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Home | Tag Archives: EPISD Education Foundation

Tag Archives: EPISD Education Foundation

EPISD Education Foundation awards more than $70,000 in scholarships

The EPISD Education Foundation announced Thursday that they had awarded $70,250 in scholarships to 72 members of the Class of 2020.

“The EPISD Education Foundation is grateful for the commitment of our donors who understand the great need to support the Class of 2020 during this unprecedented time,” said foundation president Russell Wiggs.

“We hope these scholarships help our recipients realize their college dreams.”

The total amount includes: the foundation’s traditional scholarships, STARS Foundation Scholarships, EPISD Council of PTA Scholarships, the Amalia Muro Scholarship, the Genevieve Gonzalez Scholarship, the Coach Lou Robustelli and the Del Norte Lion’s Club Scholarship.

The foundation last year began a partnership with the STARS Foundation, which matches the $1,000 foundation scholarship for students who have 12 credit hours of college.

Eighteen EPISD seniors received this scholarship.

Scholarships are made possible through the generosity of EPISD employees, partner funds and donors including: ABM, Engage2Learn, Jacobs Engineering, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, Hospitals of Providence, Teachers Federal Credit Union, Texas Gas Services, Mounce Green Myers Safi, Hilltop Securities, Norton Fulbright Rose, Piper Jaffray and Georgina Williams and the EPISD Council of PTAs.

All scholarships are for $1,000 unless otherwise noted with the exception of STARs, which will be matched. Below are the winners of the scholarships:

Valeria Barrientos Chavez Andress EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Andrea Bazan Andress EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Amber Deshaies Andress STARS Foundation
Shakayla Wilkes Andress EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Ryvika Chavez Austin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Natasia Salcido Austin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Wynona Skilling Austin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Dante Velasco Austin STARS Foundation
Job Armengol Bowie EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Justin Diaz Bowie EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Mario Diaz Bowie EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Carlye Herrera Bowie Coach Lou Robustelli Scholarship
Carlye Herrera Bowie EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Alejandra Lopez Bowie Del Norte Lion’s Club ($500)
Federico Moncada Bowie EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Destiny Pedroza Bowie EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Ariana Abascal Burges STARS Foundation
Jessica Amenzaga Burges Council of PTAs $250
Sebastian Barraza Burges STARS Foundation
Julian Diaz Burges STARS Foundation
Trinity Dorantes Burges STARS Foundation
Alan Garcia Galvez Burges STARS Foundation
Stella Guillen Burges STARS Foundation
Vivian Macias Burges Council of PTAs $500
Vivian Macias Burges STARS Foundation
Brandon Mojica Burges STARS Foundation
Ashley Morton Burges STARS Foundation
Amelia Navarro Burges STARS Foundation
Alyssa Quesada Burges STARS Foundation
Mia Valencia Burges Ann Yerby Memorial Scholarship
Karla Villalobos Burges Amalia Muro Scholarship
Joshua Ybarra Burges STARS Foundation
Nayelli Jimenez CCTA EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Rafael Baez Chapin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Paul Bernhard Coronado EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Patricio Casaubon Coronado Council of PTAs $250
Sergio Enriquez Coronado STARS Foundation
Liliana Flores-Dumond Coronado EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Mariana Iglesias Coronado EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Alisa Pitchkolan Coronado Council of PTAs $500
Alisa Pitchkolan Coronado EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Nicole Poissant Coronado EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Sophia Fuentes El Paso EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Annaeliese Huenneke El Paso EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Odyssey Mann El Paso EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Thomas Norton El Paso EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Paige Pearson El Paso Council of PTAs $250
Noelle Porflit El Paso Council of PTAs $500
Noelle Porflit El Paso EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
LIsa Ramirez El Paso EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Emily Jauregui Franklin STARS Foundation
Fabian Ramirez Franklin Council of PTAs $500
Fabian Ramirez Franklin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Summer Sullivan Franklin Council of PTAs $250
Dominique Botello Irvin Irvin Class of 1969 Scholarship
Kenya Garcia Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Carmen Guerra Irvin Irvin Alumni Association Scholarship
Angel Hernandez Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Zayya Herrera Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Gabriel Huerta Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Nya Jones Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Cody Ladd Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Bebet Lujan Irvin Irvin Alumni Association Scholarship
Magdalena Mireles Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Destiny Rivera Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Gianna Rivera Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Daniel Salas Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Yahaira Ugarte Irvin EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Frida Aguilera Jefferson EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Carlos Carrete Jefferson EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Carlos Carrete Jefferson Genevieve Gonzalez Scholarship
Erica Loustaunau Silva EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Damini Patel Silva EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Wei-Li Kung Silva STARS Foundation
Karen Nevarez Silva STARS Foundation
Carlos Benitez TMECHS Council of PTAs $500
April Blackwell TMECHS EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship
Jorge Franco TMECHS Council of PTAs $250
Story by Reneé De Santos – EPISD

