Sept. 14 in the Pebble Hill’s courtyard.

Socorro High School
The Socorro High School Bulldog’s theme for this year’s homecoming is In the Heart of Texas, which will be celebrated Sept. 16-21. Dress up days will include Tex-Mex Day, celebrating the beautiful influence of Mexico on our culture; Country Livin’, students will gear up in their cowboy attire; and Texas Sports Day, students may wear their favorite Texas sports team jersey.

Homecoming events throughout the week will include a Texas State Fair with food, games, music and fun from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Bulldog Championship Park. The homecoming parade on Alameda Ave. will begin at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 19 and the pep rally will follow at Mad Dog Field at 7 p.m., where the homecoming king and queen winners will be announced.

The homecoming game will be against Burges High School at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Socorro High School. The homecoming dance will be from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Pit.

Mission Early College
Mission Early College High School will celebrate homecoming week Sept. 16 to 21 with a pep rally Sept. 20 and the homecoming dance Sept. 21. Check back for more details soon.

Eastlake High School
The Eastlake High School Falcons will be celebrating their homecoming the week of Sept. 23 to 28 with the theme Around the World. Dress up days will include Tourist day, Cartoon Day, Western Day, Spirit Day, and Jersey Day.

Activities for the week include decorating classroom doors, a parade and a community pep rally Sept. 25 with games and performances to which attendees are encouraged to wear purple and orange. The homecoming football game against Pebble Hills will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the SAC.

There will be a volleyball tournament against Ysleta at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and the homecoming dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sept. 26 in the main foyer of Eastlake High School.

Montwood High School
Montwood High School homecoming will be Sept. 23 to 28 at the home of the Rams with this year’s theme of Rams Take Over the World. Students will be able to dress up in fun outfits throughout the week with theme days like Show your American Pride and Dress as a Tourist.

The school will be showing the movie “The Lorax” at 6 p.m. (or at sunset) Sept. 24 on the school football field. The parade and carnival will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at the school.

The homecoming football game against Eastwood will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the SAC and the dance will be 8 p.m. to midnight Sept. 28 in the school gym.

Americas High School
Americas High School will celebrate homecoming week Oct. 21 to 26 with the theme of New York State of Mind. Check back for more details soon.

Gallery+Story: El Dorado Seeks Volunteers, Earns Grant for It’s Your World project

El Dorado High School art teacher Candace Printz and her students are once again spending Saturday mornings collecting trash in the El Paso desert as part of the It’s Your World community recycle and art project.

On August 25, 28 volunteers spent several hours picking up trash alongside a far east El Paso roadway, resulting in 37 bags of trash and 57 tires. The waste will be recycled and turned into beautiful art.

The group is looking for volunteers to help keep the city litter-free. Participants will be provided safety gloves, vests, and water. Cleanup days, which start at noon, are on September 8, 15, 22 and October 20 and 27.

Individuals who would like to help, or clubs and organizations seeking to obtain community service hours, should email Candace Printz at
Printz recently received a $2,500 grant from the City of El Paso Museum of Cultural Affairs Department to provide workshops as part of the Its Your World project. It’s the second time in the last two years she has been given the award from the city.

Printz and her students will teach paper-making, printmaking and art projects that include recycling in the citywide workshops.

“We want to do a lot more things this year,” Printz said. “If we get more funding, we would like to buy art supplies for workshops, bring in an environmental artist from Portugal to do a mural in Downtown El Paso, host another region-wide art show, and buy a plastic grinder and extruder to repurpose plastics.”

Printz began the innovative It’s Your World clean-up project during the 2015-2016 school year.

Her effort won a national contest sponsored by Barnes & Noble. Former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, who was involved in the contest, visited El Dorado High School to recognize the school’s efforts and came back to El Paso a year later to attend an art exhibit that resulted from the recycling art project.

El Dorado High Students Bring Joy, Smiles to Children Fighting Cancer

Members of the Texas Association of Future Educators from El Dorado High School brought a little joy to the pediatric oncology patients at the El Paso Children’s Hospital.

