To listen your favorite high school team – on any game night – head on over to TownTalk Sports El Paso.
Simply click the link and you’ll be able to listen to your team on any web-enabled device.
Plus you’ll be able to keep up with all the scores and all the photos from around the area via our exclusive EPHP High School Scoreboard & More.
And for a complete listing of all the area’s high schools, along with interviews, schedules and photos, don’t forget to check out our first-ever
Week 8 Broadcast Schedule
Residents and businesses are invited to celebrate the fall with Team SISD by attending the 2018 campus festivals.
The events include food, fun, information and games; and are being held throughout the district.
Paso Del Norte School
Paso Del Norte School will have its fall festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 12300 Tierra Este. The festival will include student entertainment, costume contest, haunted house, book fair, family games, and holiday arts and crafts. Food and drinks also will be available. Vendor spaces are limited, the cost per table is $30.
For more information, contact Martha Melendez or Hazel Valverde at 915-937-6200.
SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School
SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School will have a fall carnival from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. There will be food, games, vendors, and a haunted house. Tickets will be sold at the door for $1. For more information, call 937-9200.
Mission Early College High School
The Business Professionals of America organization at Mission Early College High School will have its Phoenix Fright Night from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 10700 Gateway Blvd. Admission is $2.
The event will feature an escape room, haunted house, costume contest, games and other fun. Music and food also will be available. For more information, call 937-1200.
Mission Early College High School flyer
Sun Ridge Middle School
Sun Ridge Middle School will have a fall festival from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 2210 Sun Country. The event will include a haunted house, costume contest, food, drinks and games. Tickets are $1 each. For more information, call 937-6600.
Vista Del Sol Elementary School
Vista Del Sol Elementary will have a fall festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 11851 Vista Del Sol Dr. The event will include folklorico performances, cupcake decorating, face painting and more. Vendor tables are available for $20. For more information, call 937-7500.
O’Shea Keleher Elementary School
O’Shea Keleher Elementary will have a fall festival from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 1800 Leroy Bonse Dr. The fun filled family night will include food, drinks, goodies, a book fair, entertainment, costume contest, and more.
Vendor tables are available for $25. Space and tables are limited. To reserve your table, contact Maribel Rodriguez at 937-7204 or 937-7200.
O’Shea Keleher Elementary School Fall Festival Flyer
Pebble Hills High School
Pebble Hills High School will have its fall festival from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the school courtyard. The event will feature a haunted house, costume contest, carnival games, food and pet adoptions.
Purple Heart Elementary School
Purple Heart Elementary will have a Family and Community Fall Festival from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 14400 GR Campuzano Drive. The festival will include a haunted house, family games, activities, tasty treats, creepy critters, jumping balloons, and spooktacular fun! Vendor spaces are available for $25.
Contact Deborah Luevanos at 915-938-2212 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William D. Slider Middle School
William D. Slider Middle School will have a fall festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Vendor tables will be available for $20. Click on the flyer below for more information or call 937-5400.
William D. Slider Fall Festival Flyer
The annual Socorro ISD Father-Son Conference, “Building Ties,” returns for its 9th year this weekend at Americas High School.
District officials say the conference is geared toward all sixth- through 12th-grade boys and their father or a father figure, and purpose of the conference is to help strengthen the bond between a parent and his child.
The conference will run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. September 29 at Americas High School (12101 Pellicano Drive) and will allow attendees to see the programs and opportunities available to students at SISD.
The agenda will include early college programs, advanced academic academies, college and career opportunities, cyberbullying, and self-esteem and self-confidence workshops. The event also will feature games and team building activities.
During the conference, the district’s Police Services, Emergency Management department and Guidance and Counseling will have a school safety presentation to share the district’s safety procedures and emergency operations.
Conference goers also will receive valuable information on how to help Keep SISD Safe, Emergency Operations Plan, Standard Response Protocol (SRP), mental health safety protocols, and other safety activities.
In addition, safety protocols for lockout, evacuation, lockdown, shelter, and hold will be discussed. Everyone will be reminded that if they “hear something, see something, or know something, to say something” or click on the red Keep SISD Safe tab.
Free breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. and free lunch at noon. Canned goods and non-perishable food donations, to benefit those in need, will be accepted.
To register, visit the district website or in person at any SISD campus with the communities in school or campus liaisons. For more information, interested residents can contact Fernie Vasquez at (915) 937-1609 or email@example.com or Jesse Smith at (915) 937-2835 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Dennis Garcia, who spoke to Ernesto Serna School’s eighth-graders about a family member’s rise to the high levels of the U.S. government, wants students to plan for their future and understand there are no barriers that cannot be overcome.
