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Home | Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job Con event photos

Americas student council provides thank you lunch for Vitalant employees

The Americas High School student council coordinated a special event recently to do their part for the El Paso community after the August 3 shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart.

About fifteen members of the student council catered lunch for Vitalant staff members at the non-profit organization’s offices. Vitalant provides blood and special services to patients; its main purpose is ensuring lifesaving blood is available when and where it is needed.

Lorraine Varela, Americas High School student activities director, said she and her students thought about the many people and entities that were involved and affected by the shooting, and wanted to help those who were working to save lives that day.

“Everybody is focused on the victims, but we thought about everyone else involved, like the employees who worked overtime trying to get those donations and process the blood,” Varela said.

Students made the calls to gather sponsors for the special lunch and were able to get the food donated by Surprise Party Hall and Diamond Catering.

Paulina Lujan, one of the students who helped spearhead the event, said the student council wanted to do their part for the community and didn’t want anyone who has served El Paso during the incident to go overlooked.

“The smile on the faces of these people tell us they know we’re thankful and I hope we get that momentum going for others in the community,” Lujan said.

The group also has been focusing on projects related to El Paso Strong.

She said in the aftermath they gathered to brainstorm ideas to give back to the community and created sub-committees to execute the projects. One of the committees invited the Americas student body to collect and paint positivity rocks, which they distributed at the memorial.

Another committee has designed a shirt, which they plan to sell and collect the proceeds to donate to the victim’s foundation.

“I’m proud of my kids for wanting to be a part of this,” Varela said. “Our tears are tears of joy but also of deep sorrow, but spreading positivity is our goal, and no matter the action, big or small, it makes a difference when you are out there trying to do good.”

The employees at Vitalant appreciated the meal, but the sentiment behind it more.

“I’m thankful for the students taking time out of their day to come here and feed us,” said Vitalant phlebotomist Ruby Ramirez, who was in training when news of the shooting broke. “It’s so sweet of them to come out and thank us.”

Partners in Education, school liaisons start year off right with orientation, exhibition

The Socorro Independent School District recently hosted its fifth annual Partners in Education Orientation and Exhibition at the SISD District Service Center.

The yearly PIE event gives businesses in partnership with SISD and school liaisons an opportunity to meet, get reacquainted, plan fundraisers or activities, and schedule appointments for the school year.

SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., greeted the partners in education and liaisons with a special presentation to highlight the district’s achievements, including its recent A rating and postsecondary readiness distinction from the Texas Education Agency. Board trustees Eduardo Mena and David Morales also were at the event to thank and welcome the partners and liaisons.

This year’s exhibition included Barnes & Noble, Craze, First Light Federal Credit Union, Peter Piper Pizza, and STAPLES, among many others. The businesses and organizations provide information, network with the liaisons and provide samples of their products.

“We started this as an opportunity to basically get the ball rolling at the beginning of the school year. It was designed to be a one-stop shop,” said Maya Kirtley, public relations specialist and Partners in Education coordinator. “School liaisons are able to come in, make those initial appointments and contacts with our business partners. We’re excited about this being our fifth year of this great orientation and exhibition event.”

The SISD Partners in Education program follows its motto of “in business for student success” by working to help the businesses that are partnered with the district and provide valuable resources and donations to the schools.

“As much as our partners help Socorro ISD, we want them to know we want to help them as well in any capacity,” Kirtley said.

Both the partners in education and the school liaisons said they look forward to the orientation event every year because it positively sets the motion for the rest of the school year.

“We get to interact and meet the vendors that are going to help us throughout the year and assist us with incentives to motivate the students to continue to grow academically,” said Helen Ball school liaison Mytzi Hernandez

Many partners expressed great appreciation for their partnership with SISD.

Mauricio Carrillo, franchise owner of Bahama Bucks in El Paso, said he looks forward to the annual opening event because it’s an opportunity to introduce himself and meet with administrators, teachers and educators, and he gets to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

“Any event the schools will have us for, we are proud to be a part of,” said Carillo, who has been a partner with SISD for 12 years. “It gives us a chance to show the community what we do, what we’re capable of doing and maybe along the way help train and develop future leaders.”

