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Home | Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Hernando Middle School student wins national literacy award

Hugo Hernandez, a student at SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School, is one of only 16 students in the nation to win a prestigious 2019 180 Student Award from learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The 180 program recognizes children across the United States who have overcome significant obstacles to become thriving, successful learners.

“I’m very happy to have won,” Hernandez said. “I wasn’t good at reading but the Read 180 program helped me a lot, and now I can read very well.”

According to SISD officials,  medical condition hindered Hernandez’s ability to read at an early age. By the time he entered sixth-grade he had a reading score of zero. Despite his challenges, Hernandez was determined to thrive.

“I never doubted myself,” he said. “I knew that if I kept trying I would be able to read.”

Hernando Middle School reading teacher Brenda Rios said it was his perseverance that helped him succeed and win a System 44 award, one of the awards in the national Read 180 program.

“He came to my class basically a non-reader but doubled his score points in one year … that is remarkable!” Rios said. “He had a strong desire and drive in him that defied his challenges. He knew that where there is a will, there is a way.”

To celebrate his success, the school and Read 180 organization honored Hernandez with a surprise ceremony and breakfast with family and friends.

“I’m so happy about the progress Hugo has made from August to now,” said Laura Marrufo, Hernandez’s mother. “He has come a long way and this has helped him build his self-esteem. I’m grateful because I know this program and his teacher have played a big role in his success.”

Hernandez, who now has a reading score of 167, is passionate about helping others be effective readers.

“Hugo is sharing what he’s learned with struggling readers who are facing obstacles,” Rios said. “He is always seeking out books in the library, and in his free time, he reads to students with special needs.”

On the list of Hernandez’s favorite reads are the “Goosebumps” series.

“I’ve read three ‘Goosebumps’ books so far,” he said. “I need to read a lot because when I grow up I want to be a doctor, like my dad, and help a lot of people.”

Hernandez is the fourth student at his school to earn a national Read 180 award.

“Read 180 is a strong program that has done amazing things for our kids,” Rios said. “We also have a learning community of parents, our librarian, administrators and district staff who work together to help our students.”

Socorro ISD reaches out to students, parents via 2nd annual Stand and Deliver

Over the weekend, scores of employees in the Socorro Independent School District participated in the 2nd annual Stand and Deliver Walk to visit with SISD families and talk to them about the programs, resources, and opportunities available for their children in the district’s schools.

“It was awesome to talk with the parents of our amazing students and let them know about the extraordinary education they are earning in Team SISD,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza.

“As a destination district, it is important for our community to hear from us directly about the high-quality education we provide in our outstanding school district. Our teachers, principals, and staff had another great experience telling families why Team SISD is the right choice for endless opportunities.”

SISD’s Stand and Deliver event embraces Dr. Espinoza’s philosophy to treat and educate all students as if they are their own children, which was inspired by legendary educator Jaime Escalante’s commitment to equality in education.

The district follows Escalante’s footsteps by having the ganas or desire to do more for students, demonstrating high expectations of all students, and putting effective systems in place to ensure students’ success.

The walk is an opportunity for SISD educators to be in the community and meet parents face to face.

“Teachers are able to expand beyond the four walls of the classroom and make the learning community real and relevant by establishing connections and building personal relationships with all Team SISD students,” said Diana Mooy, assistant principal at Horizon Heights Elementary School.

During the Stand and Deliver Walk, thousands of SISD teachers, administrators, and support staff personally visited students’ homes and talked to parents about opportunities such as free college classes available at every high school, free Pre-K for all four-year-olds in the district, championship athletics, award-winning fine arts, advanced academic academies, world-class facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and outstanding Career and Technical Education as well as SISD’s efforts to meet the needs of all students.

Vanessa De La Peña, a Pre-K teacher at SGT. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School, was eager to talk to parents to tell them about the great teachers, leadership team, and college readiness initiatives that are provided for students at her school.

“Stand and Deliver is important because it is an opportunity for all of us to go out and promote our district, talk about the great things that are happening here, clarify any questions that parents may have and show them what we offer,” De La Peña said. “We have a lot of neat stuff at our school and this is a nice way to let parents know what is going on.”

