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Home | Tag Archives: socorro

Tag Archives: socorro

Americas, Eastlake, Socorro advance to 2019 UIL State Mariachi Festival

Three Socorro Independent School District mariachi groups will showcase their musical talent at the 2019 UIL State Mariachi Festival February 22 and 23 in Edinburg, Texas.

Americas, Eastlake, and Socorro high schools are three of the four mariachi programs in El Paso advancing to state after earning a Division One, Superior rating at the UIL Regional Mariachi Contest.

“It’s awesome for our schools and district to be represented at the state mariachi contest,” said Janet Lynch, SISD instrumental music specialist.

“Our students will get to compete with the best mariachis in Texas. It gives them the chance to see and listen to other groups and learn how to improve their craft in mariachi music.”

Each mariachi program has ten minutes to perform two songs, one in the style of son jalisciense. Groups that receive the highest rating will receive a trophy.

The SISD musicians are excited and feel confident that they will do well.

“This is such a big accomplishment,” said Alondra Carbajal, a senior at Eastlake High School. “We are very excited because we have been working really hard for this competition.”

With the upcoming state contest, the students are fine-tuning their skills and strengthening their stage presence.

“We are practicing as much as we can,” said Steve Ramirez, a senior at Socorro High School. “We are strong enough and I know we can do this. Le vamos a hechar ganas!”

Sergio Ramos, mariachi director at Americas High School, said the extra hours students spend practicing their violins, guitars, trumpets, and vocals will pay off.

“’These are hard-working kids and their commitment to the organization is very evident,” Ramos said. “I’m very proud of my students, and it makes me happy to see mariachis from different high schools participate. Hopefully, this becomes a standard for the city.”

To live stream the 2019 UIL State Mariachi Festival, visit the Texas UIL website.

Americas High

SISD, Project Vida Team Up, Earn Grant to Provide Behavioral Health Services at Schools

The Socorro Independent School District and Project Vida Health Center recently launched a Community Mental Health Grant Program in three high schools and their feeder campuses.

“We are honored to be working with Project Vida Health Center and humbled to be the first school district in the region to reap the benefits of this grant and expand the services to hundreds of students in our schools,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D.

“With this program, we are working together to listen to our children, to watch over them daily, to give them help right on the spot, or to be able to direct them to assistance with other agencies, if necessary.”

The program has been implemented through the Community Mental Health Grant, an $800,000 award donated to the health center from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The five-year grant is the only one of its kind to be awarded in the El Paso region and aims to eliminate barriers for students and families to receive behavioral health services and provide easy access to services from Project Vida Health Center at the schools.

The program serves students at Montwood, Pebble Hills and Socorro high schools and will serve the feeder schools in those areas, as well. The program started last year with successful implementation of services by Project Vida Health Center at Eastlake High School and Desert Wind School.

As part of the district’s proactive commitment to Keep SISD Safe, the goal is to expand the Community Mental Health Grant Program services to all high schools and feeder areas in the district.

Tammi Mackeben, SISD’s guidance and counseling director, said it is highly beneficial and important to have access to the behavioral health services directly on campuses.

“There can be many barriers to our students’ educational learning and one of those is their emotional health,” Mackeben said. “So, providing a service in our schools helps to make that barrier a little bit smaller.”

Along with Dr. Espinoza and Mackeben, Project Vida Health Center leaders, other social and emotional health partners, and SISD administrators, principals, counselors and staff attended a special ceremony at Pebble Hills High School to celebrate the program launch.

“The fact that Socorro ISD openly embraced this initiative says a lot about the district,” said Aida Ponce, chief wellness and outreach officer for Project Vida. “The district really wants to help students’ wellness and well-being. We see that there is a necessity to address that and that is why we started this program.”

Carmen Crosse, SISD’s assistant superintendent of secondary education, said the district does not shy away from things like emotional health.

“We know there is a need,” Crosse said. “We want to help our students. This program is about supporting our kids at all levels.”

The Community Mental Health Grant Program is supervised by a project manager and project director and promoted and sustained by an in-school outreach facilitator. A Project Vida Health Center navigator provides students and their families access to behavioral health services as needed from Project Vida Health Center or other community agencies.

The innovative program gives counselors more support to provide early intervention access to behavioral health services for students and families. The grant also allows more students in Team SISD to benefit from mental health services with ease and convenience.

“We know that if our students don’t feel safe emotionally, it is very difficult for them to perform academically,” Mackeben said. “So, providing this in the school makes it so students don’t have to leave school for these services. The can get these services right here on their campuses.”