Team SISD has more than 300 Partners in Education that provide valuable assistance to the district and schools such as monetary and in-kind donations and mentor and community service to help students, teachers and schools.

Learn more about the SISD Partners in Education program, vist the web page.

Socorro ISD holds 6th annual ‘Walk for Success’ Weekend

Socorro Independent School District educators walked the district’s neighborhoods to reconnect with students who left school before graduating during the 6th annual Walk for Success event on Saturday, September 14.

“We started our first year with 300 students, this year we’re looking at bringing back about 123, so the number is decreasing … that number continues to go down because of the passion and commitment from our amazing team,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “With that attitude and mentality that we treat, and we educate those students as if they were our own children, that’s how you can earn an ‘A’, that’s how you become the only district in El Paso, the largest district in the state, to earn a post-secondary readiness distinction.”

The superintendent, board trustees, administrators, counselors, and some librarians, teachers and other staff visited SISD neighborhoods to talk to students and their parents/families, hear their situation case-by-case, and present solutions to their academic barriers.

The day started with all the educators coming together to hear from SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., board trustees Paul Guerra, Eduardo Mena and David Morales, Justice of the Peace Ruben Lujan and El Paso Community College President William Serrata.

Justice of the Peace John Chatman and Justice of the Peace and EPCC board chair Brian Haggerty also attended this year’s Walk for Success.

The more than 300 educators who participated were excited about heading out to the neighborhoods to encourage students to re-enroll in school.

“It was a great event. We made contact with all of our students,” said Derrick Brown, assistant principal at Eastlake High School. “Students and parents were ready to hear the information and one parent almost cried. Our team is getting ready to formulate a plan so we can recover that student and help them graduate.”

The impact that the SISD educators are making on students is significant. Having a principal, counselor, or teacher personally tell the students that they can come back to school and graduate is often the step in the right direction that they need.

A former SISD student Arleen Roa was visited by Americas High School principal Patricia Cuevas and other administrators from the school. Roa had left Americas after a former boyfriend convinced her to drop out and to try the Job Corps. But she said that didn’t work out for her, she fell on hard times without enough shifts at work to make enough money, and no motivation to go back to school.

“Today, Ms. Cuevas came to my house on a Saturday and told me my options. She told me that they were here for me. She and my teachers were always supportive,” Roa said. “They told me they knew I could succeed and that made me feel good. So, I’m going to do it. I’m going to get it done.”

Erica Olivas, coordinator at Pebble Hills High School, visited a student she had helped in the past. Olivas said it’s a good feeling to know the student is aware that the school employees care and they want what is best for him.

“We always kept in contact with him and his mom,” Olivas said. “Reaching out to him today was special. It is us providing extra support and extra reassurance so they know that we want them back and we want them to graduate so they can succeed.”

Students and or their parents received information on how to return to their comprehensive high school, or transfer to Options, the district’s alternative high school, which provides students a flexible schedule in a competency-based learning system. Another option for students is the district’s adult education program, which pairs students with workforce development opportunities and a GED.

If students or families were not reached at the home a door hanger with information was left so they could call the district and or school back. SISD educators also plan follow-up calls and visits to ensure they continue trying to get every student back.

“The student we tried to visit was not there, but we met with her parents and got information that will allow us to follow up,” said Andrew Halatyn, assistant principal at Socorro High School. “Now that we know when she’ll be home, we can meet with her and talk about the options and benefits of being a student at Socorro.”

Since the inception of Walk for Success in 2014, SISD has recovered more than 320 students and helped dozens graduate. The district’s graduation rate has increased to 91.5 percent, the highest in the region and in district history.

“We are the only district that has consistently run this program for six years,” said Cory Craft, SISD’s academic and compliance officer. “Not many people want to give up their time on a Saturday, but we do because we value our students and we see the results.”

