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EPCC, YISD open Career Center at Riverside Pathways in Technology Early College High School

Tuesday morning, officials with El Paso Community College (EPCC) in partnership with the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) held a grand opening for their new automotive-centered tech center.

EPCC President, Dr. William Serrata welcomed YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier de la Torre and students from YISD High Schools to the Career Center at Riverside Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) at the Valle Verde Transportation Training Center.

Officials share that the Career Center at Riverside P-TECH is a collaboration focused on career and technical education. 

“The P-TECH experience that has been established by the Ysleta Independent School District and EPCC is designed to have strong academic and career-orientated results which will benefit both students and our workforce.” Dr. William Serrata said.

According to school officials, P-TECH offers studies in the areas of Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology and Computer-Aided Design.

“Students can couple their high school experience with their experience at a community college and make a solid living wage, contribute to our economy and contribute to their own quality of life,” Dr. Xavier De La Torre said.

P-TECH provides an opportunity for high school students to earn a high school diploma and an associate of applied science degree, a post-secondary certificate or industry certification and work-based training through internships.

As a result of the P-TECH experience, students will become skilled employees that will excel in today’s global economy.

L-R Dr. Armando Aguirre, Dr. William Serrata, Dr. Xavier de la Torre, Mr. Carlos Bustillos

Sageland Elementary student honored by Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees

The Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees honored Sageland Elementary School sixth-grader Ashlyn McMillan with the President’s Award at the December Board of Trustees meeting.

Sageland staff say Ashlyn is an amazing role model for her peers, maintaining a spot on the Honor Roll while serving her school and community. She puts her values into practice for the betterment of others.

“Ashlyn is also devoted in her service to others, for the past five years, she has participated in fundraisers to benefit research for Muscular Dystrophy, and has supported the Braden Aboud Foundation for two years,” YISD officials shared.  “In addition, she performs volunteer landscape clean-up for the Child Crisis Center, and has collected items for local canned food and toy drives for needy families.”

Ashlyn serves as Mayor of Scottieland, is an active student leader both on and off campus, participating in clubs and activities that include Student Council, robotics, girl’s golf at Ascarate Park, ballet, jazz, and tennis.

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.

Eligible YISD students must be nominated for the award by a school principal, assistant principal, or Trustee; and must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Riverside High Teacher honored with Prudential Math Architect Award by STTE Foundation

Riverside High School science teacher Sergio Estrada received the Prudential Math Architect Award from the Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation.

“Mr. Estrada pushes his students to view the world through the eyes of physics and math in order to provide a deeper understanding of the world around them,” Ysleta ISD officials shared. “He encourages students to apply to NASA internships, summer engineering camps at tier 1 universities, and to challenge themselves through STEM competitions.”

Estrada’s students won the Prudential Math Challenge last spring, have won a national NASA sponsored competition, and each year reach over 1,000 people by doing science demonstrations at local schools and the Chihuahuas stadium.

This past summer Estrada was selected by the Texas Space Grant Consortium to be part of NASA’s LiftOff summer institute and one of eight teachers nationwide to be selected for Joint Science and Technology Institute in Aberdeen, Maryland.

“There are so many teachers in our region doing amazing work that too often goes unrecognized. There is a strong spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity in the way that educators are working to prepare our students for their futures,” said Joseph Sapien, executive director of the STTE Foundation. “The 2019 Education Award recipients represent the best of this spirit and we are honored to celebrate them and their work.”

The organization hosted the 2019 Education Awards honoring eight leaders in education who are preparing students to be successful in the modern economy.

The educators recognized during the ceremony have excelled at supporting young students to pursue careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) fields, providing innovating approaches to curriculum, after school programming, and access to various means of professional development to students in the El Paso region.

Created by the STTE Foundation, this year’s Education Awards is the second annual event for the Awards, providing a unique opportunity to bring together community stakeholders, educators, and other local leaders to support and highlight efforts to ensure that El Paso remains competitive as technological, math and engineering-focused careers continue to become an increasingly significant sector of the local and national economy.

Video: Struck by stray bullet in Juarez, Dolphin Terrace student gets a new kidney

A Dolphin Terrace Elementary School student is now back home with a new kidney after a stray bullet struck him in Juarez leaving him severely injured.

Gael Canizales was shot in 2018. The bullet caused severe damage to his kidney and left him unable to walk and attend school.

On November 22, Gael arrived at the El Paso International Airport with a new kidney he received in San Antonio.

Gael’s kindergarten teacher and school staff from Dolphin Terrace Elementary School gathered at the airport to welcome him as he arrived.