Pebble Hills Principal Melissa Parham knows the importance of making sure students have overall good health to succeed.

“We will continue to watch our kids, watch for signs,” Parham said. “Now, we can get them the help they may need here. Honestly, we have hit the jackpot with this program.”

The programs were announced in October.  To view a gallery of the event, click here.

Area Bands ‘Tune Up’ For UIL Competition at EPISD Invitational at Franklin High

27 bands took the field at Franklin High School Saturday, as El Paso ISD hosted their invitational contest for area marching bands.

Serving as adjudicators for the event were Valentino Leyba, Kevin Moreman, and Shawn Silva, all band directors in the Las Cruces Public Schools. Instrumental Coordinator Julio Castillo was the contest organizer.

Due to the large number of bands entered, the contest was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. An awards ceremony was held at 11:30 after the first 13 bands performed. After a lunch break, the afternoon saw another 14 bands take the field, capping the day with an awards ceremony for these bands at the final conclusion of the contest.

Receiving first divisions, which denotes a “Superior” performance, were Franklin, Riverside, Parkland, Hanks, Bel Air, Eastlake and Del Valle High Schools in the morning session, and Irvin, Burges, Americas, and Coronado High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving second divisions, denoting an “excellent” performance, were Horizon, Eastwood, Ysleta, and Socorro High Schools in the morning, and El Paso, Andress, Jefferson Silva, and Chapin High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving a third division, or “good” performance, were Canutillo, Anthony, Fabens, Clint, Bowie, San Elizario, and Austin High Schools.

This contest served as a tune up for the bands and was great for getting some last minute pointers from the judges before the UIL contest next Saturday. All the El Paso-area bands will compete in the state- sanctioned contest which this year will advance 2-, 4-, and 6-A bands to the Area marching band contests for each respective class.

Those contests will take place in Amarillo for the 2-As, Lubbock for the 4-As, and Odessa for the 6-As on October 27th.

Locally, there is plenty more action coming up in Band-tober. The aforementioned UIL contest is next Saturday, October 13, at the SAC. This contest will be for ratings, just as today’s contest was, with qualifying bands advancing to the Area round of contests on the 27th.

On October 20, bands from Texas and New Mexico will take the field again at the SAC for the SISD Marchfest. The Marchfest contest uses a 7- person judging panel and is a two-round contest.

After prelims, 6 bands from the small band class will advance to a finals round, while 8 bands in the large band class will advance. No division ratings are given at this contest. Instead, the bands are given numerical scores and ranked in first place, second place, and so on.

The experience of competing for those rankings will come in handy for the last weekend in October. The advancing bands attending the Area contests will be ranked, and the highest -placing bands will advance to the State marching band contest.

This contest is held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 5,6, and 7.

Meanwhile, most of those bands not advancing to Area contests will instead journey up to Las Cruces for the NMSU Tournament of Bands, also taking place on October 27th. This contest, too, uses a 7-person judging panel and a prelims/finals format.

The Tournament of Bands for many years has served as the penultimate contest for bragging rights around the area, and promises some amazing marching show action for local band fans.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

Voices from the Valley: San Lorenzo, Manguera Water and Flowers for the Virgin Mary

I passed San Lorenzo on my way home yesterday. I grew up right behind the adobe church in Clint. Passing the church, I was reminded of the May flower offerings to the Virgin Mary when I was growing up. This we did every May and every May I offered flowers, but I wasn’t always happy about it.

See, I was a tomboy as a kid. I was outside all day long every day playing in the irrigation ditches of Clint, climbing in and out of the cars in my grandfather’s junkyard, scaling houses, sheds, and rock walls, riding my bicycle, recruiting bugs for my bug armies, and challenging the neighborhood kids to roller skating races.

I was also busy breaking bones as a kid. I thought I was Evil Knievel for a time and ended up breaking my collarbone. Playing in the junkyard also proved dangerous as well as I ended up breaking the fingers in my left hand. That didn’t matter though, I loved playing outside. I rarely came inside for anything, not even to drink water or eat.

There was no Xbox, no Playstation, no IPad. Heck, there wasn’t even Atari yet. My entertainment was outside.

If I was hungry, I’d run to my grandmother’s fig tree and swipe a fig. When I was thirsty I’d do what all the other kids did; I’d grab the manguera (Spanish for garden hose) to quench my thirst. It didn’t matter whose manguera we used.

Now, before I go any further, I need to explain how the  manguera is used.

There is a certain way to drink water from a  manguera and I feel I should point this out because it’s important. First, we’d never let the manguera touch our lips because we didn’t know where it had been. We’d turn the water on just enough so it wouldn’t run straight down.

