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Home | Tag Archives: SISD

Tag Archives: SISD

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.

Socorro ISD celebrates 10 years of Father-Son Building Ties Conference

Boys and young men in the Socorro Independent School District got to bond with their fathers  and learn about careers and educational opportunities at the SISD 10th Annual Father-Son Conference – Building Ties at Pebble Hills High School.

The longtime, successful conference encourages strong connections between boys and their dads, which helps improve family engagement and student performance.

Some of the classes offered at the conference this year were 10 First Aid Things Every Father and Son Should Know provided by the Socorro High School Health Professions Academy, Teen Dating Violence Prevention by the County’s Attorney Office, Animation Studio Class by Snapology of El Paso, Human Trafficking 101 and the Danger of Social Media by Paso Del Norte Center of Hope, and Automotive Technology by the Automotive Technology at Socorro High School.

“I really wanted to see some of the programs, like animation, since I’m in a program for audio and video,” said Daniel Vela, a Socorro High School senior. “We’ve come other times to this event and since I am going to graduate already, we decided to come for the last time and I’m excited.”

The participants learned about the district’s early college programs, advanced academics academies, and college and career opportunities. Workshops on cyberbullying, self-esteem, and self-confidence were available, as well.

Games, team building, and physical activities also were part of the day’s events, including a rock wall, a zorb balls collision course, Jacob’s ladder, a 60-foot obstacle course, a football challenge, a basketball throw, and a soccer kick challenge.

Fernie Vasquez, SISD assistant director of state and federal programs and coordinator of the father-son conference, said many times parents think they know what their child likes and doesn’t like. But when they attend the conference, they realize there is so much that they didn’t know. The conference provides the avenue for fathers and sons to learn more about each other, as well as the opportunities available in Team SISD and the greater community.

“Fathers and their sons will have to communicate with each other in order to accomplish the activities that we have for them and hopefully those activities will help them unite,” Vasquez said. “The idea is to get them to bond and learn more about each other.”

This year’s keynote speaker at the opening session was former ABC-7 news anchor, Rick Cabrera, who shared his story about his relationship with his own father, as well as his own experiences of being a father to his two children, Madyn and Andrew.

“The title I’m most proud to have is father,” Cabrera said.

Andrew also spoke at the conference describing his dad as his best friend. He shared his admiration for his father’s career, his father’s constant support of him, and his admiration for his comics collection.

The inspirational opening session set the tone for the fathers and sons, who recognized the need to nurture their love and support for each other.

“It’s important to build these relationships,” said Robert Maldonado, who attended the event with his son Isaiah, a sixth-grade student from Col. John O. Ensor Middle School. “Without proper guidance, children can find mentors in the wrong people, which can lead to bad situations.”

Roberto Galvan, a parent of an Americas High School senior said the conference is a great idea because it brings fathers and sons together and it exposes students to different activities and different career paths that might interest them as they get older.

“Today is very special because now a days it’s harder to spend time with your kids because everyone is busy with work, school,” Galvan said. “This gives us the opportunity to spend time with our sons.”

The Father Son Conference was held on September 28, click here to view event photos

SISD schools rally against bullying though special events

Schools in the Socorro Independent School District have been celebrating with rallies to bring awareness to anti-bullying, positive behavior and kindness.

Earlier this school year, Sierra Vista and H.D. Hilley brought students, staff and community together for their annual anti-bullying events with a focus on ways students can support each other and be proactive to prevent bullying.

Sierra Vista Elementary had its anti-bullying rally in the gym at Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School. The community, representatives from the El Paso Fire Department and the Americas High School cheer and dance teams and drum line were invited to attend.

Sierra Vista Principal Christine De La Cruz said the school emphasizes Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, and a zero tolerance for bullies in its social and emotional learning for students.

“We want students to be aware that we are here to support them, and we want them to know that they are safe here,” De La Cruz said. “If students feel safe, they can focus on learning.”