Video courtesy of YISD

Gael gets a big hug from his Kindergarten teacher Sandra Shields

Parent meetings scheduled for perspective YWLA students

Officials with the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) in the Ysleta Independent School District announced that they will be holding six mandatory information sessions beginning November 20 for parents interested in enrolling their daughters for the 2020-2021 school year.

YWLA Principal Malinda Villalobos will speak in detail about the school, its core values, programs, and course offerings, as well as logistical information such as transportation. Parents will have the opportunity to speak with YWLA administrators before receiving an application packet.

The information sessions are free and open to any current fifth-grade girl and their families. In addition, limited spaces are available for current sixth grade girls who are interested in enrolling at YWLA for seventh grade.

All students interested in enrolling in YWLA must be in good academic and behavioral standing at their current school, live in El Paso County, and complete an application packet to be considered for enrollment. Deadline for applications is Friday, January 17, 2020.

Information sessions will be held according to the following schedule:

6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at YWLA, 8040 Yermoland Drive
6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at YWLA
9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at YISD Central Office Mission Room, 9600 Sims Drive
6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at YWLA
6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, at YWLA
9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, 2020, at YISD Central Office Mission Room

To RSVP for an upcoming information session, or for more information, parents should call the YWLA office at 915-434-1300.

YISD’s De La Torre earns 2nd statewide education appointment

Already serving as the current Chair of the Texas Urban Council (TUC) of Superintendents, Ysleta ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre has agreed to continue his service in a statewide capacity in 2020 as President of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS).

As such, Dr. De La Torre currently serves as both TALAS President-Elect and TUC Chair – two distinguished statewide appointments that strive to advocate for minority students, particularly those in high poverty, through legislative representation and public support for students.

“It is a great honor to have been chosen once again to serve in such an esteemed role,” said Dr. De La Torre, who has led Ysleta ISD as superintendent since March 2014. “The leadership of our elected officials was critical in making students a priority in the state’s legislative session earlier this year, resulting in multimillion-dollar revenue increases that made it possible for districts to offer generous pay raises to employees, especially teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses.”

“I am greatly encouraged by the Legislature’s commitment to public education, and I am committed in both of my roles with TUC and TALAS to ensuring we do all we can to proudly serve our Texas students and families.”

TALAS was founded as a statewide association for the identification, recruitment, development, and advancement of Latino school administrators in order to improve public education in general for all students, with an emphasis on improving the educational and career opportunities of Latino youth.

In Texas, 50% of school-aged children are Latino – and addressing the needs of this fastest-growing community is vital to the interest of not only Texas, but the United States, TALAS officials say.

De La Torre has a 32-year history of dedicated service to large, diverse student populations, and a career chronicled by recognized achievements and awards, including an El Pasoan of the Year nomination (2016); two Broad Prize Award finalist nominations (2009, 2010); and the Edgar L. Morphet Award for the nation’s most outstanding dissertation aimed at educational issues (2005).

During De La Torre’s tenure at YISD, the district’s most vulnerable student groups have seen increased achievement under the state of Texas’ STAAR/EOC accountability system. English Language Learners and Special Education students have routinely outperformed their peers in the region and across the state, while student achievement on the state’s End of Course exams has led the region and the state when considering comparable school districts and demographics.

Eastwood High student named semifinalist for National Merit Scholarship Program

Sarunas Budreckis, a senior at Eastwood High School, is among 16,000 academically talented U.S. students who have been named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The honor qualifies him to apply for more than $31 million in college- and corporate-funded scholarships that will be offered next spring.

Sarunas won this prestigious academic honor after earning among the country’s highest scores on the PSAT, which was taken by more than 1.5 million juniors last year. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents fewer than 1% of U.S. high school seniors.

He will now begin the rigorous application process to become a National Merit Scholar.

To become a finalist, the semifinalists and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

About 90% of National Merit semifinalists will go on to be named finalists in early 2020, and about 50% of finalists will ultimately win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the title of National Merit Scholar, officials said.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered this spring.

Officials say 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships will be awarded on a state-representational basis; about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships will be provided by corporations and business organizations; and about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 Merit Scholarships for finalists who subsequently attend those institutions.

6 YISD counselors win Lone Star award for outstanding programs

Six counselors in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) have earned statewide accolades for their outstanding and comprehensive counseling programs at four schools – Dolphin Terrace, Ramona, and Scotsdale elementary schools, and Indian Ridge Middle School – from the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA).