We’d spread our legs slightly, and with our heads leaning forward we’d then drink. Now, we’d have to make sure trusted friends manned the spigot otherwise they’d turn the water on full force and we’d splash our faces.

There were no water bottles, no Dasani, no Evian, no Sam’s Choice. Nope, we got our water from the manguera.

However, my outdoor good times were cut short in May.

In May my mom would call me in early because as a young girl of a certain age belonging to the San Lorenzo parish, I had to make my daily offerings of flowers to the Virgin Mary along with the other little girls from the community. For me it was an ordeal though.

See, I hated wearing dresses. I couldn’t play outside in a dress. I couldn’t get on the roof of a shed in a dress. There was no way to explore the acequia in a dress. Certainly riding my bike in a dress would prove difficult. I mean Evil Knievel didn’t wear dresses! Dresses were inconvenient! Any self-respecting tomboy knew this and opposed them. I certainly did.

But, as a dutiful little Catholic girl that duty trumped everything and I acquiesced to my mother’s demands and donned the ruffles and lace so I could answer the call of the church bells summoning me and all the other little angels to make offerings to the Virgin Mary. It was our duty.

Plus, we did it out of fear. See, I grew up in the era of fearing the chancla (Spanish for sandal). For many of us if you didn’t do what your mother told you to do she’d throw a chancla at your head. In my house I also grew up with the fear of “making Baby Jesus cry.”

Yep, Abbie Franco never hesitated to pour on the Catholic guilt to get us to do things or to make us feel remorseful and rather miserable after we did something bad. She wasn’t opposed to reminding us that if we didn’t behave we were going to “make Baby Jesus cry.” I certainly didn’t want to do that so I obeyed.

Who am I kidding? I wasn’t always obedient. You’d think the fear of a chancla or making Baby Jesus cry would have kept me in line but if you ask my sister, I was quite the obstinate child, always doing exactly the opposite of what I was told.

If my mom said “don’t touch that,” I would look right at her and touch it, probably with a grin on my face. I guess I should apologize to the Baby Jesus for making him cry so much, should I ever make his acquaintance.

I wonder if apologizing to the Plaster of Paris infant Baby Jesus in a Nativity scene would suffice and absolve me of my childhood sins.

Anyway, back to the May flower offerings, I would run inside the house, and my mom would throw a dress on me. I’d be all sweaty and she’d barely wipe me down and get the frilly frock on me with just enough time for me to join my fellow innocent virgins at San Lorenzo.

Don Regino would still be ringing the church bells as we’d find our places in line and Ninfa would hand us our flowers. Ninfa was the San Lorenzo church lady. She was in charge of everything that had to do with the church. She taught catechism classes, supervised the choir, organized the offerings during mass, and to my recollection was more powerful than the priest and may have told off a bishop or two.

Looking back, I think she could have run the Vatican given the chance. Nobody ever messed with Ninfa. If we missed catechism, she’d drive around in her brown van, hunt us down, pick us up, and return us to catechism. Nope, we didn’t mess with her.

Oh my goodness, though, did this lady know how to make some mean gorditas.

But I digress. Now the flowers we offered weren’t real flowers. Nope, in typical, or stereotypical Mexican fashion, Ninfa would hand us plastic flowers to offer the Virgin Mary. We’d walk up to the altar single file and put our flowers in the vase at the feet of the Virgin de Guadalupe statue.

Little old Catholic ladies with lace doilies on their heads and rosary beads hanging from their hands would sing traditional hymns honoring the Virgin.

I just remember hoping this daily offering would end soon so I could dash outside.

Maybe if time allowed I’d make a quick stop at Don Poli’s store for some stale, old candy that I had to dust off before eating. I’d then run home and get out of my lace imprisonment in the hopes of catching more daylight and good times in the ditches, on the streets, or in my grandfather’s junkyard in my beloved dusty border town.





Author: Christina Franco



Voices from the Valley is a continuing series of stories, videos and live events from our Mission Valley, stretching from Ysleta to Tornillo.

Galleries: Socorro ISD Bids Farewell to Class of 2018

The Socorro Independent School District celebrated more than 3,400 graduates at commencement ceremonies on May 31, June 2 and 3 at the Region 19 Chito Samaniego center and the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Graduates from Options, Pebble Hills, Mission Early College, El Dorado, Americas, Eastlake, Montwood, and Socorro high schools were cheered on by family, friends and Team SISD members, including Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., the SISD Board of Trustees, and school faculty and staff.
The graduates at all the high schools were honored with special awards, words of congratulations and praise from various speakers, and special moments such as singing of the alma mater and school cheers.
The presentation of diplomas was the highlight of all the graduation ceremonies in Team SISD.
In total, the SISD Class of 2018 earned more than $45.8 million in scholarships and grants, collectively.
Pebble Hills High School Early College High School

El Dorado High School

Americas High School

Eastlake High School

Montwood High School

Socorro High School

Socorro ISD Student Artwork Showcased at El Paso Museum of Art

Socorro Independent School District students recently made history, as they were the first SISD students to exhibit their work at the El Paso Museum of Art.