To view Walk for Success event photos, click here.

Socorro ISD enrolls more than 500 twins, 10 triplets in 2019-20

SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School celebrated Spirit Week with a designated “Twin Day.”

The festivity encouraged hundreds of Cavaliers to dress identical to one another, which prompted Principal Valerie Hairston to showcase the 24 sets of actual twins at her school.

“I noticed we had many sets of twins at our school last school year, but we never counted them,” Hairston said. “Twin Day was the perfect opportunity to highlight our current twin and triplet students. I think it’s very cool that we have so many and I would find it incredible if anyone would have more.”

Hernando was the middle school with the greatest twin count; however, Montwood High School topped its number with 30 sets of twins. Districtwide, SISD enrolled 503 sets of twins and 10 sets of triplets during the 2019-2020 school year.

Sandra Andrade, a teacher at Dr. Sue A. Shook, the elementary with the most twins (19 sets), said having multiples in class is special because they get to witness the unique bond these students share.

“It’s neat to see how close they are and how much they care for each other,” Andrade said. “I sit the twins in opposite sides of the room but as soon as we line up, or when we go to the carpet, they are drawn back to each other.”

To differentiate identical students, Andrade looks closely at their hair, shoes and the color of their uniform polo.

“It helps when moms do their hair differently,” she said. “I pay close attention to the smallest of details to tell them apart.”

Despite being together even before birth, and the obvious genetic similarities, a pair of fraternal twins at Montwood say they are very different.

“My brother Steven and I are complete opposites … we are like night and day,” said Jacklyn Terrazas, a senior. “He has a soft, calm tone and I’m crazy and vibrant. We complement each other, and we are a perfect match.”

An SISD trio concurs. The students are enrolled in different programs and schools; one is in the Health Professions Academy at Socorro High School, another in the Socorro Early College program and the third sibling is part of Eastlake’s School of Advanced Technology Applications.

“My brothers and I are very different and we don’t agree on a lot of things but

I’m proud to be a triplet,” said Monica Guerra. “I was very shocked when I heard that we had that many twins and triplets. It’s nice to be part of the group.”

With multiples being prevalent in schools, twin and triplet students want to set the record straight.

“People have a misconception that we do everything the same or they think we can read each other’s mind,” Steven Terrazas said. “We share parents and we share a birthday, but we don’t have magical powers. What I can say is that we are close, and as the years progress our bond continues to grow.”

Socorro ISD high schools gear up to celebrate 2019 homecoming

Socorro Independent School District officials announced that their seven high schools are set to start homecoming celebrations with an assortment of events and activities this month.

Students, teachers, staff and alumni will celebrate a week of festivities at their respective schools, including dress ups for spirit week, parades, the big homecoming games and cleverly themed dances.

The 2019 homecoming schedule is as follows:

El Dorado High School
El Dorado High School’s festivities will be from Sept. 9 to 14. The Aztecs will be pulling their theme right out of a Disney movie with “Can I Have This Dance” from “High School Musical.” Dress up days will include “The Boys are Back – Wear Baseball Tees” and “Waka Wednesday – Dress Hawaiian.”

The parade will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 followed by the Birth of the Aztec Sun ceremony in the football field. A pep rally will be during eighth period Sept. 12 followed by the El Dorado vs. Andress homecoming game at 6:30 p.m. at the SAC. The homecoming dance will be from 8 to 11:45 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Empire.

Pebble Hills High School
The Pebble Hills Spartans also will celebrate their homecoming Sept. 9 to 14 with their theme “Don’t Stop the Music,” a tribute to music festivals. Dress up days through the week will range from “Gnarly Neon,” “School of Rock,” “Coachella Vibes,” and “Nostalgic Nineties.” Activities throughout the week will include window decorating for student organizations on Sept. 9, Movie Under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10, and the homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Sept. 11.

