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Home | Tag Archives: san elizario isd

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CREEED awards college scholarship to San Eli High’s Jocelyn Torres

Thursday morning, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded its 2020 Sylvia Hopp San Elizario College Scholarship to graduating senior Jocelyn Torres.

The online ceremony included Jocelyn’s family, CREEED board members, San Elizario High School Principal Maribel Guillen, Assistant Principal, Claudia Flores, and Student Activities Manager, Jasmine Lozano.

This year’s scholarship recipient, Jocelyn Torres, is an accomplished student who has excelled academically throughout her high school career and was involved in many extracurricular activities. In addition to succeeding in several advanced placement (AP) and dual credit courses, Torres was an officer for the National Honor Society, ranked tenth in her class, and was a member of the Folklorico dance team and softball team.

Inspired by the hard work of her family, Jocelyn will be attending St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and majoring in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. She plans on attending medical school in the future and becoming a dermatologist.

“Jocelyn is a wonderful representation of the kind of talent, commitment, and future ambition that students in the Borderplex region possess. The transition from graduating high school to attending a four-year university can be intimidating, especially in times like these,” said former superintendent Sylvia Hopp.

“I am thankful for organizations like CREEED who not only shine light on hard working students like Jocelyn, but help them to achieve their higher education goals. During these times of uncertainty, it’s important to double down on our commitment to see more students graduate from college, and find ways to support that commitment.”

The scholarship is just one program created and supported by CREEED to increase the number of high performing El Paso students pursuing and obtaining a college degree.

CREEED also supports school district initiatives that prepare all students to be college-and-career ready by the time they graduate high school, including the expansion of dual credit courses, STEM programming, and teacher development programs.

“CREEED believes that investing in the education and preparation of our students is crucial to the economic prosperity of our region. With the Sylvia Hopp Scholarship, and all CREEED initiatives, we strive to increase the number of college graduates in our region, and position them for success in our workforce and the regional economy,” said Eddie Rodriguez, CREEED’s Executive Director.

“The cost of attending college should not deter our high performing students from pursuing a degree, and that is why CREEED is invested in supporting more students faced with this challenge. We are thrilled to support Jocelyn in her college career and future endeavors.”

The Sylvia Hopp Scholarship Fund was established in 2017 to honor former San Elizario ISD superintendent Sylvia Hopp’s contributions to improving educational attainment in El Paso.

It will award a total of $20,000 in scholarships by 2025 to help graduating seniors from San Elizario High School with a $2,500 scholarship to cover tuition and other costs associated with attending and completing college.

More information about the Sylvia Hopp Scholarship and CREEED’s efforts to raise educational attainment in the El Paso region can be found at

Letters of Hope reach San Elizario’s Alarcon Elementary School

As the events of August 3, 2019, rippled through the lives of El Pasoans living in and out of the region, for some local educators, school was already in session and they contended early on with what to say to students and reassure parents.

As the days stretched into weeks, the conversation about the events expanded as more details became available; then as all Region 19 schools in El Paso County started, Hope emerged.  El Paso Strong became the slogan, and words of encouragement began flowing in.

Recently, a bright yellow folder arrived with numerous letters of all shapes and sizes.  There was one letter from Principal Matt Russell stating, “we present these notes of positive affirmation to you and your students.”

W.E. Pete Ford Middle School and Alarcon Elementary School are approximately 641 miles apart.  Despite the distance, a special link already existed between the two schools.

Mrs. Nora Garcia, a Counselor at Alarcon Elementary, has a niece, Sarah Lopez-Ford, who is a Spanish Teacher at Ford Middle School in Allen, Texas.

The letters received by Alarcon Elementary School were written by students and other educators from Ford Middle School.

One note stated, “There is still good in this world” and another letter stated “My old family El Paso, a beautiful little town…You all are beautiful and deserve the right to scream, cry, and be angry…But know you are strong.”

Letter after letter expressed compassion and words of encouragement.

