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Home | Tag Archives: yisd

Tag Archives: yisd

YISD Board of Trustees, Administrators Named Best in Region

The Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) Board of Trustees has been named the 2017-18 Regional Honor School Board for demonstrating excellence, dedication, and ethics in their service to public education.

With the honor, the board will now go on to compete for statewide recognition from the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA).

YISD Trustees were selected for the Honor Board award by the Region 19 Education Service Center (ESC), which based its decision on criteria that included the board’s support for educational performance; educational improvement projects and school transformation initiatives; commitment to a code of ethics; and placement of the welfare of children served by the school system above other motives.

The elected members of the YISD school board are President Connie Woodruff; Vice President Sotero G. Ramirez III; Secretary Mike Rosales; and Trustees Carlos Bustillos, Richard Couder, Kathryn Lucero, and Cruz Ochoa. They will vie against other regional winners in August for one of five Texas Honor Board awards, which are given annually by TASA for dedicated, ethical service that makes a positive impact on schoolchildren of Texas.

“This past year, we have accomplished many things, ranging from continued implementation of our Bond Program to initiatives for increasing student achievement,” Woodruff said. “Not only do our board members have trust and respect for each other, but we also genuinely want the best for every student, teacher, administrator, and staff member at YISD. It is a pleasure to serve on this board, and I look forward to the challenges in the year ahead.”

Two administrators have also been named the best in the El Paso region for their professionalism, leadership, and dedication to serving Ysleta ISD students and schools.

Bel Air High School Principal Charlie Garcia was named the 2017-18 Regional High School Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP), which annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.

Garcia was chosen for the honor for demonstrating excellence in four areas: Personal Excellence; Collaborative Leadership; Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment; and Personalization. He is now eligible to compete for Texas High School Principal of the Year, which will be announced in mid-December.

As a regional winner, Garcia will also be recognized at TASSP’s awards dinner during this year’s Summer Workshop.

Lastly, YISD Student Health Services Director Carey Raymond-Holden was named 2018 Regional School Nurse Administrator of the Year by the Texas School Nurses Organization (TSNO) for her tireless efforts to improve working conditions for school nurses while keeping a pulse on the administrative side of the district and daily clinic routines.

She will receive a special plaque at the TSNO annual conference in November in Dallas to celebrate her excellence in school nursing and her leadership in school health, and is eligible to compete for Texas Affiliate School Nurse Administrator of the Year.

Sageland Students Win BizKids Entrepreneurship Contest; YSID Board Honors Team

The Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees honored a team of Sageland Elementary School students, who outperformed middle-school students from across Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to win the BizKids Entrepreneurship Contest.

Sponsored and mentored by GECU, the MicroSociety students created the winning proposal for a business called “Sageland Scottie Treats,” which would market and sell fresh-baked goods to parents for classroom birthday parties and holidays.

The plan also called for a variety of menu choices, a website, and a community impact initiative to donate birthday celebrations to underprivileged children.

Sageland school officials said, “The students presented their business plan, products, and financial information to a panel of judges, who awarded them with the top prize…our Sageland Scotties have made us proud with their hard work, determination, and ambition, and we applaud them on a job well done!”

The Sageland MicroSociety BizKids are: Michaela Bueno, Jennelee Baeza, Brandon Carrillo, Amber Masoud, Michelle Olivas, and Amanda Sierra.

The President’s Award is given by the President of the Board of Trustees to a YISD student who has demonstrated exceptional and/or innovative, out-of-the-ordinary service to others, particularly those within the YISD community.

The contest was sponsored by the Cornerstone Credit Union League to enhance financial education skills among today’s youth.

Ysleta ISD Appoints New Elementary School Principals, Assistant Principals for 2018-19 School Year

On Tuesday, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced the appointment of new principals and assistant principals at five elementary schools for the upcoming school year.

Effective July 1, LeBarron Park Elementary School Assistant Principal Christopher Puga has been named the new principal at Capistrano Elementary School, following the retirement of principal Lynn Musel.

Puga began his career in education in 2007, and previously worked at Capistrano Elementary as a math/science  instructional coach from 2014-2016 before serving as assistant principal at LeBarron Park Elementary.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UTEP and a master’s degree in education from Lamar University.

