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Wednesday , October 17 2018
Home | Tag Archives: Irvin High School

Tag Archives: Irvin High School

Story in Many Pics: Irvin Flies Past El Paso High 49-35

In an EPISD battle between Central and the Northeast, the Irvin Rockets hosted the El Paso High Tigers Friday night.

The visiting Tigers did their best to overtake Irvin, but in the end, the Rockets soared, downing El Paso High 49-35

Our very own  Johnny Yturales was there and brings you his view of the game in this “Story in Many Pics”

Former Irvin Student First to Earn High School Diploma Through New TAKS Law

A new state law aimed at giving students who completed all coursework but did not pass one or more portions of the TAKS test is giving new hope to thousands of Texans who do not have their high-school diploma.

The law, Texas Senate Bill 463, says those students may be eligible to officially graduate from high school if they meet certain criteria such as service in the military or earned a certification from an approved list of industries.

Just weeks after the new rule went into effect, the first student believed to have taken advantage of the law is confirmed to become the newest Texas high-school graduate — and he is an Irvin High School Rocket.

“This opens up so many opportunities for me and my family,” said Enrique Guzman Jr., a former Irvin student who had been scheduled to graduate with the Class of 1994. “There are good-paying jobs that I can go for now that I know I have transcripts that show I am a high-school graduate. It’s going to make a big difference.”

Guzman completed all course requirements toward graduation and even participated in commencement ceremonies back in 1994. However, his records showed that he had not passed the writing portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, the state-mandated test that preceded the current State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR.

After high school, Guzman took some courses at El Paso Community College and eventually joined the U.S. Army, where he remains as a member of the National Guard. He then moved to the Houston area, where has lived since 1999.

His lack of a high school diploma became an issue when he tried to enroll at the Art Institute of Houston in the early 2000s. Although he was able to take some classes, he was not able to fully complete a bachelor’s degree there.

“When I realized what happened and how it was affecting me, I called the school district and asked what I could do to get the high school diploma. They told me I could retake the tests so I was ready to do that,” Guzman said.

“But then I got a call from (State Board of Education Member) Georgina Perez and she told me that they were working on this new law that could help people like me,” he added. “She kept me up to date on everything and really helped me throughout the process. She was fantastic.”

Perez, who represents El Paso and dozens of other counties in west Texas, was one of the advocates that pushed the law. She said she personally called Guzman to let him know the diploma is on its way to him.

“Today we made good on a promise and our communities and state are the better for it,” she said. “Tomorrow, my hope is to make good on thousands more.”

Perez said the drive to pass SB 463 was an economic one, since reports show that Texans with a high-school diploma and at least some college or industry certifications can earn up to $19,000 more per year in income.

Guzman, who owns his own business, says he may already qualify for a raise from the Army. His current rank of sergeant (E5) may be elevated to staff sergeant (E6) after he receives his diploma officially.

“It’s already making a huge a difference having this diploma,” said Guzman, who is an Iraqi veteran. “I urge anyone who didn’t pass the TAKS and who has moved on, to do it. It’s been a great experience.”

To qualify for the program, participants must show school districts that they have served in the military, earned college credit, earned a certification from an approved list of industries or met performance standard on an alternative assessment. For more information on SB 463, click here.

In EPISD, the Office of Student and Parent Services, in collaboration with the Counseling and Advising Department, are helping former students determine if they’re eligible for a high-school diploma under the old rule.

Cheryll Felder, EPISD’s Director of Student and Parent Services, said there are already at least two other students who have submitted paperwork to be considered for a high-school diploma under SB 463.

EPISD is giving participants in the program the option of participating in graduation ceremonies in June. Guzman politely declined.

“I guess I’m officially the oldest member of the Irvin Class of 2018,” he said jokingly. “But I feel more a part of the Class of 1994 than anything else.”

 Story by Gustavo Reveles Acosta | Photo courtesy Enrique Guzman

Video+Story: Bike Shop Club Gears Up at Irvin

The small room in the basement of the basketball gym at Irvin may seem unassuming to most, but inside there’s an assortment of bike frames, chains, pedals and other equipment that are key components of the school’s newest club.

The Irvin Bike Shop Club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays after school and gears up to spark interest in cycling among the students in the Northeast school.

