Socorro Independent School District students showcased their talent and knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at the 2019 UIL BEST Robotics competition.
William D. Slider Middle School and Montwood, Americas, Eastlake and El Dorado high schools participated in the recent competition.
“Our students did extremely well this year,” said Veronica De Avila, career and technical education facilitator. “Students were tasked with finding a solution to a real life natural disaster where they had to use their robots to repair electrical lines and supply electricity to an area.”
From the 24 El Paso and New Mexico teams that competed, Montwood won the overall prize. El Dorado and Slider also took home awards for their engineering notebook and exhibit.
The Rams, who are now advancing to the state contest, won first place in the UIL team category, first place in the marketing presentation, and first place for their engineering notebook. The Rams also won two second place awards for their robotics game performance and the coveted BEST Award.
“Our team has come a long way from four years ago,” said Jesus Hernandez, a senior and Montwood robotics president. “We have worked very hard to come up with better plans on how we approach things, and to see it all work out is an amazing experience. I am looking forward to seeing how we fare against other Texas and New Mexico area teams at state. I have high expectations.”
Slider won second place for their engineering notebook, which is a comprehensive report where students document potential solutions, their design process and strategies they employ.
“We are extremely proud of our students,” said Sophia Benavidez, Slider co-coach and team mentor. “They did really well and had to go up against high school and early college students at this competition. They produced nothing but quality work. By the time they get to high school they will be phenomenal.”
El Dorado won third place for best team exhibit, which is the visual display of the project. The Aztecs also placed third for the interview, a category in which students share knowledge and understanding of their work.
“Competing at BEST was a good experience,” said Julissa Artiaga, a senior at El Dorado. “When you’re in robotics you have fun and build a family. Students should join because there is something for everyone, like marketing, programming and team spirit. It teaches you professionalism, life lessons, and the importance of working as a team.”
Socorro Independent School District officials announced that their seven high schools are set to start homecoming celebrations with an assortment of events and activities this month.
Students, teachers, staff and alumni will celebrate a week of festivities at their respective schools, including dress ups for spirit week, parades, the big homecoming games and cleverly themed dances.
The 2019 homecoming schedule is as follows:
El Dorado High School
El Dorado High School’s festivities will be from Sept. 9 to 14. The Aztecs will be pulling their theme right out of a Disney movie with “Can I Have This Dance” from “High School Musical.” Dress up days will include “The Boys are Back – Wear Baseball Tees” and “Waka Wednesday – Dress Hawaiian.”
The parade will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 followed by the Birth of the Aztec Sun ceremony in the football field. A pep rally will be during eighth period Sept. 12 followed by the El Dorado vs. Andress homecoming game at 6:30 p.m. at the SAC. The homecoming dance will be from 8 to 11:45 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Empire.
Pebble Hills High School
The Pebble Hills Spartans also will celebrate their homecoming Sept. 9 to 14 with their theme “Don’t Stop the Music,” a tribute to music festivals. Dress up days through the week will range from “Gnarly Neon,” “School of Rock,” “Coachella Vibes,” and “Nostalgic Nineties.” Activities throughout the week will include window decorating for student organizations on Sept. 9, Movie Under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10, and the homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Sept. 11.
A homecoming volleyball game will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 against Carlsbad High School. The homecoming pep rally will be Sept. 13 during eighth period followed by the Pebble Hills vs. Chapin High School homecoming football game at 7:30 p.m. at the SAC.
The homecoming dance will be from 8 p.m. to midnight Sept. 14 in the Pebble Hill’s courtyard.
Socorro High School
The Socorro High School Bulldog’s theme for this year’s homecoming is In the Heart of Texas, which will be celebrated Sept. 16-21. Dress up days will include Tex-Mex Day, celebrating the beautiful influence of Mexico on our culture; Country Livin’, students will gear up in their cowboy attire; and Texas Sports Day, students may wear their favorite Texas sports team jersey.
Homecoming events throughout the week will include a Texas State Fair with food, games, music and fun from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Bulldog Championship Park. The homecoming parade on Alameda Ave. will begin at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 19 and the pep rally will follow at Mad Dog Field at 7 p.m., where the homecoming king and queen winners will be announced.
The homecoming game will be against Burges High School at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Socorro High School. The homecoming dance will be from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Pit.
Mission Early College
Mission Early College High School will celebrate homecoming week Sept. 16 to 21 with a pep rally Sept. 20 and the homecoming dance Sept. 21. Check back for more details soon.