A homecoming volleyball game will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 against Carlsbad High School. The homecoming pep rally will be Sept. 13 during eighth period followed by the Pebble Hills vs. Chapin High School homecoming football game at 7:30 p.m. at the SAC.

The homecoming dance will be from 8 p.m. to midnight Sept. 14 in the Pebble Hill’s courtyard.

Socorro High School
The Socorro High School Bulldog’s theme for this year’s homecoming is In the Heart of Texas, which will be celebrated Sept. 16-21. Dress up days will include Tex-Mex Day, celebrating the beautiful influence of Mexico on our culture; Country Livin’, students will gear up in their cowboy attire; and Texas Sports Day, students may wear their favorite Texas sports team jersey.

Homecoming events throughout the week will include a Texas State Fair with food, games, music and fun from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Bulldog Championship Park. The homecoming parade on Alameda Ave. will begin at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 19 and the pep rally will follow at Mad Dog Field at 7 p.m., where the homecoming king and queen winners will be announced.

The homecoming game will be against Burges High School at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Socorro High School. The homecoming dance will be from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Pit.

Mission Early College
Mission Early College High School will celebrate homecoming week Sept. 16 to 21 with a pep rally Sept. 20 and the homecoming dance Sept. 21. Check back for more details soon.

Eastlake High School
The Eastlake High School Falcons will be celebrating their homecoming the week of Sept. 23 to 28 with the theme Around the World. Dress up days will include Tourist day, Cartoon Day, Western Day, Spirit Day, and Jersey Day.

Activities for the week include decorating classroom doors, a parade and a community pep rally Sept. 25 with games and performances to which attendees are encouraged to wear purple and orange. The homecoming football game against Pebble Hills will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the SAC.

There will be a volleyball tournament against Ysleta at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and the homecoming dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sept. 26 in the main foyer of Eastlake High School.

Montwood High School
Montwood High School homecoming will be Sept. 23 to 28 at the home of the Rams with this year’s theme of Rams Take Over the World. Students will be able to dress up in fun outfits throughout the week with theme days like Show your American Pride and Dress as a Tourist.

The school will be showing the movie “The Lorax” at 6 p.m. (or at sunset) Sept. 24 on the school football field. The parade and carnival will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at the school.

The homecoming football game against Eastwood will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the SAC and the dance will be 8 p.m. to midnight Sept. 28 in the school gym.

Americas High School
Americas High School will celebrate homecoming week Oct. 21 to 26 with the theme of New York State of Mind. Check back for more details soon.

Socorro ISD adult education, CTE partnership success bringing opportunities for participants

A unique partnership between the Socorro Independent School District Community Education and Career and Technical Education departments has been garnering widespread attention for the success and opportunities it is bringing for adult students and the local workforce.

In the summer, the innovative program was showcased in two videos produced by Creative Cannon for Amarillo Community College, who is the Texas Peer Mentor Network program representative, at the Ability to Benefit and Leveraged Funding Conference in Austin.

The videos feature SISD student and administrator testimonials about how the adult ed/CTE program has helped them achieve their goals.

Prior to that statewide attention, SISD Community Education director Anthony Fraga and Career and Technical Education director George Thomas earned national acclaim as they met with the assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education in the U.S. Department of Education and provided testimony for congressional representatives in February in Washington D.C.

In addition, most recently, the SISD Community Education department earned the 2019 Best of El Paso Award in the Adult Education School category by the El Paso Award program. The program identifies companies and organizations that achieve exceptional marketing success in local business communities and provides extraordinary service to their customers and community.

SISD’s Community Education and CTE collaboration with the Integrated Education and Training program is being lauded as a model for how other districts and communities can integrate existing funds and resources to benefit both students and employers. The successful program is focusing on increasing the skills of workers to meet the needs of the workforce.

SISD Community Education director Anthony Fraga initiated the innovative model in 2015, when the district started offering courses for adult learners in various fields being taught by instructors from SISD’s CTE program.