EPISD Education Foundation will continue to award scholarships to seniors

High-school seniors in the District will still receive scholarships from the EPISD Education Foundation in May even if the school closures prevent organizers from hosting award ceremonies.

“We had an overwhelming response from our seniors this year and remain committed to helping our seniors reach their college dreams,” said foundation president Russell Wiggs. “Given the current circumstances, we know our scholarships will be especially important to our seniors.”

Students who are selected as scholars can expect to get an emailed letter in May with details on how to access their scholarship to ensure their college or university receives the funds for the fall semester.

The EPISD Education Foundation’s biggest fundraiser – the annual District Address – was canceled this spring, but many of the sponsors and donors chose to continue their financial support to the foundation to support both scholarships and classroom grant programs.

“We are grateful for the businesses and our community partners who understand the financial need of our seniors – especially ABM, who committed $25,000 to the District Address,” said superintendent Juan E. Cabrera.  “Their outpouring of generosity and support for the Class of 2020 is humbling. It gives our seniors a glimmer of hope during this uncertain time.”

Sponsors include: ABM, Engage2Learn, Jacobs Engineering, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, Hospitals of Providence, Teachers Federal Credit Union, Texas Gas Services, Mounce Green Myers Safi, Hilltop Securities, Norton Fulbright Rose, Piper Jaffray and Georgina Williams and the EPISD Council of PTAs.

“We also are grateful for the employees of EPISD who participated in the Employee Giving Campaign in the fall,” Wiggs said. “Every dollar we receive makes a difference to our EPISD students and teachers.”

Other businesses or individuals interested in supporting EPISD Education Foundation’s scholarship fund can email

Story by Reneé De Santos – EPISD

Gallery+Story: Mesita Elementary fifth grader wins El Paso Regional Spelling Bee

D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Determination.

That’s the word that prevented Mesita Elementary fifth grader Sheneli De Silva from winning the regional spelling bee in 2019, and it is the concept that finally helped her become the area’s top speller this year.

Sheneli on Friday beat out more than 150 spellers from west Texas and southern New Mexico to win the EPISD Education Foundation’s El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. She will represent El Paso at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.

“I feel excited and happy and proud of myself because I practiced so hard and I get to go to Washington,” the 10-year-old said following her win.

Sheneli corrected spelled the word ‘montage’ to win on Friday after four rounds of spelling in the finals. Another EPISD student, Wiggs Middle School’s Isai Sanchez, was in a heated spell-off to earn third place in the contest.

The spelling champ, however, said she was happy with her performance and her parents credit her determination for her win.

“She reads a lot,” said her father Sohan De Silva. “We ask her to go to sleep ad she’s reading. She has her little light on … reading at night.”

Mesita Elementary reading teacher Monica Montes-Quiñonez coaches Sheneli and is hopeful that she will become the fifth El Pasoan to win the national spelling bee.

“She’s an amazing student who works really hard,” Montes-Quiñonez said. “I am so proud of her and happy for her family. They’re so kind and represent Mesita very well.”

Sheneli’s family immigrated from Sri Lanka to El Paso and speak Sinhalese at home. Sheneli also speaks English, Spanish and is studying Mandarin.