The organization raised $1,700 to donate more than 73 outfitted stuffed animals to children fighting cancer at the local hospital as part of its Build-A-Bear community service project. This is the group’s seventh year undertaking the project.

“The students worked hard to raise the money,” said Dianna Sianez, El Dorado TAFE advisor. “It is so meaningful for them. They know they are giving back to the community.”

Her students had fun choosing the stuffed animals and creating their outfits. There were bears, bunnies and dogs decked out as the Darth Vader, an Army soldier, a princess, a sailor, Batman and Superman.

This year’s community service project was especially valued by Crystal Barrera. The 17-year-old participated last year and created three bears. Several weeks later, she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.

“The funny thing is the first few days at the hospital, they gave me a Build-a-Bear,” she said. “As I opened the box, I realized it was one of my bears I had created. I cried because I couldn’t believe it.”

The bear really helped her through surgery, chemo and recovery. It also gave her a resolve to continue to be a part of the project when she returned to school in the fall of 2017.

“I saw it as a sign from God,” she said. “He was telling me that it doesn’t matter what you’re going through, you will get through it. The project also showed me that people actually care for you.”

Barrera and others like her is the reason Alex Diaz decided to donate $400 to the project. The UTEP student is a tutor at the high school and graduated from El Dorado four years ago.

“It might not mean much to others, but these bears bring a little bit of joy to the kids,” Diaz said. “It can make a big difference to them. They know someone cares. I enjoy helping. It’s a beautiful experience and hopefully it will bring a smile to a child’s face.”

To view more pictures of the event, courtesy SISD, click here.

El Dorado Yearbook, Staff Win Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Award

The El Dorado High School yearbook club, Aztec Gold, is being recognized by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for winning a Crown Award for its 2016-2017 publication.

The Crown Award is the highest honor that CSPA at Columbia University awards its members.

El Dorado’s yearbook titled “Altered” was one of only 51 print yearbooks (middle and high school) in the nation to win the award. The school is now a finalist for the Gold Crown Award.

“I’m so proud of my students and what they have accomplished by receiving this prestigious recognition,” said Vanessa Martinez, journalism teacher and yearbook advisor. “I’m incredibly honored and humbled to receive this award on behalf of last year’s yearbook staff. They poured their heart, efforts, tears, and dreams into “Altered” and I couldn’t be happier.”

Publications were judged on design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. A total of 1,100 publications were judged in this year’s contest.

“It feels great to know our yearbook has received national recognition,” said Xytlali Compean, copy editor for the El Dorado yearbook. “I was in shock when I heard we won, not because I didn’t believe we could win, but because I know how hard it is to do so. All of our late nights and hard work paid off.”

The yearbook team, 50 members strong, is committed to reaching the highest standards expected of student journalists, Martinez said.

“These students take telling the stories very seriously,” she said. “In this program, we want our work to be great… our team mentality keeps us working hard until the last deadline.”

Compean agreed that creating a yearbook requires time and dedication.

“Yearbook is not just something you just do in class,” she said. “You have to attend afterschool activities, you stare at a screen all day and you are constantly reading the same piece over and over to check for mistakes, but seeing the end product makes it all worth it.”

This is the second time in the school’s history that Aztec Gold has earned the award. The school won its first Crown Award in 2012 with its book titled “The Legend.” It was the first yearbook in district history to receive the award.

Crown winners will be recognized at the CSPA ceremony March 2018 in New York City, where an announcement of Gold and Silver Crown recipients will be made. 

Story in Many Pics: El Dorado Survives Pebble Hills Comeback 49-44

In a battle between two of SISD’s – and the Borderland’s – top football teams, Pebble Hills and El Dorado, 4 quarters of football action was just enough to settle the newfound rivalry.

The game, which was a barn-burner for the second half featured a remarkable comeback by the Spartans that was cut short by the play of the Aztecs.