Students enrolled in the district’s Integrated Education and Training program can take free courses to pursue training and earn certifications in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); electrician pre-apprenticeship, computer repair and maintenance; security services; office administration; hotel/ hospitality. New pharmacy technician and dental assistant programs were implemented this school year, and the district is pursuing the addition of a CDL school bus driver certification program.

Since the inception of the program, demand for the courses has increased steadily with the department greatly exceeding their state target of 76 students for the IET program. Last year, the department served 184 adult students in IET easily more than doubling that target.

The SISD Community Education enrollment total to date is 598 of which 70 students are in the IET vocational program this school year.

“Since receiving state and national notoriety, Mr. Thomas and I have been invited to present at national and state conferences, with the goal of inspiring other school districts to develop partnerships between their Adult Basic Education programs and their CTE programs,” Fraga said.

SISD Community Education staff members have been selected to serve on key local, regional and statewide boards, including the local Borderplex Workforce Development Board, State Advisory Council for Adult Education, State Advisory Council for Student Assessment, and state-sponsored leadership education training using the Baldrige Method. One of their teachers also was named the 2018 Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education Teacher of the Year.

In addition, the community education and CTE staff were invited to present at the National Council on Workforce Education, Texas Workforce Commission State Conference, National Adult Education (COABE) in New Orleans, SXSW.EDU conference, and the National Skills Summit in Washington D.C. They also have coached other school districts through the Education Service Center Region 2 in Corpus Christi.

Thomas said the partnership was a natural for Team SISD, where departments regularly work together to solve problems and develop systems to better serve the community.

As part of SISD’s commitment to highly prepare students for college and career success, the CTE program invests significantly in teacher training, equipment and software through the federal Carl Perkins grant and other state and local funds. The federal government has encouraged federally funded programs to work together to support the training of the local workforces, which Team SISD has enthusiastically embraced.

“SISD CTE and community education have become the poster representatives of this federal initiative by using our trained teachers within their classrooms to support the community education evening career programs,” Thomas said.

The SISD collaboration allows the adult education program to benefit from the CTE resources, such as teachers, labs, and equipment, to provide the certification training at a lower cost with a higher student success outcome.

Adult students interested in enrolling in the free program may call (915) 937-1700.

Watch the Amarillo Community College/Texas Peer Mentor Network videos created by Creative Canon, featuring SISD Community Education and Career and Technical Education:

Student video  |   Administrators/teacher video

El Dorado yearbook teacher recognized at the national level

Vanessa Martinez, journalism teacher at El Dorado High School, is a recipient of the 2019 Rising Star Award by the Journalism Education Association.

Martinez is one of 12 teachers nationwide to earn the prestigious honor, which recognizes educators who show excellence in scholastic journalism and media advising. She was nominated for the award by Mike Taylor from Walsworth Yearbooks.

“I’m very honored and humbled to have been nominated for the Rising Star Award,” Martinez said. “I heard about it when I was a yearbook student because a lot of my mentors were Rising Stars themselves. To be in this place now feels surreal and incredible.”

Martinez graduated with a multimedia degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and has been a teacher for five years. Prior to becoming an educator, she worked as a copy editor for the El Paso Times and City Magazine.

Determined to build on an already successful yearbook club’s legacy, Martinez and her students worked hard, sometimes up to 20

Photo by Carolina Arredondo | SISD

additional hours each week, to publish their best work and garner prestigious recognitions.

The team has won back-to-back Silver Crown Awards from Colombia Scholastic Press Association and Best of Show for their 2018 yearbook from the National Scholastic Press Association. Under her leadership, students also have earned individual honors and have advanced to UIL regional and state competitions.

“Mrs. Martinez is a great role model and inspires us become better journalists,” said Leah Rodriguez, a senior at El Dorado and the yearbook’s editor in chief. “When I started the program, I didn’t know what I wanted to do but she saw something in me. She reinforced my strengths and weaknesses so I could grow into a good photo editor and writer.”

Though journalism is an elective, Martinez says the class prepares her students for college, careers and life.