Sierra Vista also promotes their anti-bullying efforts with the BOOTS idea, which stands for Best Wrangler manners, Ownership, Opportunity, and Teamwork.

“Our anti-bullying rally today is all about getting up and being kind,” said Sierra Vista first-grade teacher Amanda Livingston. “Teachers will model BOOTS, school staff will, too, so that way kids can be familiar with making those positive choices and implementing them in their daily routines.”

The pep rally included the PBIS team introducing the school’s BOOT expectations, performances from Americas, Clarke and the Sierra Vista cheer teams, guest speakers from the El Paso Fire Department, and a surprise dance performance for students by Sierra Vista faculty and staff.

The H.D. Hilley Mustangs gathered for their 915 Day Kick-Off at the school.

The message of the rally was to spread kindness in the community and the world, after the shooting that happened August 3 at the El Paso Walmart. The school staff wanted students to know and to help remind others to stay united and to remain El Paso Strong.

“It is important to instill this in our students because we need to remind them at a very young age … to be respectful, to be safe, to be responsible; and, above all, to treat each other with courtesy and kindness,” said H.D. Hilley counselor Elena Fuentes.

Special guests at the 915 Day event included SISD police officers, representatives from the Border Patrol, and the Sanchez Middle School cheer team and drumline.

The event also had students and the community members reflecting on how they’ve gone out of their way to bring joy to others and to try to recall if anyone had ever done so for them.

Fuentes said thinking about positive actions is a great way to get the conversation rolling on how we can be better individuals within our community.

H.D. Hilley event photos    |    Sierra Vista event photos

EPKicks donates shoes to help students in HANDS program

Nonprofit organization EPKicks recently gave more than 100 Nike and Adidas sneakers to the Helping the Academic Needs of Displaced Students or HANDS program in the Socorro Independent School District.

EPKicks partners Ken Benckwitz and Sebastian Rumler said the more they became aware of the need of shoes for children in the community, the more they wanted to help.

Both of their children attend school in SISD, so they wanted to give back to the campuses near and dear to their hearts.

“Seeing a list of kids from the same school that my kids go to is eye opening. It’s hard to see the need, not only for shoes, but so much more,” Benckwitz said. “I hope this will motivate other people to give back and get involved, even if it’s just one pair of shoes, a jacket, or a backpack, anything that makes a difference.”

The HANDS program assists children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate residence. EPKicks delivered the shoes to the District Service Center, so that the teacher’s assistants in the HANDS program could take them back to their campuses.

The shoes will be shared with students in elementary, middle and high school.

“There is a need for shoes as kids go through shoes pretty quickly. We are very blessed that (EPKicks) has offered to help our program,” said Title 1 Specialist Lorena Cartagena in the SISD State and Federal Programs department.

The teacher’s assistants, who picked up the sneakers to distribute at their designated schools, said it is rewarding to help students, not just academically, but also in their life by bringing them encouragement and motivation to come to school every day.

“I can’t wait to see their faces light up because I know they are going to be grateful, and that’s what I’m looking forward to because I know they get so excited,” said Leticia Padilla, an SISD teacher’s assistant. “It’s a wonderful experience and I’m really glad to be a part of it.”

EPKicks plans to continue their mission to help children who need new shoes.

The non-profit organization started in November 2018 by collecting donations on a GoFundMe account created in honor of Rumler’s birthday. Their initial goal was to raise $500, which they easily surpassed by collected $1,200.

Moving forward, they will keep collecting and donating to help more students.

The delivery of the shoes was made on September 24th.

EPKicks donates to Hands program event photos

Socorro ISD’s Myrtle Cooper dedicates Little Free Library to first responders

Myrtle Cooper Elementary students, faculty and staff invited first responders to the opening of their Little Free Library in front of the school.

Principal Alicia Miranda and school librarian Elizabeth Chavez said they wanted to dedicate their Little Free Library to El Paso’s finest for everything they do for the community on a regular basis.