Getting to the finals of the regional spelling bee was no easy feat. She, along with about 60 other spellers qualified to the stage round of spelling by tackling a strenuous preliminary written test asking students to spell words like ‘paramecium,’ ‘maquillage’ and ‘lotophagi.’

During the finals, Sheneli kept calm and collected during the heated competition, correctly spelling ‘tabernacle,’ ‘joule,’ ‘ermine’ and ‘chrysalis’ before she spelled the championship word.

She will now begin preparation for the national spelling bee, and advises future local spellers approach their campus spelling bees with the same determination she did this year.

“Try your best. You can do it,” Sheneli said.

The judges for the 2020 spelling bee included El Paso Public Library Marketing and Customer Relations Coordinator Jack Galindo, El Paso Times Librarian Trish Long and El Paso County Human Resources Contract Administrator Michael Martinez.

The pronouncer for the competition was 2009 Spelling Bee winner Katie Stone, a grant writer for the non-profit organization Families and Youth, Inc.

The 76th edition El Paso Regional Spelling Bee was organized by the EPISD Education Foundation.

Story by Liliana Gonzalez  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Art teachers get training, auction off art for EPISD Foundation

Visual arts teachers don’t have wait for inspiration to hit. Instead, they cultivate it during hands-on workshops EPISD Fine Arts Department develops to help them be successful in the classroom.

And this time around, the art pieces they craft during the workshops will help raise funds for scholarships and teacher grants benefiting the EPISD Education Foundation.

EPISD Visual Arts Facilitator Rosa Aguilar said the District has made strong investments in the development of fine-arts teachers by creating strong professional learning communities and scheduling full-day staff development days for art teachers.

This investment is something educators appreciate.

“It’s nice because in our class and at home we don’t have time as an artist,” said Guillen Middle teacher Jasmin Ayala. “And now that we do, it feels good to grow.”

Daniel Szwaczkowski, a first-year teacher at Franklin High, took studious notes of different styles and approaches to painting and drawing.

“I usually work larger scale and I haven’t painted like this in 15 years,” he said. “What I’m learning here today is a tool I can take back to the students.”

The lessons the teachers learn during this training will do more than just help them become better instructors. The art they produce will be donated and auctioned during the upcoming EPISD District Address on April 2 at the Centennial Club.

Proceeds will go toward funding student scholarships and classroom grants aimed at helping teachers with innovative instructional ideas.

Story by Liliana Gonzalez  |   Photos by Leonel Monroy – El Paso ISD

Gallery+Story: EPISD Education Foundation Teacher Grants help students

Teachers throughout the District are putting the EPISD Education Foundation grants they received to good use.

Irvin High School teacher Sonja Quintero used her extra funds to beef up her food science students’ food truck project and pay for their food handler’s certificates.

Quintero’s students showcase their knowledge and culinary skills during their annual showcase this week which required them to design a pint-sized food truck to display alongside a sample menu item. Sweet and savory smells of food truck fare filled the food science lab as students busily baked pizzas, made homemade tortillas for quesadillas, and made enchiladas, churros, Korean barbeque, sliders and other menu items.

“I had no idea we’d make such extensive food in this class,” said senior Dylan Brito, who made flan as part of his team’s food truck El Wuarito. “We have gotten to bond with each other over making food in general. It’s been fun.”

Quintero walked around the room checking out her students’ creativity – both from the building of their food trucks to the foods they cooked up. The extra funding from the foundation gave her program a boost this year, allowing her to pay for 50 students to receive food handler’s cards and extra equipment and materials for her classroom.

“Every little penny helps me because a lot of it I can just take out of my own pocket to cover what I need when I’m short,” Quintero said of her 2018 grant. “The foundation money was a great resource for me.”

The food handler’s certification gives the students more knowledge and an edge if they decide to start their own food truck or work in another area of the foodservice industry.

“For me it means, the certification means I have more experience and more extensive knowledge,” Brito said.

Chef Samuel Rivera Jr., a former Irvin student and chef at the Greenery, made his way to every food truck, tasting and talking to the student chefs. He asked questions, offered advice and ultimately judged them on taste and creativity.