Succeeding Puga at LeBarron Park Elementary is Valerie Chavez, current math/science instructional coach at Cedar Grove Elementary School. Chavez’s new position as LeBarron Park Elementary assistant principal takes effect August 2.

Norma Myers, assistant principal at South Loop Elementary School, has been appointed to serve as interim principal at South Loop, effective July 1, following the retirement of principal Rosa Lujan.

Myers has worked in education for 27 years, serving as an elementary school teacher, middle- and high-school counselor, and an assistant principal at both YISD and Socorro ISD.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in education from UTEP.

Joining South Loop Elementary’s administrative team as assistant principal is Maritza Fernandez, an assistant principal at Socorro ISD. Fernandez’s new duties take effect August 2.

Rachael Blair, assistant principal at Parkland Elementary School, has been named the new principal of Sageland Elementary School, effective July 1, following the retirement of principal Carmen Crawford.

Blair has worked in education for 19 years as a teacher, literacy leader, and assistant principal at various YISD schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in education from UTEP.

In addition, current Bel Air High School support teacher Javier Aguilera has been appointed as assistant principal at Thomas Manor Elementary School, which will open its new two-story, $28 million K-6 campus at 7900 Jersey Street this fall, with a capacity of up to 800 students. Aguilera’s new duties take effect August 2.

Ysleta ISD Salutes Partners In Education for 2018

Ysleta Independent School District officials gave a hearty ‘thank you’ to their Partners in Education to close out the school year.

Just over 270 Partners in Education (PIE), along with numerous Ysleta ISD school administrators, and PIE Campus Coordinators celebrated the end of the school year with a Partners in Education recognition luncheon.

The highlight of the luncheon was the announcement of five outstanding PIE awards.  At the conclusion of the program, all partners in education received a plaque to be displayed at their place of business.

The ceremony was held on May 24

The winners are:

  • Spirit of Ysleta Award – Border Therapy Services, nominated by Bel Air High School;
  • High Five Award – El Paso Community College, nominated by Ramona Elementary School;
  • Media Award – Chorus Nylander from KTSM TV, nominated by Ramona Elementary School;
  • Rookie of the Year Award –GE Healthcare Services, nominated by Presa Elementary School;
  • Power of One Award – Dr. Christopher Kazanjian with Kidz ‘n Coaches, nominated by Ramona Elementary School.

Riverside High School Hosts 9th Annual Chalk Art Competition Friday

The Visual Arts Department at Riverside High School will host its ninth annual sidewalk chalk festival on Friday, May 18th.

The show will feature chalk artwork by student artists from seven El Paso high schools: Bel Air, Del Valle, Eastlake, Eastwood, Riverside, Ysleta, and Valle Verde Early College HS. The students will demonstrate their artistic and creative skills using this year’s “Wild West” theme.

Community judges will be on hand to award prizes to the best pieces, courtesy of sponsor Starr Western Wear. The event will feature food, music, and live entertainment.

What: Wild West Chalk Fest
When: Noon to 2 p.m. Friday, May 18
Who: Students, teachers, staff, and community members
Where: Fine Arts Complex grounds, Riverside High School, 301 Midway Drive

Op-Ed: We Need Our ‘Teachers of the Year’ More Than Once a Year

Quick, name the Teacher of the Year for the United States from 2018. Okay, that’s hard. Name your State teacher of the year. Or your district teacher of the year. How about your local campus teacher of the year. My bet is that you probably have no idea.

The Texas teacher of the year? His story is buried here.  The national teacher of the year? Mandy Manning has some love on this Wikipedia page

Over the years, I have attended many ceremonies that recognize the local teachers of the year from all of the districts in the area. There are the elementary and secondary teacher awarded from 12 different school districts. At the end of the night, two of them are award the Regional Teachers of the Year, given some love form local businesses, then go on to a state competition.

You probably have attended events such as these in your life. They are more like beauty pageants than they are actual competitions. At the end, I almost always feel like breaking out into my best Bert Parks imitation…”There she is…Miss America…” almost. But I refrain myself.

