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Home | Tag Archives: #TeamSISD (page 2)

Tag Archives: #TeamSISD

Fathers, Sons Invited to Annual Socorro ISD Father-Son Conference

Socorro Independent School District invites all sixth- through 12th-grade boys and their father or a father figure to the eighth annual districtwide Father-Son Conference.

The conference will be held at Montwood High School this Saturday, September 30th, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The free event helps fathers and sons spend quality time and learn about unique programs and opportunities available to SISD students including, early college programs and advanced academic academies.

Other sessions include college and career opportunities, cyberbullying and self-esteem and self-confidence workshops.

The one-day event also will feature games and team building activities –guests are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing.

To register, participants should visit the district website, click on the “Parent” tab and select “Father-Son Conference” or register in person at any SISD campus with the communities in school or campus liaisons.

A light breakfast will be provided and canned goods and non-perishable food items, to benefit those in need, will be accepted.

For more information, contact Fernie Vasquez at 937-1609 or or Alice Galvan at 937-2439 or at

What:             8th annual SISD Father-Son Conference

Who:              SISD sixth- through 12th-grade boys, father’s and father figures

Where:           Montwood High School, 12000 Montwood Dr.

When:             Saturday, September 30, 2017  |   8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Socorro ISD Super Named Finalist for Escalante-Gradillas National Education Award

Socorro Independent School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. José Espinoza has been named a finalist for the Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education.

Dr. Espinoza is one of five finalists from across the country being considered for the prestigious prize that recognizes academic excellence.

As a nominee for the prize, Dr. Espinoza shared his commitment to treat and educate all students as if they are his own children; his personal experience as a minority, low-income student; and his ganas to ensure every student succeeds by creating the WIN Academy for vulnerable students.

He has been a dedicated educator for 21 years and an inspirational and successful leader in Team SISD, improving student performance, earning numerous accolades for instructional accomplishments, and garnering widespread recognition for SISD. established the annual Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education in 2014. The winners exemplify a commitment to learning, discipline, character-building, and high expectations that characterized East L.A.’s Garfield High School when Jaime Escalante taught there and Henry Gradillas was its principal.

The winner is honored for his or her legacy of academic excellence and is awarded $10,000 for him or herself and $10,000 for his or her school or school district. If he wins, Dr. Espinoza will donate the $10,000 awarded to him to a student.

The winner of the 2017 Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education will be announced on Oct. 5.

El Dorado Teacher Recognized as 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award Finalist

El Dorado High School art teacher Candace Printz was recognized as a top educator in Texas and a 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award finalist on May 7 at a special H-E-B awards ceremony in Austin.

The Socorro Independent School District educator was one of five Texas teachers selected as a finalist in the leadership secondary award category which honors educators for their outstanding dedication and commitment to students.

“I am extremely grateful to be an H-E-B finalist,” Printz said. “There are so many great teachers and amazing mentors in the state, so I’m deeply honored to have received this recognition.”

Earlier this year, Printz was recognized with a cash prize of $1,000 for herself and another $1,000 for her school during a surprise visit by H-E-B representatives and SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza.

2017 Candace Printz HEB 5“We are extremely proud of Ms. Printz for being selected as a finalist of this prestigious award,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Her work, dedication and passion for students is admirable and truly embodies what our district is about. I commend her for her great work and thank her for being a role model to our children!”

Printz’ was nominated as a finalist for a plethora of accomplishments, including her innovative It’s Your World community project, which aims to collect trash and recyclables in the El Paso area and turn the waste into beautiful art; being the first-ever SISD Wall of Honor recipient in 2016; and being named an SISD campus Teacher of the Year in 2011 and 2017.

The educator plans to continue the project as well as start a non-profit organization with her students to continue creating an environmentally conscious culture in the El Paso community. 2017 Candace Printz HEB1

“We’ve learned so much this year and I look forward to continue this project by starting a non-profit organization where students who spearheaded the project can be our board members,” she said. “The objective will be to research our city’s laws, make suggestions and educate the community to be more progressive when it comes to recycling.”

This is the second year Printz has been recognized by H-E-B. Last year, she was one of 140 semi-finalists selected for the award out of the more than 1,400 submissions in Texas.