“We appreciate the heartfelt letters sent to our students showing the compassion and kindness from the students and administration of Ford Middle School” stated Principal Julissa Esquivel.


Original story posted by Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez

UTEP, Community Leaders launch new Teacher Residency Program with Local School Districts

On Thursday, officials with the College of Education at The University of Texas at El Paso and community leaders unveiled the Miner Teacher Residency Program, a full-year teacher placement designed to boost the readiness of aspiring teachers to better serve diverse students throughout the El Paso region.

With funding and technical support from University-School Partnerships for Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP), a national center funded by the Gates Foundation committed to high-quality university-based teacher preparation, UTEP is working with local school districts to pilot an innovative teacher preparation program within the College of Education.

Students seeking a teaching degree will now be eligible to take part in a one-year teaching residency program where they will spend an entire year in a real classroom, co-teaching with an experienced mentor teacher and engaged in an immersive coaching model led by field based UTEP College of Education faculty members. This will provide these aspiring teachers with the hands-on training and classroom management skills they’ll need before entering the workforce.

“This pilot effort is an incredibly important opportunity to provide student teachers with the most realistic, relevant, and rigorous preparation possible,” said Clifton Tanabe, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education.  “We think this will be a game changer for our students and for the schools that hire them as first year teachers. Given the ‘closed loop’ educational ecosystem in El Paso – UTEP graduates comprise 75 percent of El Paso’s teachers, and El Paso students comprise 80 percent of UTEP’s student body – we expect this program to have a profound long-term impact.”

Aspiring teachers who go through the residency program will be part of an exciting paid internship initiative funded by Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED), and the El Paso Community Foundation.

“Our partnership with these generous local organizations will allow our students to focus completely on their training and not have to work the ‘graveyard shift, after working in the schools all day, just to make ends meet,’ said Tanabe.

19 UTEP College of Education students will make up the first cohort participating in the residency program.  They will be placed within El Paso ISD and Socorro ISD classrooms and paired with seasoned and effective teachers to mentor them through their year-long program. The goal is to have all participants gain extended, hands-on practical teaching experience alongside a highly qualified, trained mentor teachers and faculty UTEP members, as well as priority consideration for full-time employment after they complete their residency.

“UTEP is a wonderful partner with EPISD in the development and training of innovative educators for the El Paso and West Texas region,” said EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera. “The Miner Teacher Residency Program will further our combined efforts to provide the children of the Border with the best-prepared corps of teachers who will use the latest research-based techniques to help our students meet their academic goals.”

“Team SISD is proud to be part of this innovative program to further invest in our future educators,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “Our commitment is to ensure SISD has highly qualified and effective teachers and we provide numerous opportunities for aspiring teachers to succeed thanks to powerful partnerships, such as this one, with UTEP and other local organizations and agencies dedicated to improving our overall educational community in El Paso.”

The new initiative replaces UTEP’s previous semester-long teacher training program with more intensive year-long placements in high-performing local elementary schools.  It is based on the model pioneered in 2015 by US PREP, which has been utilized by programs at Texas Tech and Lubbock and the University of Houston, among others.

“CREEED was happy to facilitate the partnership between UTEP and US PREP earlier this year, and we are delighted to be supporting the new teacher residency program,” said Amy O’Rourke, Choose to Excel Director at CREEED.  “To improve education outcomes and increase educational attainment in our region, we must invest in our teachers and aspiring teachers so they have the tools, training, and experience they need to lead students in innovative and transformative classroom instruction.”

After the success of this pilot program, UTEP hopes to incorporate the full year of hands-on in classroom training as part of all future teacher graduate requirements.

“The further you go in education, the better your professional prospects; it’s that simple,” said Joyce Wilson, President & CEO of the Workforce Solutions Borderplex.  “If we want to attract high-paying jobs with advancement opportunities to El Paso, we need a workforce with the requisite level of training. That starts in elementary school with well-trained and experienced teachers.”

