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Home | Tag Archives: SISD

Tag Archives: SISD

Butler, Carrasco elementary schools receive $20k from Socorro AFT for books

James P. Butler and Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco elementary schools received $20,000 from the Socorro American Federation of Teachers for books for students at all grade levels.

The generous donation is part of Socorro AFT’s “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader” book program, which focuses on improving literacy and love for reading by giving students more access to books.

“Reading is extremely important because it opens the pathway to everything in our world, whether it is through technology or on the job or careers,” said fifth-grade teacher Magdalena Marquez. “Everything that you do involves being able to read and comprehend what you are reading.”

The donation will allow both students and teachers to gain new, high-quality, contemporary books.

“College and career readiness are part of our district’s focus, which, coupled with this awesome book donation here today, gives our children a high success possibility,” said Rosa Chavez-Avedician, principal of Butler Elementary School principal.

Socorro AFT partners with First Book, a non-profit that provides new books and educational resources to schools and programs. First Book gave the $20,000 to Socorro AFT, the only organization in the El Paso region to earn the award, to provide books to students in the area.

“Reading is important because it helps us in the future and the real world, and to get more books is going to encourage us to read more,” said fifth-grader Alexander Robles.

Butler Elementary School parent Maribel Latin and her children were among those who benefited from the book donation. Latin and her children were at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3, the day of the shooting at the store.

The donation from Socorro AFT was presented in their honor and to all the victims of the shooting. Latin said she hopes others will look to reading as a way of coping with the tragedy and that it will bring healing to move forward as a community.

“Reading is a gateway, an opening for them to heal, and a lot of time at school is an outlet, like therapy,” Latin said. “Here at school they get to read a couple of books and for a moment their imagination takes them to another place where they don’t have to think about what happened.”

The check was presented Oct. 18 at a special ceremony at James P. Butler Elementary.

Socorro AFT for book event photos

SISD’s Career Awareness Showcase prepares 4th-8th grade students for future

Hundreds of fourth through eighth grade students attended the Socorro Independent School District’s annual Career Awareness Showcase at Pebble Hills High School to learn about college and career opportunities available to them at SISD high schools, in higher education and in businesses, industries, and agencies.

High school students in Team SISD and employees in the El Paso community gave interactive and engaging presentations for the young students and their parents to show them what fields of study and employment are available in the area.

“It’s a nice event because you can learn a lot and it takes students one step closer to their dreams,” said Col. John O. Ensor Middle School sixth grader Belen Martinez-Vega.

The fifth annual CAS event was an opportunity for the students from elementary and middle schools across the district to get a fun and unique real-world view of what the future holds for them.

“I’m excited for today because I think it’s a real good idea for us to get a chance to picture what we want to do with our lives,” said Emily Castaneda, a sixth grader at Ernesto Serna School.

The day’s activities started with breakfast prepared and served by Pebble Hills High School culinary arts students and a comprehensive presentation on the endorsements, advanced academic academies, early college high schools, and other specialty programs available for students in Team SISD.

“These endless opportunities we have at SISD make our students well rounded,” said Brenda Gonzalez, SISD Career and Technical Education business and industry coordinator. “Not only are they getting college and career ready, but they are literally walking out with skills in hand from a field they’ve expressed interest in.”

SISD provides dual credit courses for students at all high schools in the district as part of advanced academic academies, early college high school programs and other curriculum. The district also provides a highly innovated Career and Technical Education program with 16 career clusters and 42 specialized tracks in which students can earn industry-recognized certifications to immediately join the workforce.

Incoming freshmen students must select an area of study or endorsement to pursue while in high school. The CAS event gives students as young as 10 years old the opportunity to begin thinking about what they want to study in the future.

SSG. Manuel R. Puentes Middle School teacher Lorena Dorantes attended CAS with her eighth-grade students to help them in their pathway decisions.

“At this point, they are trying to figure out as eighth graders what endorsements they are going to go into, which will hopefully lead to them knowing what they are going to pursue in college,” Dorantes said.