Physics teacher Dave Wilson started the club last semester after multiple requests from students for air pumps and help with fixing flats. The avid cyclist joined with Spanish teacher Mario Hurtado to get the club rolling.

“We spent about a month getting a space, getting some materials together from the YMCA on Will Ruth,” Wilson said. “Mario brought some tools, and I brought some tools from my house. The next thing you know, we’ve got kids lining up outside everyday we’re open with some heap of a bike that needs quite a bit of work to make it safe for them to ride to school.”

Both Hurtado and Wilson ride their bikes to school daily, setting the example for students on campus interested in riding for fun and commuting.

“A lot of the students don’t have money to take their bike to a shop,” Hurtado said. “The students are learning how to work with their hands and getting some experience working on bikes. Once they know how to maintain their bike, they can keep their bikes running by themselves.”

Junior Matthew Daniels became interested in the club after his bike was stolen and he needed a new ride.

“We help people build their bike. This one I built from the ground up,” he said, holding on to his reconditioned Trek. “I’ve also learned how to fix flats, fix the chain and the gears and grease up everything.”

Daniels likes learning about bikes and has been peddling the program to other students.

“I tell them you can get a free bike and build it up for yourself so if there are any problems, you know how to fix it,” he said.

Wilson challenges students to consider riding to school by telling them “walking is for chumps,” a motto he coined for his bike club fliers.

“It’s a form of freedom for a lot of our students, allowing them to get to school much, much faster than walking,” he said. “I put the fliers out with the times we’re open and kids started showing up. They are learning a lot of really good stuff.”

The bike club has become an outlet for Wilson to share his passion for cycling, hoping the students learn the mechanics of a bike and become lifelong riders.

“It’s a lot of fun and it helps me in my day,” he said. “It’s better than I ever imagined I would be able to end my day here at Irvin.”

Anyone interested in donating bikes, supplies and tools for the bike shop, can email Wilson at dgwilson@episd.org

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy  |  Video by Raymond Jackson/EPISD 

Irvin Journalism Student to Represent El Paso at Washington Summit

A member of the Irvin High School newspaper staff is traveling to Washington, D.C., to hone her writing skills among some of the country’s top journalists covering the capitol and the White House.

Deborah Hill, a sophomore at the Northeast school, was chosen by George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., to represent El Paso at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference this summer.

The opportunity to be among the nation’s top high-school journalism students is one Hill relishes.

“I’m excited to learn new trends and techniques I can bring back to the classroom next year,” she said.

Hill has expressed interest in becoming the next editor in chief for Irvin’s student newspaper.

She said this conference will help her build up her resume in anticipation of securing that position.

Isaac Medina, the journalism teacher at Irvin, nominated Hill for the program after noticing her passion for journalism. Hill said she was surprised by the nomination.

“I didn’t think Mr. Medina noticed my writing,” she said.

The student wasn’t the only one that was pleasantly surprised about the selection.

Medina had been given the opportunity to nominate a student in the past, but never got around to nominating anyone until this year. He said he’s glad his nomination this year went all the way.

“I’m glad I didn’t throw the invitation away,” Medina joked.

Hill, who received a scholarship to fund her spot at the conference, knows how much this means to the Rocket community.

“I feel the pressure, but I’m proud to represent Irvin and the City of El Paso at this national conference,” she said.

 Story by Andrea Cortez | Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Billy Davis returns to Irvin HS to present Super Bowl Golden Ball

Two-time Super Bowl champion Billy Davis will return home to Irvin High School’s Tony Shaw Stadium to present the school with a golden football as part of the National Football League’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl.

The NFL’s High School Honor Roll program pairs Super Bowl champions with their high schools to celebrate the impact local school districts and coaches had on the sports most storied players.

Irvin is the only high school in El Paso to be part of the NFL’s program. The presentation will be at 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, at Irvin High School’s Tony Shaw Stadium (9465 Roanoke)

Davis played as quarterback at Irvin High School in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but switched to wide receiver when he played for the University of Pittsburgh. He won Super Bowl XXX with the Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens.

Three-time Super Bowl champion Kevin Smith also will attend the presentation.

For more information regarding the NFL’s High School Honor Roll program visit to http://www.nfl.com/sbhonorroll

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