“I love helping students find what they are good at, and I enjoy seeing them develop skills they can use no matter what career they pursue,” she said. “They will know how to meet deadlines, how to be strong writers, how to talk to people with confidence, and everything that comes with visual communication.”

Martinez will be formally recognized at the National High School Journalism Convention this fall in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the Rising Star award, visit the JEA website.

SISD students, employees showcase photography skills in ‘Print Those Pics’ contest

Numerous Socorro Independent School District students and employees participated in the third annual Print Those Pics cell phone photography contest, which was celebrated with an awards reception at SISD’s District Service Center.

Unique, creative and commemorative images showcased the skills of students and employees from all over the district who submitted their favorite photographs taken on their cell phones. This year, 320 submissions were entered in the contest.

SISD Visual Arts Specialist Macka Jones coordinated the event which he created a few years ago.

“I just wanted to get people involved with art and I figured the easiest way to do it was to use something they all have, which is a cell phone,” Jones said.

Twelve winners were selected at this year’s ceremony. Nine were in the student division and three in the employee division.

This year’s judge was local professional photographer Mayra Razo, who specializes in maternity, newborn, child, and family fine art portraits.

Participants were eager to see their photographs showcased. Many had never considered entering or displaying their work before and were excited to see it being admired by students, employees and members of the community.

Jasmine Casas, a junior at Pebble Hills High School, was pleased to hear her photo had earned an award, especially since she’d never entered a contest and she’d never even displayed it on social media before.

“It’s a picture I took a couple months ago when I went to New York,” said Casas, who won third place in the high school division for her photo “Haze Above the City.” “That day was our last day there and it really captures New York City, because it captures the skyline and the negative space at the top, and it has the fog right about the skyline.”

Jones said he was very happy to see smiles, knowing that photography is an outlet for people to express their feelings and views through a medium that most everyone has access to.

“It’s bittersweet because some of the photographs were taken of the tragedy that happened a few weeks ago at the Walmart, but it just shows that it impacted our students. It shows how they went and turned that into a positive thing for people to see and they wanted to exhibit their artwork,” Jones said. “So, we’re seeing it through their vision.”

Examples of those photos include “El Paso Strong” by Rene Mendoza from El Dorado High School, whose photo featured a local El Paso Strong mural for which he won second place, and another also titled “El Paso Strong” by Sebastian Rangel from Socorro Middle School, which displays the Walmart memorial and won third place.

The Print Those Pics exhibit will be on display now until the end of September at the District Service Center.

The winners of this year’s contest are:

Student Division – Elementary
1st Place: Brent Poiteyint from Cactus Trails
2nd Place: Adel Andrea Malanche from John Drugan
3rd Place: Ava Marquez from Sgt. Roberto Ituarte

Student Division – Middle School
1st: Karely Torres from Bill Sybert
2nd: Heather Hernandez from Socorro
3rd: Sebastian Rangel from Socorro

Student Division – High School
1st:  Helena Rubio El Dorado
2nd: Rene Mendoza from El Dorado
3rd: Jasmine Casas from Pebble Hills

Employee Division
1st Place: Maria E. Sosa from Escontrias
2nd Place: Rosa Contreras from Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco
3rd Place: Alicia Torres from Sgt. Roberto Ituarte

Print Those Pics event photos

Socorro ISD educator named Region 19 Teacher of the Year and State Finalist

Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary teacher and SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Perla Lozoya was named the 2020 Region 19 Elementary Teacher of the Year at the Region 19 celebration.

Region 19 officials announced that Lozoya is also a state finalist in the Texas Teacher of the Year program.

She is one of only three elementary school teachers to represent their areas at the state level in the recognition program to honor the state’s most outstanding teachers.

Lozoya is a fourth-grade teacher and has 14 years of teaching experience. Before becoming an educator, she was a social worker who offered teen parents guidance and support.

Her students say she teaches with enthusiasm and fills their minds with knowledge and their hearts with love. She loves to dance and incorporates music and dancing in many of her lessons.