“I’m super impressed by how organized the kids are at this age and how much they know. I’m so surprised that they were able to take them through sanitation class,” he said. “They’re above what I thought they would be when I got here. I’m super impressed by the children. It shows how good their teacher is.”

Quintero was one of more than 20 EPISD teachers to receive a foundation grant in 2018. Teachers needing up to $1,000 in their classroom to do an innovative project in 2019-20 school year have through June 17 to apply for a grant online.

Grants will be awarded in the fall.

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Erika Reyes  – EPISD

EPISD Education Foundation offering Classroom Impact Grants

Teacher Isabel Malone’s dream of creating an art club to foster the talents of her young students finally came to fruition this school year after she applied and was granted a Classroom Impact Grant from the EPISD Education Foundation.

The Powell Art Club meets regularly to allow fourth- and fifth-grade students to grow their talent using materials and tools bought through the grant.

Malone was one of 20 teachers to benefit from the Classroom Impact Grants last year.

“I wanted to be able to provide some motivation as well as a place to unwind and get creative,” Malone said. “I have zero art background and am influenced by my own experiences and ideas of how art can be freeing, experimental, and fun.  It relieves stress and tension and takes my mind off things.”

The students used a variety of media to design a silhouette of profile filled with images representing their likes including dogs, cartoon characters and other pop culture icons.

“My hope is that they take something away from their time in the Art Club that will stay with them, inspire them, and possibly pursue and explore more on their own,” Malone said.

Her students collaborated with each other, sharing the mediums and checking out each other’s work – all in tune to the to 1970s and 80s music playing in the background.

“I really enjoy it because I love to draw all the time I never get to show anyone my art, so this a way to show everybody my art,” said Sanjuana Herrera.

Fourth grader Taylor Ross enjoys the extra time to explore her creativity.

“I draw constantly,” she said. “I love drawing. When I go home I draw a lot. The club helps me learn about water colors and different materials you can use for art.”

Peyton Fry, also in fourth grade, likes that the club provides a no judgement zone.

“I like it because I’m able to draw whatever I like without being judged on what I want to draw or how I draw,” she said.

Malone plans to apply again to expand the program next year.

The Classroom Impact Grant application will be open April 5 through June 15. Teachers can apply for up to $1,000 to do an innovative project in their classroom. Grants recipients will be announced in September.

Go to beginning April 5 for more information.

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

El Paso ISD Reminds Seniors: Education Foundation scholarship deadline is Friday

With the end of the 2018-19 school year rapidly approaching, Seniors in El Paso ISD have an important deadline regarding scholarships coming up on Friday.

The deadline to submit an application for the EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship and the STARS Scholarship is 4 p.m. Friday.

The EPISD Education Foundation expects to award more than $60,000 in college scholarships to the Class of 2019 this spring through two different scholarship opportunities.

This $1,000 scholarship is open to all EPISD graduating seniors.

The traditional EPISD Education Foundation Scholarship can be accessed online under the scholarship tab.

The Foundation this year has partnered with the STARS Foundation to offer scholarships with matching funds for seniors with at least 12 dual credit hours. EPISD STARS Scholarship recipients can receive $2,000 if they enroll at UTEP and $3,500 if they attend the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M.

“We are proud to join with the STARS Foundation to maximize our scholarship dollars and give our seniors more opportunities to fund their higher education,” said Foundation president Russell Wiggs. “Offering both the traditional EPISD Foundation and STARS Foundation scholarships will help us serve more seniors throughout EPISD.”

The EPISD Education Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to high school seniors throughout the District since its inception in 1994. All scholarships are restricted to furthering the student’s education including tuition, books, housing, and other related expenses.

All scholarships are awarded on a one-time basis. The application also can be accessed on the EPISD Education Foundation website.

Scholarship recipients will be announced in late April and awarded at a reception on in early May.

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

El Paso ISD Education Foundation Awards $70K in Scholarships to Seniors

The EPISD Education Foundation visited 13 senior awards assemblies this year to surprise 67 graduating seniors with a $1,000 scholarship.