Student teachers under the semester approach and in the residency program will benefit from close supervision and regular feedback from teachers who will serve as their mentors and supervisors, all of whom were recruited, selected, and trained by UTEP.  In addition, each elementary school hosting residency students will also host two full-time clinical faculty members to serve as site coordinators and liaisons between UTEP and the school districts.

“We are excited to bring the proven US PREP model for teaching training to El Paso,” said Stephanie Otero, Vice President of Operations of The El Paso Community Foundation.  “The additional staff UTEP has hired to support the program will enhance communication, collaboration, and data sharing between the university and the school districts, making for a better experience for student teachers and better outcomes in their classrooms.”

Like the students they teach, most of the student teachers in the Miner Teacher Residency Program are Latinx and bilingual.  A committee made up of college and district representatives selected the finalists from a pool of 40 applicants based on GPA, faculty input, and the candidates’ openness to learn and seek feedback.

San Elizario High names illustrator, author, Marine Samuel Sanchez as Honored Alumni

On Wednesday, officials with San Elizario High School announced their Honored Alumni for 2019: Samuel Sanchez

Sanchez is well known in San Elizario,  as a member of the El Paso Historical Commission and as a previous President of the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society.  He presently works at T&R Chemicals, Inc. as a chemical technician.  He also proudly served in the Marine Corps.

Aside from his community involvement, Mr. Sanchez also writes and illustrates.

In his memoir entitled, Memories are Made of This, and an article where he recalls his football experience titled Recollected Images: Football, San Eli Style, Sanchez captures moments in San Elizario during his childhood.  His most recent work is the Pirates in the Desert.

His work as an illustrator includes having illustrated for Texas historian, Leon Metz, and Conroy Brison, the President of the El Paso County Historical Society, the Indian Artifact Magazine, and author Elroy Bode.

His daughter, Christine Ann Perez states, “My Dad is not only a football player, a chemist, a Marine, a historian, an artist, an author, an illustrator or an old-west reenactor, but he is a kind, loving father.”

San Elizario High School will honor Mr. Samuel Sanchez on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, during the annual San Elizario Homecoming Parade, which starts at the corner of Chicken Ranch Rd. and Socorro Rd. at 5:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by the Honored Ex Assembly at 7:00 p.m. at the Eagle Stadium.

The San Elizario High School football team will have the Homecoming game against Tornillo on Friday, October 4, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

San Elizario Trustees earn team certificate for completing LSG Governance Workshop

On Tuesday, San Elizario ISD officials announced that their Board of Trustees has earned the team certificate for completing the Lone Star Governance Workshop.

The LSG Governance Workshop is a two-day training where all Board of Trustees in collaboration with the Superintendent engaged in identifying adult behaviors that need to change in order to improve student outcomes.

“Since the Board of Trustees accepted the invitation to become a member of the Inaugural LSG Exemplar Cohort in October of 2018, through a needs assessment process, they have worked tirelessly to identify district goals that focus on improving mathematics, reading, and college and career military readiness,” officials shared via a web post. “In addition, they have committed to continue increasing the time spent on goal progress monitoring every month to include quarterly self-evaluations.”

Training and guidance from ESC Region 19 Lone Star Governance Coach, Monica Jaloma, also provided in depth perspective and personal reflection with additional support from TEA Deputy Commissioner, AJ Crabill.  He states, “student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change.”

Officials added that the Board’s focus on goal progress monitoring has demonstrated “positive gains,” as the district’s latest accountability rating of a B with an 86 is a 3-point gain from last year.

The distinction of earning the team certificate also commemorates the journey of Trustees to identify the vision and values of students, faculty, staff, and community by engaging in campus and community meetings and establishing a two-way communication.

Current Board Trustees recognize the contributions of previous trustees whose participation assisted in making the necessary gains throughout the LSG framework: Mr. Ramon Holguin, Mr. Antonio Araujo, Mr. Armando Martinez, Mr. Ramon Rojas, and Staff Sergeant Norman B. Harrison.

San Elizario ISD, Western Tech High School program enters 2nd year

The San Elizario Independent School District and Western Tech High School Program partnership which began in Fall 2018, now enters its second year with increased participation and success.