The inaugural Stand and Deliver walk, which launched last year, resulted in tremendous success with employees strengthening personal relationships with families in the SISD community. Employees were eager to continue the outreach efforts again this year.

“This is my second time doing Stand and Deliver and I can say the same thing from my initial experience. It has been a great, positive experience to actually talk to the parents and to have that face-to-face connection,” said Marianne Torales, a State Compensatory Education Intervention (SCEI) coach at Montwood High School. “I feel like this is just an extension of the daily work that we do, but it is also a celebration of the connection that we have with the parents and the community.”

The SISD educators returned from their Stand and Deliver visits with inspiring stories and enthusiasm about the programs and resources that are helping students succeed.

“We met a parent that was very happy with the school district because her son is in the special education program at Hurshel Antwine. She said that her son wasn’t talking at all and within two months in the program at Antwine, they helped him to speak,” said Angelica Hernandez, a third-grade teacher at Purple Heart Elementary School. “It was really nice as a teacher to hear that story, it made me really happy. I know that we are making a difference in a child’s life as part of Team SISD.”

Since SISD’s inaugural Stand and Deliver event last year, the district has continued to grow. SISD celebrated a major milestone in March 2019 when the 47,000th student enrolled at Robert R. Rojas Elementary School.

Socorro ISD is the second largest school district in El Paso, serving students in East El Paso, Horizon City and the City of Socorro.

SISD’s Horizon Heights raises autism awareness with annual event

Horizon Heights Elementary had its annual autism awareness rally to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month with students, teachers, and the entire school community.

“We have been doing this for four years,” said Edith Carrillo, Horizon Heights assistant principal. “We start educating our students on the awareness of autism as early as possible. We believe creating awareness creates acceptance.”

Carrillo said it was so important for all students to become aware because often children with autism feel lonely.

“By creating awareness, our students understand some students are different,” Carrillo said. “Our students seek them out to become friends. It instills kindness and acceptance.”

The event featured encouraging words from a high school student, the reading of a poem by an elementary student and an explosion of party poppers that emitted blue smoke to symbolize the widely recognized blue in honor of autism awareness.

The celebration atmosphere inspired the cheering students, invited guests and parents.

Laura Tena, who has two sons with autism, appreciates the school’s efforts.

“I love that the school is doing this because it brings knowledge to other kids about autism,” Tena said. “I feel more comfortable about bringing my kids here because everyone is a little more kind and a little more aware. It’s a wonderful school.”

Montwood High students excel in video production, compete in local contests

Montwood High School audio/video production students put their talents in the spotlight with winning submissions in two recent local video production contests.

Students David Hernandez and Isaiah Anthony Chavez won the Better Business Bureau Paso del Norte Student Video Contest, and Carlos Olivares and Angelica Valdez placed second in the City of El Paso Environmental Services “Recycle Right, El Paso” video PSA contest.

“I’m very proud of my students for winning these contests and using their creativity to educate the community,” said Marvin J. Hanley, audio and video production teacher at Montwood High School. “It’s good for them to showcase their work outside of school, and share what they are learning with the rest of El Paso.”

Hernandez and Chavez won the BBB contest for their video production, Online Scams. The video demonstrates how to create a safe online environment, and teaches individuals how to report online fraud.

“We put a lot of effort into this video to show people how to watch out for hackers and scammers,” Hernandez said. “Everything is about technology now, so people need to be aware of everything they search the web for. Don’t trust private sellers, and if you are going to buy something online do your research, and look at reviews before listing personal information.”

Marybeth Stevens, president and CEO of BBB Paso del Norte said judging was extremely competitive. This year, 111 videos were submitted by schools in Juárez and El Paso. The combined student marketing efforts generated more than 51,000 online votes.

“We hope to continue to grow this contest as a positive educational opportunity that challenges students, promotes collaboration, and serves to reinforce the importance of being cautious and educated consumers who use the resources like the BBB to avoid being scammed,” Stevens said.