The six counselors each received 2019 Bronze Awards from the LSSSCA during its annual two-day conference in Frisco, which ended Tuesday. The award-winning counselors are:

Lorena Soto (Dolphin Terrace Elementary)
Cynthia Ibarra (Ramona Elementary)
Leslie Spencer & Pat Tellez (Scotsdale Elementary)
Debbie Walker & Mike Enriquez (Indian Ridge Middle School)

LSSSCA officials selected the six YISD counselors for the Bronze Award after they demonstrated success in their counseling programs in a variety of areas, such as being data-driven; focusing on goal completion; and aligning with then national school counseling model.
Overall, LSSSCA evaluates school counseling programs in 12 areas:

Belief Statement
Vision Statement
Mission Statement
Program Goals
Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success
Annual Agreement
Advisory Council
School Counseling Core Curriculum Action Plan & Lesson Plans
School Counseling Core Curriculum Results Report
Small-Group Responsive Services
Closing-the-Gap Results Report
Program Evaluation Reflection
Social Emotional Learning

LSSSCA’s awards system consists of three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Each award has increasing levels of rigor designed to elevate school counselor programs to national recognition through the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) awards.

Lancaster students participate in live video conference with Pro Football Hall of Fame

Students at Lancaster Elementary School participated in a live video conference with a representative from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The museum is not only a Hall of Fame institution, but also a football museum. Only the most elite players are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“The students prepared targeted questions in advance and practiced presenting their question so when they were ‘live’ in front of the web camera they could easily interact with the presenter,” YISD officials shared. “They learned about the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the type of museum it is, and the induction process.”

The Hall of Fame offers a youth educational programs which allows students to learn about the Hall of Fame and interweaves the science and history of football to compliment the curriculum.

According to their website, the Pro Football Hall of Fame offers award-winning video conferencing programs.

The use of video conferencing technology allows students from across the globe to connect with the Hall of Fame to learn more about pro football’s rich history. Like the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s field trips, these programs are aligned with Common Core/National Standards of Education.

The Hall of Fame’s video conferencing program has received international recognition as a Pinnacle Award winner through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC).

YISD sends 3 marching bands to UIL 5A state competition

Next week, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) will send three marching bands from Bel Air, Del Valle, and Hanks high schools to San Antonio to compete for the UIL 5A state championship, thanks to their superb performances during last weekend’s area competition in Odessa.

By comparison, only one other El Paso-area high school marching was able to qualify for the state competition, which takes place Monday, November 4, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. This is the second consecutive time that three YISD marching bands qualify for state.

In 2017 – the last time the 5A UIL state marching band competition was held – YISD made local history when these same high schools earned a ticket to compete in the state championship.

At that time, Hanks High School placed 15th in the state competition; Bel Air High School placed 19th; and Del Valle High School placed 34th.

This year, about two dozen high school marching bands from El Paso to Wylie competed at the 5A Area A competition in Odessa on October 26.

Four YISD bands were among the top 10 that advanced to the area finals – but in the end, Hanks High School won first place and was named area champion, followed by Bel Air High School in third place and Del Valle High School in fourth place.

Listed below is information on the YISD bands and their performance times (in order) at Monday’s state competition:

Bel Air High School: The Big Red Pride Marching Band is scheduled to perform its show, “Beyond The Clouds,” at 12:30 p.m. MST. They are led by Drum Majors Belanna Castillo, Kayla Priego, Alizae Nevarez, and directed by Manny Talamantes, Ben Perez, Luis Ibarra, Derek Andrade, Oscar Ortiz, Mathew Peña, Melina Bañuelos, Lucy Bañuelos, and Kimberly Favela.

Hanks High School: The Silver Knights Marching Band is scheduled to perform its show, “Sultana: City of Gold,” at 2:45 p.m. MST, led by Drum Majors Mariana Martinez, Michael Soto, and Kristel Holguin. Directors and Flag Coaches are Horacio Gomez, Doug Brown, Emily Petty, and Calvin Edwards; the Renaissance Dance Co. is directed by Krystal Nance.

Del Valle High School: The Conquistador Marching Band is scheduled to perform its show, “What We Sea,” at 5:30 p.m. MST. They are led by Drum Majors Alejandro Gonzalez, Ashley Campos, Eric Rios, Alexandrea Solis, and directed by Keith Morales, Roque Orozco, Robert Hayden, Mathew Fernandez, Brianna Ayala, Michael Slabe, Diego Calderon, Nicholas Martinez, Maria Carbajal, Albert Valles, Gabby Rivera, Carlos Briseno, Armando Torres, and Thomas Holguin.