She said the CAS event allows students to explore their interests and the opportunities Team SISD provides gives them a head start to a productive future.

“This is a great event showcasing these great opportunities,” she said. “I really believe in these (SISD) programs a great deal.”

Parents agreed the career showcase was a great event for them, too, as it showed them the current education and programs their children can participate in, in order to succeed in the future jobs and careers they are interested in. They also learned about expectations and requirements in the specific programs, such as the CTE courses and advanced academic academies.

“This is something I hope SISD will continue to do because it’s a big help not only for the kids, but for us as parents,” said Maggie Padilla, parent of a Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle eighth grader.

In addition, CAS gives students and parents insight to the SISD high school programs that can give students financial freedom in the future. Many students who earn the certifications in the CTE programs are ready to join the workforce right after high school in various fields, such as medical/healthcare, welding, electrical maintenance and repair, culinary arts, computer maintenance, and cosmetology.

“By the time the students graduate, they’re already certified and with that certification they can work, sometimes before they even have their high school diploma,” said Lydia Carrasco, cosmetology instructor at Montwood High School.

The showcase was held on October 26th.

Career Awareness Showcase event photos

Americas High School students earn $10,000 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant

Americas High School recently earned a prestigious $10,000 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant, which was presented to the school in a special ceremony.

The Americas InvenTeam, which includes students involved in technology, engineering and robotics courses and programs at the school, is one of only 14 teams in the nation selected to receive the grant that will enable them to execute an innovative environmental project.

The team dedicated many hours of researching, planning and preparing for the proposal they developed to apply for the grant. They were tasked with building a technological invention to solve a problem of their choosing

“This team is highly motivated,” said Francisco Nolasco, a career and technology teacher at Americas High School. “They did everything they could to make this happen, it couldn’t have been achieved by one person alone.”

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant was awarded to high school teams across the country in four categories: Health and Community, Environmental and Sustainability, and Food and Agriculture. The Americas team created their project for the Environmental and Sustainability category.

The students created a project to recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, which are made of a type of polyester, into a refined or shredded form to be used as clothing fabric. Their project then involves getting the shredded plastic to companies, which can recycle them into polyester fabric to create clothes to be distributed to the city’s homeless population.

“There is a lot of talented people on this team and we all have great ideas, but usually those great ideas don’t get to be developed because of lack of funding,” said Americas senior Gustavo Ramirez. “Thanks to this grant we’ll be able to push forward our ideas, which we are all very excited about.”

The students said the idea for this project originated from their awareness of climate change and their thought that as Earth’s inhabitants, people should work to find solutions to help the planet.

“This team being selected shows that they are passionate and that they have big hearts, which we always say inventors need to have big hearts,” said Tony Perry, Invention Education Coordinator with the Lemelson-MIT program. “Inventions won’t start cause you want to build a cool thing, but rather when you ask yourself how you can make a difference.”

Next, the students will be fundraising to showcase their project at EurekaFest, an invention celebration, in June at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The event will allow the Americas students to showcase their final prototype and get feedback from inventors and professors and the broader science community.

“This is truly an amazing opportunity and we are all very excited,” Ramirez said. “Hopefully, we are able to make a positive contribution to society and the world.”

Click here to view photos of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant event, held October 24th.

Team SISD gathers for the first-ever pop art contest

Students, faculty and staff showed up for the first-ever pop art contest at the Socorro Independent School District Service Center.

More than 480 art pieces were displayed along the walls of the DSC with visuals of artists from Michael Jackson to Billie Eilish, and cartoons from Mickey Mouse to Dragon Ball Z.

“We decided on pop art because it’s a teaching moment as it pushes them to learn a little bit about the form, popular culture and how to incorporate that into their own work,” said SISD visual arts specialist Macka Jones, who created and coordinated the showcase.

The contest was celebrated with awards, which were given out in four categories: high school, middle school, elementary, and employee.