Garcia wrote “Marine, Public Servant, Kansan: The Life of Ernest Garcia” about his cousin, the grandson of Mexican immigrant field laborers, who went from a being a poor student in elementary and high school to become the first Hispanic sergeant of arms for the United States Senate.
Ernest Garcia escorted President Ronald Reagan to the podium to deliver the State of the Union address in 1986.
Ernest Garcia rose to be a lieutenant colonel in the Marines before retiring, traveled around the world, met with Pope John Paul, and worked with many prominent politicians.
“I wanted to relay the inspiring and amazing story of my cousin’s life and his experiences,” Dennis Garcia said. “I am using those experiences to encourage and inspire students to put forth an effort and improve their efforts to concentrate of their students. Even though they are just in the eighth grade, I wanted to let them know they are just starting and they have to work hard.”
“We never had the honor and the privilege of having a published author at our campus, I think, especially for the middle school kids,” Olvera said. “So, I thought this was a good opportunity for them. For them, it really changes the way they think. It’s not just coming from the teacher or principal. It’s coming from somebody that has lived life. Somebody that knows of other people’s struggles and the importance of school.”
Ernesto Serna was the first school on Dennis Garcia’s book tour. He also had a book signing at a Las Cruces Barnes & Noble that same day.
“I chose El Paso because my family’s roots and their ultimate success went through El Paso,” Garcia said. “This was their first step in the United States. My great grandfather is buried in Concordia Cemetery. I thought this would be a good place to begin trying to build inspiration with the book and encouragement with the kids.”
Olvera loved the immigrant story and the struggles Ernie Garcia overcame. How the Kansas-native didn’t prioritize school, disregarded his grades and almost missed his opportunity for success. He wanted students to understand the endless opportunities afforded to them at school.
“His message is very loud and clear,” Olvera said. “He basically told our eighth graders ‘you’re going to be in high school so prioritize your school work because you will open all these opportunities for your life. Start now. You have to work hard. You have to be dedicated and never give up. You need to take advantage, so that you can have those opportunities as you go through high school and college.’ I think it really makes our kids think and process the importance of planning now. How your day of instruction and your goal setting starts today.”
English Language Arts and Reading teacher Monica Elizondo agreed. She wanted her students to learn to value their education and for the story to, especially, reach those youngsters that don’t like school or claimed to not like it.
“At first, the students were shocked,” Elizondo said. “I tried my best to read their faces to no avail. They were very quiet even throughout the day, or so I thought, but my colleagues later informed me that the students enjoyed the presentation and talked about it amongst themselves and to the rest of their eighth-grade class. Mr. Olvera also informed me that Mr. Garcia’s presentation had been the topic of conversation during lunch. I always emphasize to my students the value of an education but hearing it from someone who they have never met and who has published a book made a huge impact.”
Eighth grader, Alan Pinal, who earned a free autographed book from Garcia for answering history questions, got the message. He was fascinated with the lecture and hopes to be either a police officer or lawyer.
“I liked that his cousin was able to meet so many famous people like President Reagan,” Pinal said. “I know I have to work hard to get my dreams. I know I can’t slack off and also have too much fun in high school.”
His classmate, Miguel Montoya, said listening to Garcia tell his cousin’s story was amazing.
“It made me think,” Montoya said. “I really want to be a doctor. I’m going to pass all my grades and keep going. I am never giving up.”
It was because students like those eighth-graders that Dennis Garcia decided to write the book about his cousin, Ernest Garcia.
“As a teacher, I wanted to make a difference to the change the situation that many students are in right now,” Garcia said. “I was there, so I wanted them to see first-hand they, too, can be successful. This is one formula for what they want to achieve in life. They can follow it or choose their own.”
It was a state line rivalry game at Socorro ISD’s SAC as the Knights from Onate High in Las Cruces took I-10 to take on the homestanding Americas Trailblazers.
While it was close at the half, the Trailblazers came out of the locker room on fire, and the ‘Blazer defense held the Knights to only 13 points en route to a 35-13 win.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game in tonight’s “Story in Many Pics”
Congratulations to the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) community for earning the Postsecondary Readiness Distinction Designation, the only distinction awarded at the district level, in the latest Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability ratings.