“Sometimes we forget that when big events happen, these guys are the first ones to respond, so we took our love of reading and we invited first responders to put in that first book,” Chavez said. “Hopefully that solidifies how important reading is, but also show the type of community that we have here in El Paso.”

Students held signs of thanks and recognition as they received first responders outside the front of the school with cheers and applause.

Those in attendance included the El Paso Police Department, the Socorro Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, and the El Paso Fire Department.

Lieutenant Aldo Padilla of the El Paso Fire Department’s Health & Safety Division had the honor of cutting the ribbon for the opening of the Little Free Library.

“I think this is fantastic,” Padilla said. “This is actually the first time I’ve been honored this way.”

Padilla along with other first responders were the first to place books inside the Little Free Library.

The purpose of the Little Free Library is to promote literacy and provide students with year-round access to books.

Little Free Libraries are open to the community 24/7 and stay open during intersession, summer and holidays. Students can take a book and leave a book in its place for someone else to enjoy.

“With society nowadays there is so much going on, for example video games, lots of technology, and it’s good to go back to our roots, to that love of reading and books,” Chavez said.

At the end of the ceremony, first responders lined up to shake hands with students who thanked them with framed plaques, and then they were treated to breakfast in the library.

“Every career requires lifelong learning, so never stop learning, and reading is absolutely vital to your success,” Padilla said.

Little Free Library event photos

Verizon selects Hueco Elementary for school supply donation

Verizon presented students at Hueco Elementary School with school supplies worth $5,000 at the school’s All-Star Awards ceremony.

A total of 1,700 school supplies were donated by Verizon, which included composition notebooks, crayons and markers.

Director of Verizon Call Center in El Paso, Hector Gachupin, and Verizon employees were at the award ceremony where school principal, Daisy Garcia, told students and parents about the donation, and thanked Verizon for their generosity.

“Verizon is providing tools for our students so they can continue to learn and grow,” Garcia said. “We are very grateful that Verizon donated the supplies for our students, and this is a huge deal for our community.”

Gachupin said seeing the students who are benefiting from the supplies is the most rewarding part of their giving program. One notebook, one pencil, one pair of scissors can make a big difference in a project or homework assignment, he said.

“We take a lot of pride in helping the community,” Gachupin said. “We have a lot of focus on social responsibility and our employees are very passionate about helping out the community.”

One Verizon employee shared with Gachupin that they attended Hueco, twenty plus years ago, so coming back and being able to help was particularly special to them.

“The community has been very responsive, very positive and thankful, and we are very humbled to do this,” Gachupin said.

Garcia said she was grateful to have found a partnership with Verizon and looks forward to the new opportunities made possible by the generous donation.  The donation event was held September 20th.

School supply donation event photos

Chester E. Jordan celebrates with circus theme for ‘Rock Your School’

Faculty and staff surprised students by participating for the first time in “Rock Your School” at Chester E. Jordan Elementary School.

“Rock Your School” is a nationwide movement to take students out of their regular routine by making the curriculum for the day extra special with more action and engagement to get them excited about learning.

Students walked inside the school surprised to see it had been transformed into a circus with tents, balloons, streamers, glitter, and clown and elephant images along the walls.

Teachers took daily curriculum and transformed their subjects into amusing and thrilling activities.

“I am happy and excited that our school was able to do this event this year and we are very happy with the response,” said Monica Ramos, a first-grade teacher.

Throughout the event students participated in a variety of different activities, like cotton candy art in science class and using paintings of a circus to learn about history.

“They made class into a circus and it’s great,” said first-grader Mariana Salazar. “My favorite thing has been making art with cotton candy.”

Students were treated to popcorn, candy bags, and animal crackers as part of the day’s festivities.

“It was important to do it because we thought it would be encouraging and captivating to the students to do something outside of their daily routine,” said Sylvia Sundermann.

Chester Jordan faculty and staff stayed late after school the day before preparing decorations and costumes, as well as decorating classrooms and hallways in order to have it prepared to surprise students the next day.

Teachers say parents were a huge part of making the event happen, not only by keeping the surprise a secret, but by making donations of decorations, such as balloons and streamers.