“This was cool because I wanted to try a new style of art,” said Pebble Hills High Schools senior Samantha Debe, who placed third in her division. “I am very by the book and I don’t often try new things, so when I heard about the pop art competition, I thought that was a good opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone.”

Pop art is a form of art that reflects or depicts popular and mass culture, such as celebrities or characters in advertising or comics. It has been depicted by many artists, most famously by artist Andy Warhol.

“You have some of the quietest students who’ll make a piece, show you and you’re amazed because you wouldn’t believe that it came from that student,” Jones said.

Jones says this is one of many outlets for students to showcase their creativity and it represents one of the endless opportunities provided in SISD for students to succeed.

“I think the district should be commended for supporting all these kids whether it’s athletics, academics or extracurricular activities, like art,” said parent Edmundo Gamboa. His daughter, Emma Gamboa, an eighth grader at William D. Slider Middle School, received a ribbon for honorable mention in the pop art contest.

The contest was held October 23rd.

SISD Pop Art contest winners and honorable mentions:

Student Division-Elementary
1st Place: Lourdes Guerrero from Dr. Sue A. Shook
2nd Place: Devorah Rodriguez from Mission Ridge
3rd Place: Elian Rocha from Hueco
Honorable Mention: Andrew Azcarate from John Drugan

Student Division-Middle
1st Place: Emily McCullough from Col. John O. Ensor
2nd Place: Kristina Pan from John Drugan
3rd Place: Isaac Parra from John Drugan
Honorable Mention: Emma Gamboa from William D. Slider

Student Division-High
1st Place: Azeneth Guerrero from KEYS Academy
2nd Place: Jeremiah Landeros from Pebble Hills
3rd Place: Samantha Debe from Pebble Hills
Honorable Mention: Tania Casas from El Dorado

Employee Division
1st Place: Claudia Cardenas from Fine Arts Department
2nd Place: Claudia Castaneda from Fine Arts Department
3rd Place: Alejandra Gallardo from Fine Arts Department
Honorable Mention: Stephanie Romero from Fine Arts Department

To view all the Pop art contest event photos, click here.

Middle, high school students invited to SISD Fandom and Comic Expo

Team SISD students will have the opportunity to foster their creativity and love for literacy at the 4th annual SISD Fandom & Comic Expo Novemeber 16 at Pebble Hills High School.

SISD middle and high school students are invited to the free event. Out-of-district sixth through 12th grade students also can participate in the competitions for a $5 entrance fee.

The unique event will feature a day of fun appearances from more than 35 vendors including local indie comic artists and authors. Other special guests will include the Imperial Border Squad, EP Ghostbusters, and the Amigo Man.

Students will engage in cosplay activities, muggle Quidditch, fandom trivia, card tournaments, comic sketch-off, escape rooms and more.

New this year will be the introduction of SISD’s first eSports League. They will battle it out, live in a single elimination tournament throughout the day. This program is designed to help provide a framework for student gamers that focuses on teamwork, responsibility, and social/emotional learning.

The first 500 students will receive a lanyard and a badge. To learn more about SISD Fandom & Comic Expo, visit the event website.

What:             4th Annual SISD Fandom & Comic Expo

Who:               SISD students, literacy, gaming, cosplay fans, local comic artists

Where:            Pebble Hills High School, 14400 Pebble Hills Blvd.

When:            Saturday, November 16, 2019  |  9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

SISD Homecoming festivities ignite school spirit for 2019-20 school year

Socorro Independent School District high schools revved up the school spirit at 2019-2020 homecoming celebrations, which included pep rallies, parades, football games, and dances.

Students, teachers, staff and alumni celebrated a week of festivities by showing off their school spirit and many enjoying victorious homecoming games.

El Dorado High School

El Dorado High School’s festivities were Sept. 9 to 14. The Aztecs theme was “Can I Have This Dance” from Disney’s High School Musical.  Their parade was Sept. 11 followed by the Birth of the Aztec Sun ceremony in the football field.