THE H-E-B award was created in 2002 as a way to support public education in Texas and pay tribute to educators who go the extra mile each day to serve their students, communities and inspire others to do the same, according to the H-E-B webpage.

Socorro ISD wins CoSN’s 2017 Team Achievement Award

The Socorro Independent School District was selected as the winner of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 2017 Team Achievement Award for its transformative impact on education technology, and effective efforts in improving student learning, opportunities, and access to technology.

Team SISD, including Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza and the district’s Department of Technology Services, was recognized at the CoSN conference April 4 in Chicago, where they were presented a $1,000 honorarium for winning the prestigious award.

“We are honored to have been selected winners of the 2017 Team Achievement Award,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Our technology team is 100 percent committed to providing all Team SISD students advanced technology resources and endless opportunities that will guide them to become future ready graduates. All SISD students will succeed in the 21st century!”

Dr. Espinoza and the technology department were selected for the award for their commitment to Operation Future Ready, a proactive plan to provide technology resources and digital learning to all students. In addition, SISD was recognized for its outstanding leadership, building an effective team, and the district’s transformation of academic rigor through the use of technology.

CoSN 1Among the innovative programs using technology to develop 21st century confident, resilient and globally competitive graduates is the district’s WIN Academy, which supports vulnerable children to succeed academically with extra instruction and resources, such as a personal digital learning device and an online curriculum.

“We were deeply impressed by the commitment and measurable impact Socorro ISD initiatives had on student success,” said Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO in an email.

SISD’s Operation Future Ready efforts also includes the Digitally Nurturing Academics (DNA) 1:1 program that places technology in the hands of freshmen students across Team SISD.

The program provides freshmen students their own laptop to use throughout high school so they have 24/7 access to technology.

“We need to make sure all students have access to technology,” said SISD Chief Technology Officer Hector Reyna. “We started the program with freshmen, and we will continue to add a grade level every year so that students can engage in digital learning at all times.”

Another initiative that has propelled the district’s digital transformation is Operation College Bound. OCB is the district’s commitment to instill a college culture at every campus with technology-rich instruction and aligned to a college preparatory curriculum that will enable students to graduate ready for a college and career of their choice.

“College is for all 46,000 students in our school district,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Our district is going to prepare all students for a bright future no matter what their background or economic situation is.”

Socorro ISD Administrator named a Texas National Distinguished Principal Finalist

Rosa Chavez-Avedician, principal at James P. Butler Elementary School in the Socorro Independent School District, was selected as a 2017 Texas National Distinguished Principal (NDP) finalist by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.

The NDP award honors principals who exhibit extraordinary leadership, commitment to their students and staff, service to their communities and contributions to the profession, including their professional associations.

“I am honored and humbled to be named a finalist as a National Distinguish Principal. I am excited for TEPSA to visit and feel “The Butler Experience!” Chavez-Avedician said. “All recognitions are a result of the amazing scholars we have, the outstanding teachers and staff, and the supportive parents and community surrounding our campus. James P.  Butler believed “every child, every day” and we strive for excellence in that motto.”

Chavez-Avedician was one of eight Texas principals to be named a finalist out of more than 123 nominations that were received for the award. She was nominated by her peers through a rigorous and competitive process.

“Team SISD is very fortunate to have such great leaders as Mrs. Rosa Chavez-Avedician,” said Lucia Borrego, assistant superintendent of elementary education. “This is a great accomplishment and we are very proud of her and all her efforts!”

The 2017 NDP award recipient will be announced in May at a surprise school visit. That principal will receive $10,000 and represent Texas in Washington, D.C. As a finalist, Chavez-Avedician will be recognized at the TEPSA awards reception in June.

“The school principal is critical to student and teacher success,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said in a press release. “These exemplary principals are making a difference in the lives of students across Texas.”

Being named the 2017 NDP is the highest praise a principal can receive from his or her peers in the profession, according to the TEPSA website.

Socorro ISD College, Career and Job Expo set for March 23

Team SISD juniors and seniors are invited to the district’s second annual College, Career and Job Expo from 8 -11 a.m. March 23 at Montwood High School.