The distinction considers factors such as student performance in elementary, middle, and high school; graduation rates; participation in college readiness assessments such as ACT/SAT, advanced placement, and IB examinations; and graduates in Career and Technical Education as well as those identified as college, career, and military ready.
I’m very proud to report SISD is the largest school district in Texas and one of only three districts among the largest fifty school districts in the state to earn the coveted postsecondary readiness distinction.
With this distinction, TEA confirmed the commitment SISD has made to College and Career Readiness at all grade levels.
Our outstanding students, teachers, parents, board members, and entire staff have demonstrated exceptional teamwork, dedication, and relentless pursuit of academic excellence that led to this significant distinction along with our district’s overall grade of 88.
Make no mistake about it!
The data clearly shows SISD is one of the TOP school districts in Texas.
The news gets even better for SISD students.
In 2006, SISD only had one early college high school, which was Mission Early College High School. In the past three years, SISD opened early colleges at Socorro, Montwood, and Americas High Schools.
TEA recently informed our district that we are approved to begin the planning for an early college program at El Dorado, Eastlake, and Pebble Hills High Schools.
The addition of three more early college programs will make SISD the first district in Region 19, and one of only a few school districts in the state, to offer an early college at every comprehensive high school within the district.
Early College High Schools provide students the opportunity to graduate with 60+ free college credit hours and an associate’s degree before they leave high school.
Absolutely nothing says a student is ready for college better than a student actually attending college while enrolled in high school.
Parents may not be aware the rising costs of college tuition are turning many students’ dreams of going to college into a nightmare.
According to a Houston Chronicle article titled, College Tuition on the Rise in Texas; far exceeding household income growth, “Tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges has more than doubled since 2003, when the legislature gave universities the authority to set their own prices. On average, Texas college students paid $8,256 a year in tuition and fees in 2015, up from $3,361 in 2003.”
Team SISD has gone to great lengths, even taking a page out of charters’ marketing playbook in which they set up tents outside of our schools, to inform our community about the endless opportunities and great benefits available in our district.
We want parents to see with their own eyes the state data reports that show SISD has hundreds of students graduating with twelve plus college credits, whereas some charter schools have zero percent.
Specifically, SISD students collectively earned more than 27,000 college credits valued at over $9.5 million in college cost savings in the 2017-2018 school year alone.
These are exciting times in SISD with early college programs and advanced academic academies that provide our students with real world experiences unmatched elsewhere.
This year we opened the Aztec Architectural Academy, the only one of its kind in the region, at El Dorado High School to give students the opportunity for an advanced pathway to earn a degree in architecture.
Also new this year, SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School received candidate status as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme that will give our middle school students a global experience with international studies and civic mindedness as well as a smooth transition to El Dorado’s IB program.
With our increased enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year, it is evident many parents agree SISD is the right choice for endless opportunities that ensure our children’s academic success.
On behalf of Team SISD, thank you parents for your continued support of our school district.
With your valuable contributions, we will continue to set new milestones and achieve success as a team.
Dr. Jose Espinoza Ed.D., Socorro ISD Superintendent
The El Paso Herald-Post welcomes guest columns, open letters, letters to the Editor and analysis pieces for publication, to submit a piece or for questions regarding guidelines, please email us at email@example.com
Socorro Independent School District’s administrators, counselors, board trustees, staff, and volunteers participated in the district’s annual Walk for Success.
More than 300 Team SISD members went door-to-door in the district’s neighborhoods to personally reach out to students who are not enrolled in school and encourage them to come back so they can graduate.
SISD officials shared that more educators walked in the event than years before.
“This has always been such an important event for Team SISD,” said Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “We don’t give up on a child. We don’t leave a child behind. It’s the passion we have as a team. We want our students to come back home.”
The personal visits allowed employees to talk to the students and their parents or family members about the different educational programs offered in the district, and the options available to students to assist them in earning their high school diploma.
“It hurts to lose any of our students,” said Cory Craft, the district’ academic compliance officer and coordinator of Walk for Success. “We see them as if they are our own kids.”
The number of students dropping out has declined as well. In 2014, volunteers went in search of about 300 youngsters who had left the district. This year, Walk for Success volunteers were reaching out to 156 students.
“We are so proactive as a district,” Craft said. “A lot of work goes behind the scenes. Our principals are doing a good job of keeping up with kids who drop out and bringing them back. They call, email, reach out on Facebook and Twitter.”
These efforts have helped boost graduation rates. The district has the highest graduation rate now, 91.3 percent, than it ever has had in its history. The rate is higher than the region and state, too.