Board members awarded scholarships at all 10 traditional high schools, Silva Health Magnet, Transmountain Early College High School and the College, Career and Technology Academy delivering scholarships during graduation season.

“Every year, we look forward to the senior award assemblies and presenting scholarships to our students,” said Russell Wiggs, foundation president. “We’re happy to be able to play a little part in helping our students get a college education.”

The $70,000 included scholarships from the Foundation’s partner funds – the Irvin Alumni Association, Paso del Norte Foundation, Del Norte Lion’s Club, EPISD Council of PTAs and the Coach Archie Duran Memorial Scholarship.

All scholarships were for $1,000 with the exception of the two PTA Scholarships, which were $500 each.

“When I was awarded the Foundation Scholarship I was overjoyed,” said Michelle Paxon, a Silva Health Magnet graduate.

“This scholarship gave me hope to believe that there is a way for me to reach my dream – college. I have always planned to get into medical school, and I now understand that being able to achieve that dream requires a lot of money. With scholarships like the Foundation scholarship, I now know that there is hope towards reaching such a goal and I am thankful to have received this scholarship.”

Since 1994, the EPISD Education Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships in scholarship and grants to benefit EPISD students and teachers.

Scholarships are being made possible through the Foundation’s major sponsors: Engage to Learn, El Paso Electric, the Hospitals of Providence, Wet and Wild Waterworld, Hunt Family Foundation, Peter Piper Pizza, Teachers Federal Credit Union, Hellas, Jacobs, Imagine Learning, K-12 Insight, Gibson Ruddock Patterson and Mounce Green Myers.

Story by Reneé de Santos

EPISD Education Foundation Distributes $25,000 for Teacher Grants

Nearly 30 teachers in the El Paso Independent School District got a helping hand from the EPISD Education Foundation in helping bring innovative instruction into classrooms all over the District.

The Foundation surprised 29 teachers with grants up to $1,000 this fall — bringing the grand total of giving back to EPISD at more than $120,000 for this year.

“We enjoyed visiting campuses and hearing about how the teachers will use their grants to fund innovative projects in their classrooms,” said Board President Russell Wiggs. “It was priceless to see the expression on their faces when we announced their names as winners. This shows our Foundation is making a difference for EPISD students and teachers.”

Teachers submitted their proposals online in the spring for consideration. The application process for fall 2018 will begin in spring.

This year’s grants spanned grade levels and subject matter but makerspaces seemed to an on-going theme for many elementary schools. Makerspaces are being built at all EPISD traditional high schools luring many elementary campuses to create their own.

“I am excited to have opportunity to have a makerspace in my classroom,” said Laura Salazar, a 4th grade teacher at Mesita Elementary. “I applied for some more expensive items and some not as expensive but when you start putting it together, it all adds up.”

Salazar learned more about creating a makerspace during the application process and looks forward doing her own. She encourages other teachers to apply and to consider supporting the Foundation.

“I’m a teacher who has been able to give to the Foundation in the past,” she said. “It’s so worthwhile. I’ve seen my fellow teachers who have had grants for their classroom and they’ve been able to benefit from them. I’m excited for my students and how they will benefit from the makerspace.”

Silva Magnet biotech teacher Guadalupe Tapia is a multiple year recipient of an EPISD Education Foundation. She happily shared the news with her students, grinning from ear to ear during a short presentation announcing her grant.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “This is a good opportunity for the school and for students to get new equipment that is coming out for biotech. This means new toys for our students to learn skills they will need for the future.”

