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Home | Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Eastlake cosmetology students volunteer time, skills to nursing home/rehab residents

Students in the Eastlake High School cosmetology program have been volunteering their time and skills to the residents of the St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Eastlake cosmetology instructor Christal Montalvo and her students provided residents with hair, makeup and nail services during the holidays, such as Halloween and at Thanksgiving, so that the residents were ready for their special family dinner.

“I am overwhelmed with excitement and pride that my students took initiative to give back to the residents at St. Giles Nursing Home,” Montalvo said. “As my students reflected on the experience, they shared a common feeling of fulfillment and heartwarming connections.”

The students are seizing opportunities in the cosmetology program to refine their skills beyond the Falcon Salon. More importantly, they find they are bringing joy and giving back to the community, Montalvo said.

“Besides getting to practice what we do at school and expand it outside into our community, it was an opportunity to make a change in someone else’s day,” said Eastlake senior Elizabeth Quezada.

Montalvo stays in regular contact with the St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center regarding volunteer opportunities for her students. She said experiences like these help students stay grounded and remember what is important.

“Our residents were so happy, and their families were thankful,” said Maria Trevino, activity director at St. Giles Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.

Eastlake High School senior Destiny Enriquez said volunteering at the center was a touching experience, but it was also personal.

“My grandpa was in a home, so I learned a lot through that and now I try to share my time with others,” Enriquez said. “Especially during the holidays, which is a season about giving not receiving.”

Many of the students have provided their time outside of school to a variety of other causes, as well. They said the services they provide through these experiences teach them about real life skills essential to any career, such as listening, communication, and networking.

Socorro ISD to hold Teacher Job Fair in February

Tuesday afternoon, Socorro Independent School District officials announced the date, time, and location for the upcoming 2020 SISD Teacher Job Fair.

“SISD is seeking highly qualified applicants for teaching positions at the 2020 SISD Teacher Job Fair,” district officials shared. “SISD will be providing letters of intent to qualified applicants to fill current vacancies at this job fair.”

This year’s job fair is set for February 6th, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the board room at the SISD District Service Center, located at 12440 Rojas Drive.

Candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, a valid Texas teaching certificate with required endorsements or training for subject and level assigned and be highly qualified in the appointed subject area(s).

Additionally, district officials say that applicants should bring at least three printed copies of their resume, the Statement of Eligibility if participating in an alternative certification program and be prepared for the opportunity to meet and interview with school principals.

For more information regarding the SISD Teacher Job Fair, contact the Department of Human Resources at 937-0040 or at 937-0206.

Socorro ISD students test their educator skills at regional TAFE competition

Some 250 Socorro Independent School District high school students who are part of the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) competed for the 11th year in a row at the Regional 19 TAFE Competition at UTEP’s College of Education.

The event, held in late November, included 20 categories, including two levels of children’s literature, exploring education administration careers and STEM lesson planning and delivery. Students competed as solos, duos and in teams of up to four based on the category.

“I want to be a middle school teacher, so being a part of this helps me gain experience and insight for my future career,” said Alondra Morales, a senior at Eastlake High School who competed in the children’s literature category. She created a children’s book with her partner for the competition.

“I really enjoy that I get to meet new people, gain confidence and learn,” Morales said.

Some 50 UTEP College of Education professors judged the contest based on the state’s education standards and curriculum. As part of the competition, the SISD students presented in front of a classroom full of college students.

The students who placed first have advanced to the state competition in February where they will compete against some 250 TAFE groups from across Texas. If they advance at the state level, students can compete at the national contest in June in Washington D.C.

“These students are getting some real-life experience in teaching, in talking to other educators and also getting to network with students who have the same goals as them to become educators,” said Melissa Haggerty, a teacher and TAFE advisor at Socorro High School.

Students in TAFE can gain paraprofessional skills, take part in internships, and earn a CPR certification regardless of what career path they end up pursuing, whether it is education or something else.

This year, the TAFE competition incorporated College Alley where UTEP set up tables of its colleges, as well as admissions, and students got to check on their admission status, fill out applications and go over their degree plans.

“I hope this is something that will continue, especially for our seniors,” said Logan Thomas, Americas High School TAFE sponsor, about the addition of College Alley. “It was eye opening for our students and it got them really excited.”