The whole “Teacher of the Year” (TOY) process got me thinking about the idea of what exactly is a “Teacher of the Year” in the first place. Campuses and districts spend lot of time and effort selecting teachers of the year, then a district teacher of the year, then a state teacher of the year, then finally a national teacher of the year. That is a whole lot of teachers. And for what?

I understand and agree that teachers should be recognized, I really do. It is , in many cases, a crappy job in a lot of places and a lot of teachers are experts at making lemonade out of lemons. And for the most part, the teachers that win do indeed deserve the awards they get.

But as I sit there and watch these pageants take place, I began to think that the entire exercise is a wasted opportunity to leverage the brainpower of those amazing teachers being recognized.

For the most part, after the ceremony finishes, the 22 non-winning TOYs in the Region 19 area are sent back to their school districts, back to their campuses, back to their classrooms or libraries, and they go about their lives pretty much as if nothing had happened. Shakespeare would have said “much ado about nothing.”

How can we make the Teacher of the Year more meaningful? How can we take the combined knowledge of those that were assembled and use that to help other teachers? Here are a few ideas that I had:

Spotlight video: tell the teacher’s story.

The beauty contest told the audience almost nothing about the backstory of each teacher. Why did they actually make it to the TOY finals? What was their story? What was their reason for becoming a teacher? Many of these teachers have inspirational stories. When I myself was being honored as a finalist, I remember being awed by my fellow honorees, telling their stories, from a teacher that once taught blind sharecropper’s children in the Mississippi swamps, to another that came to the US as a war refugee after World War II.

Techniques video: Revisit each and every one of the TOY finalists and explore their classroom techniques. Almost every single one of them at the last ceremony I attended said something to the effect that they had made learning “fun.” What did that mean? How did they do that? Can that be replicated? Can they help teachers where learning in the classroom is not fun? Almost all can be seen using technology. How do they integrate tech in their classes?

Mentor new teachers. Each TOY should be asked to mentor a new teacher. Let them share their knowledge and what they have learned with new teachers. Who better to learn from that from the best teachers in the area?

Have media follow the TOYs around for a year, and allow them to become media spokespeople for a public book. This teacher is the YISD teacher we showcase as our best. Here is the EPISD best. Here is the Anthony ISD TOY.

These are the best of the best, and here is why…

Document the lives of our TOYs: “Among Schoolchildren” by Tracy Kidder is a great example of the life in the year if a teacher. What if that could be expanded with district TOYs across the nation?

What would an El Paso version of “Among Schoolchildren” look like? Can we create an online “recipe book” of all the TOYs so that their teaching knowledge lives longer than their momentary walk in the spotlight and acceptance speeches?

The point is, I suppose, is that if someone is talented enough to be named a “Teacher of the Year” somewhere, there must be something that this person has that can be shared with other teachers. There must be some techniques, some passion, some wisdom that that teacher can share with others that is of value.

My concern is that there are hundred if not thousands of “Teachers of the Year” across the US and that knowledge base is being squandered because they didn’t “win” the big prize. That is a lot of good information being wasted.

How do individual campuses use the campus teacher of the year to help improve teaching and learning on the campus?
How do individual districts use the campus teacher of the year to help improve teaching and learning in their districts?

How does each state use their TOY to improve teaching and learning in their state?

Look how it is done here. 

And while the National Teacher of the Year tours the nation giving inspirational messages, I don’t think that they do much more than that. I have never seen a national teacher of the year speak, and I have been in education for over 30 years. Have you?

Here is my proposal:

Each campus, each district should take the knowledge, the passion, the years of wisdom that each and every teacher of the year has and do something to share that with fellow teachers. Campuses should share with other campuses. Districts should share with other districts. States should share with other states.

Use our Teachers of the Year wisely. Let them teach all of us.

***

Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

Tierra Del Sol Elementary School Students Take 1st in ABQ Robotics Competition

Two Tierra Del Sol Elementary School students placed 1st in the RoboRAVE (Robots Are Very Educational) International robotics competition held in Albuquerque.

TDS Sundancers Juanito Murillo and Demetrius Delgado, competed in the a-MAZE-ing event at the elementary level.

The goal is to program a robot to complete the path of an elevated maze in 2 minutes or less. The overall score is based on completing the task and the fastest time of completion.