Our very own Andres Acosta was there, and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

Pebble Hills vs El Dorado

El Dorado High’s IB Program Enrollment now Available for Out-of-District Transfers

The International Baccalaureate program at El Dorado High School is now accepting out-of-district transfers, which allows incoming freshman or sophomore students from throughout the region to apply for the world-class, rigorous curriculum that develops inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young adults.

The unique program offers students a challenging program of international education and rigorous assessment preparing them to be compassionate, lifelong learners in an ever-changing global society. It is the only program that allows students to earn dual credit for Tier 1, Ivy League and international universities.

“In IB you have the opportunity to get college credit for Ivy League schools … so it is a rare opportunity for our students,” El Dorado principal Cynthia Retana said. “It also prepares them for global learning. Students can go on to college in other countries after they go through the IB program.”

The IB program is recognized globally, which makes it an attractive option for students from military families who may move anywhere in the world. The IB program credits from El Dorado transfer to any other IB program in the world and the dual credits allow students to be ahead of the game even at universities abroad.

In addition, the El Dorado IB program is free. It allows students an exceptional opportunity to gain the awareness, perspectives and commitments necessary for global engagement and success.

“The most important thing El Dorado provided me was the IB program, which has made me more than just a student that gets good grades,” said Christian Tiscareno, a 2017 graduate of the El Dorado IB program. “It has taught me important things that have really opened up my mind and has really made me feel confident in saying that I do feel college ready.”

Freshmen and sophomores will take pre-IB courses that prepare them for success in the IB Diploma Programme courses that they take during their junior and senior year.

The program requires students to complete an 18-month log of community service commitments, an extended essay with extensive research and exploration, and completion of a Theory of Knowledge course and essay that must be presented with a variety of support materials and media.

IB students work together in a close-knit learning environment, completing community service projects and taking college trips together.

“It is an incredible program, and it’s not just academically driven, it is community-service based and research-skills based,” said Paulina Hernandez, El Dorado social studies teacher and IB program coordinator. “We also encourage our students who are in extracurricular activities to apply for IB. They don’t have to give that up to be in the program.”

To apply for the El Dorado IB program, please contact Paulina Hernandez at or call the school at(915) 937-3386 or click HERE.

El Dorado High to Host Environmental Service Art Contest Reception

El Dorado High School will host a special reception to recognize the winners of the Metamorphosis: Trash to Treasure art contest on April 23 at the International Museum of Art.

The contest, which is part of the It’s Your World community art project, asked participants to create art work with recycled material and help raise awareness about environmental conservation. More than 440 art submissions ranging in four different category levels — elementary, middle, high school, and adults — were submitted; of those 116 pieces were selected to be part of the art show. The art show was open to members of the El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces community.

Candace Printz, art teacher at the school and event organizer, said she was impressed with the art work and grateful to have such a great number of diverse artists participate in the event.

“This has been a great learning process for me and my students,” Printz said. “We have grown artistically and have become like a family working together to make this event successful. We are really invested in this and grateful that the community came forward to participate. I hope it continues next year.”

The gallery will be open to the public from 1-4 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Prior to the gallery viewing, art show winners will have a private showing with Chelsea Clinton. She visited El Dorado High School last school year to honor Printz for winning the Its Your World community project contest sponsored by Barnes & Noble.

Clinton told Printz and El Dorado High School that she would return for the opening of the art show.

Winners of the art contest will earn cash-value prizes, and have their artwork showcased at the International Museum of Art until May 3. The art will continue to be displayed in Juarez and Las Cruces in separate showings. Several art pieces will be for sale. Artists will donate 50 percent of their proceeds to local non-profit organizations such as the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition (CDEC), the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Humane Society of El Paso.

The opening reception will include refreshments and live music. El Dorado students will display statistics and data of items they found in the area deserts during their clean-up project. They created art work with the items they found. The Environmental Services Department will give a presentation about items that can and cannot be recycled, and non-profit organizations will have informational booths.