The College, Career and Job Expo will allow students between the ages of 16 to 21 to speak with representatives from a variety of business and industry fields and explore education pathways that will prepare them for future jobs and careers.

Participants also will meet business and industry representatives to learn about the qualifications and skill requirements necessary for a career in their field.

Students are encouraged to dress professionally and have copies of their resume as they will have the opportunity to interview with potential employers for summer jobs and internships.

In addition, Team SISD students will hear from post-secondary institutions, colleges, technical schools and military representatives about post-secondary education opportunities.

To learn more about the SISD College and Career Job Expo, visit


Socorro ISD to host Military Collegiate Forum Wednesday

Socorro Independent School District is hosting the Military Academy Collegiate Forum from 6-8 p.m on Wednesday, February 22 at the SISD District Service Center.

Students, and their parents, can explore numerous U.S. military career opportunities and meet representatives from the United States Coast Guard, Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. In addition, participants can learn about the Military’s Tuition Assistance Program which provides service members the opportunity to enroll in accredited colleges, universities, and vocational-technical schools.

2017 Collegiate Forum2“We welcome all of our students and parents to come in and learn about post-secondary options,” said Mayra Ortega, SISD’s district counselor. “It’s important that we involve both students and their parents so they can be informed and help their kids make the best decision.”

This year, Team SISD organized five Collegiate Forums to help students and their parents learn more about the college application and financial aid process. The forums also were a way for participants to meet representatives from different colleges and universities.

“I have one year left in high school and then I’m off to the real-world, so this event was great because it guided me,” said Armando Varela, junior at Socorro High School. “The forum helped me learn about colleges and explore my options.”

In addition to receiving information, parents also found the forums to be helpful and a way to receive support from district counselors. 2017 Collegiate Forum1

“Coming to the forum was important to me,” said Olga Varela, mother of the student. “I like that they also invite parents because I wouldn’t know where to start and this will guide us. I know my child will be ready for college when he graduates.”

Team SISD supports students with whichever post-secondary decision they decide to go with, Ortega said.

“All options are possible and attainable, and we support our students in their efforts to make it happen,” she said.

For more information, parents can contact their child’s school counselor or the Department of Guidance and Counseling at 937-0322.

Americas High’s Libertas Students to Educate Community on Citizens’ Rights

The Americas High School Libertas Academy unveiled its plans to launch its Communities in Action and Anti-Bullying Youth Court initiatives.
The Libertas Academy will host a public meeting for all community members regarding civil rights, voter education, and the school’s anti-bullying efforts at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at the school.

“Voting rights are important,” said Jonathan Perez, senior student in the Libertas program. “A lot of people don’t understand the importance of their voice in the voting spectrum and how it can affect our leaders.”

Libertas students educate community2The Communities in Action initiative will include Texas House Representative Mary Gonzalez, the Law Office of Danny Razo and Law Office of Monique Velarde Reyes, who will give presentations to help citizens be aware of their legal rights. The students also will assist in educating the public about how to become a U.S. citizen

“It’s important the we have events like these to announce the plans of the Libertas program,” said Kyle Donnelly, senior student and vice president of the program. “Libertas focuses on student success but it also focuses and student involvement in the campus and in the community. We want to have great students, and we also want great citizens!”

The event on Dec. 15 also will allow students to explain more about their new Anti-Bullying Youth Court program. The mock trial program will be an avenue for students to discuss bullying prevention and awareness and give students experience in developing and discussing solutions to serious issues involved with bullying.

“The Libertas student body is all about being united,” Perez said. “We feel like it is our responsibility as future models and vehicles of social and political change to take affirmative action on making a difference in our community.”

The Libertas Academy is one of six advanced academic academies offered at SISD high schools and is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in government and public administration or law.

Socorro ISD to host First-Ever Comic Con Event

The Socorro Independent School District will have its first-ever Comic Con event for high school students across the district from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 6 at the District Service Center.

The districtwide event aims to streamline non-traditional forms of literature and storytelling into curriculum while offering support to students who are already involved in developing and creating their own comic books and graphic novels.

The unique event is another way to promote reading, writing and to encourage students to refine their creativity in their learning.