Photo courtesy SISD

TAFE competition event photos

U.S. Department of Defense awards grant to El Dorado for STEM advancement

Earlier this year, El Dorado High School received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to launch a National Math and Science Initiative college readiness program to provide more STEM opportunities with training and resources for students, faculty and staff.

Representatives from Fort Bliss and NMSI presented the $274,319 check at a special ceremony in the theater at El Dorado. The grant will help advance STEM education at the school so all students can reach their highest potential.

“This is just another opportunity to provide a pathway of success for our scholars, which is truly aligning with Socorro ISD’s mission of college and career readiness,” said Janet Carrillo, assistant principal at El Dorado High School. “It’s another way that we can champion our scholars to show them that people, besides ourselves, see potential in them and are wanting to help them achieve and be successful in the future.”

Schools that have participated in the college readiness program have seen immediate and dramatic increases in the number of students earning qualified scores on the Advanced Placement exams, according to the NMSI.

NMSI has served more than 250 U.S. schools that have significant enrollment among military-connected students. While El Dorado was awarded the grant in part for serving numerous military-connected students, the STEM and college readiness program will benefit all students at the high school.

“A military child’s education is the most important part of their life,” said Shannon Manion, manager of the Military Families Mission for the NMSI. “Ensuring that students, their children, are getting the services they need in a high-quality learning institution is the most important factor for any parent, including a military parent.”

The NMSI has served more than 1,300 U.S. high schools to improve student access and achievement in STEM education through teacher training, collaboration with campus leaders and through student-focused resources.

The nonprofit seeks to give access to high-quality, college-level coursework for all students, particularly those who are underrepresented in STEM programs.

The presentation took place November 16th.

El Dorado receives grant award event photos

Socorro ISD celebrates dedication ceremony for Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary

The Socorro Independent School District had a dedication ceremony to honor the namesake of the district’s 48th school at Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School.

The event in December honored Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco, the district’s first peace officer who served nearly 30 years in the district’s police department. He was SISD’s first and only sergeant for many years.

Carrasco’s family, including his wife, daughter and two sons, attended the ceremony, along with superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., SISD board trustees, law enforcement officers, and various other special guests from the community attended the ceremony.

“My father was very dedicated to what he did, and he was very committed to the students, as well as the staff,” said Erika Carrasco, daughter of Sgt. Carrasco. “I believe that’s what got him this great merit.”

Carrasco Elementary students performed a cheer routine to display their school spirit and pride, and a video was shown as a tribute to Sgt. Carrasco’s service and love of Team SSD. School principal Jesse Sepulveda and Carrasco students presented his family with a special plaque.

Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco started his career on Sept. 15, 1986 as a security guard in SISD. At the time the district had 12 schools and nearly 10,000 students.

He was fundamental in the development of the SISD police department, which was formally established in 2001 and was the district’s first officially sworn Texas peace officer and carried badge #001.

“The department today is a reflection of who he was,” said Jose Castorena, SISD chief of police. “Socorro ISD police is about bridging the gap with the community and providing services that are not traditional when it comes to law enforcement.”

Sgt. Carrasco was highly involved with the community and was well known throughout the City of Socorro for encouraging students to stay in school and away from drugs. He played an active role in gang prevention by volunteering to wipe out graffiti in the community, which resulted in reduced gang activity in the schools and increased school attendance.

Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School dedication ceremony event photos

SISD middle school science, engineering fair inspires opportunities for future

More than 630 sixth- through eighth-grade students in the Socorro Independent School District participated in the 2019 Middle School Science and Engineering Fair at Pebble Hills High School, held last month.

This year’s theme was Apollo 11, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon mission.

“The moon launch theme was our motivation to get the kids thinking about accomplishments they can achieve in a few years,” said Frank McDonald, SISD instructional officer for secondary science and one of the science fair coordinators.

With more than 21 overall categories including, physical science, life science, environmental science, engineering, and math, the science fair is preparing the students for education and career pathways in various scientific fields.

“With the different events, like the science fair, and activities provided by the district, they are getting me ready for college, which is my next big step in life,” said Diego Maldonado, a seventh grader from William D. Slider Middle School.

The middle school science fair drew 160 more entries this year over the previous year, inspiring young scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists to participate in the research and experiments.

“Science is important because it helps you to know more about your environment and how to help take care of the planet,” said seventh-grade student Isabella Hebler from John O. Ensor Middle School. “There is so much I want to learn.”