What:             El Dorado High School art contest Metamorphosis: Trash to Treasure opening reception, art showing with Chelsea Clinton

Who:               El Dorado students, art contest winners, Chelsea Clinton, local non-profits, community members, sponsors and donors, SISD administration, faculty

Where:           International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana Ave.

When:             Sunday, April 23, 2017  10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. private party with Chelsea Clinton

1:30 p.m. awards ceremony

1-4 p.m. opening reception, open to the public

Metamorphosis Trash to Treasure Flyer

Story in Many Pics: El Dorado Rallies to Beat Socorro 6-5

As has become a tradition, area high school baseball teams get a taste of the pros, as they’re able to play a game at Southwest University Park, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas.

Thursday night, Socorro took on El Dorado and our very own Andres Acosta was there to capture all the action.

Socorro vs El Dorado, Chihuahuas High School Baseball Series, April 13, 2017
Socorro vs El Dorado, Chihuahuas High School Baseball Series, April 13, 2017
Socorro vs El Dorado, Chihuahuas High School Baseball Series, April 13, 2017
Socorro vs El Dorado, Chihuahuas High School Baseball Series, April 13, 2017

El Dorado High School Launches Environmental Service Art Contest

El Dorado High School invites the El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces community to participate in the school’s art contest, Metamorphosis: Trash to Treasure, to raise awareness about environmental concerns.

The contest, which is part of the It’s Your World community art project, will allow participants to work with recycled material to make creative art. Winners will earn cash-value prizes, participate in a meet-and-greet with Chelsea Clinton, and have their artwork showcased at the International Museum of Art.

Contest guidelines can be found in the It’s Your World project website and click on the Competition link.

Artists may participate by submitting a photo of the artwork before midnight, March 31 to

Award winners will be announced during a reception at 1:30 p.m. April 23 at the International Museum of Art.

For more information, contact Candie Printz by phone at 731-6271 or by e-mail at

What:         El Dorado High School art contest Metamorphosis: Trash to Treasure

Who:          El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces community

Where:       International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana Ave

When:        Entry deadline: Midnight, March 31

UTEP Surprises Socorro ISD Students with Scholarship Awards; El Dorado Tops in City with 34 Awards

Academic officials with The University of Texas at El Paso have been visiting schools throughout the area, handing out academic scholarships, however one Socorro ISD school has had more awards than most.

Thirty-four El Dorado High School students have received UTEP academic scholarships, the most in the city and the most in the school’s history.

Nine students at Mission Early College High School and 13 at Socorro High School also will receive scholarships.

The seniors at each high school who have won scholarships will be able to begin using them for the 2017 fall semester. SISD students collectively have earned some $1.1 million in the university’s Scholars Excellence Program.

In presentations that took place earlier this week, 19 Montwood High School students and eight Eastlake High School students were surprised with UTEP academic scholarships. At Americas High School, 17 students earned scholarships, as well.

UTEP’s Scholars Excellence Program recipients are selected based on their scholastic aptitude test scores, grade point average, student ranking and leadership skills.

El Dorado Teacher, Students Making a Difference with Nationally Recognized Project

El Dorado High School students, staff and community members have been working on a “trash to art” project that won the school national recognition for their commitment to clean-up the environment.

El Dorado art teacher Candace Printz, who won Barnes & Noble’s national community-oriented project inspired by Clinton’s “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!” book, has been leading the clean-up effort in the El Paso desert. The goal is to transform the trash into art and showcase the pieces in a traveling gallery exhibit later this school year.

Printz, her students, El Dorado teachers and staff and the community have spent Saturdays scouring a four-mile stretch of Montana Avenue picking up everything, including hundreds of cigarette butts, a television, high school diplomas and, even $10.

EDHS teacher students making a difference2“We have seen some really interesting things,” Printz said. “We have been getting a lot of help. It’s amazing because it has been El Dorado students and teachers, robotic students, people from EPCC (El Paso Community College) and from non-profits who are helping out. The word is spreading. I am really excited.”