RoboRAVE International is a Robotics Education program that strives to teach students and teachers how to design, build, program and test robots to perform a variety of tasks.

Their motto is “Today’s Play, Tomorrow’s Pay” and their goals are Fun while Learning, Sharing and Teamwork.

Over 550 teams (1,500 players) from 20 countries in elementary, middle and high school participated at the competition which was held May 10 – 12.

Riverside High Alumni, Newly Minted College Coach Latorre Returns

While Saturday was filled with graduations in the Sun City, at Riverside High School one proud Alumnus returned to speak with the next generation.

Former Riverside Ranger Corinna Latorre is making headlines in Nebraska, as she has just been chosen to be the next Head Coach for the Women’s Basketball Program at York College.

Before her promotion, she was part of the coaching staff; Corinna also previously played for York College and in her two years as a Panther, Latorre scored over 1,000 points and was selected to the MCAC All-Conference teams for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 season.

Graduating this year with her Master’s degree as well, 2018 has proven to me a momentous year.

In the world of athletics, at only 25-years-old, Latorre becomes one of the youngest to hold the distinct honor of being named ‘Head Coach’ for a college program.

Latorre – whose maiden name is Minjarez –  graduated from Riverside in 2011 and played both volleyball and basketball for the Rangers. ]

Photos courtesy Coach Stephen Solis

Ysleta ISD’s ‘Scholarship Sweep’ Awards Nearly $300k to Graduating Seniors

It was a special Friday for scores of Ysleta ISD seniors, as they surprised with the news that they are one step closer to a college education.

Ysleta Education Foundation (YEF) board members, YISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre traveled from campus to campus during the annual YEF “Scholarship Sweep” to announce scholarship awards to over 100 graduating seniors totaling $279,600.

For more than 26 years, with the support of YISD – including generous in-kind support, an  employee pledge drive, funding from the business community and support of YISD alumni – YEF has awarded 1,414 scholarships totaling more than $3.2m to students in the Ysleta Independent School District.

The recipients were selected by the YEF Board of Directors from applications submitted in three categories: academic achievement, personal achievement and community service.

The Ysleta Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, established in 1992 to provide financial assistance to students in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD).

The 2018 scholarship recipients are:

Bel Air High School Amount Type
Andrea Hinojosa $5,000 Distinguished Achievement
Trinity Ballesteros $2,000 Academic
Yatzua Corral $2,000 Community Service
Melina Flores $2,000 Personal Achievement
Alexis Hernandez $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Ashley Hernandez $2,000 Academic
Emily Mata Quinones $2,000 Personal Achievement
Ryan Reza $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Victoria Ruiz $2,000 Carroll Dibler and Kristin Dibler Memorial
Autumn Russell $2,000 Academic
Del Valle High School Amount Type
Gustavo Lara $5,000 Distinguished
Miriam Aguirre $2,000 Personal Achievement
Victoria Anaya $2,000 Community Service
Natalia Gonzalez $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Brianna Jordan $2,000 Personal Achievement
Trinity Perez Martinez $2,000 Personal Achievement
Rhianna Olvera $2,000 Community Service
Andrea Perez $2,000 Academic
Janeth Sandoval $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Eastwood High School Amount Type
Andrew Lowrance $5,000 Distinguished
Celeste Monsivais $2,500 Rita Harlien Forensics
Emily Acosta $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Catalina Chinolla $2,000 Community Service
Alejandro Delgadillo $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Isaiah Jimenez $2,000 Community Service
Crystal Licon $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Leonardo Moraveg $2,000 Academic
Sergio Ruiz $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Brianna Tellez $2,000 Personal Achievement
Michael Gamez $1,000 Linda Cazares Courageous
Edwardo Pallares $1,000 Officer A. Barcena Memorial
Christopher Hulburt $700 Edgemere Elementary Student Council
Francia Ramirez $700 Edgemere Elementary Student Council
Miranda Vega $700 Edgemere Elementary Student Council
Hanks High School Amount Type
Sergio Perez $5,000 Distinguished
Jeter Andrada $2,000 Personal Achievement
LeDessa Davis $2,000 Personal Achievement
Valerie Hernandez $2,000 Academic
Carolina Mendoza $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Kimberly Montelongo Meza $2,000 Academic
Sunshine Modesto $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Mathew Quesada $2,000 Personal Achievement
Jorge Rodriguez $2,000 Academic
Parkland High School Amount Type
Cassandra Hernandez De La Cruz $5,000 Distinguished
Raymundo Aragonez $2,000 Community Service
Angel Barclay $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Jordan Dominguez $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Victoria Gurrola $2,000 Personal Achievement
Jacqueline Piedra $2,000 Community Service
Elizabeth Rodriguez $2,000 Community Service
Sylvia Serrano $2,000 Personal Achievement
Tamara Uzzelle $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Riverside High School Amount Type
Brittney Baca $5,000 Distinguished
Anthony Chacon $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Elizabeth Correa $2,000 Tammy Cagann Memorial
Juan Sosa Duran $2,000 Academic
Rosslyn Martinez $2,000 Personal Achievement
Miah Ornelas $2,000 Academic
Alondra Reynoso $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Luis Subia $2,000 Academic
Lynette Contreras Valdez $2,000 Personal Achievement
Daniel Valles $2,000 Community Service
Valle Verde Early College HS Amount Type
Briana Quinonez $5,000 Distinguished
Angelica Amaya $2,000 Community Service
Jailene Amparan $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence
Cynthia Bautista $2,000 Academic
Brittney Brito $2,000 Academic
Karen Campos Castaneda $2,000 Personal Achievement
Luis Davila $2,000 Academic
Beverly Gonzalez $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Katelyn Johnson $2,000 Academic
Ysleta High School Amount Type
Haleigh Montoya $5,000 Distinguished
Ruby Amaya $5,000 Hunt
Margarita Angel $5,000 Hunt
Rebecca Corral $5,000 Hunt
Itzel Delgado $5,000 Hunt
Brianna Dominguez $5,000 Hunt
Jacqueline Estrada $5,000 Hunt
Kevin Guevara $5,000 Hunt
Rheanon Gutierrez $5,000 Hunt
Sofia Gutierrez $5,000 Hunt
Christian Martinez $5,000 Hunt
Melanie Martinez $5,000 Hunt
Adrian Jimenez Marrufo $5,000 Hunt
Sidney Munoz $5,000 Hunt
Denise Roman Ortiz $5,000 Hunt
Victor Pena $5,000 Hunt
Luis Perez $5,000 Hunt
Anaid Pichardo $5,000 Hunt
Alexandra Reyes $5,000 Hunt
Nathanial Ruvalcaba $5,000 Hunt
Jacqueline Soto $5,000 Hunt
Edith Escobedo $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Malanie Gardea $2,000 Personal Achievement
Christina Hernandez $2,000 Personal Achievement
Gabriel Lujan $2,000 Allstate Foundation
Laura Montelongo $2,000 Community Service
Amanda Ramos $2,000 Personal Achievement
Amanda Rodela $2,000 Community Service
Ana Perez Roldan $2,000 The Hospitals of Providence

Ysleta ISD Reveals 2018-19 Support Employees, Teachers of the Year

Loma Terrace Elementary School teacher Carol Love and Riverside High School teacher Stephen Solis were named YISD’s top 2018-2019 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively, at a special gala Friday, May 4, at the Centennial Banquet & Conference Center at Fort Bliss.

In addition, Sundra Strickland from Dolphin Terrace Elementary School was named the 2018-2019 Support Employee of the Year.
Love, a second-grade teacher at Loma Terrace Elementary School, holds a bachelor’s degree from McMurry College (now McMurry University), and has spent her entire 41-year career in education as a teacher at Loma Terrace Elementary School.

Love said it was her fourth-grade teacher and high-school band director who moved her to pursue a career in education. “It was evident that both of these teachers loved their profession,” she said. Over the years, Love has maintained high expectations for her young students, whom she loves and values. “I want them to shine like little stars!” she added.

Solis, who holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is a theater arts and computer science teacher and coach at Riverside High School. As a child growing up in Corpus Christi, Solis remembers how his father took night classes and went from working as a middle-school janitor to a P.E. teacher and coach.

“He never let anything stop him from pursuing his dream,” Solis said. “I was inspired to make him proud and lead a life where I could make a difference in the lives of others, just like he did.”