SEISD officials share that this partnership with Western Tech is the only one of its kind in the entire nation.

“Other Technical Colleges have partnered with school districts elsewhere; however, our program is the only one where a student can earn their postsecondary credential while also graduating from high school with their high school diploma,” district officials added.

While the initial agreement allowed students to earn an Associates Degree in the area of Refrigeration, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, a newly expanded agreement will now allow students to earn an Associates Degree in either Diesel Mechanics or Refrigeration, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (R-HVAC) or earn a Certification of Completion in Medical and Clinical Assisting.

All eight (8) students who enrolled in the R-HVAC program last year have returned for their second year. In January, these students will have met the halfway mark and will have completed 50% of their program.

“Beginning this year, our brand new cohort enrolled in the Western Tech High School Program consists of one (1) new student for the R-HVAC program, one (1) new student for the Diesel Mechanic Program, and five (5) new students for the Medical and Clinical Assisting Program,” district officials shared.

Altogether, SEHS has 15 students currently enrolled in the Western Tech High School Program and all are on a path that will give each of them an opportunity to graduate meeting the needs that industry has placed on students to have the appropriate postsecondary credentials in place while also developing the necessary skills for career placement right into their chosen field of study.

On average, the cost of these programs run from $25,000 up to about $40,000, but because this is a Dual Credit program, this cost is being subsidized by local scholarships from Western Tech and a reduced tuition rate paid for by San Elizario.

“This financial support ensures that this opportunity will not impact the students’ future federal financial aid and will be offered at zero cost to the families and students participating in the program,” SEISD officials added.

Trio of San Eli ISD 8th Graders Named Semi-Finalists In 2019 Do The Write Thing Challenge

For the past 16 years, San Elizario ISD’s Garcia-Enriquez Middle School (GEMS) has participated in the El Paso Do The Write Thing (DTWT) Challenge.

Over 7,000 students in the El Paso County participated in this year’s Challenge and only 40 were selected as semi-finalists.

Among those 40 were Alexa Piñones, Darlene Silva, and Evelyn Trejo— all 8th graders at GEMS. Their writing demonstrated critical thinking abilities, creativity, and most importantly, offered solutions to the issue of violence.

“This Challenge gives our students the opportunity to have a voice against violence,” said Brenda Jara, Instructional Specialist at GEMS.

“We would like to congratulate these talented writers and also their teacher, Soledad Gonzalez, for preparing them with classroom discussions and projects by implementing the DTWT Challenge into her lessons which resulted in powerful essays.”

A recognition ceremony honoring student semi-finalists, their parents, district liaisons, teachers, principals, and superintendents will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Physical Science Building #115 at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Two students will be announced as national finalists at the ceremony.

The national finalists, a parent, and a teacher are each awarded an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. where they will attend the national ‘Do the Write Thing’ leadership activities.

San Elizario ISD Elementary Schools Launch New Music Program

This week, officials with the San Elizario Independent School District (SEISD) rolled out their new music program to all three elementary schools.

Students from Lorenzo G. Alarcon, Alfonso Borrego Sr., and Josefa L. Sambrano Elementary schools will get to learn how to play a musical instrument for the very first time and also understand the basic fundamentals of music.

“Having music in our elementary schools will help introduce students to music at an earlier age with the hopes of growing our fine arts program at the secondary level,” said Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez, Superintendent at SEISD. “In addition, it will also help support an already rich, artistic San Elizario ISD community.”

“Our students are really excited to learn about music and how to incorporate it into their daily school routines,” said Genesis Lopez, music teacher at Sambrano Elementary. “Besides all of the statistics and tests that show that music in the school curriculum enhances tests scores, music is important to students because it lets them express themselves in ways that they cannot do so in other classes or in other activities.”

Faculty and staff from the elementary campuses are thrilled to have music on board and have expressed their desire to help facilitate the new music program.

“We are proud to launch an elementary music program for the 2018-2019 school year, which will soon include our Kindergarten students as well,” said Lisa Renegar, Director of Instructional Programs at SEISD. “We want to give our children one more reason to love school and look forward to coming to class every day.”