“Everyone is so excited for today, because the parade just starts the year off on a positive note,” said Theresa Maya, El Dorado student activities director.

They celebrated the pep rally on Sept. 12, followed by the El Dorado vs. Andress homecoming game at the SAC. Their homecoming dance was Sept. 14 at the Empire.

El Dorado High School homecoming parade photos

Pebble Hills High School

The Pebble Hills Spartans also celebrated their homecoming Sept. 9 to 14 with their theme “Don’t Stop the Music,” a tribute to music festivals. Their homecoming parade was Sept. 11. The homecoming pep rally was Sept. 13 followed by the homecoming football game, which they won against Chapin High School.

“Homecoming is important because it’s the kick off to the start of the school year and it’s just a fun way to bring the community together,” said Emily Cancellare, student activities director at Pebble Hills High School.

The homecoming dance was Sept. 14 in the Pebble Hill’s courtyard.

Pebble Hills High School homecoming parade photos

Socorro High School

The theme for the Socorro High School homecoming was “Deep In the Heart of Texas,” which was celebrated Sept. 16-21. The homecoming parade and the pep rally were on Sept. 19.

“The parade is pretty important because it shows our school spirit, not only of Socorro High School, but of the district, because there are other schools involved in the parade from the elementary and middle schools,” said junior Jennifer Betancourt, who performed with the Socorro High School mariachi group.

The homecoming game was against Burges High School Sept. 20 at Socorro High School. Their homecoming dance was Sept. 21 at the Pit.

Socorro High School homecoming parade photos

Mission Early College

Mission Early College High School celebrated its homecoming week Sept. 16 to 21 with a pep rally Sept. 20 and homecoming dance Sept. 21.

“We didn’t always have homecoming, but for a lot of students it’s a coming of age thing and we didn’t want them to miss out on that,” said Ben Ortega, principal of Mission Early College High School.

Mission Early College High School homecoming parade photos

Eastlake High School

The Eastlake High School Falcons celebrated their homecoming the week of Sept. 23 to 27 with the theme “Around the World.” A parade and a community pep rally took place Sept. 25.

“We’re here today for my son, and my daughter is next in line. He’s going to be the first one graduating and then, hopefully, going off to college, so this is a big deal for us,” said Adan Martinez, a parent from Eastlake. “We try to be involved as much as we can with all his extracurricular stuff so we’re definitely excited for the parade.”

The homecoming football game was against Pebble Hills Sept. 26 at the SAC and Sept. 27 was the homecoming dance in the main foyer of Eastlake High School.

Eastlake High School homecoming parade photos

Montwood High School

Montwood High School homecoming was Sept. 23 to 28 with the theme of “Rams Take Over the World.” A parade and carnival were celebrated on Sept. 25 at the school.

“Homecoming is one of the events that brings the community together and that makes our community better,” said Humberto Galindo, a senior at Montwood High School.

The Rams won the homecoming football game against Eastwood Sept. 27 at the SAC and had their dance Sept. 28 in the school gym.

Montwood High School homecoming parade photos

Americas High School

The Americas High School Trailblazers celebrated their homecoming the week of Oct. 21 to 26 with the theme “New York State of Mind.” The homecoming parade was Oct. 24.

“I think homecoming is a great way of getting all the schools in the feeder pattern involved, which brings the community together,” said parent Viviana Amezcun, who attended the parade to support her Trailblazer, as well as her son and niece from the Vista Del Sol soccer team.

The Trailblazers won their homecoming football game against Pebble Hills High School Oct. 25 at the SAC. Their homecoming dance theme was “A Night in New York” Oct. 26 at Americas High School.

Americas High School homecoming parade photos

Paso del Norte community unites to walk for breast cancer awareness

Paso del Norte Elementary invited parents and families to walk with their children for breast cancer awareness during their physical education classes last month.