Teachers were motivated to join the movement by a book they are reading “The Wild Card” by Wade and Hope King, in which the writers encourage teachers to think outside of the box and to use their talents to create a classroom environment that is fun and engaging for students.

“Today has brought out the best in them because it encourages them to come to school by making it more fun,” Sundermann said. “Seeing their reactions brought tears to my eyes and it made it that much more rewarding.”

Teachers at Chester Jordan encourage other educators and schools to join the movement and create a unique educational experience that will captivate students.

For more information on “Rock Your School” visit the webpage. The event took place September 19th.  Click to view ‘Rock Your School’ event photos

SISD to add 23 police officers, Assign police coverage to all elementary campuses

The Socorro ISD Board of Trustees voted to approve a recommendation from Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D. to update the job description for Socorro ISD police officers.

The change allows the district to move forward with plans to hire 23 new police officers, whom will be assigned to district elementary schools.

“In the Socorro Independent School District, our actions speak louder than our words when it comes to the safety and security of our students and staff which has always been our number one priority,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Over the last six years, we have continuously invested in safety improvements districtwide. We will now have police officers at all of our schools, including elementary campuses, to provide an extra layer of security for all our stakeholders.”

The district has posted the vacancies and looks to hire the new officers over the next few months. The new employees will go through district training once hired and then be assigned to an elementary school where they will be stationed during all regular school days.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to our Board of Trustees for continuously prioritizing safety in our district and supporting the plans I’ve brought forth to meet our number one strategic direction,” Dr. Espinoza added. “The fidelity and responsibility in which the Board and administration have managed district resources has put us in a position to be able to make this valuable investment.”

The district anticipates the investment in the 23 new positions will total some $1.15 million in salary, benefits, and equipment, which will come from the district’s General Fund.

Via a news release, Socorro ISD officials shared that the district has been “extremely proactive in implementing new safety and security measures in addition to this new initiative. Previous efforts include the reorganization of its police and security force which enabled a police officer to be assigned to every high school and middle school and a full-time security guard to every elementary school.”

“A new, state-of-the-art video surveillance system was also installed districtwide. Through the system, every campus is monitored 24/7 by the district police department with a minimum of 15 cameras at each school,” officials said. “A campus staff member is stationed at the main entrance of each campus to greet and monitor all visitors as well as deter intruders.”

“Every SISD school also has a sophisticated Hall Pass digital check-in system to implement background checks on all visitors, and panic buttons have been installed to instantaneously alert police in the event of an emergency situation. In addition, new entry systems are currently being installed to have visitors show identification from outside the building prior to being allowed to enter,” SISD officials added.

Certified police officers who would like to learn more about this employment opportunity are encouraged to visit www.sisd.net and click on the “JOBS” tab to view the posting.

Socorro ISD invites students, dads to annual father-son conference

The Socorro Independent School District will have its annual Father-Son Conference – with this years theme of ‘Building Ties –  this weekend.

The conference will allow male students in the district to bond with their fathers or father figures while learning about opportunities and resources in Team SISD.

“The event celebrates and encourages a strong connection between boys and their dads, and improves family engagement and student performance,” SISD officials shared.

The conference agenda will include information about the district’s early college programs, advanced academics academies, and college and career opportunities.

Workshops on cyberbullying, self-esteem, and self-confidence also will be part of the program as well as games and team building activities.

The event is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods and non-perishable food donations. Light breakfast and lunch will be available.

The event is scheduled to run from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. September 28 at Pebble Hills High School, located at 14400 Pebble Hills Boulevard.

Socorro ISD seniors invited to FAFSA Night workshops

The Socorro Independent School District, in collaboration of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce, will have FAFSA night workshops during October and November at SISD high schools.

The workshops will assist seniors to apply for the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application form, which is available starting Oct. 1.

“We hope all SISD seniors take advantage of this great opportunity and attend the FAFSA workshops,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of guidance and counseling. “The workshops will be extremely helpful to parents and students. Experts will be available to answer questions and assist with the process.”