The students were recognized at the 2019 BBB Awards for Excellence luncheon on May 15, where they received a $150 gift card and up to $1,000 for their school.

Olivares and Valdez placed second in the “Recycling Write, El Paso” PSA contest. The students crafted a 30-second informative video that educates the community on what items can and cannot be recycled.

“Recycling is super important, especially in today’s age because of global warming,” Valdez said. “My partner and I hope that our video inspires a lot of people to take care of our planet by making sure they recycle items that have the recycling label, turning-off the lights when there is sunlight, not letting the water run while washing dishes, and by taking shorter showers.”

The PSA winners were recognized at the annual El Paso Earth Day celebration in April.

Socorro ISD military families have fun, connect at Spring Splash event

Socorro Independent School District students and their parents who serve in the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard gathered for the SISD Military Family Spring Splash event, recently.

The Spring Splash was a unique way to recognize SISD military-connected students and thank their families for their service to our country, said SISD Director of Administrative Services Dr. Carmen Olivas-Graham.

“Our military families really enjoyed coming together to develop friendships and gain support,” Olivas-Graham said. “A lot of them don’t have family here and we know that can be a difficult thing. By gathering at events like the Spring Splash they can form friendships, connect and have a blast!”

The event, now in its second year, was held at the SISD Aquatic Center. Students and their parents spent the day by the pool, enjoyed hot dogs, refreshments, and the company of other military families in the district.

“I loved it,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, a military parent at Hurshel Antwine Elementary. “It was great to be outside of base with military families, especially through the school. This is the first time my kids are outside of a military school and this event helped them get in touch with other classmates.”

SISD serves more than 3,500 military students. The district offers various means of support for the students and their families, such as special events like the Spring Splash, informational meetings for military parents, and an assigned military experienced counselor who works exclusively with military students.

To provide another avenue of support, the district will present a proclamation to establish a network of active military spouses at the May 21 board meeting. The district will help military spouses to connect with each other or with district resources they may need.

“We are proposing this proclamation to provide our active military spouses more opportunities to come together,” Olivas-Graham said.

“We get to educate them on the Texas accountability requirements, the expectations of our school district, and provide them information about the different programs we offer, and functions we organize throughout the year.”

Rodriguez said she finds comfort in knowing the district is working to assist military families.

“This would be very beneficial because it’s great to find a community that you can talk to, especially when family is so far away,” she said. “It makes the transition easier.”

The district will organize other military family events in the fall. These include an ice cream social on Aug. 24 at Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School, 14900 Tierra Mirage; a Relationship Building event Oct. 26 at the District Service Center, 12440 Rojas Dr.; and a Pajama and Movie event Dec. 7 at Pebble Hills High School, 14400 Pebble Hills Blvd.

SISD students recycle to create wearable art, Pieces featured in student art show

Two Socorro Independent School District schools brought fashion and trash together by creating wearable art.

Students from William D. Slider Middle School and Pebble Hills High School used coffee filters, magazines, newspapers, clothing or whatever they could find in their classroom or home for their projects.

Several pieces of their collections were included in the 32 annual SISD Student Art Show, which was on display at the District Service Office.

“I wanted the students to think outside the box,” said Sonja Kern, theater teacher at Slider. “I wanted it to coincide with Earth Day, too. I wanted them to learn how to be creative and how to use everyday items, such as newspapers, duct tape, coffee filters, hula hoops, plastic tablecloths and other items, to create something special.”

Kern has been encouraging her classes to get involved in the “Trash ‘n’ Fashion” project for several years. She provides the supplies, or the students bring recyclables from home.

Students do research first on how to recycle materials and have two weeks in class to create the wearable art.

This year was the first time Slider entered art pieces in the SISD Student Art Show. Two of their projects, a yellow prom dress and a white summer dress, received first and second place respectively.

“We are so excited,” Kern said. “I am really impressed with my students. They went all out and did so well.”

Lorena Evans created the winning yellow mermaid-style dress and wore it to Destination Imagination contest. She is proud of her creation.

“I like making stuff from scratch,” Evans said. “I used coffee filters to create the bodice and added tulle that I had to the bottom of it. But I never thought I would win.”