Congratulations to the following teachers for receiving a 2017 grant:

Eloisa Rodriguez Alta Vista Innovation and Creation: Our Library Makerspace
Rosanna Alvarado Bond Discovery Learning Center
Sandy Romo Brown ELA Media Mix
Robin Figueroa Canyon Hills Project Student Experts
Beth Bunt Canyon Hills 8th Grade ELAR Active Learning classroom
Carmen Davila Collins Engagement is the Key to Success!
Yadira Vitela Collins Love for Reading
Renee Aguirre Coronado Lights! Camera! Action!
Patricia Martin Franklin 9th grade Student Skill Trainer Sets
Jamalah Pope Irvin CRC Classroom Economy
Patricia Ramirez Irvin Theater/Art Collaboration
Angela C. Word Lincoln Green Screen Scholars
Erin Quevedo Lundy Lundy STEAM Project
Ana Caballero Mesita Press Play for Spanish
Sharon Hsu Mesita Hacking Chinese Characters: A better way of learning Mandarin
Laura Salazar Mesita Innovative Classroom Makerspace
Sonia Chang Mesita ECDC Speak Chinese Out
Miriam Cook Morehead Active Learning Studio Space
Camille Calderon Powell First Grade STEM Initiative
Emily Sullivan Putnam STEAM Club
Laura L. Rico Putnam Programming and Coding with Ozobot
Guadalupe Tapia Silva Health Magnet Bringing Real-World STEM experiences to the classroom
Kimberly R. Villanueva Tippin Flexible Classroom Seating
Claudia Galindo TMECHS First Aid and Safety Health Education
Anett Bearden Tom Lea Student-Centered Seating, Noise-Canceling Headphones, and Efficacious Student Engagement
Minerva Morales Tom Lea Amazing People in Our Remarkable World””
Lisa A. Schoenbrun Western Hills Plant Me in First Grade
Vanessa Ortiz Wiggs Escape Room in the Classroom
Mona Plaza YWA YWA STEAM Garden

The presentations to teachers gave Wiggs a chance to plug the Employee Giving Campaign, which runs through Nov. 1. Last year, employees contributed more than $18,000 to the fund. Funds raised through Employee Giving, fund-raising events and corporate sponsors allowed the Foundation to award $92,000 in scholarships and $25,000 in grants in 2017.

Wiggs encouraged employees to make a contribution by payroll deduction to the Foundation to help fund grants and scholarship for 2018. The campus with the largest contribution will receive a family-four pack of tickets for Wet N Wild Waterpark for each employee making a contribution during the campaign, with a minimum contribution required.

The second place campus will receive a Peter Piper Pizza party. Walgreens will do make overs for all contributors at the third place campus.

All employees giving at least $50 will receive a small pizza from Peter Piper Pizza. .

Video+Story: EPISD Superintendent Cabrera Delivers State of the District Address

El Paso ISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera delivered the State of the District Address in front of a group of 350 civic and school leaders during a luncheon at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center on Biggs Army Air Field.

Cabrera invited those in attendance to join the District as it heads into a new era of teaching and learning, aimed at improving the lives students through innovative programming.

“There’s never been a better time to be a part of this amazing school district,” Cabrera told the audience, which included many people watching the address via a live online stream. “Yes, we had a rough time recently, but we are focusing on the future and what we need to do to give our current students the tools and skills they need to be global leaders in the 21st century.”

The speech included a review of academic programs that have helped EPISD reached unprecedented levels in high-quality teaching and learning. Those include the expansion of the dual-language and International Baccalaureate programs, the creation of the Young Women’s STEAM Research & Preparatory Academy, and the addition of several New Tech Network campuses.

Cabrera also thanked the community for supporting the District’s efforts to upgrade its facility to better conform to 21st century learning environments. Several projects in the voter-approved bond program have already begun their design stage and groundbreakings will start soon.

About 100 students from every corner of the District participated in the event. Booths were set up around the conference center to let students showcase their school or program to the civic leaders that attended the event. The booths went along with the theme of the event: “Discover EPISD.”

The event also featured a welcome from Board President Dori Fenenbock and a speech from current EPISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Jill McGee from Mesita Elementary.

Proceeds from the event benefitted the EPISD Education Foundation, which gives scholarships to District graduates and Classroom Impact Grants to teachers.

Foundation Gives More than $115,000 back to El Paso ISD

The EPISD Education Foundation is making visits to 24 campuses this month to surprise 31 teachers with $28,000 in Classroom Impact Grants.

The grants combined with the $77,000 in scholarships awarded to the Class of 2016 in the spring and a special $10,000 STEM grant for Irvin High School means $115,000 in contributions that the Foundation has giving back to the District this year.

