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Monday , December 10 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: henderson middle

Tag Archives: henderson middle

Dynasty! Henderson Chess Team Wins National Titles in Atlanta

The Henderson Middle School Chess Team has done it once again, bringing home more hard-earned national titles.

The team, lead by coach and 2017 EPISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Saul Ramirez, won two team and three individual national titles at this weekend’s U.S. Chess Federation’s National Junior High Championships in Atlanta.

Henderson won national championships as a team in two novice categories: Under 1,000 and Under 750. It earned a second place in the unrated team category.

Individually, three Henderson students earned national championships.

The individual winners are:

• First place in Under 1,000 Category: Saul Ramirez.

• First place in Under 750 Category: Alessandra Ruiz

• First place in unrated Category: Sebastian Gonzalez

The following Henderson students ranked nationally: Juan Ramirez, second place in Under 1,000 category; Carlos Palomino, seventh place in Under 1,000 category; Aime Argandona, 11th place in Under 750 Category; and Devante Aguirre, 24th place in Under 750 Category.

Henderson Middle School Chess Team Checkmates the Competition

No one gave the Henderson Middle School Chess Team a shot at winning the U.S. Chess Federation National Junior High Tournament last year. After all, it was their first time even participating.

But after surprising everyone by winning the whole thing, the team knew they’d have a target on their back when they attempted to defend their tile during the national tournament in Indianapolis this weekend.

Challenge accepted.

The Henderson Chess Team earned their second straight national championship at the tournament, and are well on their way to becoming a dynasty.

“What can we say about this? I mean, proud can’t even explain how we feel about our boys and girls,” said Principal Elizabeth Maldonado. “These kids have represented Henderson and El Paso so well. They are part of something special.”

The 30-member team made a strong impression during the tournament, which included teams from private and prep schools, as well as teams with players who have been playing for years. Most of the Henderson team has been playing for less than three years.

Henderson won the national title in the K-8 Under 750 category and third place in the K-8 Under 1000 category.

The team returned from the competition on Monday night and were greeted by a large crowd of supporters at the El Paso International Airport.

On Tuesday afternoon, the team was back at work, practicing for what they hope will be a good showing at an international competition later this year.

“There’s no rest. These kids want to be here. They enjoy each other and they enjoy the game,” said Saul Ramirez, a teacher at Henderson and the head coach of the team.

The team has dedicated their win to their families and the entire Henderson community, but also to the hundreds of people who contributed toward the $33,000 the team raised to fund their trip to Indianapolis.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without the people of El Paso,” said Manny Tejada, a seventh-grader in the team.

Henderson Middle School Chess Team takes State; Nationals next in Indy

The Henderson Middle School chess team has done it again and won big at the 2016 Texas Scholastic Chess Championships over the weekend.

The team brought home more than a dozen trophies and two first place wins in the novice and junior varsity divisions. They will now move on to compete at the U.S. Chess Federation National Junior High Chess Tournament in Indianapolis on April 15.

“The competition was extremely difficult. We were behind a couple of points, but we were able to come together as a team and pull through,” Coach Saul Ramirez said. “They wanted it. They worked for it, and they earned it.”

news2_2370_mThe Henderson team was relatively unknown last year when they surprised everyone by winning the state title. But at the state competition in Brownsville during spring break, teams from throughout the state were ready to take on the defending champions.

“We knew it was going to be a tough tournament, so we knew we had to be prepared. We had extra practices, which is what we are doing now for nationals,” Ramirez said.

The Hornets aren’t wasting any time as they look forward to nationals in April. They practice every day afterschool, and with nationals on the horizon they even have picked up a Saturday practice to perfect their moves.

Christopher Carmona has been with the team for two years, winning last year in the novice division. This year he took a second place individual trophy and was part of the JV team that placed first.

“My games were tough because the other players were rated higher than me, but I’ve always thought rating doesn’t matter. It’s how good you play a game,” Christopher said. “They were tough, but I came out strong. I am good at the end game, so that’s what brought me through.”

Sixth-grade-student Ariana De La Cruz is new to the team, but she is determined to do her best at the national competition.

“I know we will come together again as a team like we did at state and give it 100 percent at nationals,” Ariana said. “We all worked really hard and practiced a lot.”

The team now hopes to raise enough money to compete at nationals and with a lot of determination and hard work bring back some more trophies.

“It was amazing feeling coming back with these trophies,” Ramirez said. “We are hoping to do it again at nationals.”

To help the team compete at nationals make sure to check out their fundraiser next Tuesday at the Peter Piper Pizza on Paisano.

Henderson students get a special holiday treat: free haircuts

The gym at Henderson Middle School turned into a giant barbershop with a line of barbers and hairstylists stretching across the basketball floor to give 30 students a new look for the holidays.

The students were part of a mentoring group at the school selected to participate in Henderson’s Partner in Education Versatile Fades Barber Shop cut-a-thon on Tuesday. Owner Ian Owens brought his team of barbers to cut the boys hair and joined with a hair salon for the girls. He even brought in a DJ, turning the event into a celebration.

“We wanted to give back,” Owens said.

news_2304_mHe had visited the school before and a student looked at him and said ‘taper fade,’ a style he often cuts and wears himself. That piqued his interest further in the school.  “I wanted to be able to help – one hair cut at a time,” he said. “A haircut can make a difference. It’ a new look and it changes how they carry themselves.”

He was proud of the work he and his team did for the students, and could see the impact it made on the students.
“The kids are showing a lot of appreciation,” he said.

Anthony Ayala, sat patiently as one of Owens’ barbers cut off about 11 inches of hair, shaved the sides and styled the top. Instead of long hair, the seventh grader had been growing since fifth grade, he now rocked a taper fade. He couldn’t stop smiling as showed off his new do.

“My mom kept on telling me to cut my hair so I just decided to cut it,” Anthony said.

The event kicked off with a pep rally where Owens, 24, talked to students about how he was 21 years old when he started his business.

“You can do it too,” he told them. “Anything you want to do, you can do.”

Principal Elizabeth Maldonado liked Owens’ message to students about the endless possibilities that await them.

“If that’s the only thing the kids get out of today, that’s a lot,” Maldonado said.

Through the school’s partnership, Versatile also donated turkeys to families during the Thanksgiving holidays.

“One of EPISD’s goals is to maintain positive and productive partnerships with parents and our community to facilitate the success of all students,” Maldonado said. “We are fortunate at Henderson that there are many business and community members who are former Hornets and who believe in our students and want to be mentors and give back to our community.”

Author: EPISD

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