“That is a direct result of everything principals and the staff at each high school do daily and Walk for Success,” Craft said.
The Walk for Success on Sept. 8 was one of the most heartening for Team SISD. Educators were excited to help bring students back to their home school. They talked to students, parents, grandparents and other family members.
“It really made me happy,” said Angelica Herrera, SISD’s director of elementary staffing, whose group was able to speak to a mother of a former Montwood High School student. “To see that this parent was so receptive to our group, it really touched me. She was so happy to see the district make such an effort, to show we really care about her daughter. It was an incredible moment.”
For Paula Figueroa, reaching out to children who have left the district is personal. She dropped out from Socorro High School as a senior after difficulty in passing the math part of the TAAS. She went on to get her GED that summer and graduated from college with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
“I understand because I have been in their shoes,” said Figueroa, who is a counselor at Lujan-Chavez Elementary. “It was embarrassing at first. I am glad there is a program like this now.”
Great photos and interesting subjects marked the second annual Print those Pics Cell Phone Photography competition showcased at the Socorro Independent School District Service Center.
Team SISD employees and students submitted prints of their favorite photographs taken on their cell phones. About 300 entries were submitted for the second annual event. It was almost twice the amount that participated last year, said Macka L. Jones, visual arts specialist for Team SISD.
“This has been so successful,” Jones said at the opening reception. “We have a nice variety of photographs from Anime and landscapes to animals and artistically-manipulated photos. It’s a pretty eclectic mix. As our cell phones continue to get better, the quality of the photograph improves. We have some pretty outstanding examples here.”
Those that entered the contest were excited to see their photographs on display. Most had never attempted or created something to be exhibited.
“I love taking pictures,” said Caleb Keith, a freshman at Eastlake High School, at the opening reception. “I have never done anything like this, but I took a lot of pictures when my mom and I went to El Salvador this summer. I entered two, one of the hotel we stayed at and at a restaurant overlooking the ocean.”
Kim Dunlop-Flores, administrative specialist for the Guidance Counselor Department, also entered two photographs from her vacation on the Disney Cruise to Alaska. One of her photos, showcasing the cruise ship she was on, earned her first place in the employee division.
“It’s humbling because there are a lot of gorgeous pictures,” Dunlop-Flores said. “I really enjoy taking photographs, but I have never entered a contest. When I take a picture, I want people to see what I saw through my eyes. It was such a gorgeous place with the glaciers and everything. I loved it.”
Guests at the opening reception were entertained by the Pebble Hills High School orchestra and choir. The exhibit will stay up through October.
Here are the winners of the Print those Pics Cell Phone Photography contest:
1st Place: Karyme Vasquez from Col. John O. Ensor Middle School
2nd Place: Eceinue Turk-Francis from SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School
3rd Place: PJ Hernandez from Eastlake High School
Honorable mention: Rubi Luna from Chester E. Jordan Elementary
1st Place: Kim Dunlop-Flores from the Guidance Counseling Department
2nd Place: Ben Vincent from John Drugan School
3rd Place: Veronica Andrea Chaparro from Eastlake High School
Seven people were named winners of the contest at the opening reception for the exhibit on Aug. 22. Four were in the student division and three were in the employee category. El Paso Community College art professor, Sarelah Aguilar, and Socorro ISD’s Public Relations photographer, Acavius Largo, were the judges.
The Horizon Scorpions left the High Desert and headed into the Mission Valley to take on the Bulldogs at their historic home field behind Socorro High.
It was Homecoming Night for the Bulldogs, and while the Scorpions ended up beating Socorro 21-14; the Bulldog faithful still celebrated the magical night.
Our very own Steven Cottingham, Kevin Venegas were there – assisted by Chantilly Bolgar – and brings their view of the game in this Story in Many Pics.
On Thursday night, the Midland High Bulldogs took on the home-standing Pebble Hills Spartans.
As promised, it was a tough game, but the Spartans showed their strength, and like the rapidly approaching storms around the SAC, unleashed their energy, beating the Bulldogs 42-38.
Our very own Johnny Yturales was there for the contest and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
Americas High School lead librarian Neysa Hardin experienced a different kind of professional development this summer. It was surrounded by lush forests and gushing geysers at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Hardin was one of 12 teachers selected nationwide from 250 applicants for the national park’s annual weeklong STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Teacher Workshop.
“I feel so renewed and refreshed,” Hardin said. “It’s as if I am a first-year teacher again. You know that energized feeling you had in the beginning? After 20 years in this profession, it is a good feeling to have.”