More than $150 billion in federal grants, loans and work study funds for college or career schools are available through FAFSA. FAFSA applicants may qualify for one or more of those forms of financial aid. In addition, students who attend the SISD/Chamber of Commerce workshops are eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship.

The SISD FAFSA Nights will be from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on the following days:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15 at El Dorado and Mission Early College high schools
  • Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Eastlake High School
  • Thursday, Oct. 17 at Socorro High School
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Pebble Hills High School
  • Monday, Nov. 4 at Americas High School
  • Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Montwood High School

If students cannot attend the workshop, they can complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. FAFSA is also available on the myStudentAid mobile app, which can be downloaded on the Apple or the Google Play Store. SISD high school seniors may attend any FAFSA workshop.

For more information about the FAFSA Nights, contact an SISD high school counselor or the Guidance and Counseling Department at 937-0322.

2019 FAFSA Night Workshops flyer

El Dorado student selected for El Paso Strong Reading Series

El Dorado High School student Demian Chavez participated in the El Paso Strong Reading Series in The Philanthropy Theater at the Plaza Theater in downtown El Paso.

Chavez submitted a monologue based on his own experience of the moment he heard about the Walmart shooting.

“The importance of these events can be very different for a lot of people,” said Chavez, a junior at El Dorado High School. “For the playwrights and the actors performing them it may be their best way of processing all of this and understanding what happened, meanwhile for the people in attendance it may be a way of healing.”

He was selected to read his monologue in the unique event that was created to give El Pasoans an outlet to express themselves in light of the tragic event that hit the El Paso community August 3.

The event was coordinated by visiting University of Texas at El Paso professor, Georgina Escobar, and was hosted by the Dramatist Guild and the UTEP Department of Theater and Dance.

Potential participants were asked to submit a five-minute short play with four characters or less.

Chavez shared that what inspired him to participate in the reading series was a conversation he had with a fellow student in drama who shared his post 9/11 experience and talked about how theater can help everyone in their own way to process, understand, cope, and heal after a tragedy.

El Dorado theater teachers Joe Cook and Vanessa Keyser encourage their students to break boundaries by expressing themselves through art and theater.

“We are absolutely very proud of Demian,” Keyser said. “He is one of the students who is really interested in community outreach here at El Dorado.”

Chavez said the last portion of the series, in which his submission was included, felt very dark, but necessary in order to express himself to a grieving community. Cook agreed with Chavez saying theater can help people heal, protest, get in touch with feelings, or make them feel good.

“Theater has more than one language, and there is something magical about live theater because it’s never the same,” Cook said. “It’s the only place where actors and the audience get together to create a show, which you don’t get in any other art form.”

Other ventures Chavez has undertaken includes directing a show at the high school this past spring and participating in “Children of Eden” with El Paso Community College during the summer.

The El Paso Strong Reading Series took place on September 18, 2019.

Socorro High School celebrates reconstruction with official groundbreaking

The Socorro High School community and Team SISD celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony to officially mark the start of the reconstruction of the flagship school, one of the most anticipated projects in Bond 2017.

“It’s exciting to be part of this historic event as we witness the end of one chapter and the birth of a new home for our Bulldogs,” said Socorro High School Principal Josh Tovar. “The new and improved campus will better prepare our students for the world of work and university.”

Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., SISD board members, school and district staff, along with representatives from VLK Architects, Nine Degrees Architecture, and BTC were among those who gathered for the ceremony.

“Socorro High School is our oldest high school in the district, it’s our flagship school,” said Dr. Espinoza. “The work has already begun, so we are looking forward to seeing the reconstruction of this awesome, amazing high school.”

The first phase of the Socorro High School reconstruction started in July 2019, one month ahead of schedule. Contractors have started demolishing existing areas of the school to make room for a new academic and Career and Technical Education wing. That portion of the new building is scheduled to be occupied by students and staff in 18 months.