At Pebble Hills, Rossy Sanchez has included a trash to fashion project for the past two years. Students take recycled clothing they own or fabric that has been donated to the class and recreate outfits, purses and other wearable items.

“It really is a collaborative effort,” said Sanchez, who teaches technical theater and fashion design. “The students work together in teams to create their item within two weeks. I want them to see the beauty in everything they use.”

One creation used recycled Vogue magazines to create a beautiful gown. Gwenevere Vasquez was one of the makers of the dress.

She has been making clothes for her dolls since she was little but never thought about doing it for herself.

“This experience has been fantastic,” Vasquez said. “Using recycled objects to create something unique is amazing. I never thought it was possible.”

For Danae Morales, creating a dress from recyclable materials was a great experience. She has learned a lot about helping the environment just by reusing old clothes.

“You can bring it back to life,” Morales said. “My goal now is to be more thrifty and modernize my old clothes.”

SISD’s Cactus Trails faculty, staff enjoy meet & greet, ready to open new school

Cactus Trails Elementary School administration, faculty and staff gathered for the first time in preparation for the 2019-2020 school year.

The teachers of the Socorro Independent School District’s newest campus set goals to ensure they are ready for July 29, the first day of school.

“We came together to do a little bit of team building,” said Leslie Thomas, Cactus Trails Elementary School principal. “I thought it was important for us to lay the foundation down on instruction, where our framework is going, what our vision is and for our teachers just to start to feel comfortable with each other and with me.”

After individual introductions, faculty members participated in team building activities and toured Carrasco Elementary to get a feel of what their new campus will be like.

The team discussed building curriculum structures; social, emotional learning structures; and college and career initiatives.

“My theory is work hard and play hard,” Thomas said. “As teachers, we need to have a sense of humor. You need to have good balance. We are going to work hard but also be there to support them and have a little fun.”

Martha Rodriguez, who will be a fourth-grade teacher at Cactus Trails, is excited for the chance to open a new school.

“I worked with Ms. Thomas before, so I was all on board,” Rodriguez said. “We are already going in with a positive attitude. We are all going to be committed to what is coming up ahead in opening a new school.”

Rodriguez was inspired by the tour of Carrasco Elementary School.

“I was amazed at all the new furniture and all the technology that they have,” she said. “I am so excited about it all.”

A parent information night for the new elementary school will be 6 p.m. May 20 at Pebble Hills High School. Parents will have an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty and staff. In addition, information booths with the school nurse, the counseling department, child nutrition services and police services will be available.

The school, built through Bond 2017, will be similar to Purple Heart Elementary and Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary schools. The school is located at 14701 Ralph Seitsinger Drive.

The mascot is the Diamondback and school colors are teal, grey and white.

To learn more about Cactus Trails Elementary School, visit their school website.

Socorro ISD’s Athletic Trainers Program gives students real-world experience

Thanks to the Socorro Independent School District’s Athletic Trainers Program, students are learning first-hand what it takes to pursue a career in sports medicine.

“We are preparing the student athletic trainers for potential college programs and careers,” said Kinsey Abascal-McCown, athletic trainer at Socorro High School. “It is a valuable learning experience that can prepare you and give you a head start on things you will learn in college.”

The students learn firsthand all that is involved in taking care of athletes from making an ice bag to splinting a fractured arm. Those experiences have paid off for many students who have moved on to college with hopes of graduating with a degree in the field.

The district’s student trainer program is considered one of the top in the city, said Michelle Moe, athletic trainer at Americas High School.

“I believe that our program holds a student more accountable for their academic learning in the field of sports medicine and allows them to get a head start for any medical-related field in which they may be interested,” Moe said.

Albert Hernandez, director of athletics, said the SISD programs go above and beyond the high school level.

“These students work side by side with our athletic trainers,” he said. “They are taping athletes and providing assistance. They cover multiple events and work hard. It rivals any program in the state.”

All that hard work has led to plenty of success. Students have earned scholarships to study to become professional athletic trainers. Some have graduated already and are now ready to become board certified.