Ysleta ISD educator wins 2020 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year

Michelle Sandoval, an eighth-grade math teacher at Parkland Middle School in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD), has been named the 2020 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, besting hundreds of her peers to win the state’s highest honor for middle- and high-school teachers.

“I feel so humbled and blessed and empowered to represent The District,” Sandoval, a 12-year teaching veteran, has said. “All of the other teachers I’ve met during this process have been amazing.”

Sandoval was named the winner by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) during a special awards ceremony and luncheon Friday in Austin, which honored the 40 Regional Teachers of the Year and the top six state finalists – three for the elementary level and three for the secondary level.

A separate winner was named as the 2020 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year.

YISD officials shared that this marks the sixth time that a YISD teacher has won Texas Teacher of the Year – that’s more than any other school district in the state.

Sandoval first won Secondary Teacher of the Year honors at the campus, district, and regional levels before being named a state finalist in August with two others: Kami Dodds of Brady ISD and Jennifer Garner of River Road ISD.

Sandoval says her enthusiasm for education is still as present as the day she stepped inside the “energetic and loving” classroom of her first-grade teacher.

“She was a first-year teacher, and she was the ultimate example of an educator and true role model that I still aspire to be,” said Sandoval, who holds a bachelor’s degree from UTEP. “Her impact on my life was grand. I knew I wanted to become a teacher who would touch the lives of so many young minds.”

In addition to teaching, Sandoval also serves as a coach and Student Council sponsor, and always greets her students with a fist bump and high-five to get their class time started.

The Texas Teacher of the Year program has honored excellence in education since 1969. The annual program, facilitated by TASA since 2011, recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.

from left; Parkland MS Principal Dr. Angela Reyna, Michelle Sandoval, YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre, former PMS Principal Javier Salgado


Michelle Sandoval & Parkland Middle School Principal Dr. Angela Reyna

South Loop Elementary’s Ivan Morales snags YISD’s President Award for October

The Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees honored Ivan Morales, a fifth-grader at South Loop Elementary School with the October President’s Award.

“Ivan has not only proven himself to be a wonderful leader of Service Excellence, but he is among the most humble, helpful, and eager students on campus,” YISD officials shared.

Ivan is the Safety Patrol Captain at South Loop Elementary School, and he takes his job very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he arrives at school well in advance of his fellow students – at least one hour before the morning bell rings. He is the first to put on his Safety Patrol vest every day, a simple action that fills him with pride because it’s his way of letting everyone know he is ready and willing to help with whatever they need.

“Once the vest is on, and people begin arriving on campus, Ivan immediately gets to work,” district officials added. “He cheers on his fellow students as they arrive for school; he escorts the younger students to the playground to make sure they get there safely; and he opens car doors and greets parents with a big smile in the school’s drop-off zone.”

Outside of his safety patrol duties, school administrators say Ivan is always the first to volunteer to help with any special projects and activities, particularly if they focus on helping others – and that’s why he recently won the school’s “Terrific Kid” award.

Ivan’s cheerful enthusiasm, humble heart, and willingness to work hard in the classroom and in his community service make him an amazing role model for his peers. Ysleta ISD is extremely proud to call him one of our own.

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. This award will be presented to the selected recipient a maximum of once per month during the regularly scheduled meeting of the YISD Board of Trustees.

Eligible YISD students must be nominated for the award by a school principal, assistant principal, or Trustee; and must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

School of Nursing’s early-admission program expands to Bel Air High School

Bel Air High School students now have a fast track to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, thanks to a partnership between the Ysleta Independent School District, El Paso Community College and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

Bel Air students who enroll in the program will be given conditional acceptance to the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing’s Accelerated B.S.N. program. By taking prerequisite college courses while in high school with EPCC dual credit courses, they will be on track to earn their B.S.N. in just 16 months after high school graduation.

“We are honored to join Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and El Paso Community College to provide a new pathway toward a college degree for our motivated Health Professions students at Bel Air High School,” said Xavier De La Torre, Ph.D., superintendent of schools at the Ysleta Independent School District.

“As we continue to make advancements in technology and innovation, it is apparent that high school graduation is no longer the finish line for many of our students,” De La Torre said. “This is why it is so important for YISD to provide not only relevant and rigorous instruction in core academic subjects, but career and technical training that students need to compete in the global workforce.”

Bel Air is the first YISD school to participate in the early-admission nursing program. Franklin High School and Maxine Silva Health Magnet High School in the El Paso Independent School District also offer the early-admission nursing program.

Manny Santa Cruz, D.N.P., M.B.A., R.N., assistant dean at the Hunt School of Nursing, said participating students can take all of their required university prerequisites while in high school and earn an Associate of Arts Degree through our program partner El Paso Community College.