To qualify for the district event, students were required to present their projects in class and at their campus fairs. First-place winners in each category at the campus level then advanced to the district science fair.

Science fair judges were SISD high school students, University of Texas at El Paso students, EPCC professors and students, and DSC staff.

First, second and third place winners were awarded in each category and grade level, with first-place winners moving on to the Sun Country Regional Science and Engineering Fair in March, which will be hosted again at Pebble Hills High School. In addition, nine sweepstakes winners were named for three categories in each grade level.

Last year, 75 SISD students advanced from the regional fair to state, McDonald said. This year’s goal is to take more students to the state competition at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.

“These kids have put in a lot of time and effort into this,” McDonald said. “They are leading with their best foot forward.”

Award winners list   |   Middle school science, engineering event photos

Socorro ISD students will compete in 6th annual robotics competition

SISD elementary and middle school robotics teams will be competing for the prestigious ROBOCOM 6.0 title in the district’s sixth annual robotics competition January 10 and 11 at Pebble Hills High School.

This year’s ROBOCOM theme is “City Shaper,” which challenges students to provide a solution on how to improve city infrastructure in their community. Students may choose how they define community, for example, their school, neighborhood or state.

ROBOCOM 6.0 participants will present their work to judges on the first day and compete in an interactive robotics competition on the second.

The second day is open to parents, families and community members to watch the robot challenges.

Twenty-four teams will advance to the regional competition, West Texas El Paso FLL Championship, organized by UTEP on January 25. These teams then have the opportunity to advance to a higher level of competition outside of the El Paso region.

Round 1 Competition – 9:00 a.m.

Round 2 Competition- 11:00 a.m.

Round 3 Competition – 1:00 p.m.

Round 4 Competition – 3:00 p.m.

ROBO Roll Call – 6:10 p.m.

Awards Ceremony – 6:30 p.m.

What:             SISD ROBOCOM 6.0

Who:               Elementary and middle school students, high school volunteers, faculty and staff

Where:           Pebble Hills High School  14400 Pebble Hills Blvd. 

When:             Friday, Jan. 10, 2020  |  5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

                          Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020

                        9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. competition

                        6:10 p.m. roll call

                        6:30 p.m. awards ceremony

Cactus Trails wellness walk, family project encourages kindness in the community

Cactus Trails Elementary families enjoyed the school’s first-ever wellness walking community event late last semester at the campus.

The Cactus Trails physical education department and school counselors invited students, parents and families to engage in the healthy walk and participate in the family kindness stone project.

“One of the initiatives that we always try to teach our kids is that being kind can change the world,” said Erica Armijo, physical education teacher at Cactus Trails. “We need to teach kids everywhere that kindness is a part of life.”

Families decorated stones with kind messages and pictures, which were used to adorn the school’s walking path for the community to enjoy.

“It’s a good thing to teach kids about kindness while they are young, so they know to respect and be nice to others,” said Cactus Trails parent Mike Peoples.

Close to a thousand stones now form the pathway and the school hopes to continue the family kindness stone project as a regular tradition, Armijo said.

The first family walk and kindness stone event, which was conducted during PE class times, resonated with students who enjoyed spreading the kindness message.

“It’s important to be kind to people because if you are kind to them, they will learn about being kind too,” said fourth grader Audrey Guereque.

Cactus Trails wellness walk event photos

Socorro ISD to honor trustees during School Board Recognition Month

School Board Recognition Month is in January, when school districts across Texas recognize their board trustees for their hard work and dedication and Socorro ISD is  no different.

“In the spirit of the celebration, the Team SISD community is invited to help thank and show their appreciation to the amazing SISD Board of Trustees,” SISD officials shared.

“This year’s theme is Launching the Next Generation to focus on the educational opportunities that board trustees provide as members of the governing boards for school districts,” district officials added.

“Please help us recognize SISD board members by sharing messages of appreciation. On social media you can use the hashtags #TeamSISD and #SchoolBoardMonth.”

The SISD Board of Trustees are President Cynthia Ann Najera, District 2 representative; Vice President Angelica Rodriguez, District 3 representative; Secretary Paul Guerra, District 4 representative; Gary Gandara, District 5 representative; Paul E. Garcia, representative at-large; Eduardo Mena, District 1 representative; and David Oscar Morales, representative at-large.