Recently, two former Montwood High School student trainers, both who are studying at Texas Tech University, earned internships with professional football teams.

Jered Hanley will be with the Washington Redskins during its NFL training camp in July and August. He was only one of five chosen from about 400 applicants. Alec Ramirez will spend his summer with the Atlanta Falcons after beating out more than 600 other applicants.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” Hanley said. “The athletic trainers prepared me well. They gave me an opportunity to join and get as much experience as possible.”

The student athletic trainer program at any of SISD’s six comprehensive high schools is competitive and rigorous. Students must fill out an application, go through an intensive interview process and sign up for a sports medicine class in some schools or take it as a prerequisite. They also must become CPR certified.

The training continues on the field, the court or whatever surface an athlete performs. They have a long list of competencies to master. They are allowed to provide basic first-aid and taping under direct supervision of an athletic trainer licensed by the state of Texas, Moe said. They also work long hours.

“They are here before all the athletes and leave after everyone else is long gone,” Moe said.

Patrick Solis, athletic trainer at El Dorado High School, said they make sure students understand the expectations of the job.

“We let them know that they are expected to work over intersession, weekends, and work late nights,” Solis said. “They also have to maintain their school grades and other activities that they may be involved in.”

On a typical day, most students are taping ankles, assisting with treatment and rehabilitation or working practice and games, said Eric Fajardo, athletic trainer/sports medicine instructor at Montwood High School.

“Our goal is to have second and third year students evaluating injuries and making educated clinical diagnosis,” he said. “Of course, they should also know that this job will include serving athletes and constant cleaning.”

Some SISD student athletic trainers have taken what they have learned and competed in local, regional and national contests.

Montwood has won the Sun City Athletic Trainer Association competition four years in a row. It also placed first at the West Texas Sports Medicine competition, which involves all schools throughout Texas. The team came out in fifth place at the American Academic Competition Institute California Regional Sports Medicine contest last month in Los Angeles. In 2017, the program ranked No. 7 nationally by the AACI National Sports Medicine competition.

In the last few years, Montwood has sent eight students to Division 1 programs, including UTEP, University of Texas, Arizona State University and Texas Tech.

“These positions offer next level experience, large scholarships, traveling around the United States and multimillion dollar training rooms with the latest technology,” Fajardo said.

Montwood graduate Hanley earned a full scholarship to Texas Tech. He has had the opportunity to work during track season and spring training for football.

“I want to be an athletic trainer for an NFL team or with a Division 1 football program,” he said. “I definitely had an advantage because of where I went to high school. It allowed me to get as much experience as possible.”

Brandon Anchondo, a senior at Americas, has learned a lot in his sports medicine class and his time on the playing field. He is now hoping to pursue an athletic training degree. He will start at EPCC, graduate next fall and after basics are completed, move on to Texas Tech.

“This class has taught me a lot about injuries and a lot about physical therapy,” he said. “I always wanted to go into the medical field. This will allow me to do that, but also branch out into becoming an athletic trainer. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Chris Lopez, Pebble Hills High School athletic trainer, said there are many opportunities after college graduation for athletic trainers, such as in private business as well as military, and educational athletics at professional, college and secondary settings.

“Athletic training is a big time commitment,” Lopez said. “You need to make sure it is something you love to do, and make sure that you go through an accredited program. But there are many opportunities.”

Former Americas student, Valeria Delgado, just graduated from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and is now awaiting to take her board of certification. She is hoping to work in a high school.

“My dream is to be an athletic trainer for dancers,” Delgado. “I wouldn’t be this far if it wasn’t for the training I received at Americas. It prepared me for college and it made me realize what I wanted to do.”

Socorro ISD’s Puentes Middle joins national music program ‘United Sound’

SSG. Manuel R. Puentes is the first middle school in Texas and one of only 82 schools nationwide to join United Sound, a peer mentorship program that provides students with special needs musical performance experiences.

The school-based music club pairs advanced band members with new musicians to promote social involvement through shared ensemble experiences. The United Sound chapter at Puentes Middle has 12 student volunteers who teach four students with special needs how to play the instrument of their choice at a personally modified level.