The families wore pink as they walked the track three times to honor breast cancer victims, survivors and bring overall awareness and support for those being impacted by the disease. After the walk, students and parents were invited to physical activity and play with basketballs, hula-hoops and jump ropes.

“We’re walking around with our parents and friends for breast cancer,” said second grader Victoria Enciso. “It feels amazing to be out here walking with everyone.”

Popcorn and water were available for purchase with proceeds being combined with the funds collected from other breast cancer awareness events in the El Dorado feeder pattern and donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Parents at Paso del Norte are regularly invited to walk with their students on Fridays, but this Friday was particularly special because it had a whole different meaning. It gave parents the opportunity to explain the importance of supporting those fighting against cancer.

“Unfortunately, I have gone through it with some of my family and when we did, we had a lot of help, so we want to make sure we return that favor by doing the same for others,” said Christopher Vitela, parent of a kindergartener.

Paso Del Norte faculty, staff and administration said there are cancer survivors among them, while others have family who have battled the disease, making the walk particularly meaningful for them.

“We want to honor those survivors, those that have been taken, and those who are still fighting this battle,” said Karla Valdez, Paso Del Norte family engagement liaison.

Counselors visit business, industries to learn about workforce opportunities for students

Socorro Independent School District counselors spent two days during intersession visiting area businesses to get a better understanding of the opportunities available for students in the workforce.

Counselors from various SISD schools participated in the externship, visiting Jordan Forster Construction, Prudential Financial, El Paso Electric Company, and Keats Southwest. They learned about certifications and licensing necessary for students who are considering careers that don’t require a four-year college degree and about the internships available at the businesses.

Counselors who participated in the externship say they know how important it is for students to attain skills and knowledge in various fields, which can help them obtain a job that will pay them a solid wage.

“The purpose of today was to show us all jobs available, so as to better educate and guide to our students to all possible industries,” said Options High School counselor Aileen Stewart.

The partners in education at the business and industries were eager to show the counselors how they can prepare their students for opportunities in the workforce.

Aimee Saldivar, who works in the Human Resources Training and Development department for El Paso Electric, said the company partnered with SISD to assist in educating students on the positions available to them if they are not leaning toward the college route. She said they want to let students know sooner than later, so that they are fully aware and prepared by the time they graduate.

“There are some high school programs that students can take advantage of that are steppingstones to a career shortly after graduation. We’d like to help them with that,” said Aimee Saldivar, Human Resources Training and Development for the El Paso Electric.

The counselor externship also gave the educators a look into fields that students can take advantage of to earn a paycheck right after high school and/or help them work their way through college. Industries such as automotive or cosmetology provide job and career opportunities for students that they can embark upon immediately after graduation.

“This experience was very helpful because now we feel better equipped to guide our students by letting them know that technical programs are an option, which they can make a good living doing,” said Claudia Preciado, an Americas High School counselor.

The visits took place in October.

Counselors visit businesses event photos

Socorro ISD counseling programs win LSSSCA awards for being best in Texas

Five Socorro Independent School District counseling teams have won a 2019 Lone Star State School Counseling Association Award, a prestigious distinction that deems them the best in Texas.

“We are so proud of our school counseling program Lone Star Award winners,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of guidance and counseling. “These phenomenal school counselors have created an outstanding data driven ASCA Model school counseling program that benefits all students.  Our school counselors are the lifeline of the school and Team SISD thanks each one for their dedication.”

LSSSCA has three awards levels: bronze, silver and gold.  Each level is met with increased levels of rigor designed to elevate school counselor programs to national recognition through the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) awards.

Purple Heart Elementary School earned a gold award and Escontrias Elementary earned a silver award. Dr. Sue Shook, O’Shea Keleher and Sierra Vista elementary schools won bronze awards.

“I’m honored to accept this award,” said Arturo Escajeda, counselor at Purple Heart. “This would not be possible without my counseling partner Bea Issa and everyone at Purple Heart Elementary School. I am grateful for the children of Purple Heart for whom I have been called to serve to the best of my abilities.”