Besides learning how to play an instrument, students will also learn about music theory, music terminology, and famous music composers.

Borrego Elementary music teacher, Kevin Elizalde, believes students should keep an open mind when it comes to accepting other genres of music.

“Students should be exposed to all types of music,” Elizalde said. “By getting a taste of the different types of music that there are, they will broaden their music spectrum which will allow them to fall in love with music in general.”

“Music class should never be boring and the expectation is to have students singing, dancing, and playing various instruments on a daily basis,” said James Conrow, music teacher at Alarcon Elementary.

Even though these new, talented music teachers get to build their own music program from scratch, they all share the same goal— to have students gain a better appreciation for music and the benefits of having music as a class.

Ballet Folklórico Arrives At San Elizario’s Alfonso Borrego Sr. Elementary

San Elizario ISD’s Alfonso Borrego Sr. Elementary has a colorful, new team set to take center stage during the upcoming holidays.

Griselda Ramos, 4th grade bilingual teacher at Borrego Elementary, is also the instructor of the new after school folklórico club called Miztli Folklórico.

“I am really excited to have the opportunity to introduce the art of folklórico to the students of Borrego Elementary,” Ramos said. “These type of programs helps build their self-esteem and also teaches them about respect and responsibility.”

The club consists of 10 boys and 10 girls of grade levels 1st through 6th and practice is held twice a week after school for about an hour each day.

Their latest performance was at the school’s annual Thanksgiving Luncheon where they performed in front of a large crowd of parents.

“You should have heard the round of applause they received,” said Norma Casillas, Principal at Borrego Elementary.

“I am so proud of them. It took a lot for them to get up on stage and dance in front of so many people. I am delighted to have a folklórico club at our campus because I know it is going to be very popular with our students in the years to come.”

“When you dance folklórico, it is all about having fun. It is a form of entertainment,” Ramos said. “I always tell my students to try new things because they never know how good they are until they give it a try. Once they see that anything is possible, they become more confident.”

Miztli Folklórico’s next performance will be on December 18th for Borrego Elementary’s Holiday Extravaganza event.

San Elizario ISD To Expand Parking at Loya Primary School

Construction is underway for more parking spaces at Lorenzo G. Loya Primary School in San Elizario.

“The need for additional parking became a priority for Loya Primary when the City of San Elizario passed an ordinance that prohibits vehicles from parking adjacent to any public school extending 50 feet passed the school property line,” said George Luevano, Director of Support Services at San Elizario ISD. “This means parents can no longer park on the side of the road near or across the primary school. Those who refuse to abide by this ordinance, are subject to citations and fines.”

To help ease the matter, district personnel met with San Elizario ISD’s Board of Trustees and proposed adding more parking to the primary school. After much consideration and review, the Board gave the green light to proceed with the construction project of more parking spaces.

“Approximately 100 new spots will be available for parents,” Luevano said. “It is going to cost us about $420,000 and this money comes from bond savings realized from the original bond projects that were approved by community voters in November 2014.”

Ruby Martinez is the mother of child who attends Loya Primary and she says more parking spaces will make things much easier for her and other parents.

“Every time the school has an awards assembly, parent-teacher conference, or any other school celebration, parking gets extremely full and it sometimes takes us several minutes trying to find a place to park,” Martinez said. “With the upcoming parking lot, we will no longer have to park our vehicles far and make the long walk.”

The project is expected to reach completion February of 2019.

San Elizario High School’s Library Now Open To The Community

On Wednesday officials with San Elizario ISD announced that San Elizario High School’s (SEHS) library is officially open to the community.

“The availability of libraries to San Elizario citizens is scarce, therefore, our library is a true treasure,” said Belinda Muñoz, SEHS librarian.

“The library provides a variety of reading materials for community members, such as an assortment of fiction and nonfiction books, which range from early childhood to adult.”

San Elizario residents can check-out up to six books, use the computers, and print documents for a fee of 25 cents per page.