Eastlake High School
The Eastlake High School Falcons will be celebrating their homecoming the week of Sept. 23 to 28 with the theme Around the World. Dress up days will include Tourist day, Cartoon Day, Western Day, Spirit Day, and Jersey Day.
Activities for the week include decorating classroom doors, a parade and a community pep rally Sept. 25 with games and performances to which attendees are encouraged to wear purple and orange. The homecoming football game against Pebble Hills will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the SAC.
There will be a volleyball tournament against Ysleta at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and the homecoming dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sept. 26 in the main foyer of Eastlake High School.
Montwood High School
Montwood High School homecoming will be Sept. 23 to 28 at the home of the Rams with this year’s theme of Rams Take Over the World. Students will be able to dress up in fun outfits throughout the week with theme days like Show your American Pride and Dress as a Tourist.
The school will be showing the movie “The Lorax” at 6 p.m. (or at sunset) Sept. 24 on the school football field. The parade and carnival will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at the school.
The homecoming football game against Eastwood will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the SAC and the dance will be 8 p.m. to midnight Sept. 28 in the school gym.
Americas High School
Americas High School will celebrate homecoming week Oct. 21 to 26 with the theme of New York State of Mind. Check back for more details soon.
Where, oh where has the summer gone? That’s the question that’s on the minds of thousands of students and parents as both Socorro ISD and Clint ISD open the 2019-2020 school year Monday.
CISD students, staff and teachers now join SISD in a near year-round-schedule, although Clint officials call the change a ‘balanced calendar.’
Via a news release, officials say Clint’s new balanced calendar will allow students to have breaks which are more frequent and evenly spread out throughout the academic school year.
“This calendar will also allow for intersessions in the fall and spring in which accelerated instruction and opportunities for enrichment can be provided for students,” district officials shared via an emailed news release. “The financial benefits of the balanced calendar will assist the District in funding needed activities aligned to adding instructional initiatives for all schools.”
Students will have intersession breaks beginning September 30-October 11 and March 9-13, with the last day of school falling on June 4, 2020. To view the complete Clint ISD Schedule, click here.
Just down the road, Socorro ISD students make their familiar trek back to the classrooms as well.
SISD officials say they will welcome more than 47,000 students for the 2019-20 school year on Monday, and they be greeted by more than 3,500 educators across their 49 campuses.
For SISD students, the new opportunities for the 2019-20 school year include a new open enrollment policy, the opening of a new elementary school, three new early college high schools, the new Dual Language Academy, more technological devices and resources to enhance student learning, and improvements and renovations at existing facilities through Bond 2017.
With the opening of three new early college high school programs, SISD will be the only district in the region to offer an early college high school program at each one of its comprehensive high schools.
The new early college programs are Empire Early College at El Dorado High School, Falcon Early College at Eastlake High School, and Pebble Hills Early College at Pebble Hills High School.
Early college high schools give students the opportunity to graduate with up to 60 college credit hours or an associate degree along with their high school diploma.
Two significant milestones are also in store for two of the district’s campuses, as Montwood High celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, while over in the High Desert, Eastlake High School will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this school year.
The district’s newest campus, Cactus Trails Elementary, is opening for the 2019-20 school year in the Pebble Hills area. It is the 49th school in the district and welcomes some 900 students in Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was the first Bond 2017 project to be completed.
For more information on SISD, click here.
Montwood High School audio/video production students put their talents in the spotlight with winning submissions in two recent local video production contests.
Students David Hernandez and Isaiah Anthony Chavez won the Better Business Bureau Paso del Norte Student Video Contest, and Carlos Olivares and Angelica Valdez placed second in the City of El Paso Environmental Services “Recycle Right, El Paso” video PSA contest.
“I’m very proud of my students for winning these contests and using their creativity to educate the community,” said Marvin J. Hanley, audio and video production teacher at Montwood High School. “It’s good for them to showcase their work outside of school, and share what they are learning with the rest of El Paso.”
Hernandez and Chavez won the BBB contest for their video production, Online Scams. The video demonstrates how to create a safe online environment, and teaches individuals how to report online fraud.
“We put a lot of effort into this video to show people how to watch out for hackers and scammers,” Hernandez said. “Everything is about technology now, so people need to be aware of everything they search the web for. Don’t trust private sellers, and if you are going to buy something online do your research, and look at reviews before listing personal information.”