Escontrias counselors, Enrique Viramontes and Clarissa Cortez, said they were grateful to have participated in the awards program because it helps them become more effective counselors.

“We get to see what areas we need to improve in and it pushes us to do better,” Viramontes said. “Three years ago, we won the bronze prize and this year we won silver. Our goal for next time is to win gold.”

Awards criteria for winning counseling teams is based on a number of things, including the program goals, mindset and behaviors for student success, core curriculum action plan, lesson plans, program and an evaluation reflection.

SISD award winning counseling teams will be recognized at the LSSSCA annual conference Nov. 3-5 in Frisco, Texas.

Game in Many Pics: Montwood stops Socorro 54-14

The original Socorro ISD rivalry hit the field under Thursday Night Lights as the district namesake Bulldogs took on the Montwood Rams at the SAC.

While the Bulldogs had their typical hard-hitting style, the Rams bested Socorro 54-14.

Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the matchup in this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

Montwood earns top honors at UIL BEST robotics competition

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.”

12th annual SISD Foundation Golf Tournament raises funds for scholarships

Community sponsors joined Team SISD board trustees, faculty, staff and administration for a fun day of golf to raise proceeds for scholarships at the 12th Annual SISD Foundation Golf Tournament.

The event raised $50,000 for scholarships for graduating seniors in the Socorro Independent School District.

Tom Eyeington, SISD Chief Operations Officer and a key organizer of the golf tournament, said the annual event is beneficial for students to excel in college and, later, their careers.

“The students are well deserving of it and this gives them the opportunity to have some money for their future,” Eyeington said.

The golf tournament is a major fund raiser for the SISD Foundation’s scholarships. It attracts golfers and supporters of Team SISD from the Socorro community, the region, and across the state.

“I keep coming back because I enjoy working with this fantastic school district and this event gives us the ability to give back to the community through the Foundation,” said Kit Caldwell of Piper Jaffray Investment Banking Company, who has participated in the golf tournament every year since its inception.

The SISD Foundation was established 14 years ago and has awarded $508,000 in scholarships to more than 300 students. In May, the Foundation gave $90,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from the Class of 2019.

Foundation scholarship funds also are collected through employee and community donations.

Students interested in applying for the scholarships and community members or employees who wish to donate to the Foundation, should visit the Foundation web page.

The tournament took place on October 4th; to view photos of the 12th annual SISD Foundation Golf Tournament event photos, click here.

Paso Del Norte counselor named as finalist in national awards program

Amanda Bustamante, a school counselor at Paso Del Norte School in the Socorro Independent School District, is a finalist in the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) 2020 School Counselor of the Year awards program.

Bustamante previously was named the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) 2019 Texas School Counselor of the Year, which put her in the running for the national recognition as the representative for the state of Texas.

“I am extremely honored and humbled by this opportunity!  I hope to be an impactful advocate for ALL kids, as well as the profession of school counseling,” Bustamante said. “The role of school counselors is pertinent to the social and emotional well-being of all stakeholders in the educational setting. I am excited to be able to learn from school counseling leaders across the nation so that I can be the best school counselor for my students.”

The ASCA national award honors exemplary school counseling professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.

“We are so proud of Amanda.  She is a phenomenal leader with an enormous heart for students,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of school counseling. “Amanda is committed to following the ASCA national model and providing a data driven program for all students. She is a true advocate for students and community as well.”

Bustamante is one of four finalists from across the nation. The other three finalists are from Missouri, Georgia and Ohio.

“These School Counselor of the Year finalists have demonstrated their commitment to the values and mission of the school counseling profession,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director, in the association’s press release. “The research is clear: school counselors have a significant impact on students’ academic achievement, social/emotional development and postsecondary planning. The annual School Counselor of the Year award highlights their dedication, contribution and excellence.”