The inspiration for the “trash to art” project occurred when Printz and her art club kids saw how new development, especially off Montana, was affecting the local landscape.

“We noticed tons of trash and debris had blown into the desert,” Printz said. “It just looked horrible. The students didn’t like it and I didn’t like it. That is not how we wanted our area to be represented. We thought ‘Why don’t we be inspired by sculptors in the world who have taken trash and turned it into art.’ We want to make a difference.”

When Printz saw a brochure at Barnes & Noble that asked teachers nationwide to submit a project that would help their community, she submitted the “trash to art” idea.

“It was just amazing,” Printz said. “I thought they were choosing multiple people throughout the U.S. Then I find out we were the sole winners. From all over the United States, they chose our project in El Dorado High School in El Paso, Texas.”

Besides a $100 gift card from the book giant, the high school also received a visit from Clinton, daughter of former President Bill and Sen. Hilary Clinton. Her book asked U.S. citizens to find things to make the world a better place. El Dorado’s project fit that criteria perfectly, Clinton said during her visit last April.

“I am really glad that schools like this exist,” Clinton said. “It gives me hope for the future.”

Now that the project has kicked off, Printz and her students are planning more cleanups through the end of October. They also will be sorting, washing and counting all the collected trash.

“We need a lot of help with what we have picked up already,” Printz said, who is planning sorting and washing Saturdays in November. “There is so much stuff.”

Artist workshops will be scheduled in November and December to help those interested in creating trash art.EDHS teacher students making a difference1

“It’s going to be a competition and we will give away prizes,” Printz said. “We will have elementary, middle, high school and adult categories.”

But the main goal of the project is to educate and bring awareness of the current condition that illegal dumping has on the El Paso desert and its long term effects on the environment, she said.

“We want to educate the community to get involved and help clean the environment,” Printz added.

The art pieces created will be showcased at different galleries to demonstrate the art, show the environmental consequences and instill a sense of pride in the city,” Printz said.

The art will be available for purchase, with the proceeds benefiting the community groups who have helped collect the trash, including the Humane Society of El Paso, the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The first trash to art exhibit is expected to be open April 2017, in celebration of Earth Day.

In addition to the “It’s Your World” project, Printz also is planning free workshops to teach the community how to turn trash to art. The classes will be funded through a $5,000 grant Printz received from the City of El Paso’s Museum of Cultural Affairs Department.

“The benefits of recycling will play a large role in these workshops,” Printz said. “I plan to use the grant money to hire artists for the citywide workshops and buy the art supplies needed. My students will be assisting me throughout this process and can attend any of the workshops for free.”

For more information on “It’s Your World” project: email Printz at or click HERE

Socorro ISD’s El Dorado High named ‘Top Model AVID School’

El Dorado High School has been selected as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration School, a model for the non-profit organization whose goal is to close the achievement gap and prepare all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities.

The Socorro Independent School District campus is one of 31 in Texas and 140 nationally to have the distinction.

“I am extremely honored to be part of an organization like this,” said El Dorado Principal Cindy Retana. “It speaks volumes of the great things that go on at El Dorado. It makes you feel so proud of all the work teachers have put into the school, into the classroom and into the kids.”

The school was selected through an application process, a screening and a review that included a local visit. Now, as part of the demonstration site network, the Aztecs will get visits from schools worldwide who will come to observe a highly evolved AVID system.

“El Dorado was selected as an AVID National Demonstration School because it has implemented the AVID system throughout the school and can serve as a model for new sites,” said AVID Chief Executive Officer Sandy Husk, on the significance of attaining demonstration site status.

AVID is implemented in approximately 5,000 schools in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and 16 other countries/territories and impacts more than 800,000 students annually in grades K-12 and postsecondary institutions.

Utep Football Generic 728
Amy’s Astronomy
STEP 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
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