“I am really excited for our students,” said Macka Jones, visual art specialist for SISD. “This is an amazing experience and for many of them a dream come true. We are proud to be a district of endless opportunities and that is what we created today, an opportunity for our students.”

Young artists were thrilled to see their beautiful ceramics, diverse paintings and hand-crafted sculptures at the 59-year-old museum. Their art was placed next to an exhibit featuring artwork owned by the actor and comedian Richard Anthony “Cheech” Marin.

“It’s pretty unbelievable that my work is being showcased at the El Paso Museum of Art,” Saenz said. “We all worked really hard to get here so we could display our love of art.”

Photo courtesy SISD

The exhibit originated last September when students toured the museum’s permanent collection of art, the 7,000-piece Kress Collection.

The students were asked to choose a work that caught their eye and create an art piece inspired by that particular work.

“Working with the SISD students and teachers has been a great experience,” said David Hernandez, education curator at the El Paso Museum of Art. “The art work is impressive and it’s interesting to see the direct correlation between their work and what they saw at the museum.”

Marquez, a senior at Pebble Hills, was inspired by American painter Raphael Soyer.

“It took a long time to finish my piece but I’m really proud of it,” Marquez said. “My freshmen year I would have never imagined that my work would be featured in a museum. This is a really big deal!”

Photo courtesy SISD

Teachers and parents also were happy to see the student work at the showcase.
“During the process I saw tears, passion and joy and that is the creation of art,” said Veronica Chaparro, art teacher at Eastlake High School. “To see them release their emotions into something visual and tangible for the community to see is amazing!”

The student art was displayed April 21-23 and drew a large crowd of students, families, teachers and friends.

The student showcase featured the work of 27 high school students from Americas, Eastlake, El Dorado, Montwood, Pebble Hills and Socorro high schools.

The students featured are: Alimei Saenz, Ana Calderas, Ana Varela, Andrea Soto, Ariel Anguiano, Ashley Diaz, Ayleen Garcia, Blanca Gonzalez, Brianna Robles, Caleb Hernandez, Desiree Boykin, Isaiah Gutierrez, Kimberly Juarez, Leslie Cuellar, Lynette Baez, Marlena Ray, Mikayla Espineli, Natalia Quizz, Natalia Arzola, Noelle Marquez, Paul Sescon, Phoebe Lozano, Sergio Chavez, Stephanie Vazquez, Vanessa Najera, Victoria Aldaco and Viridiana Kropf.

City of Socorro’s Heritage Celebration set for Friday and Saturday

The City of Socorro will be hosting a two-day event in conjunction and support of National Preservation Month.

On Friday, the city will be hosting an official grand opening of the public art show at the Rio Vista Community Center located at 901 North Rio Vista Road, from 6PM to 8PM. The public is welcome to attend, as the opening will feature a Q&A with the showcased artists, free refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The artists vary in age, skill set, and artistic medium.

The following day the City of Socorro, along with the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be hosting a community action day to promote, preserve, and protect the Rio Vista Community Center from 9AM to 12PM.

Volunteers are needed to help clean up the lot, build outdoor trash & recycling receptacles. The public will also witness a demonstration of adobe brick building, the effects of water erosion, and the significance of the Rio Vista Poor Farm.

Volunteers are asked to call the center at (915) 860-8615 to register as lunch will be provided. This is an all ages event.

For any questions please call the Rio Vista Community Center at (915) 860- 8615 or Public Relations Director- Victor Reta (915) 319-0125.

City of Socorro 2017 Call for Artists for Rio Vista Community Center Showcase

The City of Socorro has issued an open call for artists to participate in an upcoming spring art exhibit which will be housed in the historic Rio Vista Community Center this May.

The idea came as a pairing to address the goals of the City in creating new family friendly innovative community programming and the City’s Historical Landmark Commission to showcase the Rio Vista Community Center during National Historic Preservation Month.

The City is looking for unique pieces from artists of all ages, styles, & skill levels (professionals & amateurs are all encouraged) to be displayed for the public to enjoy.

