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Home | Tag Archives: El Paso Leadership Academy

Tag Archives: El Paso Leadership Academy

El Paso Leadership Academy Celebrates State Achievements, 5th Anniversary

With only a couple of weeks to go before students return to class, officials with the El Paso Leadership Academy (EPLA) are celebrating several state-recognized achievements.

In addition to celebrating their 5th anniversary, founders, staff and students received news that the school is #3 among all Texas middle schools for Student Progress and #4 for Closing Performance Gaps based on the 2017 TEA State Accountability Standards.

Established in 2014 by two El Paso natives, Omar Yanar and Andrew Benitez, EPLA is a tuition-free college preparatory middle school,  that will be welcoming their 5th class of 6th graders August 13.

EPLA is a public school and has 100% open enrollment, meaning that any family that resides in El Paso County who wishes to enroll their child at the school has the opportunity to do so.

Via a news release, EPLA officials shared, that their school is a “small, safe and bully-free school with an enrollment averaging 200 students.”

With the small class sizes, officials say this supports “focused, guided instruction and a sense of community among students.”

“In the 2017-2018 school year, the average student was able to achieve 2 to 4 years of growth in their math and reading levels. These advances support EPLA’s mission as a college preparatory middle school to ensure their graduates are ready for high school and beyond,” officials added.

On top of its rigorous academic curriculum, all students engage in weekly character and leadership development classes. The school’s goal is to inspire and motivate their students to become engaged leaders in their community.

For more information, interested residents can visit their website, Facebook page or give them a call to setup an enrollment appointment. Walk ins are also welcome Monday through Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.

EPLA is located at 1918 Texas Avenue,  close to downtown El Paso.  Fall classes begin August 13 with enrollment continuing through September 1, or until classes reach capacity.

El Paso Leadership Academy Honors Students in Emotional Ceremony

Friday afternoon, the El Paso Leadership Academy held their CRSHH – Collaboration, Responsibility, Smarts, Humble, Hungry – Assembly and I was able to join the 6th and 7th graders during the gathering.

Julian Casillas is the operations director of EPLA and gave me the run down of what the assembly is.

“So today we are doing one of our weekly celebrations,” he says. “Every single week we identify one scholar at the end of the assembly. We also recognize others during the ceremony.”

During the seventh-grade assembly, teachers recognized a group of students for having read an amazing number of books. Each was given a certificate and were also recognized by their fellow students as well!

The students, that’s what was amazing about each of the assemblies. The students care for each other, actually took the time also to recognize and celebrate those who were recognized.

“We need to ensure our scholars feel empowered every day they walk in the door,” says Julian. “No matter what is happening at home or in the world, they need to feel this is a safe space. We feel that celebrating the end of rounding out the week is a great way to send them off for the weekend and get them ready for Monday.”

Though the El Paso Leadership Academy is a relatively new school, they are going full out in preparing these kids for a future, no matter what it holds.

The sixth graders, I discovered, were given an assignment that is due very soon. That assignment? They had to create a game.

Yep, a game.

Coach Cruz is the one who gave the students the assignment. Can you imagine? Being in the sixth-grade and having to come up with your very own game. Why didn’t I come to school here when I was younger?

Listening to all the teachers speak about their students I am left in awe. Each of these teachers gives their all, every single day, to each one of their students. The students, no matter what they are facing, come at it with drive, passion and a desire to succeed.

The CRSHH winners deserve our recognition as well.

For the eighth-grade the winner Monse Munoz (not pictured). For the seventh grade, it was John Caldwell. From listening to his teachers, watching how emotional they became, you could tell that not only have they made an impact on his life, he made on theirs as well. (Ok, even I began to tear up a bit…alright…I cried along with everyone else!)

The sixth-grade winner was Isabela Quinonez. She was all smiles when they called her name, as she walked up and accepted her shirt.

If you are looking for a school that is college focused, at all levels, then give the El Paso Leadership Academy a look.

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