Other finalists for Secondary Teacher of the Year were Alberto Avalos (Ysleta HS), Michele Garcia (J.M. Hanks HS), Selena Granados (Eastwood HS), and Jessica Yildirim (Young Women’s Leadership Academy).

Strickland, who began working 32 years ago at YISD, is currently a P.E. paraprofessional aide at Dolphin Terrace Elementary School. This position was one of the few that afforded Strickland the opportunity to know every student and build relationships with them and their families. Outside of her job duties, she says it is important for her to make herself available for school events, professional development, district initiatives, and parent conferences, even though she is not required to do so.

Other Support Employee of the Year finalists were: Guadalupe Armendariz (Cedar Grove ES); Cindy Esparza (North Star ES); Joann Leyva (Plato Academy); and Ruby Rivera (Vista Hills ES).

Other finalists for Elementary Teacher of the Year were: Roberto Guevara III (Glen Cove ES), Lonny Nava (Ascarate ES), Kristin Podojil (Pebble Hills ES), and Paul Ward (Pasodale ES).

Love and Solis will now go on to compete in the Teacher of the Year competition for Region 19. A list of all 2018-19 YISD campus Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year can be found on the district’s main website.

YISD Director of Athletics Honored by Texas High School Gymnastics Coaches Association

Ysleta ISD Director of Athletics Michael Williams has been elected to the Sixth Class of the Texas High School Gymnastics Coaches Association (THSGCA) Hall of Honor.

Mr. Williams was honored for his incredible persistent support of three high school gymnastics programs in El Paso.

For more than a decade, Williams has encouraged the growth of gymnastics while supporting plans for dedicated facilities. He has helped gymnastics become visible not only on the local level, but statewide as well with the UIL.

Mr. Williams received the award at the High School State Championships in Rockwall, Texas on April 28.  The award was presented twice, once at the conclusion of the Women’s competition and again at the conclusion of the Men’s competition.

The Texas High School Gymnastics Coaches Association Hall of Honor was established for the purpose of recognizing and appropriately honoring achievements of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to High School Gymnastics in Texas.

Ysleta ISD Honors 700+ Volunteers, Staff at Luncheon

More than 700 school volunteers and staff celebrated their hard work and dedication at YISD’s annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.

The annual event honored and recognized volunteers and staff for their generosity and hard work at their individual campuses throughout the year.

More than 4,000 YISD volunteers have logged more than 274,000 volunteer hours so far this school year, resulting in a savings of more than $2 million in labor costs to the district.

The Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was held on April 17.  Awards presented at the luncheon included:

Outstanding Premier Volunteer:

Veronica Gonzales Rios de la Torre, Ramona ES

Outstanding Rookie of the Year:

Claudia Gutierrez, Dolphin Terrace ES

Outstanding Staff Leader of the Year:

Alma Bustamante, Parkland HS

Years of Service Awards:
45 years –

Rebecca Padilla, REL Washington ES

40 years –

Mary McConnell, Eastwood MS

30 years–

Patricia Nevarez, Thomas Manor ES

20 years –

Gaby Ayala, Parkland MS
Cristina Gonzalez, Ysleta Pre K
Diana Patrana, Ysleta ES

Top Achievement Volunteer Hour Awards:

Lorenza Anaya, Hacienda Heights ES
Concepcion Portillo, Pasodale ES
Alma Herrera, Pasodale ES
Sandra Galvan, Hacienda Heights ES
Ricardo Jauregui, Hacienda Heights ES
Margaret Chaffino, Scotsdale ES
Emma Baeza, Eastwood Heights ES

Top Ten School Awards:

Cedar Grove Elementary
Pasodale Elementary
Eastwood Heights Elementary
Dolphin Terrace Elementary
Camino Real Middle
Parkland Middle
Rio Bravo Middle
Del Valle High
Eastwood High
Parkland High

Eastwood Middle’s 7th Grade History Teacher Named Best in Texas

Eastwood Middle School teacher Mireya Perez has been named the 2018 Outstanding Seventh-Grade Texas History Teacher by The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT).