Students peer into professional futures via SISD Advanced Academic Academies nights

With Socorro Independent School District’s advanced academic academies in high schools across the district, recent ‘SISD Advanced Academy Nights’ showed students what’s possible for their educational future.

The SISD Advanced Academy Nights, which occur each fall at the district’s high schools, allow students preparing for the transition from middle school to high school the opportunity to learn about the different academies and programs available to them upon entering high school.

The individual academies give students opportunities to get ahead with college credits, take part in engaging internships, and gain real-world training with specialized instruction in various fields of study.

“I think it’s great that the district provided this event because it really does prepare us for the future,” said Daniel Garcia, an eighth-grade student at Paso Del Norte School. “I think this can help set us up in the right mindset by giving us the tools we need in college and in a career.”

Last fall, incoming SISD freshmen and their parents received a preview to the advanced academic academies as they were preparing to select their endorsement for the course of study they will pursue in high school.

“Having these different programs available at all the high schools makes them accessible to all students rather than a select few. I think that puts our district and our students a step ahead,” said Marvin Hanley, the audio and video production teacher at Montwood High School.

Students at elementary grade levels and their parents can start looking into SISD’s advanced academic academies now so that they can be ready to apply in their eighth-grade year.

Interested students can talk to their teachers or school counselors or visit the advanced academics web page on the district website.

The SISD academies are:

  • Health Professions Academy (HPA) at Socorro High School,
  • Synergi4 TSTEM Academy at Montwood High School,
  • Libertas Academy for Law, Government and Public Administration at Americas High School,
  • Aztec Architecture Academy (AAA) at El Dorado High School,
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) at El Dorado High School,
  • School for Advanced Technical Applications TSTEM (SATA) at Eastlake High School,
  • Sparta Business Academy (SBA) at Pebble Hills High School,
  • Fire Science Academy at Socorro High School.

Montwood High School Advanced Academy Night event photos  |   El Dorado High School Advanced Academy Night event photos

Socorro ISD students win EPCC K-12 Salute to the Arts awards

Socorro Independent School District students won top honors at the El Paso Community College K-12th annual Salute to the Arts art exhibit.

The students competed among numerous entries submitted from across the city. Thirty participants won awards at the event, which included five SISD winners and six who earned honorable mentions.

Here are the honorees:

Ximena Varela, El Dorado High School, first place for “Tranquility”

Marisa McLean, Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle, second place for “Flamingo”

Gustavo Gone, El Dorado High School, third place for “Distorted Desires”

Joey Franco, John Drugan School, President’s Award for “Spotted Jaguar”

Joshua Valenzuela, Americas High School, El Paso Strong Award for “22 Strong”

Robert Favela, Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle, honorable mention for “Abel”

Ashley Acosta, Eastlake High School, honorable mention for “January 10, 2002”

Vivian Murrell, Eastlake High School, honorable mention for “Everyone’s Dragon is Different”

Helena Rubio, El Dorado High School, honorable mention for “The Center”

Karen Hernandez, Pebble Hills High School, honorable mention for “Acne”

Illiana Nevarez, Desert Wind School, honorable mention for “Retro”

Socorro ISD schools honor veterans with parade, breakfasts

Students and staff across the Socorro Independent School District honored those who have fought for our freedom and safety with numerous special tributes and events for Veterans Day.

Socorro High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps had a special Veterans Day ceremony in the school’s band room.

All veterans and active military from El Paso County and the surrounding area were welcomed to the event and enjoyed a musical performance by Socorro High School mariachi group Los Gavilanes and breakfast prepared by culinary arts students.

“I appreciate what Socorro High School has put together for us today,” said retired Marine Ismael Samaniego Jr. “I am honored to be here.”

Taps was played to honor the lost and a lone table was left aside in memory of those fallen and prisoners of war. A row of American flags adorned the front of the school in tribute to the veterans.

Benito Martinez Elementary School also had its Veterans Day celebration for veterans and active military. The celebration included breakfast for the special guests and a parade, which included the entire community.

Various school organizations, as well as neighboring schools participated in the parade, with students walking side-by-side with the veterans and military servicemen and women or riding along in Army vehicles.

“This says a lot about the El Paso community because they are showing support, which is definitely something that the military needs,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Sosa.

School personnel recognized veterans and active military close to the Benito Martinez community, delivered words in honor of all those serving and held a moment of silence for those who’ve passed or been lost.