“Music is for everyone,” said Salina Cobos, director of bands at Puentes Middle. “This program builds leaders and it creates a positive school culture. Our student-mentors are responsible for their own lesson plans, instruction, and modification of music. Both our mentors and new musicians have done an outstanding job all year long. It’s been a very positive experience all around.”

Eduardo Robles, an eighth-grade trumpet player, knew he was the perfect candidate for the program when it was announced at his school.

“I was really happy to be picked as a mentor,” Robles said. “My older sister has a disability, and when she was growing up I couldn’t help her very much. To be able to help someone else makes me feel very good.”

Robles was worried that training his peer would be challenging at first, but a few minutes into the first rehearsal he knew teaching his mentee, Camila Navarro, would be his favorite part of the day.

“We have a lot of fun and it’s not hard because Camila learns really fast,” he said. “She learns in her own special way. I know that she does not like to read her notes when they are in black and white so I color them for her. I always try to make her smile and feel comfortable. And, every time we finish practice, I give her a high-five and let her know how well she played.”

Mentors and mentees meet after school every Thursday to fine tune their skills and prepare for the big end-of-year performance.

The instructors, who are solely there to supervise, say they have seen how afterschool rehearsals have turned into lifelong friendships.

“The relationships that have been formed through this program are amazing,” Cobos said. “The students light up when they see each other, and sometimes they spend more time laughing than they do playing, but that is ok. They are friends!”

Parents have been very receptive to the program, and notice the benefits music education has had in their children.

“My daughter used to be very shy, but ever since she joined the program she is social, confident, she gets better grades in school, and she feels like she belongs,” said Judith Navarro, Camila’s mom. “Seeing her on stage showed us that she is capable of this and more. It truly is an incredible feeling.”

Aside from playing an instrument, Camila Navarro is also learning how to sing.

Special education teacher Isabella Moreno said students with special needs are capable of achieving so much.

“A lot of people think that our students are limited and that is not the case,” she said. “They have abilities that they can focus on and we have great students, parents, and teachers who are willing to support them.”

Socorro ISD wins 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award, Snags $100k Prize

In a first for the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) and the El Paso region, SISD won a major award in the prestigious statewide 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education awards program. Socorro ISD was honored with the large school district award this weekend.

“This is an outstanding validation of Team SISD’s hard work, unity, and commitment to student success,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza. “Everyone in Team SISD contributed to winning this incredible award. Thank you to our board members, teachers, administrators, support staff, students and parents for working together to Achieve Success as a Team! We are honored that our daily work is being acknowledged as best practices across the state.”

Socorro ISD is the first and only school district from West Texas to win the prestigious award. SISD had been recognized as a district award finalist two times before.

The awards program opened in 2016 to school districts across Texas outside of H-E-B markets.

At the awards ceremony, the SISD Board of Trustees was recognized for being a finalist in the school board/leadership category for outstanding academic progress in the district, identifying and acting on community needs, and using innovative methods for community engagement.

This was the first time the board was named a finalist in the HEB awards program. They had been a semi-finalist two times before.

“We are so proud to be the top school district in the state through this awesome awards program,” said SISD Board President Cynthia Najera. “For our work also to be recognized as finalist in the school board category is humbling. Everyone in Team SISD works together to ensure we are providing the best education for our students and the best learning environment for everyone in our community. Thank you to HEB for the recognition and to all students, staff and supporters for helping us earn this incredible award.”

Team SISD received $100,000 for being named the large school district winner.

As finalists for the award, SISD and the Board of Trustees already received $5,000 each, which is being invested in the district’s Operation Future Ready/WINning programs.

Team SISD was named the winner at the awards ceremony May 5 in Austin.

SISD’s Helen Ball Elementary earns 2019 RAMP national counseling award

Helen Ball Elementary School is one of two schools in the state of Texas to earn national recognition by the American School Counselor Association for its commitment to maintain a comprehensive counseling program.

The campus was awarded the 2019 Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) distinction, a prestigious recognition that is awarded to less than 100 schools in the country for delivering a data-driven and an exemplary educational environment to students.