The School Counselor of the Year judges panel selected the finalists based on several criteria, including school counseling innovations, exemplary comprehensive school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills, and contributions to student outcomes.

“I have the best calling in the world and I am blessed to be able to do what I do every day,” Bustamante said. “A synergistic approach to educating the whole child is a powerful thing, and I look forward to collaborating with my campus team, our district leaders, and the amazing counselors that I will be building relationships with to make this world a better place one child at a time.”

ASCA will announce the 2020 School Counselor of the Year in late fall. Bustamante will be honored at the National School Counselor of the Year Gala in January in Washington, DC.

Bustamante previously was a counselor at Hurshel Antwine Elementary School and a math and science teacher at Lujan-Chavez Elementary School and Sun Ridge Middle School.

Burlington donates $1,000 to Jane A. Hambric School for school supplies

A Burlington store in El Paso donated $1,000 to Jane A. Hambric School fifth-grade teachers and students for school supplies through the Adopt-A-Classroom program.

Jim York, manager for Burlington on Zaragoza Road, presented the school principal, Joanne Anguiano, and fifth-grade teachers with the donation check in the library at the school.

“We honestly didn’t think we’d get selected for Adopt-A-Classroom, so we were ecstatic when we saw the email that the fifth grade of our school was chosen,” said teacher Isabel Ramirez.

The educators plan to use the donation for supplies and materials for a new science lab, which they hope will engage their students in science and technology.

Schools may apply to Burlington’s Adopt-A-Classroom program, which helps campuses fund needs for students and teachers. The applications are considered based on certain criteria, including how the school will use the donation to help students learn and educators with their instruction.

“The students are the future and what better way to invest money and spend money than for the kids,” York said.

When the Burlington opened in the neighborhood last year, the store also donated $10,000 to Jane A. Hambric School as part of its grand opening festivities and Adopt-A-Classroom program.

Burlington store donation to Jane Hambric Shool event photos

Socorro ISD marching bands prepare for big season contests

Socorro Independent School District fine arts students are gearing up for the University Interscholastic League Region Marching Contest and the SISD Marchfest.

The UIL region contest will be Oct. 12 at the SISD Student Activities Complex. This year, Eastlake and El Dorado High School will have the opportunity to be among Class 5A marching bands to advance to the 2019 UIL Area Contest Oct. 26 at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

“SISD has quality directors and talented students at all schools who are working very hard to perfect their skill for these contests,” said Ron Pingor, assistant fine arts director. “Last year, Pebble Hills and Montwood marching bands went to state and we feel very good about El Dorado and Eastlake advancing this year, too.”

The UIL Region contest is one of the most important contests for all marching bands. Each group has eight minutes to perform and impress the crowd and judges with their music and production.

“We are very excited to compete,” said Daniel Vega, Eastlake’s head band director. “The kids have been working very hard since last year to prepare both musically and visually. We are making sure everything is in line, and hope to make a mark in area and hopefully state.”

Other SISD marching band directors also say they feel positive about their bands delivering powerful productions that align cohesively with the music, drill bodywork, and story.

“Be ready to be blown away,” said Alexandro Contreras, head band director at El Dorado High School. “Our students and directors are super energetic and we all have high expectations. Advancing to state is what we dream about, and what we work for.”

Marching bands also are excited about the SISD Marchfest on Oct. 19 at the SAC. The contest, now in its 27th year, will feature close to 30 high school marching bands from El Paso and Las Cruces who will perform in front of professional judges from around the country.

“Marchfest is going to be a big affair this year,” Pingor said. “The contest allows participants to receive some of the greatest comments from excellent drum corp instructors on how to improve their shows.”

The marching bands are judged based on the Bands of America scoring rubric, a national competition standard with a preliminary/finals format. Six bands from the small group (Class B) and eight bands from the large group (Class A) will advance to the evening finals. Awards will follow the final performance.

Marchfest is open to the public and offers great family entertainment. General admission fee is $5; children under the age of three are free. The UIL State Contest is November 4-6 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

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