A total of 171 seniors from every high school in the El Paso Independent School District accepted their diplomas on Wednesday during the 2019 Summer Graduation Ceremonies at the Bowie High School auditorium.
The graduates completed all state graduation requirements during the summer and now join the 4,200 seniors who received their high-school diplomas during ceremonies in May.
“The fact that you are here today is a testament of the hard work and dedication you have demonstrated over the years,” said Dr. Carla Gonzales, EPISD’s Assistant Superintendent of High Schools.
“You have the skills you need to be successful in life. Go out and work toward reaching your goals. You can do whatever you want to make an impact in this world.”
Wednesday’s ceremonies were split in two to accommodate parents and graduates.
The morning ceremonies featured students from Andress, Austin, Burges, Chapin, Franklin, Irvin, Jefferson and Silva Health Magnet high schools, as well as the College, Career & Technology Academy.
The afternoon session featured students from Bowie, Coronado and El Paso high schools.
Soccer action shifted gears Thursday night, as the second season – the playoffs – got underway. The Silver Foxes traveled to the Mission Valley to take Del Valle. Jefferson defeated the Conquistadores 4-3
Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
After one of the more memorable seasons in local high school football, the regular season was sent to end on a high note, with the Battle of the Southside – Jefferson vs Bowie – at the Sun Bowl.
The Silver Foxes and Bears did not disappoint, with Jefferson capping their season with back-to-back wins, sending the playoff picture into a scramble and dismissing Bowie 26-16. (Listen to the full broadcast here)
With their victory, the Silver-Foxes force a ‘flip-off’ between the teams tied for the final playoff spot; in a turn that could have only been written for an episode of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Jefferson won the toss and took the final playoff spot.
Alumni and students will ride down Montana Avenue on Thursday in the First Light Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade.
The float is the result of a partnership between El Paso High and Jefferson High School’s metal trade students, led by teacher John Gable. It took more than 60 metal trade students nearly a year to create the float, which stretches 30 feet long, 20 feet wide and 14.5 feet high.
“I was excited they wanted us to do it,” Gable said. “I thought it was a great project for my kids because they would get to use a lot of what they are learning in class to make the float. It falls right in with what they are learning academically.”
Over the years, the Jefferson metal trades classes have become known for building floats for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Gable and his students enjoyed the learning experience the float building process entailed.
“It takes a lot of time and precise measurements to get everything the way it should be,” senior Andres Alvidres said. “It was an awesome experience learning how to build a float. I really liked it.”
His favorite part of the project: “We all bonded as a group and worked together.”
Senior Dante Serna has been enrolled in metal trades all four years of high school, but this is the first time he has helped build a float.
“It was a great experience for me because I want to be a welder,” Serna said. “It was awesome being part of El Paso High’s celebration and seeing our work come to life from a blueprint.”
The float features a replica of the century-old Trost building overlooking Jones Stadium emblazoned with a large “100.”
“What has been really different about this float is working with El Paso High and having that camaraderie with them,” Gable said. “It all goes back to that same concept of ‘I am EPISD.’ We are a family.”
The El Paso High Alumni Association has been the driving force for fundraising and planning the parade float. Alumna Anna Mares, the project engineer, was happy to get more EPISD students on board to celebrate the Lady on the Hill. Several Jefferson students will ride alongside the El Paso High alumni and students.
“It takes a lot of work, but we wanted this to be about the kids and the collaboration,” Mares said. “It’s a team effort. The Jefferson students have been such a big part of it, so we wanted to make sure and include them in the celebration.”
Mares hopes the EPISD community will help celebrate as well.
“We want people wear orange and black because that’s been our motto for the Centennial. We really want to paint the town orange and black,” Mares said.
El Paso High and Jefferson won’t be the only schools representing EPISD next Thursday. The Burges and Austin high school bands also will bring their A-game to the Thanksgiving celebration.
Students 59 El Paso Independent School District campuses will get free school lunches and breakfasts thanks to national program aimed at providing more nutritious meals students.
Laura Durán, EPISD’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services, announced that the District once again will participate in the Community Eligibility Program from the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
The Community Eligibility Program, or CEP, provides breakfast and lunch to all children at no cost and eliminates the collection of meal application for free, reduced-priced and paid students meals.
“The application process can be cumbersome for some families, and we know that there are many of our schools that will have a majority of the students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals,” Durán said. “This program gives us the opportunity to reach as many students as we can in order to give them a nutritious meal that will help them be ready for instruction.”
The CEP targets schools with high volumes of students who would already qualify for free or reduced-priced meals based on income or other eligibility requirements.
• Middle Schools: Armendariz, Bassett, Canyon Hills, LaFarelle, Charles, Guillen, Henderson, Magoffin, Morehead, Terrace Hills, Wiggs.
• High Schools: Austin, Bowie, Chapin, Irvin, Jefferson, Telles Academy and the College, Career and Technology Academy.
Students attending schools not participating in the CEP may qualify free and reduced-price meals through the traditional application process. Each school in EPISD, as well as the Food and Nutrition Services Department, has a copy of the eligibility rules and guidelines policy that are used to determine participation.
Applications may be picked up at each campus, or they may be downloaded from the EPISD website at www.episd.org under the Food and Nutrition Services Department. Applications are also available in at the Food and Nutrition Services office at 6531 Boeing.