Maria Washington, counselor at Helen Ball, shared her feelings, saying she’s proud to receive the recognition, and to provide the best counseling services to her students.

“I am truly grateful for all the well wishes and acknowledgements that everyone has displayed towards our wonderful school,” Washington said. “I am very proud to be part of the best district in El Paso, with the finest counseling department, and an excellent leadership team.”

“Congratulations to Mrs. Washington for earning this enormous honor and accomplishment,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “The amazing work by Mrs. Washington as well as all of our outstanding counselors is a huge reason why I am beyond proud to be part of their team.”

In Texas, 13 schools have received the RAMP national recognition in prior years and nine of those are from Socorro ISD.

SISD RAMP counseling teams are Helen Ball Elementary School in 2019; Montwood High School in 2016; Capt. Walter E. Clark Middle School in 2013, El Dorado High School in 2010; Bill Sybert School in 2009; Ernesto Serna and Socorro High School in 2007; and Bill Sybert and El Dorado High School in 2006.

“Team SISD school counseling programs are focused on meeting the needs of all students using the American School Counselor Association National Model,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of guidance and counseling. “We have stellar school counselors that work tirelessly to help our students, and we are very proud of their commitment and dedication.”

Washington and Helen Ball Principal Ana Soto will be recognized at the ASCA National Conference in July in Boston.

RAMP helps schools evaluate their school counseling program, discover areas for improvement and enhance the program’s efforts to contribute to student success. To apply for the RAMP designation, schools must collect extensive data and information, a process that takes an entire academic year.

Socorro ISD honors 2019 Teachers of the Year at annual gala

The Socorro Independent School District celebrated its 2019 Teacher of the Year Gala at the Judson F. Williams Convention Center, where officials honored their Campus Teachers of the Year and named their top two Teachers of the Year at the annual event.

The 2019 SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year is Perla Lozoya from Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary. She is a fourth-grade teacher and has 14 years of teaching experience.

“I’m honored and humbled by this because there are so many outstanding and amazing educators in SISD,” Lozoya said.

The 2019 SISD Secondary Teacher of the Year is Luis Iturriaga from Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle School. He is a seventh- and eighth-grade Gateway to Technology teacher and has 24 years of teaching experience.

“This is a great honor. The responsibility is immense because now I am not just representing my campus, now I’m representing the entire district. But I am ready to accept the challenge and move forward,” Iturriaga said.

More than 1,100 attendees from all over the district attended the annual celebration, including the SISD superintendent, board trustees, teachers, principals, family members, Partners in Education and staff.

“You are heroes in the classroom and the number one reason why our district is extremely successful,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. at the gala. “You are the heart of the Team SISD!”

The district elementary and secondary winners will go on to represent SISD in the Region 19 2019 Teacher of Year competition in August.

The Teacher of the Year from each school and the Elite 8 finalists were recognized at the gala, hosted by KTSM Channel 9 News Anchor Natassia Paloma.

Socorro ISD seeks WIN Academy teachers at job fair on May 1

Socorro Independent School District officials are looking for qualified teachers, who are looking to join their WIN Academy team.

To that end, SISD will have a job fair for applicants who are qualified to teach in SISD’s WIN Academy for the 2019-2020 school year.

WIN Academy applicants should have a minimum of three years of teaching experience, 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).

Teacher candidates should bring at least three printed copies of their resume and be prepared for the opportunity to meet and interview with school principals.

Via their website, SISD officials share the unique nature of the WIN Academy:

“WIN is a student-centered program created to help ensure all Team SISD children have the opportunities and support needed to achieve academic success. WIN is an acrostic that outlines the keys to winning in life.

W – Work Hard
I – I Can Do It Attitude
N – Never Give Up

With students, teachers, leaders, staff, and community working hard, having a can-do attitude, and never giving up, Team SISD will achieve success and help WIN students succeed.

In the WIN Academy, students who have not been successful in a “traditional” school setting will be able to gain two or more years worth of knowledge in a fast track, demanding, flexible education system…”

For information regarding the WIN Academy Teacher Job Fair, contact the Human Resources Department at 937-0040 or at 937-0206.