Marybeth Stevens, president and CEO of BBB Paso del Norte said judging was extremely competitive. This year, 111 videos were submitted by schools in Juárez and El Paso. The combined student marketing efforts generated more than 51,000 online votes.
“We hope to continue to grow this contest as a positive educational opportunity that challenges students, promotes collaboration, and serves to reinforce the importance of being cautious and educated consumers who use the resources like the BBB to avoid being scammed,” Stevens said.
The students were recognized at the 2019 BBB Awards for Excellence luncheon on May 15, where they received a $150 gift card and up to $1,000 for their school.
Olivares and Valdez placed second in the “Recycling Write, El Paso” PSA contest. The students crafted a 30-second informative video that educates the community on what items can and cannot be recycled.
“Recycling is super important, especially in today’s age because of global warming,” Valdez said. “My partner and I hope that our video inspires a lot of people to take care of our planet by making sure they recycle items that have the recycling label, turning-off the lights when there is sunlight, not letting the water run while washing dishes, and by taking shorter showers.”
The PSA winners were recognized at the annual El Paso Earth Day celebration in April.
Just ahead of the fall sports seasons, officials with Socorro ISD’s Montwood High School unveiled a new school logo.
The logo was officially unveiled at the school’s annual Light Up the Night pep rally on August 15 and will be seen soon on new athletic gear, shirts, posters, banners, and other areas and items across the school.
“We are extremely excited to update our school logo while keeping to the tradition of Montwood with our school colors and giving our new Ram the edge that our campus deserves,” said Montwood High School principal Carlos Guerra.
Via a news release, Montwood High officials saidd, “The mighty Montwood Ram depicted in the new logo represents the school’s tenacity and winning spirit. Montwood High School has a long tradition of outstanding academics, award-winning athletics, superb clubs, organizations and co-curricular activities.”
“The school embraces its history of success and continues providing endless opportunities for all students to achieve academic excellence and achievement in all areas of their education,” officials added.
The new Ram logo will be used school-wide to ramp up school spirit and uniformity among students, staff and the entire Montwood High School community.
On the final, regular season game of the high school football season, the Eastwood Troopers certainly earned their ‘Trooper Clap’ and more, as they upset the formerly unbeaten Montwood Rams 41-21.
Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game in tonight’s story in Many Pics.
It was a Socorro ISD showdown in the SAC Thursday night as the district’s namesake school – Socorro High – took on their north-of-the-freeway rivals (and 1st ‘new’ high school added to the growing district in 1989.)
As always, the fight between the teams was intense, with the Montwood Rams’ defense forcing six turnovers en route to the 37 to 14 win over the Bulldogs. You can listen to the replay of the game by clicking HERE.
Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game in tonight’s story in many pics.
Montwood High School was recently named a 2017 Recognized ASCA Model Program School by the American School Counselor Association.
“I’m very proud of our counseling team,” said Rosemary Mireles-Menchaca, Montwood High School principal. “This process was long and rigorous but our counseling team has been working really hard to get systems in place that support the ASCA model of counseling. They work very well together to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of students.”
The campus is the only school in Texas and one of 104 across the country to be honored for its exemplary commitment to offering a comprehensive school counseling program.
The RAMP designation recognizes school counseling programs that are dedicated to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven and an exemplary educational environment to students.
“SISD is honored to have Montwood High School recognized as an American School Counselor Association model counseling program,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of guidance and counseling. “This is very exciting as Montwood is the only Texas school to be recognized. This is a huge endeavor!”
To apply for the RAMP designation, schools must collect extensive data and information, a process that takes an entire academic year.
“This year’s RAMP honorees have shown their commitment to students and the school counseling profession,” said Jill Cook, ASCA assistant director in a press release. “RAMP designation distinguishes these schools and encourages school counselors nationwide to strive for excellence.”
Montwood High School will be honored at the annual ASCA conference in July where they will receive an engraved plaque to display at their campus.
The Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with Gear Up and El Paso Community College, is preparing students to get ahead in college while in high school with a dual credit summer camp.
SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, EPCC President William Serrata, and GEAR UP Executive Director Juliette Caire will welcome the students to the camp at the opening ceremony.
The camp will allow SISD seniors to earn credit for two college courses in four weeks. The new program is a first-of-its-kind in the El Paso region, and will benefit 400 seniors from five high schools in the district. Seniors will take a morning and afternoon dual credit class in two of the following courses: Education 1300, Speech 1321, Government 2305 or Economics 2301.