Lozoya was recently a guest speaker at a Region 19 early childhood education conference, where she shared her passion for teaching using song and dance to engage her students and help them learn while being active and having fun.

The honor was bestowed on Lozoya, Thursday evening, August 22nd.

Socorro ISD announces on-line purchasing of tickets for SAC football games, athletic events

Student-athletes in the Socorro Independent School District are ready to kick off the fall season with enthusiasm and grit, and now fans can get a ticket to the excitement online.

“Our football games at the SAC are going to be big time events for our SISD community this coming season,” said SISD Athletic Director JJ Calderon. “Our athletic and fine arts programs have put in countless hours of preparation in order to represent their schools and communities to the best of their ability.  We are excited to showcase our highly competitive teams and quality performers this season.”

The football season opener features Eastlake taking on Canutillo at 5 p.m. Aug. 29 at the SISD Student Activities Complex, 1300 Joe Battle Boulevard.

Fans can purchase tickets to any SISD athletic game online using the Ticket Spicket website or mobile app. The cost for general admission tickets is $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Tickets on mobile devices will be scanned at the gates (tickets have a special barcode that cannot be duplicated). Tickets also will be sold at the door on game day.

Other fall sports include volleyball, tennis and cross country. Tennis teams had their season opener Aug. 6 and volleyball teams began their season on Aug. 13. Cross-country runners will have the Montwood Invitational Midnight Madness Aug. 23 at the SAC.

SISD develops well-rounded and exceptional student-athletes who excel in numerous sports. In the 2018-19 school year, SISD athletic teams earned 25 team trophies – 10 district, 11 bi-district and 4 area championships.

In addition, 24 individual student-athletes qualified and competed at state and a wrestler won the state championship. Last year, 79 student-athletes signed to continue playing their sport at colleges and universities.

Purchase tickets to watch SISD athletic games on the Ticket Spicket website.

Football games at the SAC

SISD high school athletic schedules

Workforce Solutions Borderplex seeking Employers for September’s JobCon at SISD

Ahead of next month’s SISD JobCon, Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB) officials are actively seeking “dynamic businesses” to take part in the event.

JobCon scheduled for Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at Socorro Independent School District (SISD.)  WSB officials say close to 2000 students will come together for a day of career exploration.

“Workforce Solutions Borderplex, in partnership with SISD, is hosting the JobCon to captivate and educate high school students about target industries and the high-demand careers in their area of the Borderplex region,”  officials shared via email. “At past JobCon events, students visited one-on-one with employers located in the Borderplex region, in a fun, collaborative setting.”

Companies who are interested in taking part in the SISD JobCon event must bring an engaging interactive exhibit where students can get hands-on experience in that industry.

The event offers employers the opportunity to not only display their services, but also the highlights of their industry to the future workforce.

Officials added that the JobCon Series was developed to captivate the interest and educate high school students in the Borderplex region about the high-demand careers that are available in their community.

“Students will leave this event knowledgeable about the diverse range of career opportunities available in their area, as well as the skills needed to acquire these jobs.”

The deadline for businesses to register to take part in the SISD JobCon is Friday, August 30th.

For more information on how to take part in the SISD JobCon, please contact the Business Services Unit at 915-887-2332 or at

Hambric sixth-graders happy to receive backpacks from The Great Khalid Foundation

Earlier this week, sixth-graders at Jane A. Hambric School were treated to a new backpack and school supplies from The Great Khalid Foundation at a special presentation at the school.

Hambric was one of three schools selected throughout the city by the foundation for the back-to-school giveaway, which generously helped some 100 students at the campus.

The sentiment of thankfulness rang throughout the gym at Hambric where the backpacks were distributed. Students waited eagerly in line to receive their backpacks filled with supplies and many held large colorful signs thanking The Great Khalid Foundation.

“It makes me feel proud, it makes me feel happy,” said Linda Wolfe, executive director of The Great Khalid Foundation and Khalid’s mother, upon accepting the many signs gifted to her. “It makes me feel like everything that we are doing is worth it.”