The event will feature guest speaker and illustrator Raul Gonzalez III. Participants can enjoy a comic artist competition, games, prizes and more. Comic Con is open to all SISD high school students. Limited tickets are available.

To register to compete, students can visit the district website.

What:             First-ever SISD Comic Con event

Who:              SISD high school students, illustrator Raul Gonzalez III

Where:           SISD District Service Center  12440 Rojas Dr.

When:            Dec. 6, 2016  5 – 7 p.m.

Socorro ISD beats Canutillo ISD 32 to 24; ‘Warm the Soul’ Overall Winner

Team SISD and Canutillo ISD leaders, board members, and employees faced-off for a friendly flag football match as part of the Socorro Independent School District’s annual Warm the Soul collection drive to benefit needy students.

The game ended with a victory for SISD who defeated Canutillo with a score of 32-24.

Since its inception in 2014, SISD’s Warm the Soul initiative has collected more than 600 pairs of new shoes for underprivileged children. This year, the district also collected blankets, scarves, socks, mittens and beanies.

SISD _ Canutillo ISD Warm the Soul3“Warm the Soul is a fun and unique event where Team SISD and Canutillo ISD join efforts to help students in need,” said SISD Superintendent of School Dr. José Espinoza. “Buying a new pair of shoes can be difficult for some families and we want to help with that need. A new pair of shoes, scarf, mittens or beanies will keep our students warm this season, boost their confidence, and allow them to focus on the education they deserve.”

The charity game, which kicked-off at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Student Activities Complex, welcomed an array of players, including the two superintendents, board members, principals, coaches and other district staff who demonstrated their best athletic abilities and united for a good cause.

“This is my third year participating in Warm the Soul,” said Norma Myers, principal at O’Shea Keleher Elementary School. “Bridging two districts together to help students in need is great! We do it on a daily basis, but to do it this way is a lot of fun.”

After the game, Dr. Espinoza thanked Canutillo ISD and Team SISD staff for their donations and support. SISD Board President Gary Gandara, CISD Board president Stephanie Frietze, and trustee Armando Rodriguez, also thanked both teams for their participation.

“We appreciate Canutillo ISD for getting involved and bringing shoes to benefit our students,” President Gandara said. “This will definitely bring a smile to our students faces.”

SISD _ Canutillo ISD Warm the Soul1

‘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.”

TEA names 8 SISD Schools as High-Performing/High-Progress Campuses

Socorro Independent School District schools have earned eight Texas Education Agency high-performing or high-progress Title 1 designations for 2015-2016.

SISD’s 2015-2016 high-performing campuses are Mission Early College High School, Elfida Chavez Elementary, Loma Verde Elementary, Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School, and James P. Butler Elementary School.

SISD’s 2015-2016 high-progress campuses are Mission Early College High School, Elfida Chavez Elementary School, and Loma Verde Elementary School.

“This recognition of our high-performing and high-progress schools affirms the high-quality education that Team SISD students are receiving across the district,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “I applaud our hard-working students, teachers, and principals for their dedication to academic excellence.”

The TEA has identified 300 campuses across the state as high-performing and/or high-progress Title I schools for 2015-2016. Title I schools are defined as campuses with a student population of at least 40 percent low-income.

The identification of high-performing and/or high-progress is based on statewide reading and mathematics assessments under the State Accountability System in the 2014-2015 school year and graduation rates.

Mission Early College High School, Elfida Chavez Elementary, and Loma Verde Elementary School were named as high-performing or high-progress schools for the second consecutive year.

“I am proud of our schools for providing endless opportunities to ensure every student succeeds,” Dr. Espinoza said. “We will continue to strive for 100 percent academic excellence at all campuses.”

A high-performing reward school is identified as a Title I school with distinctions based on reading and math performance, as well as the highest graduation rates at the high school level.

A high-progress reward school is identified as a Title I school in the top 25 percent in annual improvement and/or a school in the top 25 percent of those demonstrating ability to close performance gaps (based on state accountability system safeguards in the 2014-2015 school year).

New Wi-Fi Hotspots give Socorro ISD Students more Access to Internet

As part of its continued Future Ready efforts, Team SISD has added 275 Wi-Fi hotspots to its student resources and is making them available for students to use on a check-out basis.