Bond Accountability Committee members also attended the event, including chair Robert Alvarez who addressed the audience expressing that BAC members have been proud to represent the community in Bond 2017 and are eager to see the completion of Bond 2017 projects. Some BAC members have close ties to Socorro High School, such as Thomas Sigala Jr.

“I’ve been able to see the past, live in the present and I now look forward to the future of the new high school,” said Sigala, who attended Socorro High School in 1988.

The lively event featured the Socorro High School NJROTC color guard, drum line, cheerleaders and the widely recognized mascots Chato and Chata. Current students are excited about the academic excellence that the new building will inspire in the future generations of students.

“Once we get the new school, I think it will leave an aura of high standards, so I feel students will perform better academically,” said Socorro High School junior Aaron Garcia.

Another Socorro High School junior Kathryn Hernandez agreed.

“A new building will help make the students more confident about coming to school and take pride in their school,” Hernandez said.

Completion of the reconstruction will be phased over a three-and-a-half-year period to be substantially completed by spring 2023. Once construction is finalized, the 54-year-old campus will encompass a state-of-the-art building with natural lighting, an open space concept, and multiple innovative learning spaces. The campus will be equipped with high quality security features, the latest technology resources, and modern furniture for 21st century learning.

“Some of our board members attended school here at Socorro High School, they have a lot of memories from when they were here,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Now, with this new facility being built the students that are currently in elementary are going to be able to come in and build their own memories.”

The SISD Bond 2017 was approved by voters in November 2017. Team SISD is progressing steadily with projects keeping a commitment to Promises Made, Promises Kept. The first of the Bond 2017 projects was completed earlier this year with the opening of Socorro ISD’s newest elementary, Cactus Trails.

The ceremony took place on September 17, 2019. To view Socorro High School groundbreaking event photos, click here.

Socorro ISD students explore careers at first-ever Job Con event

The Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with Workforce Solutions Borderplex, organized a first-ever Job Con event to help sophomore students learn about education pathways, fields of study and careers.

The event provided more than 2,000 students a day of hands-on career exploration at Eastlake High School. Students were exposed to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), business and industry, public service, arts and humanities, and multidisciplinary studies, all which are offered by Team SISD.

“Sophomore year is the last year students can change their endorsement. That is why Job Con was the perfect event for our students at this grade level,” said George Thomas, director of SISD Career and Technical Education.

“Students got to learn about target industries, high-demand careers in the area, and the skills they need to acquire the professions.”

Layla Melendez, chief operating officer for Workforce Solutions Borderplex, said Job Con is the largest interactive job fair in El Paso.

“This is our favorite and biggest event,” Melendez said. “We get to show students what employers do, how they do it, and why they do it so they can follow in their footsteps and build a strong El Paso.”

Sophomores visited more than 60 stations and networked with plenty of business representatives, who had an array of displays, samples, and creative props to make the expositions enlightening.

“This was a great way to get an idea about what we want to be when we grow up,” said Omar Erives, a student at Montwood High School. “I always thought I wanted to be an electrical engineer but at this event I really liked what El Paso Aero had to offer.”

Avery Benitez, a student at Socorro High School, also found the event to be helpful.

“I didn’t know there were these many open doors in El Paso,” she said. “Now I can see that there is a lot to choose from. My favorite presentation was on building a computer because I like working with technology.”

Presenters were happy that students recognized El Paso has a thriving career market.

“El Paso has had a stigma that there is nothing to do or that we don’t have high-paying jobs,” said Jaime Blanco, owner of Double Scope Films, a production company. “That is a misconception. There is a lot of creative work in El Paso and we feel its important to let the youth know they have these options.”

SISD and Workforce Solutions Borderplex also wanted parents of students with special needs to learn about work opportunities for their children. They were invited to an information night the day before JobCon to learn about students’ rights, social security, transition to college and workforce integration.

Team SISD and Workforce Solutions Borderplex will partner again in the spring for a second JobCon on Feb. 12 at Eastlake High School.

Job Con event photos

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