“It’s important because the veterans have sacrificed their lives on the line so that we can have freedom,” said Alexis Salazar, fifth-grade cheer captain at Benito Martinez Elementary. “I think it’s really important to celebrate and honor them.”

Socorro High School’s Veterans Day ceremony event photos  |  Benito Martinez’s Veterans Day ceremony event photos

Socorro ISD board trustee surprises Carrasco students at holiday reading

Students at Carrasco Elementary received a special surprise from Socorro Independent School District board trustee Paul Garcia, when he brought a special guest to a holiday reading of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

As Garcia read the holiday classic, the students screamed with delight when the Grinch peeked out from backstage. Garcia enlisted the students’ help to interact with the Grinch and talk about the importance of reading and being kind to one another.

“I’m here today because I wanted to put out a message about how it’s okay to be different,” Garcia said. “The Grinch looks different, but it’s so important that we treat each other kindly regardless, and I think the kids got that message.”

The Grinch told the students his disdain for Christmas but listened to Garcia’s and the Carrasco students’ suggestions about why it is important to be nice, to love one another and to have a big heart. Garcia also pointed out that even though everyone is different, like the green, furry Grinch, we should offer friendship to everyone to create a better world.

The trustee also had to do a few push-ups and sing some songs with the students before the Grinch began to laugh and feel the love prompting him to be kind in return.

“The Grinch didn’t like Christmas, but we learned we just needed to be kind because all he needed was a friend,” said Delilah Fuerte, a second-grade student.

The Grinch, along with school mascot, Big Red, helped Garcia award two Carrasco scholars with gifts and distributed candy canes to the entire second-grade class.

“It’s okay to be different because even if you are different, you are perfect,” second grader Angelize Naylor.

Garcia said he had a great time promoting literacy and hoped it would inspire the students to appreciate the knowledge and enjoyment that one can gain from books.

“I want to start reading a lot,” said Carrasco Elementary student Gustavo Gutierrez. “Seeing Mr. Garcia reading here at our school makes me want to see what else I can learn from reading.”

Click here to view the gallery of Carrasco students at holiday reading event

Socorro ISD announces winners in ‘Show Holiday Spirit’ 2019 winter art contest

Socorro Independent School District students showed their creativity and talent in the 2019 Winter Holiday Art Contest.

More than 175 students districtwide entered this year’s contest.  The artwork featured colorful scenes of the holiday season with a tribute to SISD’s endless opportunities.

Four winners were featured in the Superintendent’s Holiday Open House invitation, social media sites, and will be recognized at the December board meeting.

Winning entries also will be professionally framed and made into a holiday postcard. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the participants for sharing their artistic and holiday spirit!

K-2nd grade: Lauren Oaxaca, kindergarten student from Jane A. Hambric School
3rd-5th grade: Leila Vasquez, fifth-grader from Lujan-Chavez Elementary
6th-8th grade: Kristina Pan, eighth grader from John Drugan School
9th-12th grade: Bella Barraza, 11th-grader from Socorro High School

Socorro ISD jazz band students win Dave Koz scholarship, all-state honor

Two jazz band students in the Socorro Independent School District earned top honors recently for their outstanding performances and their overall excellence as musicians.

Sebastian Ortega, a senior at Americas High School, won the Dave Koz scholarship provided by the El Paso Community Foundation. He was selected for his talent and dedication to jazz, his outstanding performance on saxophone, clarinet and piano, and his academic standing.

“Everyone here at Americas has been so helpful, so I am really thankful to them for all the support they’ve given me throughout my four years,” Ortega said. “Since all the way back to middle school, my teacher Ms. Lynch would encourage me. She would tell me I had what it takes and to pursue my passions.”

Ortega will have the opportunity to meet renowned jazz musician Dave Koz and be recognized on stage at the upcoming Dave Koz Christmas concert at the Plaza Theater.

Pebble Hills High School junior and baritone saxophone player Juan Lara earned a prestigious spot on the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble. He was one of hundreds of students statewide who auditioned for the ensemble.

Lara earned first place regionally and second place in the statewide audition. He said the honor is a result of continuous hard work, which he has strived for over several years.

“Making the state ensemble is a goal I’ve had since starting high school,” Lara said.

He will play with the All-State Jazz Ensemble at a concert at the Texas Music Educators Association conference in February in San Antonio.

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