The Great Khalid Foundation is a non-profit founded to give back to the families in the city of El Paso. The foundation works to alleviate some of the financial burden for parents and provide students with opportunities to succeed.

“(The backpacks) are expensive, and we know that it’s a need,” Wolfe said. “We didn’t want parents to incur costs.”

The students were more than grateful and excited to receive the backpacks from the foundation created by the singer Khalid, who is an SISD alumnus and Americas High School graduate.

Student Giselle Aguirre had a message for her generous donor that was unanimous with that of her peers, “Thank you Khalid and we all love you.”

Hambric principal Joanne Anguiano said the school wrote an essay to The Great Khalid Foundation about the school’s demographics, students’ needs, academics, and the way they support their students’ education to be considered for the backpack giveaway.

“One of the very important things that The Great Khalid Foundation did was help a lot of our students who come from a low economic status and a lot of what’s on their mind is that they don’t have materials ready,” Anguiano said.

“We want to take that off their mind so they can just focus on their academics, to be ready and prepared to hit the ground running. We want to get them prepared for life.”

This year, the foundation joined KISS FM’s Mike and Tricia’s Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive. Wolfe said they decided on the partnership based on the radio team’s continued dedication to the community of El Paso over the last 23 years.

The backpacks and school supplies given to the Hambric students were donated by Walmart. Other supporters of this year’s Stuff the School Bus Drive were First Light Federal Credit Union, El Paso Electric and Western Tech.

Ramon Mendoza, a sixth-grader at Hambric, was thrilled to receive his Marvel-themed backpack.

“I want to be a singer like Khalid,” Mendoza said.

To view more Backpack giveway from The Great Khalid Foundation event photos, click here

Back to School! Students in Socorro, Clint ISDs return to class Monday

Where, oh where has the summer gone?  That’s the question that’s on the minds of thousands of students and parents as both Socorro ISD and Clint ISD open the 2019-2020 school year Monday.

CISD students, staff and teachers now join SISD in a near year-round-schedule, although Clint officials call the change a ‘balanced calendar.’

Via a news release, officials say Clint’s new balanced calendar will allow students to have breaks which are more frequent and evenly spread out throughout the academic school year.

“This calendar will also allow for intersessions in the fall and spring in which accelerated instruction and opportunities for enrichment can be provided for students,” district officials shared via an emailed news release. “The financial benefits of the balanced calendar will assist the District in funding needed activities aligned to adding instructional initiatives for all schools.”

Students will have intersession breaks beginning September 30-October 11 and March 9-13, with the last day of school falling on June 4, 2020.  To view the complete Clint ISD Schedule, click here.

Just down the road, Socorro ISD students make their familiar trek back to the classrooms as well.

SISD officials say they will welcome more than 47,000 students for the 2019-20 school year on Monday, and they be greeted by more than 3,500 educators across their 49 campuses.

For SISD students, the new opportunities for the 2019-20 school year include a new open enrollment policy, the opening of a new elementary school, three new early college high schools, the new Dual Language Academy, more technological devices and resources to enhance student learning, and improvements and renovations at existing facilities through Bond 2017.

With the opening of three new early college high school programs, SISD will be the only district in the region to offer an early college high school program at each one of its comprehensive high schools.

The new early college programs are Empire Early College at El Dorado High School, Falcon Early College at Eastlake High School, and Pebble Hills Early College at Pebble Hills High School.

Early college high schools give students the opportunity to graduate with up to 60 college credit hours or an associate degree along with their high school diploma.

Two significant milestones are also in store for two of the district’s campuses, as Montwood High celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, while over in the High Desert, Eastlake High School will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this school year.

The district’s newest campus, Cactus Trails Elementary, is opening for the 2019-20 school year in the Pebble Hills area. It is the 49th school in the district and welcomes some 900 students in Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was the first Bond 2017 project to be completed.

For more information on SISD, click here.

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 Southern Arkansas University.
  • 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


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