“Team SISD is proud to offer our students with endless opportunities that will prepare them for the future,” Espinoza said. “The dual credit summer camp is a great opportunity for students and is financially beneficial for their familiesbecause they can earn college hours while in high school.”
In order to take college courses while in high school, students must pass the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam. This year, the district increased the number of students who took the TSI for free to more than 6,000 compared to the 1,250 students who tested last year.
In addition, Team SISD also increased the capacity of dual credit teachers in the district through scholarship opportunities that allow educators to obtain their dual credit teaching credentials. Currently, about 60 teachers in SISD are taking graduate courses to earn their credentials to teach dual credit courses.
What: Opening ceremony for Dual Credit Summer Program
Who: SISD incoming seniors, SISD superintendent, EPCC president, faculty, staff
Where: Montwood High School, Tony Harper gymnasium | 12000 Montwood Dr.
When: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8 a.m.
Soldiers from a Fort Bliss company are walking the hallways, stairways and classrooms daily at Montwood High School as part of a program called “Ram Watch,” designed to increase security at the school.
Started in January, the purpose is to give back to the community and help keep the students, staff and administration safe, said Capt. Daniel Sloan, who is with Alpha Company 47th Brigade Support Battalion 2/1 Armor Division.
“Every day two of our soldiers show up and spend the day here,” Sloan said. “We like to think of it as a mentorship program.”
The idea for the program is part of Fort Bliss Commanding General Stephen Twitty’s goal of strengthening community ties. He wants the military to be a positive presence in the El Paso area, Sloan said.
The soldiers also assist special needs students, help students with homework, monitor lunch times and answer any questions the youngsters
“Often they will talk to us about what it takes to join the Army,” said El Paso native Sgt. Jasmine Bueno. “So many come up to us and thank us for serving.”
The soldiers do try to keep students in line, making sure they get to class on time and are not wandering the hallways, Bueno said.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “I have really liked working with the students.”
Ilyas Lujan, 17, is interested in joining the military and has talked to the soldiers about what he needs to do.
“They really have been a good influence on us,” Lujan said. “I see them as role models we can look up to. Maybe that is why I want to join the
The battalion will take a break in the summer and return to Montwood for the 2016-2017 school year ready to help in whatever way they can.
“They are awesome,” said Ram’s Principal Rosemary Mireles-Menchaca. “They give us such a strong sense of safety. That is at the forefront of what we do, so it’s a joy to see them here.”
The Montwood High School student council group will host Operation Prom, an annual event that benefits students in need of a formal dress or gown for prom.
This is the third year the campus transforms its school cafeteria into a dress shop where any teen girl has the opportunity to receive a free prom dress and accessories. Last year, more than 100 dresses were distributed to teen girls in the El Paso area.
“We want to continue the tradition,” said Jazmine Cuevas, student council member and shopcoordinator.
“Any girl can come get a dress. The important thing is to help those girls who need it.”
The Rams student council, 50 members strong, collects gently used dresses throughout the year from students and members of the community. Since its inception, Operation Prom also has received hundreds of donations and help from various stores and churches. Other El Paso area high schools, including Chapin, Irvin, Riverside, Del Valle, Burges, El Paso, Socorro, Eastwood and Mountain View, also partnered with the Rams.
For more information about Operation Prom, please call Montwood High School at 937-2400.
What: Montwood High School’s third annual Operation Prom
Who: Teen girls in the area who are in need of a prom dress, MHS student council
Where: Montwood High School – 12000 Montwood Dr.
When: Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For more than three years, Montwood High School Student Council has transformed the school cafeteria into a dress shop where any teen girl can choose a free prom dress and accessories.
This year’s Operation Prom store will open April 2, which gives teen girls who cannot afford a new prom dress the opportunity to pick a dress for free.
“We want to continue the tradition and are looking for anyone who can help,” said Jazmine Cuevas, a member of the Ram’s student council. “The important thing is to help those girls who need it.”
Through the years, the Rams’ project has become a huge success. It has received hundreds of donations and help from various stores, other El Paso area high schools and churches.
The council is currently looking for dress contributions to start preparing for the event. Donations can be made at the school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Operation Prom was recognized in 2015 as one of the top 10 projects in the state by the Texas Association of Student Councils.
What: Montwood High School’s Student Council is asking for contributions of formal dresses to open the annual Prom Dress Shop
Who: Montwood staff and student council, community members
Where: Montwood High School 12000 Montwood Dr.
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday