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Home | Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Socorro ISD student-athletes excel on field, in classroom

Socorro Independent School District’s athletic program continues to develop student-athletes who excel on the playing field and thrive in the classroom.

“Socorro ISD has a long history of success, not only in athletics but in many areas,” said JJ Calderon, SISD director of athletics. “We had a great year and we will continue to work with all of our programs to grow and produce championship athletes and teams.”

In 2018-2019, athletes and teams garnered much success winning numerous district titles and advancing to compete at UIL state competitions.

In addition, 79 seniors earned scholarships to continue their academic and athletic careers at universities and colleges across the country.

The athletes earning scholarships competed in various sports, including football, baseball, basketball, track and field, soccer, volleyball, and tennis. Eleven SISD student-athletes and one student athletic trainer signed with Division 1 schools.

The following athletes signed letters of intent to play at the next level:

Americas High School

  • Teresa Quintana, basketball, signed with to play at Sul Ross University in Alpine.
  • Darell Hernaiz, baseball, signed with Texas Tech University and was drafted to MLB team Baltimore Orioles
  • Erick Martinez, baseball, signed with New Mexico Junior College.
  • Dasen Chisolm, football, signed with Tarleton State University.
  • Tyler Rodriguez, track, signed with University Texas at Arlington.

Eastlake High School

  • Stephanie Sanchez, volleyball, signed with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
  • Aerial Garcia, cross-country, signed with Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
  • Carlos Armendariz, cross-country, signed with South Arkansas Community College.
  • Amaris Chavez, cross-country, signed with University of North Texas.
  • Adrian Talavera, baseball, signed with New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM.
  • Robert Espinoza, wrestling, signed with Schreiner University.
  • Keith Rodriguez, track and field, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Lindsey Martinez, soccer, signed with Wayland Baptist University.
  • Halie Chavira, soccer, signed with McMurry University.
  • Pablo Aguirre, soccer, signed with Otero College.
  • Ozman Ochoa, soccer, signed with West Texas A&M University.
  • Nomar Ogaz, soccer, signed with Northland College Wisconsin.
  • Jorge Garcia, baseball, signed with New Mexico Military Institute.

Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 1
Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 2
Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 3
Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 4

El Dorado High School

  • Sarah Marquez, volleyball, signed with the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, NM.
  • Natalie Gonzalez, soccer, signed with Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
  • Riley Perez, soccer, signed with Our Lady of The Lake University.
  • Irania Acosta, soccer, signed with Sam Houston State University.
  • Amelia Causey, soccer, signed with Seminole State College.
  • Sonia Doziers, soccer, signed with Neosho County Community College in Chanute, KS.
  • Francisco Baltazar, football, signed with Valley City State University in Valley City, ND.
  • Ricky Espinoza, basketball, signed with University of the Southwest.
  • Jeramea Dennison, track and field, signed with Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, IN.

El Dorado High School signing event photos gallery 1
El Dorado High School signing event photos gallery 2

Montwood High School

  • Nadia Kern, volleyball, signed with Trinity University in San Antonio.
  • Robert Loya, baseball, signed with New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM.
  • Triston Johnson, basketball, signed with University of the Southwest in Hobbs, NM.
  • Megan Pennington, track and field, signed with Crown College, St. Bonifacius, MN.
  • Larry Torres, tennis, will sign with Letourneau University in Longview, TX.
  • Joseph Martinez, tennis, signed with University of the Southwest.
  • Tereus Henry, wrestling, signed with Fort Hays State University.
  • Cassy Favela, wrestling, signed with Schreiner University.
  • Sarah Polanco, softball, signed with Hardin-Simmons University.
  • Azul Munoz, softball, signed with the University of Texas Permian Basin.
  • Zoey Lopez, soccer, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Alberto Ortiz, soccer, signed with Otero Junior College in La Junta, CO.
  • Bryan Meraz, soccer, signed with Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN.
  • Julian Sosa, soccer, signed with University of the Southwest.
  • Luis Lopez, soccer, signed with McMurry University in Abilene.
  • Andrew Gomez, soccer, signed with Park University in Gilbert, AZ.
  • Samantha Luna, sports medicine, signed with the University of Texas Permian Basin.
  • Elias Robles, sports medicine, signed with Texas Tech University.
  • Jason Fernandez, football, signed with Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
  • Richard Lara, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • Eric Ramirez, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • David Marentes, football, signed with Trinity International College in Deerfield, IL.
  • Efren Young, football, signed with Beloit College in Beloit, WI.
  • Steve Moreland, football, signed with Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL.
  • Isaiah Aranda, football, signed with Trinity International College in Deerfield, IL.

Montwood High School signing event photos gallery 1
Montwood High School signing event photos gallery 2

Pebble Hills High School

  • Triniti Anderson, volleyball, signed with Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.
  • Nayeli Betancourt, soccer, signing with Texas A&M International in Laredo.
  • Alyssa Muniz, softball, signed with Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, KS.
  • Caleb Gerber, football, signed with the United States Air Force Academy.
  • Mario Carmona, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • C.J. Beanes, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • Noah Mendoza, football, signed with San Diego Mesa College.
  • Fabio Novoa, football, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Ryan Sandoval, baseball, signed with Howard College in Big Spring, TX.
  • Jasper Sanchez, baseball, signed with Otero Junior College in La Junta, CO.

Pebble Hills High School signing event photos gallery 1
Pebble Hills High School signing event photos gallery 2

Socorro High School

  • Rebecca Lopez, softball, signed with El Paso Community College.
  • Jose Enriquez, baseball, signed with PIMA Junior College in AZ.
  • Jonathan Rios, baseball, signed with Cochise JC in Douglas, AZ.
  • Rodrigo Christian Arras, baseball, signed with Park University in Gilbert, AZ.
  • Mario Luna, cross-country, signed with University of Texas Permian Basin.
  • Sebastian Mendoza, track and field, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • Misael Ortiz, track and field, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.

Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 1
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 2
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 3
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 4
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 5


SISD -TV News coverage video

Dual Language Academy set to open for 2019-20 school year

The Socorro Independent School District is gearing up for a new year at the new Dual Language Academy/Academia de Dos Idiomas.

“Opening this academy is a dream come true,” said Lucia Borrego, SISD chief academic officer. “It took a lot of effort and team work to get it going. None of this would be possible without the vision and support of our Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza, our board of trustees, cabinet members, and the awesome principals, teachers and staff. Their passion is incredible.”

The Dual Language Academy is opening for the 2019-20 school year at Myrtle Cooper Elementary, 1515 Rebecca Ann Dr, and at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary, 13777 Paseo del Este.

Students will follow a 50:50 instruction model with 50 percent of the learning time in English, and 50 percent in Spanish.

The district selected its first Dual Language Academy cohort at a lottery event on April 26. The program will welcome two sections of kindergarten and first-grade students at each school.

To prepare for a successful first year, teachers and staff engaged in plenty of professional development, and students participated in a summer bridge camp to ensure a smooth transition into the program.

“Our students, teachers, and families are very excited about the Dual Language Academy and we are looking forward to a great year,” said Juan Berumen, the instructional officer for the Dual Language Academy.

“Our summer bridge camp helped our students get comfortable with the new setting, learning the new language in preparation for the first day of school.”

Being a dual language learner helps students become bilingual, biliterate and more culturally aware.

“My son really enjoyed the camp,” said Leslie Covarrubias, a parent of a first-grade student at Myrtle Cooper. “I like that they are teaching him proper Spanish, and after the camp, I’ve even heard him singing Spanish songs.”

Teachers enjoyed the camp, too, and are excited to welcome their students on the first day of school, July 29.

“This is such a great program and it will better serve our students and community,” said Fatima Chavez, a dual language teacher at Dr. Sue A. Shook. “

To learn more about SISD’s Dual Language Academy, visit the website.

Socorro ISD celebrates success of Texas ACE, partnership with YWCA

The Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region, recently celebrated a succesful first year in the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program.

“We have partnered with YWCA to create a unique afterschool program that brings endless opportunities to our students and strengthens our community,” said Lucia Borrego, chief academic officer. “When we form community partnerships it benefits humanity as a whole.”

Texas ACE program provides more than 1,200 students in grades PreK-8 free Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) opportunities afterschool, during intersession, and summers.

SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., board members, and administrators, as well as Dr. Sylvia Acosta, CEO of YWCA, her board of directors, and leadership staff, celebrated the partnership with a special ceremony.

“We are so thankful for the strong partnership we have with SISD,” Acosta said.

“The program helps students access quality afterschool programs in a fun way. You can see the excitement in their eyes when they are learning, and now they’re talking about going to college, becoming scientists, and doing big things in their lives.”

Texas ACE is funded through an annual $1.5 million 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Texas Education Agency.

Team SISD is one of 51 entities in the state to earn the grant and the only school district in the region to be eligible for four more years of grant funding.

“This partnership has gone above and beyond for our kids,” said Alejandro Olvera, principal at Ernesto Serna School. “Our students are in a safe environment where they learn and have fun with their study groups. By the time their parents pick them up, they don’t want to go.

Texas ACE is offered at Campestre, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, Escontrias and Rojas elementary schools; Escontrias Early Childhood Center; Desert Wind and Ernesto Serna K-8 schools; and Salvador H. Sanchez and Socorro middle schools.

Child Nutrition Services teams awarded protective gear through CAS grant

The Socorro Independent School District continues to improve the operation of Child Nutrition Services by providing its employees protective gear and equipment.

The SISD Human Resources and Risk Management departments recently presented all Team SISD cafeteria teams with new freezer jackets through a $5,835 grant by Claim Administrative Services.

“Safety has always been the number one priority in the Socorro Independent School District,” said Mario Carmona, SISD director of benefits. “Our cafeteria workers are valued employees who play an important role in the success of our students. The jackets will provide a barrier between our employees and the elements. We want to ensure that they are safe and healthy at all times.”

Cafeteria workers serve breakfast, lunch, snacks, and suppers to SISD children during the school year and in the summer; a job that requires employees to experience drastic temperature changes throughout the day.

“We work in extreme temperatures and often have to go into the freezer or the coolers to get products out,” said Shelley Chenausky, director of child nutrition services.  “We were so excited that our employees received these jackets. They will positively impact our workers every single day.”

SISD cafeteria freezers are chilled to -10 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food safe and inactivate bacteria or mold.

“These jackets were needed because the freezers get really cold,” said Luis Gaytan, a cafeteria manager at SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School and Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary. “We can use the jackets to take things out and into the freezer, and during inclement weather to take out the trash.”

In previous years, CNS employees also have received special cashier mats, aprons, goggles, gloves and other personal protective equipment to continue promoting safety and increase their wellness.

“It’s the little things that make a difference,” Chenausky said. “Our team is really grateful to receive these items. It keeps them protected and shows them that we care about their safety and their wellbeing.”

Gaytan agrees.

“It’s really awesome that they did this for us,” he said. “It shows they are thinking about us and that food services is an important part of the district.”

To view CNS CAS grant event photos, click here.

VASSP athletes celebrated after successful track and field season

The Socorro Independent School District’s Volunteer After School Sports Program (VASSP) completed another successful track and field season and had its championship games in May.

“This is our son’s first sport so he really has enjoyed it,” said Omar Uribe, a parent at Purple Heart Elementary School. “This program has taught him about teamwork and comradery, and it’s also disciplined him to workout out on a daily basis.”

More than 1,000 students in grades Pre-K through sixth grade participated in the program. The athletes competed in various events, such as the 50 and 100-meter dash, shot put, discus, long jump, 4×100 relay and the 400 and 800-meter runs.

VASSP is a co-ed intramural sports and community outreach program designed to provide after-school physical activity for students, increase volunteer parental involvement, and help students attain more interest in their school grades.

“I was very excited to run and be a part of the track and field team at my school,” said Alexia Davila, a second-grade student at Elfida P. Chavez Elementary. “This is the third time we play in the championships. We come back every year because track makes us strong and gives us more energy.”

The first place track and field VASSP champions were James P. Butler Elementary in the junior division, and John Drugan School in the senior division. Second place winners were from Purple Heart, junior division, and James P. Butler, senior division, and third place teams were from Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco, junior division, and Lujan-Chavez, senior division.

“I’m very proud of my team and excited that we won first place,” said Coach Francisco Torres. “The kids love the sport and they are very resilient. They always show up to practice and work hard.”

Click here to learn more about the SISD VASSP program.  To complete the SISD online volunteer registration form click on the link below.

SISD Volunteer Application

To view the gallery of VASSP event, click here.

Socorro ISD’s Cactus Trails Elementary community meets at open house

Socorro Independent School District’s newest elementary campus, Cactus Trails, had an open house meeting to prepare for July 29, the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.

Cactus Trails, home of the Diamondbacks, will serve some 900 students from Pre-K to 5th grade in the Pebble Hills feeder area.

“Our Cactus Trails open house was a huge success,” said Leslie Thomas, the school principal. “The Pebble Hills auditorium was filled, and the energy and excitement from our families was certainly contagious. I can’t wait to open the doors of our new state of the art facility!”

The Cactus Trails community was happy to meet faculty and staff, and eager to explore their new campus through a virtual tour.

Parents and students were able to see the school’s flexible and collaborative learning spaces, its unique safety features, and the outside learning amphitheater.

“We’ve seen the school being built from the ground up and we are definitely excited about what is to come,” said Gabriela Holguin, a future Cactus Trails parent. “I like the goals that are set in place, and the standards. We are also excited about all the programs the new school will have to offer. I’m looking forward to my daughter participating in sports, in reading and math activities, and in art class, too.”

The meeting provided parents information about special programs, transportation, child nutrition services, and more.

In addition, future Diamondbacks debuted the school uniforms with a fashion show.

“The feeling in here is very electric,” said Ziolet Estinoze, a special education teacher. “I know it is going to be an amazing campus. The teachers are great and you can tell that everyone is very excited about getting to know each other.”

To learn more about Cactus Trails Elementary, visit the school website.  Click here to view Cactus Trails open house event photos.

Socorro ISD’s WIN Academy teachers recognized at annual gala

The Socorro Independent School District honored its 82 WIN Academy teachers at the 2018-2019 end-of-year celebration gala.

The WIN Academy is a unique program in SISD that provides students, who struggle in a traditional educational setting, more learning time via nine-hour school days Monday-Thursday, a double dose of reading and math, digital devices and curriculum, and personalized learning with a teacher who loops with them for three years.

“We are super excited to celebrate and honor the work of our WIN teachers,” said Lucia Borrego, chief academic officer. “There are so many reasons WIN teachers are special. They work hard, put in the time and energy, and their tenacity and perseverance is outstanding.”

To begin the celebration, Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., thanked WIN teachers for their commitment to students. Teachers then enjoyed a sit-down dinner and a musical performance by Socorro Middle School student Ivy Gonzalez.

“It’s an honor to work with WIN students and give back to the community,” said Crystal Soto, a WIN Academy teacher at Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School. “I am able to relate to my students because I come from a low socio-economic background, and I had a disability when I was growing up. My teachers really helped me and now I’m able to do the same. We work hard, have an ‘I can do it’ attitude, and never give up.”

The WIN Academy is helping students build confidence and make gains in reading and math.

“We are not just their teachers, we are also their mentors,” Soto said.

“It’s been amazing building relationships with our kids, and being someone they can look up to. We want to be the person that years later they come back to and ask for a letter of recommendation.”

To conclude the gala, WIN teachers were presented an award as a small token of appreciation.

“We are really grateful for our WIN teachers because they truly believe in the kids,” Borrego said. “They will roll up their sleeves to help them be successful.”

The WIN Academy is offered at 19 campuses across the district; Campestre, Escontrias, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, James P. Butler, Lujan-Chavez, Mission Ridge, Purple Heart, Robert R. Rojas, and Sierra Vista elementary schools; Bill Sybert, Desert Wind, Ernesto Serna and Jane A. Hambric K-8 schools; Capt. Walter E. Clarke, Salvador H. Sanchez, Socorro, and Sun Ridge middle schools; and Socorro High School.

WIN Gala event photos

Socorro ISD campuses named to 2018-2019 Honor Roll by ERP

Eight schools in the Socorro Independent School District were named to the 2018-2019 Honor Roll for high achievement in student success by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP).

“It is an honor to have our schools recognized for high student performance,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “This is another notable achievement that confirms our commitment and success in ensuring all our students are prepared for college, careers, and life. I congratulate our teachers, students, support staff, and administrators at these campuses for their tireless efforts to achieve academic excellence.”

The SISD schools named to the honor roll are Col. John O Ensor Middle, Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary, Elfida P. Chavez Elementary, James P. Butler Elementary, John Drugan School, Loma Verde Elementary, Mission Early College High and Myrtle Cooper Elementary.

The 2018 – 2019 Honor Roll is developed by ERP, a nonprofit organization that applies data science to help improve student outcomes and career readiness. ERP maintains the nation’s largest database on student achievement and utilizes this data to identify higher-performing schools and districts.

Schools that receive the Honor Roll distinction have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and a reduction in achievement gaps among student populations.

“The Honor Roll is the only school and district recognition program in Texas based solely on objective achievement data,” said Marilyn Reznick, ERP board chair. “Our goal is to guide other educators to data-informed best practices for raising student achievement.”

Through national research, the ERP has identified a common set of success factors in higher-performing Honor Roll schools and districts. These include clear, specific learning objectives aligned to college and career readiness, along with:

  • Evidence-based instructional practices
  • A defined system-wide mission of college and career readiness for all students
  • An investment in human capital
  • Maintenance of data and assessment systems to monitor school and student performance
  • Resources and guidance to support schools’ efforts in preparing all students for college and career

“ERP is all about improving educational equity and promoting career readiness for all students, regardless of their family income, background or ZIP code,” said James Lanich, Ph.D., ERP president and CEO.

“These Honor Roll schools and districts are living proof that our students can succeed when schools are committed to removing educational obstacles and accelerating student success. By focusing attention on these bright spots among our schools, we hope to change the conversation from ‘what’s wrong’ to ‘what’s working,’ and encourage others to replicate their success.”

For high schools, the Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness.  The ERP is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and districts that are improving student outcomes.

Socorro ISD transportation drivers win regional Road-eo safety contest

Socorro Independent School District transportation employees earned top honors in the 2019 Region 19 School Bus Road-eo, a safety competition which tests school bus drivers on their transportation knowledge and driving abilities.

The Region 19 Road-eo winners are competed against 35 school bus drivers in the transit and conventional divisions.

The drivers who won in the transit division are: Alejandro Garcia, first place; Laura Bustillos, second place; Cesar Garcia, third place; and Lydia Valenzuela, fourth place. The winners in the conventional division are: Rosario Muñoz, first place; and David Rios, third place.

“Placing in the Road-eo contest is a huge accomplishment,” said Rito A. Meza, director of SISD transportation. “I’m so proud of these drivers because it takes a lot of courage and dedication to go out and compete.”

Drivers must have a perfect attendance record and a clean citation and accident report to compete in the Road-eo. This event allows school bus drivers to get behind the wheel, exhibit their skills and dedication to their work.

“I am so happy to have won because competing in the Road-eo is a very challenging task,” Garcia said. “The judges are looking at every one of our moves but it makes us better drivers. We observe everything and take every precaution for the safety of the students.”

Garcia, who has advanced to the state contest three times before, won first place in the transit division for his ability to maneuver the flat front bus through a timed obstacle course that was tight in space.

The SISD driver has been a member of the transportation team for 11 years.

Muñoz had the highest score in the conventional school bus division. Muñoz also said participating in the Road-eo made her a better driver.

“This is the first time I win the award and I’m so proud of myself,” she said. “We spend about 15 hours on the bus and our priority is always making sure students are safe. We have to think fast and be ready for any situation like students crossing streets, cars who drive fast and don’t use their signal lights, and measuring the distance of objects near the bus.”

The SISD drivers who finished first through third place will go on to compete against the best school bus drivers in Texas June 28-29 at the state contest.

“I know they will do great,” Meza said. “They are an elite group of employees who are always looking to improve their work skill and be a motivation for others.”

Socorro ISD’s Young writers’ talent featured in annual literary anthology

The Socorro Independent School District recently recognized 68 students in grades K-12 whose work was published at the 2019 SISD Literary Anthology celebration.

The event, featured first-place winners, their families, district administrators, staff, and special guest authors Elizabeth Zamarripa-Lopez and Eleanor Coldwell.

“The Literary Anthology luncheon is a wonderful event because we honor the amazing writers in our school district,” said Yvonne Dominguez, instructional officer for English Language Arts.

“The event is now in its 32nd year and we look forward to continuing this tradition because it a great way for students to express themselves.”

More than 1,000 pieces of writing were submitted for judging. Some 100 adjudicators then reviewed the essays, stories, and poems, and selected first, second and third place entries.

Each SISD school was represented in the anthology.

“I feel so accomplished and proud to have been published in the anthology,” said Madalyn Carbajal, a fourth grader at Loma Verde. “Writing this was a lot of fun. I wrote about my experience in Cancun and how they have really cool resorts and pools. When I’m older I may decide to write and illustrate my own book.”

Coldwell, author of Pan Dulce and a former SISD administrator, encouraged the young writers to harness their creative talents and jot down their thoughts in a journal every day.

“Writing keeps us connected to our past,” she said. “Get a three-ring binder or a journal and write something in it every day. Fill it with memories because you will cherish that for the rest of your lives.”

Nicole Reyes, a student at Chester E. Jordan Elementary, plans to do as Coldwell said and document special moments and her thoughts. The 11-year-old writer said her next piece will be published on the internet.

“I want to be a blogger and write about self-love and confidence,” Reyes said.

“For my anthology, I wrote about the benefits of wearing school uniforms. Students don’t have to think about what they are going to wear, or not having expensive clothes because uniforms make us equal. They help us academically and emotionally.”

Each of the 2019 winners were presented an award and a copy of the anthology. The next SISD anthology will be published in May 2020.

El Dorado art teacher wins Texas Senate District 29 Environmental Excellence Award

El Dorado High School art teacher Candace Printz, well-known for promoting environmental awareness and proactive recycling efforts through her It’s Your World & Green Hope nonprofits, won an Environmental Excellence Award at the first-ever Texas Senate District 29 Environmental Excellence Recognition.

“I feel great that the years we have put into this program are now gaining attention at the local and state level because it’s going to improve the world we live in,” Printz said. “I’m also pleased that more organizations are creating programs that acknowledge and praise groups that are trying to make positive environmental change.”

The Environmental Excellence awards program was initiated by Senator José Rodríguez’ Environment Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department.

The program helps identify, articulate and strengthen a regional culture of conservation, preservation and best practices for the environment.

Printz launched the It’s Your World project in 2015 by organizing desert clean ups and making artwork from the debris that was collected. The former school club of 60 students has evolved into Green Hope Project, a non-profit organization that furthers education, the arts and environmentalism through work with scientists and engineers.

“We want to work with engineers and scientists to create solutions to the overabundance of plastic that is clogging our oceans and landfills,” she said. “We also want to re-purpose materials for housings, playgrounds, and artwork to decrease the amount of items that are discarded.”

Karl Rimkus, chairman of the EAC and Operations Manager for the El Paso Environmental Services Department said they were happy to recognize worthy endeavors in the advancement of environmental issues in our community.

“For the first time we will be able to not only highlight environmental projects worthy of recognition, but will maintain an archive of these projects for future reference and inspiration,” Rimkus said.

The EAC suggests legislation and engages in discussions that empower the community to have a role in policy change in regard to environmental affairs.

“This local, regional, and state attention is important to us because we want to continue this momentum and propel this project to higher levels,” Printz said.

The honor was awarded in April.

Socorro ISD opens doors to students from across El Paso region

Thanks to a vote by the Socorro ISD Board of Trustees, the region’s second-largest school district has opened their doors to students from around the Borderland.

The new open enrollment policy was approved by the SISD Board of Trustees at a special board meeting on June 4 and will take effect immediately so that students may begin enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year.

“In order to provide more students with endless opportunities for success, the Socorro Independent School District now will accept out-of-district transfer students in its schools,’ SISD officials shared via a news release.

With the vote, students who live outside of SISD boundaries now may enroll at SISD elementary, PK-8, middle, and high schools where space is available, among the district’s 49 schools.

“SISD welcomes parents and students from across El Paso County to find out why Team SISD is the right choice for endless opportunities! Students in the entire region can now experience the outstanding education provided in Team SISD, including free college classes available at every high school, free Pre-K for all four-year-olds, advanced academic academies, outstanding Career and Technical Education, championship athletics, award-winning fine arts, innovative WIN Academy, state-of-the-art technology, and world-class facilities,” district officials added.

For more information, visit the SISD website; for online application form, click here.

Socorro ISD celebrates families, reading in Latino Family Literacy Program

The Socorro Independent School District honored parents who participated in the sixth annual Latino Family Literacy program at an end-of-year celebration.

The event featured Ernest Mejia, a son of Mexican immigrants who talked about his life and obstacles he had to overcome to be successful.

Guests also enjoyed refreshments and entertainment by Socorro High School’s mariachi and folklorico dancers from Mission Ridge Elementary.

“We had a great time at the end-of-year celebration,” said Terry Saldaña, bilingual instructional specialist and event coordinator. “Our parents love this program because it benefits their child as well as themselves.”

More than 200 parents in 22 schools participated in the Latino Family Literacy program during the 2018-19 school year.

The program helps SISD families of English Language Learners bond and build routines at home that improve literacy and vocabulary.

Through the literacy program, families learn about Latino social and cultural customs and embrace English and Spanish literacy. Parents say reading in two languages has increased their children’s proficiency in speech and reading.

“My child could understand Spanish but did not speak it or read it very well,” said Gabriela Tarango, a parent at Bill Sybert School.

“Now that we joined this program she’s gotten a lot better. I like that we get to build a lot of memories with our children, and the books are so interesting. Our children learn about two cultures, our history, and they learn a lot of new words.”

At the celebration, parents were given a free book to continue reading and engaging with their children at home.

“The books are very interesting because they teach students about traditions and legends,” said Leticia Torres, a teacher at Loma Verde Elementary. If we don’t teach them to our children, they may be forgotten.”

Sgt. Roberto Ituarte, Dr. Sue A. Shook, Hueco, and Escontrias elementary schools had many families participate in the program this school year.

“The word about Latino Family Literacy is getting out,” Saldaña said. “We had a lot more participation this year and we are still growing.”

Socorro ISD announces Summer Camps for kids

On Monday, officials with Socorro ISD released their roster of summer camp opportunities for students of all ages during the summer.

The SISD summer camp opportunities range from sports to learning camps, and robotics to police services.  For a detailed description of each and sign up information, select the camp and its link below.

Fine Arts Summer Camp
SISD’s Department of Fine Arts will have a Visual Arts Camp from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 3-7 and June 10-14. The camp is free for students ages 8 through 10. The camp will be offered at three sites: Eastlake High School, Pebble Hills High School, and Socorro High School. Each location is limited to 40 students. Lunch will be provided. To register, scan the QR code in the flyer link below. For more information, contact the Fine Arts Department by phone at 915-937-0435 or by email at
Fine Arts Summer Camp Flyer

Century Texas ACE Afterschool Program summer learning camps
The 21st Century Texas ACE Afterschool Program will host its first ever summer learning camps June 3 -28 at nine SISD campuses. The camps are for students enrolled at Campestre, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, Robert R. Rojas, Escontrias Elementary and the Early childhood Center, Desert Wind and Ernesto Serna K-8 schools, and Salvador H. Sanchez and Socorro middle schools.

Camps will be from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Campers will participate in fun and academically engaging activities, such as RoboLab, Xtreme gamers, little chefs, puppet masters, top chefs, Be-YOU-tiful fashion design, and more. Space is limited. To register, contact the campus ACE Site Coordinator.

Pebble Hills Softball Camp
Pebble Hills High School will have a softball camp from 8:30 to 11 a.m. June 4-6 for students ages 5-13. The cost for early registration is $30. Early registration is open now through May 24. The camp cost will be $35 the day of camp. Price includes a camp T-shirt. Players should bring their own glove, cleats, gear and water bottle.

Tennis Camp at Americas High School
A United States National Junior Tennis League tennis camp will be June 3-28 at Americas High School. The cost of the camp is $20 and includes a T-shirt. Registration is every Monday at Americas High School. Camp times are from 8 to 9 a.m. for students ages 5-9; from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. for students ages 10-13; and from 10:20  to 11:30 a.m. for high school students. For more information, contact Armando Gallego at 915-238-8939 or by email at

SISD Police Services Super School
SISD Police Services will host Super School from 9 to 11 a.m. June 10-14. Students from all school districts, ages 5 to 11, are welcome. The school will be at four locations: Benito Martinez Elementary, Mission Ridge Elementary, Hueco Elementary, and Puentes Middle School. Students will engage in fun activities and learn important safety tips. For more information, call SISD Police Services at 937-4357.
Super School Summer Program Flyer

Socorro High School Girls Basketball Camp
Socorro High School will have a basketball camp from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 10-12 for girls in grades fifth through eighth. The camp cost is $25. For more information, contact Coach Gonzalez at 915-328-4699 or Coach Vela at 915-843-9660.  Socorro High School Girls Basketball Camp Flyer