Any artist wishing to participate need fill out a facility request form to reserve their space at the Rio Vista Community Center located at 901 Rio Vista,  during normal business hours (Monday through Thursday 8AM- 8PM & Friday’s 8AM – 4 PM.)

The City is looking to get a variety of artwork in different mediums: photography, sculpture, mixed media, canvas (oil, watercolor, acrylic), styrofoam, etc., all entries are welcome. All entries are required to be family appropriate, and should represent the Socorro area, be original, creative, and should include a small biography of the artists, and description of the piece.

The deadline for submissions is Friday April 28th at 3 PM.

Officials with the City of Socorro say this art exhibition is a means a means of attracting attention to the City’s beautiful history and the amazing talent of local artists. This art exhibit will run from May 1- 31st during the hours of operation of the Rio Vista Community Center, and will be free for the public to enjoy.

For any questions or concerns please call the Rio Vista Community Center at (915) 860-8615.

 Art Show 207 (1)

Socorro ISD invites Real Estate Industry Professionals to annual Realtors Meeting

The Socorro Independent School District invites Realtors, real estate agents and real estate industry professionals from East El Paso, Horizon and Socorro City to the SISD’s 2017 Realtors Meeting to learn more about Team SISD campuses, its student enrollment and the newly approved boundary changes.

District officials will discuss how new boundary changes will balance and maximize the use of all district facilities, as SISD effectively manages the ongoing growth.

The new boundaries were effective as of Jan. 3 for new students to the district, and will be effective for the 2017-2018 school year for current students.

Team SISD is committed to open and transparent communication with all district stakeholders and is eager to provide useful information for real estate agents and potential new homeowners in the district about our schools, boundaries, enrollment, and progress.

To RSVP for the SISD Realtors Meeting, please call 937-0284 or email by Jan. 25

What: 2017 SISD Realtors Meeting

Who: Realtors and real estate agents representing East El Paso, the City of Socorro and Horizon, SISD superintendent and administration

Where: SISD District Service Center, Rooms C & D  | 12440 Rojas Dr.

When: Friday, Jan. 27, 2017  11 a.m. Lunch / 11:30 a.m. Formal Presentation

Socorro ISD Recognized by Friends of Texas Public Schools for Best Practices

The Socorro Independent School District was recognized by a prominent statewide organization, Friends of Texas Public Schools, who featured an article about the district’s best practices on its website and electronic newsletter.

The article, “Best Practice Highlight: Socorro ISD is Standing and Delivering for all children!” mentions Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza’s commitment to educating and treating students as if they are his own.

The article, which was originally published on the Raise Your Hand Texas education website, also discusses Team SISD’s approach to closing the academic achievement gap through the implementation of its nationally recognized WIN Academy.

The WIN Academy is designed to help students who need more assistance than what is offered in a traditional school setting. The program has expanded to 16 campuses this school year giving students a digital learning device, extra instruction time, more hands-on learning and experiences, and a teacher that stays with them for more than one grade level.

To read the full article, visit the Friends of Texas Public Schools website.

‘Art for Your Health’ Exhibit Shares SISD Student Work with Community

Eye-catching, imaginative art created by Team SISD students in grades Pre-K through 12 is on display in the Art for Your Health exhibit at The Hospitals of Providence East.

The 100-piece display, held in the hospital’s Founders Hall, is a collaborative between SISD and the hospital. The artwork was selected from SISD’s annual spring show, a 2,000-piece contest. It features drawings, mixed media, photography, printmaking, design, painting and computer art.

The exhibit opened recently with an evening reception that featured the art students and entertainment by El Dorado High School mariachis, Americas High School orchestra, and Socorro High School choir. Hospital and district leaders attended the event.

“This is our seventh year doing the show,” said SISD’s Fine Arts Director Donald Rominsky. “It’s one of my favorites. It looks at the world through a child’s eyes. Whether it’s a painting of their pet dog or flowers, it’s what is important to that child.”

Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Marivel Macias said the exhibit’s opening reception is a great way to bring different entities together to honor SISD students and their accomplishments.

“This is a wonderful event that showcases students’ talents in art, music and singing,” Macias said. “It’s a great collaborative.”

2016 Art for your Health2Macka L. Jones, the district’s visual arts specialist, thinks displaying artwork in a non-district venue is good for students and the community.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to see some of the wonderful artwork the kids in our district have done,” Jones said. “This venue also allows our students the chance to exhibit their work to a larger audience. This show gives people, who may be down, a moment in time to just relax, enjoy something beautiful and smile.”