In order to check-out books, visitors will need to present their ID with a current San Elizario address and a utility bill with a current San Elizario address as well.

For the use of computers and printers, visitors will need to fill-out and sign an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) form.

Georgina Diaz, Instructional Officer for San Elizario ISD, says that the SEHS community library is an integral component of the city of San Elizario.

“I encourage members of the San Eli community to take advantage of our community library. Literacy improves the future of everyone in society, and it is critical to individual and community well-being,” Diaz said.

The SEHS community library is located at 13981 Socorro Road and is open from 8am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday.

UTEP & EPCC Social Work Interns Help SEISD’s Alarcon Elementary

Lorenzo G. Alarcon Elementary is proud to open its doors to students in the Social Work Internship Program from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College (EPCC).

“We are always so grateful every time UTEP and EPCC sends us interns,” said Nora Garcia, Counselor at Alarcon Elementary. “We love having them here. They serve as additional support to our students, parents, and staff and make an incredible difference in our students’ social and emotional growth. Interns will always be welcomed here with open arms.”

The interns sent to Alarcon Elementary are completing their Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees in Social Work at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. They made the commitment to complete 16 hours of internship per week for a total of 240 hours.

Both UTEP and EPCC have assigned several of their students to complete their internship hours at San Elizario ISD’s Alarcon Elementary.

“So far this experience has been very humbling because I have never worked with kids in a school setting before,” said Diana Romero, a Social Work major at UTEP.

“The environment at Alarcon Elementary is very welcoming and the students and staff are all so friendly and full of energy. I am having a great time here.”


For residents that may be interested in interning at Alarcon Elementary, please contact Nora Garcia at (915) 872-3930  ext. 3458.

Back to Back: Morales Receives ‘State Coach of the Year’ Award

For a second year in a row, San Elizario High School (SEHS) coach Cesar Morales, received the ‘State Coach of the Year for Boys Cross Country’ award.

The honor is awarded on behalf of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

“It is truly an honor to receive this award once again for what WE have achieved,” Morales said.

“I say ‘WE’ because this is a group accomplishment— my assistant coach, Jorge Maese, and the Boys Cross Country team, also play an essential role and together we contribute to the success of the team.”

The NFHS bestows this prestigious award to one coach in each sport for each state association.

Recipients of this award reflect excellent coaching abilities on and off the athletic arena.

Morales will be recognized November 3rd during the 4A Boys awards ceremony in Round Rock, Texas.

San Eli ISD Teacher Using Real-World Law Enforcement, Investigation Techniques to Prep Students

San Elizario ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher Dr. Ana Luna uses her high school classroom to prepare her students for future careers in technology, business, health sciences and engineering.

As a forensics and biomedical sciences CTE teacher, Luna exposes her students to techniques used in real world law enforcement and crime investigations.

Her lessons cover topics related to the collection of evidence including entomology, anthropology, ABO blood typing, fingerprinting, DNA, case studies, hair analysis and ballistics.

In addition to her regular classroom teaching duties, Luna is also leading by example, as she recently obtained her doctorate in education; a perfect example of life-long learning for her students.

“There are a lot of kids in this community that have a story like mine,” Luna said. Born in Mexico and raised by her grandparents, Luna did not have the opportunity to go to college until she moved to the United States.

“I come from really humble beginnings. I struggled with the culture and language, but knew how important it was to get an education. Now, I strive to instill the same confidence in my students, that it doesn’t matter where you come from – you can still reach your full potential.”

“It’s fantastic to have Dr. Luna as a teacher in our CTE program,” said Michael Rodriguez, CTE Coordinator at San Elizario ISD. “To have someone teaching these courses who has achieved that level of education and is continuing as a lifelong learner, you can’t ask for a better role model.”

SEISD officials add, “Through partnerships with local colleges and universities, these CTE courses allow students the opportunity to earn dual credit, articulated credit, industry certifications and licensure while completing their high school degree.”

Author: Angela Saavedra – ESC Region 19

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