Socorro High School Football Camp
Socorro High School will have a football camp from 9 to 11 a.m. June 12-14 for girls and boys in kindergarten through eighth grade. The camp fee is $25 and includes a t-shirt, snacks for the first two days, and lunch on the last day. To register, contact Coach Gilbert Mena at  Socorro High School Football Camp Flyer

Americas High School Baseball Camp
The Americas High School Baseball Camp will be from 9 – 11:30 a.m. June 12 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 13 at the school. The camp cost is $25 for one day and $50 for two days and will include a camp T-shirt and a player evaluation. Team and family rates are available. Registration will be at 8 a.m. on June 12. Lunch will be provided both days from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 920-5148 or email  Americas High School Baseball Camp

Montwood High School Basketball Camp
Montwood High School will have a basketball camp from 8:30–12: 30 p.m. June 17-20 for students ages 7-15. The camp cost is $65 and includes a t-shirt, awards, prizes and a camp picture. Cash or check accepted, made payable to Montwood High School. For more information, contact Coach Tucker by phone at 927-921-6271 or by email at

Socorro High School Basketball Camp
Socorro High School will have a basketball camp from 5 to 7 p.m. June 18-20 for boys and girls in third through eighth grade. The cost of the camp is $25 and includes a t-shirt, and pizza on the last night of the camp. Cash or checks only, made payable to Socorro Boys Basketball. For more information, contact Tim McNally at 915-726-2901, Robert Facio at 915-422-4206, or Edward Martinez at 915-204-9716. Socorro High School Basketball Camp Flyer

Pebble Hills Basketball Camp
Pebble Hills High School will have a basketball camp from 9 to 11 a.m. July 9-12 for students in grades 3-9. The camp cost is $50. Pre-registration will take place on June 25 and 27.

El Dorado Volleyball Camps
El Dorado High School will have two co-ed volleyball camps June 17-20. A camp for intermediate players in grades 6-8 will be from 9 to 11 a.m. The Lil Aztec camp for grades 2-5 will be from 11:20 a.m. to 1 p.m. The camp cost is $50.

The Great Khalid Foundation honors SISD seniors with scholarships

Three Socorro Independent School District seniors were recently surprised with a $10,000 scholarship from The Great Khalid Foundation.

The foundation is the SISD alumnus’ non-profit organization created to give back to the families in the El Paso community.

Steven Phan from Montwood High School, Celeste Barron from El Dorado, and Halie Chavira from Eastlake were the first recipients of the foundation’s Performing Arts Scholarships.

The students were presented the awards by Linda Wolfe, the foundation’s executive director and Khalid’s mother.

“We are excited that our first initiative as a formal organization is providing educational support for talented students in our community that dream of sharing their gifts with the world,” Wolfe said. “Our goal is to alleviate some of the financial burden on students and their families so they can go out and do great things with their creative gifts. It’s an honor to be a part of their journey as artists.”

The three surprise announcements were made at school assemblies in the presence of family and friends. The winners graciously accepted the awards and thanked the foundation, parents, and teachers for their support.

“My parents always told me, ‘if you want something, do it,’ and I really wanted this,” Chavira said. “I was not a good guitar player in the beginning but I practiced a lot. I play my guitar before school, during lunch, and after I do my homework. I’m always trying to learn new songs, chords and strum patterns to improve myself.”

Winning the scholarship was the first of two surprises. The aspiring artists also received a personal shout-out video from Khalid himself.

“I started crying when I saw the video,” Barron said. “I am really appreciative of them because this was such an amazing thing to do … tohelp the arts and support young musicians by helping us pay for college so we can fulfill our dreams.”

The Great Khalid Foundation’s Performing Arts Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship awarded to high school seniors pursuing higher education in a performing arts program, according to the foundation’s press release.

Applicants submitted transcripts to show their academic achievements, wrote essays explaining what they hope to become, and a performance video showcasing their artistic talents.

“I submitted a piece by Pyotr Tchaikovsky that had a sentimental approach,” Phan said. “The composer found refuge in the music, and that really spoke to me. My goal is to take my music for people in dark corners who need light and need hope.”

Phan was the first student surprised with the award. The French horn player plans to study music at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Barron, a viola player, will study music education at the University of Texas at El Paso and play in the UTEP Symphony Orchestra. Chavira will attend McMurry University and hopes to join the music production industry and compose her own music.

Amy’s Ambassadorship
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