Art for Your Health brings a huge smile to the Romero family. One of the pieces, a colorful owl, belongs to 13-year-old Leilani Romero. The Col. John O. Ensor Middle School student is autistic. Art is the way she communicates with the world.

“She is so limited in the way she can express herself,” said Lizbeth Romero, Leilani’s mom. “Art is her passion. That is why we are so excited that her work was chosen for this. It makes her so happy.”

Leilani’s connection to art is why Phil Young, the new chief executive officer for Hospitals of Providence East, is excited about having the2016 Art for your Health1 exhibit in the hospital.

“People often refer to medicine as an art,” Young said. “I think it’s a wonderful connection that we have with the art of medicine and visual art coming together. Art is a soothing medium. It brightens people’s lives. This is a special treat for me.”

Jane A. Hambric art teacher Josie Viel also said art and medicine complement each other.

“Art heals,” Viel said. “It’s very therapeutic. It takes people’s minds off whatever they are feeling. That’s why this exhibit being here is so important. Patients can come see this and maybe it will take their mind off their troubles even if it’s for just a little while. Art, for many, is a saving grace.”

Socorro ISD offers Unique Opportunities for Professional Growth

The Socorro Independent School District continues to increase the capacity of its educators by providing unique programs to assist their professional growth.

The district focuses on growing strong educational leaders from within Team SISD and is proud to offer a new program for doctoral or master’s degrees and continue with its dual credit scholarship opportunity.

SISD, in partnership with UTEP, is offering district administrators and faculty members a unique program beginning in the spring 2017, which allows a cohort of SISD employees the opportunity to obtain a doctoral degree in the field of educational administration, or a master’s degree with an administrative license in principal certification.

“We are proud to offer opportunities to develop our teachers and administrators, and prepare them for future leadership roles within Team SISD,” said Alisa Zapata Farmer, SISD chief academic officer. “Investing in a highly qualified, effective faculty and staff is a top priority so that they can provide all students with endless opportunities.”

UTEP will work with the district’s year-round schedule to make the course schedule flexible and adaptable for district employees. Instruction will be provided through a hybrid method using face-to-face and online instruction. Classes will be conducted at SISD facilities and online.

The master’s degree program in educational administration will focus on K-12 administration, which can lead to a principal certification. Candidates in the advanced study programs also will be able to apply research to replicate effective outcomes and improve public and postsecondary education in the border community.

To give more students the opportunity to take dual credit courses, the district is expanding its dual credit program through scholarships that allow secondary educators to obtain their dual credit teaching credentials.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, some 70 teachers in the district have taken graduate courses at the University of Texas at El Paso and have earned their credentials through El Paso Community College to teach dual credit courses. The dual credit scholarship covers tuition, a parking permit, and initial registration fee. Scholarship recipients will be able to start taking graduate courses in the 2017 spring academic session.

Upon earning their certification, scholarship recipients can teach early college high school classes, advanced academics, and other courses that offer dual credit opportunities.

This year, more than 11,500 students in Team SISD are scheduled to take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam for free this year, a test that must be taken in order to take college courses while in high school.

To apply for the Dual Credit Scholarship Program, teachers must submit three letters of recommendation, including one from a current campus administrator, and a resume, to George Thomas, SISD’s director of career and technical education, by email at Application and document submission deadline is Oct. 31.

Informational meetings to learn more about this opportunity will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 20 and 25 at the District Service Center, 12440 Rojas Dr.

Team SISD schools earn 140 distinction designations from TEA

More students in the Socorro Independent School District continue to improve in their academic performance showing gains in student achievement, student progress and postsecondary readiness as reported in the 2016 Texas Education Agency accountability ratings system.

The 2016 report reveals that all 47 SISD schools, and the district as a whole, earned the Met Standard rating and received a total of 140 distinction designations by the TEA for its student performance.

“I commend our students, teachers, staff and all members of Team SISD for their hard work and WINning attitude,” said Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “Earning these distinctions is further demonstration that we are going above and beyond to ensure all Team SISD children succeed and graduate from high school prepared for college, careers and life.”

Six Team SISD schools earned distinction designation in every category: Mission Early College High School, SPC Rafael Hernando III and Col John O. Ensor middle schools, as well as SGT Roberto Ituarte, Elfida P. Chavez and Dr. Sue Shook elementary schools.

This year, the district received 20 more distinction designations than those awarded in 2015.

In addition, Team SISD’s student-centered efforts have resulted in continued academic growth in the STAAR exams. For a third consecutive year, SISD surpassed the state average in all 17 STAAR exams in grades 3 through 8, and by an even larger margin this past year in spite of increased passing standards. Before 2014, SISD students had never before surpassed the state in all grades 3 through 8 exams.