The Wi-Fi check out system is part of Team SISD’s commitment to provide 24/7 access to technology for students and ensure they are engaged in high-quality, digital learning in order to be prepared for college, careers and life.

The hotspots are available at 16 WIN Academy campuses and high schools in Team SISD. Students can check-out the Wi-Fi hotspots from the library to use at home.

Team SISD is leading the way in digital teaching and learning, which includes expanding access to high-speed internet, providing more advanced technology tools, utilizing web-based instruction, and providing training for educators to be technology savvy.

“It is imperative that we connect our students to the internet and the latest technology in order for them to be successful in our fast-paced, high-tech society,” said Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “As a Future Ready school district, we are committed to doing everything possible to give students the technology they need to become globally competitive graduates.”

As part of Operation Future Ready efforts, Team SISD students have the latest digital tools, such as laptops and tablets, at their fingertips, and classrooms, labs and libraries districtwide are equipped with high-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access. The hotspots are the latest addition to give students increased access to the internet.

The high-tech tools give students more blended learning opportunities, which combines traditional face-to-face instruction with web-based online learning.

The students in the WIN Academy campuses are receiving instruction through a digital curriculum and use a personal digital learning device. The WIN Academy is a unique program that ensures students who struggle in a traditional education setting receive more learning time with a double dose of reading and math, more resources, and more personalized learning with a teacher who loops with them for multiple years.

“Offering more digital resources, especially to our WIN Academy students, enables us to provide Team SISD students rigorous, relevant instruction,” said SISD Chief Technology Officer Hector Reyna. “We’re proud to offer these Wi-Fi hotspots so that their learning doesn’t have to stop in the classroom. The increased internet access gives them the freedom to keep learning at any time in any location.”

Last year, the district launched an interactive web page ( with a comprehensive list where students and families can access free Wi-Fi services in the community.

The free Wi-Fi locations page allows students and parents to quickly locate establishments where they can use the internet for free on phones, tablets and other mobile devices. The Wi-Fi page includes a map and is user-friendly. Business owners and community members can also assist in keeping the list current by submitting information to add or remove locations that offer free Wi-Fi service.

Along with providing more technology tools, Team SISD is working hard to further expand and improve the district’s infrastructure to maintain high-speed internet access and technological support. The district was approved in 2015-2016 for $2.6 million in E-rate funds, a federal program that gives school districts and libraries the opportunity to apply for discount services with Internet access, broadband connectivity and network equipment.

Socorro ISD invites High School Students to State Collegiate Forum

Socorro Independent School District high school students and their parents are invited to a state college forum Nov. 1 at Americas High School.

Participants will receive information about college selection, college costs, and the application process, and hear from college representatives from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech, TCU, and more.

The college representatives will give Team SISD students valuable insight about the college admission process, provide a description of university life, and answer questions students may have about their post-secondary education.

What:             SISD State Collegiate Forum

Who:               Team SISD high school students, parents, colleges and universities

Where:           Americas High School, 12101 Pellicano Dr.

When:             Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 |  6 to 8 p.m.

Socorro ISD hosts 2nd Annual Career Awareness Conference for Students, Parents

The second annual Career Awareness Conference will provide fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders with the educational opportunities that are available to them while in high school and stress the importance of their success within the core academics areas so they can develop solid reading, writing and math skills.

Students will learn about the exciting opportunities available at SISD, such as the Career and Technical Education program, advanced academic courses, dual credit courses, academies/magnet programs and early college high schools. SISD high school students who are currently involved in these classes, will present sessions to students and parents about the various programs.

In addition, business and industry partners will participate in the program to present on high-need and high-demand jobs and careers. They will share information about the education and skills necessary for those careers.

District and school staff will be available for questions about endorsements, course options, and other college and career preparations. Breakfast will be provided by Pebble Hills Culinary Arts students. Learn more about the showcase at

What:             SISD’s second annual Career Awareness Showcase

Who:              SISD fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders, parents; Career & Technical Education, advanced academics and academic academy students, faculty and staff; district and school staff and administrators, and business and community partners

Where:           Pebble Hills High School 14400 Pebble Hills Blvd.

 When:            Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 8 a.m. to noon

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