“I am very humbled to receive this recognition,” said Perez, who has taught at Eastwood Middle School for 13 years. “My objective is to change the perception that history is boring through a storytelling approach, and by allowing students to experience engaging and real-life activities.”

DRT officials said Perez was selected as this year’s winner after demonstrating how her instruction has enhanced her seventh-grade students’ interest in the early history of Texas – either by using creative ideas or manipulatives.

As the winner, Perez will receive a $750 award and a special plaque at the 2018 DRT Convention, which takes place May 19 in Dallas. In addition, Eastwood Middle School will receive $1,000 as part of the award.

In her winning application, Perez wrote: “I encourage my students to think like historians. As they uncover the advancements made in the United States, I encourage them to apply (this) to their personal lives by understanding that even through defeat, personal victories can be achieved.

“My calling in education gave me the title of a history teacher,” she wrote. “With that title, it is my responsibility to prepare young boys and girls to become determined, honest, and active participants of the community in which they live, regardless of their future job title.”

To be considered for the award, teachers were asked to submit letters of recommendation; teaching philosophy and instructional method; curriculum vitae/résumé; innovations conceived and executed for seventh-graders; and the response of the students to their local DRT chapter The DRT maintains 106 local chapters, divided in 10 districts.

DRT is the oldest patriotic women’s organization in Texas, and one of the oldest in the nation.

Founded in 1891, the DRT’s mission is to perpetuate the memory and spirit of those who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas; provide educational programs in coordination with school districts and the Texas Education Agency, as well as public programs; encourage research into early Texas records and the publication of these historic records, and preserve historic documents; and secure and memorialize historic sites.

Bel Air Named ‘Vans Custom Culture’ Semi-Finalist; $75k Art Program Prize Up for Grabs

Monday morning it was announced that Bel Air High School is a Vans Custom Culture semi-finalist, along with 50 other schools across the nation.

Now, it’s up to El Pasoans to vote for the Highlander’s Custom Culture design online for the chance to win $75K towards the school’s art program.

The Vans Custom Culture contest was created to support schools across the country experiencing art department budget cuts. Over 2,000 schools submitted customized Vans shoes embodying the Vans “Off the Wall” and “Local Flavor” lifestyle.

Schools also submitted an impact doc explaining how winning this donation would affect their arts programs since they have suffered budget cuts.

After Vans narrowed down submissions to the top 50, it’s up to the public to vote for their favorite pair. The overall winner will receive $75,000 and the four runner-up schools will receive $10,000, all going towards funding their school’s art programs.

Similar to years past, the public vote will help determine the top five finalists who will be in the running for the grand prize of $75,000.

The winner of this year’s competition will receive a visit from Vans for a celebration on their school campus filled with art and music that will be brought to life in partnership with Journeys, Yoobi, Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) and Americans for the Arts (AFTA).

Of the contest, Vans officials said, “Custom Culture competition continues to empower high school students and individuals across the country to embrace creativity. With schools already suffering from their art programs being cut, Vans wants to make more of an impact to the community and target the schools who need additional funds the most.”

To vote for the Bel Air Highlander’s design, click here.

Ysleta ISD’s Top 10 Teachers of the Year Announced

The 2018-19 campus Teachers of the Year at the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) were honored during a reception Thursday evening at Central Office.

At the same ceremony, district officials also announced 10 finalists for the district’s top two teaching awards: the Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Secondary Teacher of the Year.

The top five finalists for the 2018-19 YISD Elementary Teacher of the Year are:

Ascarate Elementary –  Lonny Nava
Glen Cove Elementary –  Roberto Guevara III
Loma Terrace Elementary –  Carol Love
Pasodale Elementary –  Paul Ward
Pebble Hills Elementary –  Kristin Podojil

The top five finalists for the 2018-19 YISD Secondary Teacher of the Year are:

Eastwood High –  Selena Granados
Hanks High –  Michele Garcia
Riverside High –  Stephen Solis
Ysleta High –  Alberto Avalos
Young Women’s Leadership –  Jessica Yildirim

All campus Teachers of the Year, as well as all campus Support Employees of the Year, will be honored at the YISD Teacher and Support Employee of the Year gala that takes place at 6 p.m. May 4 at the Centennial Conference Center & Banquet Hall at Fort Bliss.

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