The Trailblazer educator spent nearly five days learning how to integrate science into art and humanities and vice versa.
“I’ve always been interested in and loved life sciences, but I didn’t study it,” Hardin said. “The workshop gave me a chance to delve in to it.”
Marcy Sparks, Socorro ISD’s coordinator of library services, was excited Hardin had a chance to experience this type of training, she said. It opens the door for other SISD educators. In addition, Hardin plans to share what she learned with her colleagues.
“When Team SISD educators seek opportunities to grow as lifelong learners, especially with unique opportunities like the Yellowstone National Park workshop, they model the very best of our expectations for our students,” Sparks said. “It’s great that she got a chance to attend. I believe Ms. Hardin has a real passion for the importance of preserving our state and national parks as places where learners of all ages can discover the past and appreciate our natural landscape.”
Hardin’s week was intense with little time for sightseeing, she said. The educators woke up early, sometimes at 5 a.m., and went to bed after 10 p.m. They participated in wild life observation, took samplings of the hot springs to uncover the microbes that live there and learned about the Native American culture and its impact on Yellowstone. The group attended nightly lectures from recognized university professors that discussed issues related to the national park.
“For each activity, we learned how art and humanities can intertwine with biology, botany and anthropology,” Hardin said. “During our studio time, they would teach us different art and how to incorporate it into science classes. Now, I hope to teach what I learned to our students at Americas.”
She has several ideas planned for students. She wants to take them to visit the various parks along the southern part of Rio Grande. The hope is to stop at La Llorona and Leasburg Dam parks and the border near Anthony and Canutillo. Students will study the agricultural impact on the river. She also will have her students sharing their own personal Llorona stories, read poems from well-known area poets and write their own poems about what they see around the Rio Grande.
“It’s going to be fun,” Hardin said. “We will return again in April to see if there are any difference in the tests we are taking of the soil and we will look closely any visible changes surrounding the river.”
Sparks applauds Hardin’s innovative thinking. It’s what makes SISD educators, like Hardin, so special, she said.
“When Team SISD librarians take their passions and integrate it into their learning spaces, all their students are better served with opportunities to see the world in new ways,” Sparks said.
Despite the rigorous training, Hardin sees her week at Yellowstone as one of the most satisfying. It’s made this school year an exciting one.
“When I applied, I didn’t really think I would be selected,” Hardin said. “I just turned in the application and hoped for the best. It was like throwing an egg at a wall and hoping it would stick. Now I am so grateful for the opportunity. It was so intense, but I learned so much. It was such a great week.”
A Socorro Independent School District security officer and the American Legion Riders group that he belongs to generously donated a drone to the yearbook students at Montwood Middle School.
Officer Daniel Saucedo gave the school the Contixo F18 drone, which can stream and capture high quality images that students can use in their annual publication and for videos on their school website.
“My students and I were surprised and appreciative that Officer Saucedo donated the drone to our campus,” said Grace Gonzalez, theater, broadcast, and yearbook teacher. “My staff and I are planning to take stunning aerial pictures and video of our campus and student body.”
Prior to joining Team SISD in 2015, Saucedo served in the military for 24 years. The former member of the National Guard joined the American Legion Rider Association in 2006 where he helps sponsor programs, groups and communities.
“I take pride in helping and I always enjoy working with kids,” Saucedo said. “This drone will be useful for the yearbook and broadcast students so they can utilize it for their activities.”
Saucedo decided to donate the item after seeing students struggle to take photos at sporting events.
“I see how hard it is for them to take photos of the athletes when we have track meets,” he said. “They have to run from point A to point B, and with this drone, they can fly it and capture what they need to.”
Saucedo also taught the students how to use the drone.
“The most rewarding part is teaching the students how to fly the drone, and hearing about how it is helping them,” he said. “At first, they couldn’t believe I got it for them, but I promised them I was going to get them one and I did.”
The yearbook and broadcast staff were eager to start using the device.
“I think it’s so nice that he uses his own money to buy stuff for our school,” said Valeyda Parada, a seventh-grade student. “Being able to shoot videos from above is very interesting, and during football games we can record instead of taking blurry pictures.”
In addition to the drone, Saucedo and his fellow riders have donated athletic equipment to the campus.
“He helps our school a lot,” said Alicia Estrada, also a seventh-grader at the campus. “We are so thankful for the donations he gives us. We always play with the basketballs, volleyballs and soccer balls they donated, and the drone will be a big part of our yearbook. It’s really going to help us.”