The job fair will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. May 1 at the SISD District Service Center, 12440 Rojas Drive

Metamorphosis Art Exhibit to open at International Museum of Art

This Saturday, an opening reception will be celebrated for the Metamorphosis Art to Treasure III exhibit, which features artwork made from recycled materials.

The artists created the pieces for the annual contest in a community project spearheaded by El Dorado High School art teacher and event organizer Candace Printz.

The event is part of the It’s Your World community art project, in which participants create artwork from recycled material and raises awareness about environmental conservation, and Green Hope Project, a new nonprofit that is an offshoot of It’s Your World.

El Dorado students and community members involved in the project regularly take part in desert cleanups and turn the trash into art. The contest for the Metamorphosis exhibit invited all community members in the El Paso, Las Cruces and Juarez area to enter their artwork created from recycled materials.

In addition to promoting the arts and recycling, the Metamorphosis exhibit supports non-profits in the area, such as the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, which helps preserve the local land, and MuttLove Dog Rescue, which helps take care of abandoned or sick animals that the It’s Your World community project members have found at the desert cleanups.

Proceeds from the sale of select works at the exhibit will go to one of these organizations or Green Hope Project.

At the event, both groups and the City of El Paso’s Environmental Services will set up informational booths. MuttLove also will have a dog adoption event. Entertainment will be provided by a DJ and the event will be catered.

Award winners will be presented at 3 p.m. during the reception.

The Metamorphosis Art to Treasure III exhibit will be on display from April 27 through May 17 at the International Museum of Art.

What:             Metamorphosis Trash to Treasure III recycled art exhibition

Who:               El Dorado High School art students and teacher; El Paso, New Mexico and Mexico artists; community members

Where:           International Museum of Art |   1211 Montana Avenue

When:             Saturday, April 27, 2019 –  Reception from 2 to 4 p.m., awards at 3 p.m.

El Dorado students art exhibit featured in opening reception at Hospitals of Providence East Campus

Earlier this month, El Dorado High School had an opening reception for its 2019 International Baccalaureate art exhibit in the Founders Hall at the Hospitals of Providence East Campus.

The annual exhibit featured the artwork that El Dorado students created as part of a two-year project in the International Baccalaureate program. The IB program is one of the Socorro Independent School District’s advanced academics academies, which provides students a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that prepares them for college and careers and to be active participants of a global society.

“This is the culmination of everything they have been working on,” said Candace Printz, art teacher at El Dorado. “This reception is for the students so they can show their family and friends what they have been working so hard for.”

The students created numerous pieces and curated the exhibit. They wrote their biographies and created artist statements, creating an art portfolio to display professionally.

As part of their grade, the students spent part of the day defending their work to an art examiner.

“They had to be articulate and learn to explain themselves,” Printz said. “I found that the process helped a lot of the kids. It built their self-esteem.”

Many students sold their works and received 100 percent of the sales price they set.

Natalie De Santiago’s art intrigued a doctor, who walked by the exhibit. He bought one of her paintings and commissioned another.

“I honestly thought my work wasn’t that good,” said De Santiago, who hopes to become a psychologist and receive a minor in art therapy. “I was genuinely surprised that somebody would actually want my work. Being in this class opened that door for me.”

The two year project helped her discover an art style and uncover the kind of medium she prefers (painting). She learned so much about herself through her art work, De Santiago said.

“Art is so therapeutic,” she said. “It provides an escape for me. I am so grateful to have the IB program at El Dorado. It has led me to become a well-rounded student.”

De Santiago and her classmates’ experience would not have been possible without the help of the Hospitals of Providence East, who hosted the reception and exhibit, Printz said.

“They hang the show, provide the invitations, help celebrate our students with a luncheon and host the reception,” Printz said. “For somebody to be just down the road, be a Partner in Education and be able to step in and do that, it means the world to the kids. I am so grateful to the Hospitals of Providence for all they have done.”

El Dorado student art exhibit event photos

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