To reach this pinnacle in student performance, over the last four years SISD has jumped 136 percentage points in the grade 3-8 STAAR exams, whereas the state has only increased 13 cumulative percentage points.

While the STAAR results and accountability ratings show great improvements in student performance, Team SISD will continue its efforts to ensure every student succeeds. With a focus on college and career readiness, utilizing digital teaching and learning, and maintaining a highly effective and qualified staff, Team SISD will continue to strive for 100 percent academic excellence.

Socorro’s Rio Vista Farm named National Treasure

After being named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation on Saturday, the Rio Vista Farm in Socorro now has a new lease on life.

Thanks to support from Socorro residents, politicians and others from around El Paso County, the century-old facility is in line for restoration and preservation. A new page on the National Trust’s website: Saving Places not only gives the site’s history, but allows for visitors to donate to the cause.

“This designation is great news for people everywhere who stand to gain from a better understanding and appreciation of Rio Vista Farm’s unique history—and for residents of Socorro who want to see these buildings continue to play an important part in our civic life,” said Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz. “I’m looking forward to exploring innovative solutions that advance the site’s renewal.”

The honor was announced on Friday, September 16th, as people across the United States begin a month-long celebration of Hispanic heritage.

According to a news release, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Rio Vista Farm a National Treasure in recognition of the 101-year-old site’s significant role in shaping the region and serving as founding link for modern Mexican-American communities.

“As the nation’s conversation on its growing diversity continues to evolve, it’s essential to understand all sides of the American story—especially those that are controversial and challenge longstanding assumptions of our immigrant history,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “In designating Rio Vista Farm a National Treasure, we hope to capture the site’s central connection to the largest guest-worker program in our country’s history so that future generations benefit from the lessons farmworkers known as braceros can teach.”

The National Trust will work with city officials, community members, and other local partners and stakeholders to raise awareness of Rio Vista Farm’s role during the nationally significant, yet overlooked, Bracero Program and provide expertise in rehabilitation and reuse strategies to ensure its historic structures develop into assets that meet the future needs of the community.

Rio Vista Farm’s National Treasure campaign helps bring to light the stories of the skilled Mexican guest-workers brought in by the U.S. government to address farm labor shortages all across America during and after World War II. Despite the rise of traditionally marginalized Latino American communities, this long-lasting impact of the Bracero Program on the history and patterns of migration, settlement and agricultural economy in the United States and beyond remains relatively unknown to most Americans.

“Old buildings aren’t special because they are old, or beautiful, or well-built—though they can be all of those things—but, rather, because of the people who used them and whose memories and stories are tied to them,” said Evan R. Thompson, executive director of Preservation Texas. “Rio Vista Farm needs its buildings repaired, landscape revived and stories told—and in doing so we can reveal truths about ourselves as a society that constantly struggles to reconcile the reality of our inequalities.”

Preservation is about people and at Rio Vista Farm, a site also revered for its family-operated beginning as a poor farm and its sheltering of neglected children during the Great Depression, it is about managing positive change through direct community engagement that positions the needs and concerns of the people of Socorro and the surrounding El Paso area at the center of the work.

“Rio Vista Farm’s designation as a National Treasure will go a long way in ensuring that a rehabilitation and revitalization plan is developed to engage public and private partnerships and realize the dream of a fully restored community,” said Gary Williams, senior program officer of El Paso Community Foundation.

Additionally, Rio Vista Farm’s adobe structures can benefit from hands-on training in adobe construction and restoration. Relatively simple in construction, the various buildings are ideal for use as a living classroom to train Texans young and old in the skills required to work with adobe.

The lessons learned at Rio Vista Farm can then be applied to historic sites throughout the southwest, where adobe structures await preservation.

Rio Vista Farm joins a growing portfolio of irreplaceable, diverse places—from ancient sites to modern monuments—that have been designated National Treasures.

Forbes, Quintanilla Inducted Into Socorro Wall of Honor

The Socorro High School Baseball Program is hosted a Wall of Honor Ceremony at Chris Forbes Field on the campus of Socorro High School.  The ceremony featured former Head Coach Chris Forbes and graduate Omar Quintanilla as they had  their Jersey numbers retired into the Wall of Honor.

About Head Coach Chris Forbes #4,  El Paso native  was named Head coach at Socorro high school in 1986 coached nearly 40 years including youth and summer leagues. During his career he has lead Socorro to 16 district titles, 19 Bi- District Titles, Nine Area Championships, Six Regional Quarter Final Championships, Four Regional Semi-Final Championships, One Regional Final Championship and One State Championship.