“We are pleased to be able to provide EPISD with $115,000 in funding to promote innovation in teaching and enhance the overall quality of education for EPISD students,” Foundation President Russell Wiggs said. “It’s a joy to see the surprised looks on teachers and students’ faces when we announce their names for grants and scholarships. We know the funding makes a difference to them.”

The first stop this week: Polk Elementary School on Tuesday, where $2,000 was awarded to Gloria Zafiro-Salazar and Elaine Myers. Like all grants awarded this year, Myers’ grant embraces active learning. The campus’ Active Learning Leader will be purchasing Ozobots to assist with teaching Science Technology Engineering and Math.

“Ozobots use a language of color coding and it makes it very inviting for children in elementary schools,” Myers said. “They will use critical thinking and problem solving skills through Active Learning. We would like our students to be one step ahead with new careers that are being created every year in this field.”

Second stop: Coronado High School where Jennifer Wilhite, who received two grants this year, and Renee Aguirre received the good news.

“Teachers are always in need of supplies and resources, especially in active learning classrooms, such as journalism,” said Aguirre, anews2_2514_m journalism teacher at Coronado. “Technology is constantly evolving and I want to be able to provide my students with functional, up-to-date equipment that will benefit their learning. Therefore, applying for the EPISD Education Foundation grant should be on every teachers to-do-list this school year because this grant can provide us with up-to-date resources and materials for our students.”

The Foundation has scheduled visits throughout September and early October to award the grants and give teachers an opportunity to talk about what the funding will be used for in their classroom in front of their peers. It is also an opportunity for the Foundation to inform teachers of the Employee Giving Campaign, which netted $25,000 last year. The campaign runs from Sept. 30-Oct. 31.

“Employees are becoming more aware of the Foundation and what we do to benefit teachers and students in EPISD,” Wiggs said. “We are grateful for the contributions made by EPISD employees.”

EPISD Education Foundation in the spring awarded $77,000 to graduating seniors, which included two scholarships provided by the Irvin High School Alumni Association and six scholarships provided by Renaissance Learning. Texas Gas Services also provided a $10,000 grant to purchase a 3D printer for Irvin High School’s Rocket Tech.

Grant proposals will be accepted online beginning in March 2017. A notice will be sent to all EPISD teachers to inform them of the grant process.

“Any teacher with a new idea should try for a grant. It really didn’t take that much time once I had the idea,” Myers said. “A little research in the area I wanted to target was a huge help in writing the grant.”

A full list of grant winners will be placed on the in early October. Like the Foundation on Facebook (El Paso ISD Education Foundation) to see the campus visits as they happen.

Hospitals of Providence donates $25,000 to EPISD Education Foundation

The Hospitals of Providence announced its commitment of $25,000 to the EPISD Education Foundation last Tuesday and will serve as this year’s honorary chair for the Campaign for Excellence.

The $25,000 contribution supports the mission of the Education Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving high school seniors and classroom impact grants to enhance the education for all students.

“We are proud to be the 2016 Presenting Sponsor for the EPISD Foundation and know that our commitment will directly affect and enhance the quality of education for our students,” said Sally Hurt-Deitch, Market CEO of The Hospitals of Providence. “We look at this as an opportunity to invest in our community, and that investment is through our children.”

Board President Russell Wiggs thanked the Hospitals of Providence for their contribution and commitment to education.

“We are grateful for the Hospital of Providence’s corporate gift and the opportunities it means for our students,” Wiggs said. “Their support of the EPISD Education Foundation shows their strong commitment to education and the future of our students.”

The Education Foundation supports innovation in teaching and learning and scholarships through corporate partnerships, fundraising events and an employee giving campaign.

The EPISD Education Foundation was established in 1994 to provide opportunities for excellence in education, promote innovation in teaching, and partner with the community to enhance the education for all students.

Since its inception 20 years ago, the EPISD Education Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in college scholarships and classroom impact grants, including $58,000 in college scholarships and $16,000 in classroom impact grants this year.

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