“Our vision at the Hunt School of Nursing is to create the future of the local nursing workforce by providing seamless pathways to a B.S.N. degree for the entire El Paso community,” Santa Cruz said. “With college dual-credit conferred by El Paso Community College, we can now make this a reality for high school programs.”

Bel Air students interested in pursuing the path to an accelerated B.S.N. would need to start taking the college courses during their freshman year of high school.

“The B.S.N. pathway for YISD students at Bel Air is yet another example of the strong collaboration El Paso Community College has with our K-12 and university partners in the region,” said Tonie Badillo, dean of the Dual Credit and Early College High Schools program at El Paso Community College. “We are hopeful that this carefully developed pipeline will help meet workforce demands.”

These partnerships help TTUHSC El Paso address critical, statewide nursing shortages. By 2022, about 20,000 registered nurses will be needed in Texas, with a shortage of nearly 3,000 nurses in West Texas alone.

The Hunt School of Nursing is working to bring the early-admission nursing program to high schools in the Canutillo and Socorro Independent School Districts.

Ysleta ISD to host seven community Bond Information Nights

Beginning next week, voters in the Ysleta Independent School District will have the opportunity to learn more about district’s Bond 2019 referendum at one of seven Bond Information Nights.

In August, the YISD Board of Trustees voted to place a $425 million bond proposal on the ballot for the Nov. 5 election.

Projects included in the bond proposal are safety and security improvements districtwide; upgrading campuses with evaporative air units to refrigerated air conditioning; the building of a new middle school for the Hanks area; new elementary school in the Riverside area; rebuild Scotsdale ES; and renovate the oldest parts of Dolphin Terrace ES.

Early voting begins Monday, October 21 and runs until Friday, November 1, with Election Day on Tuesday, November 5. Voters can learn more about YISD Bond 2019 by visiting

All Bond Information Nights will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held according to the following schedule:

Monday, Oct. 21, Tierra Del Sol ES Cafetorium, 1832 Tommy Aaron Drive
Tuesday, Oct. 22, Eastwood HS Theatre, 2430 McRae Blvd.
Wednesday, Oct. 23, Bel Air HS Cafeteria, 731 Yarbrough Drive
Thursday, Oct. 24, Parkland MS Gymnasium, 6045 Nova Way
Monday, Oct. 28, Thomas Manor ES Cafeteria, 7900 Jersey Street
Tuesday, Oct. 29, Ysleta HS Auditorium, 8600 Alameda Ave.
Wednesday, Oct. 30, Del Valle MS Gymnasium, 8660 North Loop Drive

YISD celebrates the arts during 2019 Fall Festival

From student dance and song performances to a pop-up art gallery, the 2019 YISD Elementary School Fine Arts Fall Festival is expected to draw thousands of parents, students, and community members Friday and Saturday in support of the arts.

The festival takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. both Friday, October 18, and Saturday, October 19, at the YISD Fine Arts Department, 8455 Alameda Avenue.

According to the National Art Education Association, students of all ages benefit from artistic learning, innovative thinking, and creativity. A quality arts education – made up of a rich array of disciplines that include dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts – is an essential element of a balanced education for all students, officials said.

“All students come to the table with some level of inherent talent,” said Fine Arts Director Scott Thoreson. “It’s up to the teacher to mold, grow and encourage that talent and assist the student into being the best they can be.”

For those reasons, officials say that’s the reason Ysleta ISD organizes the annual Fine Arts Fall Festival – to demonstrate districtwide support for the arts, as well as showcase the outstanding talents of its students while bringing together families and the community in a fun and festive atmosphere.

This year’s festival features a bevy of student entertainment and activities, including musical numbers, dances, cheers, theatrical skits, and a “Pop-Up Galeria” of 250 student art projects.

Every YISD elementary school will be represented in the festival, and will be complemented by performances from the Ysleta High School folklorico group; Mariachi Los Trovadores from Hanks High School; and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy percussion and dance group.

Aside from the student entertainment, there will also be a free photo booth and a Del Valle High School Haunted House.

Food, beverages, and arts and crafts will be available for purchase, as well as $5 day passes for all rides, including bounce houses and an obstacle course. Horse/pony rides are also available for an additional fee.

Last year’s festival was the most successful yet, said organizer and Fine Arts Communication Specialist Adam Ulloa, drawing more than 4,000 visitors to cheer on over 800 student performers.

“Everything seems to have grown exponentially over the past few years,” Ulloa said. “I am just really glad to be part of an event that brings so many families together.”

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