In 2009, Forbes Coached Socorro High school to its first ever Class 5A State Championship. Has earned Eight El Paso High School Coach of the Year Awards and 2009 named Texas High School State “Coach of the Year” for the 5A classification. Coach Forbes has been inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Baseball Hall of Fame ’13, and both the El Paso Athletic and Baseball Hall of Fame’s.

Under Forbes, seventeen of his players have been named to Texas High School All State Teams, eighteen of his players have played professionally.

Coach Forbes is the All Time El Paso High School leader in wins as a Head Coach with 577 wins.SHS Wall Of Honor-156

Omar Quintanilla #24 Socorro Class of 2000, Four- Time District and Bi-District champion, also led the City of El Paso in Home Runs and RBI’s.

Named the All–City Most Valuable Player and was also named to the Texas High School All-State Team. Received a Scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin where he was named the Big XII conference Freshman Player of the Year. NCAA College World Series winner and 2002 All College World Series Team selection.

Professionally, Quintanilla was drafted in the first round (33rd overall) by the Oakland Athletics in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. Quintanilla made his Major League debut in 2005 for the Colorado Rockies and won a National League Championship in 2007. Omar also played with the 2011 Texas Rangers and won an American League Championship. Other teams that Quintanilla has played for are the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles

In attendance at the ceremony included  SISD board of Trustee Gary Gandra, City of Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz, City of Socorro Manager Adriana Rodarte and  former Socorro Stand-out Cory Falvey , (2009 Texas State High School Baseball player of the year),  presented  Coach Forbes into the Wall of Honor.

Here are some of the highlights of the event.

From Left to Right: Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz, Coach Chris Forbes, SISD Trustee Gary Gandara , Omar Quintanilla, Socorro Head Coach Joe Alvarez
From Left to Right: Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz, Coach Chris Forbes, SISD Trustee Gary Gandara , Omar Quintanilla, Socorro Head Coach Joe Alvarez
Chris Forbes speaking during the Socorro Wall of Honor
Chris Forbes speaking during the Socorro Wall of Honor
Omar Quintanilla speaking during the Wall of Honor.
Omar Quintanilla speaking during the Wall of Honor.
Chris Forbes holding up his Wall of Honor Award
Chris Forbes holding up his Wall of Honor Award
Omar Quintanilla holding up his Wall of Honor Award
Omar Quintanilla holding up his Wall of Honor Award
The Stage for the Socorro Wall of Honor Ceremony
The Stage for the Socorro Wall of Honor Ceremony
Quintailla's Wall of Honor Award
Quintanilla’s Wall of Honor Award
Chris Forbes (Left) celebrates with Omar Quintanilla (Right) during the Wall of Honor Ceremony at Socorro High
Chris Forbes (Left) celebrates with Omar Quintanilla (Right) during the Wall of Honor Ceremony at Socorro High
Socorro High Principal Jesse Teran
Socorro High Principal Jesse Teran
Socorro Mayor Jesus Riz
Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz
Former Socorro Stand-out Cory Falvey
Former Socorro Stand-out Cory Falvey

SHS Wall Of Honor-57

Coach Forbes and Omar Quintanilla sharing a hug during the Wall of Honor Ceremony
Coach Forbes and Omar Quintanilla sharing a hug during the Wall of Honor Ceremony
Coach Chris Forbes signing a baseball during the Wall of Honor
Coach Chris Forbes signing a baseball during the Wall of Honor


Coach Forbes and Omar Quintanilla taking a picture with the Socorro High Cheerleaders
Coach Forbes and Omar Quintanilla taking a picture with the Socorro High Cheer leaders
Coach Chris Forbes along side his Mother
Coach Chris Forbes along side his Mother Barbara Forbes
Former Socorro Pitcher Jesse Estrada chatting with Coach Forbes
Former Socorro Pitcher Jesse Estrada chatting with Coach Forbes
Omar Quintanilla signing autograph during the Wall of Honor
Omar Quintanilla signing autograph during the Wall of Honor
Omar Quintanilla exchanging a high-five with a young fan during the Socorro Wall of Honor
Omar Quintanilla exchanging a high-five with a young fan during the Socorro Wall of Honor
Forbes and Quintanilla Retired jersey numbers
Forbes and Quintanilla Retired jersey numbers
2016 Socorro Wall of Honor Inductees, Chris Forbes (Left) and Omar Quintanilla (Right)
2016 Socorro Wall of Honor Inductees, Chris Forbes (Left) and Omar Quintanilla (Right)
Soccer/Volleyball 728
Khalid 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Mountains 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Lucha 728
STEP 728