The Young Women’s Leadership Academy will host a week-long summer camp for more than 300 incoming sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students that’s designed to unite and prepare them for the 2017-18 school year.
The interactive camp includes energetic team-building exercises, introductions to the students’ upcoming academic classes, and group activities such as painting river rocks, creating friendship bracelets, exploring the Google Suite of apps, and conducting a fashion show of “dos and don’ts” for the school uniform.
Students will also be able to bring in school supplies for the year to their classrooms and receive school uniforms.
A Field Day of outdoor activities wraps up the camp on Friday.
What: Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) summer camp When: Monday, July 31 through Friday, Aug. 4 Who: YWLA students in grades 6-8, teachers, administrators Where: YWLA campus, 7615 Yuma Drive
Staff Report July 20, 2017NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD Announces Appointment of Principals for Eastwood, Parkland High Schools
The Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced Thursday morning the appointment of two new principals for Eastwood and Parkland high schools, which were approved by the Board of Trustees during its regular meeting Wednesday night.
Penelope Bankston, current principal at Valley View Middle School, has been named the new principal at Parkland High School following a comprehensive selection process that included 15 applicants.
Bankston began her professional career in 1994 as an elementary school bilingual teacher in Alpine, Texas. Since that time, she has served as a middle-school reading teacher, a high-school dyslexia teacher, high-school instructional specialist, a high-school assistant principal and principal of Valley View Middle School.
Bankston has spent the majority of her career – 18 of 23 years – in northeast El Paso. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, a master’s degree in reading, and a master’s degree in educational administration, all from Sul Ross State University.
YISD officials say her knowledge of secondary curriculum, as well as her longtime experience working with the Northeast community, will play a pivotal role in leading Parkland High School toward continued academic success.
David Boatright, current principal at Eastwood Middle School, has been named the new principal of Eastwood High School following a thorough, comprehensive nationwide selection process that included 21 applicants.
Boatright began his career in education in 1991 as a physical education teacher at Irvin High School. Over the course of his career – 18 of which were spent in the Eastwood Learning Community – he also served as a world history teacher, world geography teacher, wrestling coach, Eastwood High School assistant principal, and Eastwood Middle School principal. Boatright holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology
from UTEP and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sul Ross State University.
The respect and success Boatright has earned in the Eastwood community, along with his awareness of Trooper traditions and knowledge of secondary curriculum, will continue to lead Eastwood High School toward higher levels of success, YISD officials said.
Bankston and Boatright’s new positions both take effect Monday, July 24.
Staff Report July 18, 2017NewsComments Off on YISD Announces Two New Leaders at Ysleta Middle, Ysleta ISD HQ
The Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced on Monday the recent appointment of David Gonzalez as the principal of Ysleta Middle School, and Naomi Esparza as the new YISD Director of Academics for Middle Schools.
Gonzalez, a graduate of Riverside High School, began his career in education in 2003 as an English teacher at Parkland High School.
He went on to serve as an English teacher and student activities director at Riverside High School before working as an assistant principal in the Clint Independent School District (CISD).
He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from UTEP, and a master’s degree in education from Sul Ross University.
Gonzalez’s new job duties as Ysleta Middle School principal take effect Monday, July 17.
Esparza is a graduate of Hanks High School and a 26 year veteran in education with 13 years teaching experience and 13 years administrative experience. She began her career as an English teacher in Socorro ISD at Montwood High School then went on to teach English at Americas High School.
She later served as a middle school assistant principal at Col. John O. Ensor Middle School in SISD and as a high school assistant principal at Mountain View High School in Clint ISD. She returned to Col. John O. Ensor Middle School where served as principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from UTEP.
Esparza’s new job duties as Director of Academics for Middle Schools take effect Monday, July 24.
Staff Report July 10, 2017NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD Educator Awarded Scholarship to Attend Conference in Brazil
Ysleta ISD announced Monday that Abigail Tarango, Director of Special Projects & Strategic Initiatives, was awarded a scholarship to attend an international education conference in Brazil.
Via a news release, officials with Ysleta ISD stated, “One of the most critical components in public education today is to increase the number of women in leadership roles. That’s why the Ysleta Independent School District is pleased to announce that Abigail Tarango, Director of Speical Projects & Strategic Initiatives is 1 of only 10 female educators nationwide to receive a scholarship by the School Superintendents Association (AASA), to attend the Women Leading Education (WLE) Across Continents International Conference, July 22-26, 2017, at Rio de Janeiro State University in Duque de Caxias, Brazil.”
“On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students who make up our community at the Ysleta Independent School District, it will be an honor to take part in this extraordinary, global setting,” said Tarango “To exchange best practices and ideas with my fellow educators from all over the world is a opportunity that I will cherish and make the most of, and share with my colleagues in my home district. I thank AASA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for making this possible.”
“Abigail Tarango is among the many exceptionally talented women principals, superintendents and other district administrators who are making a positive difference in the lives of our children,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA.
“We are proud of the female educators representing AASA at an event that is certain to generate rich conversations for the benefit of our schools and students. We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting this initiative.”
Themed “From Margins to Centers,” women educators from around the world will convene to address issues such as social justice, equity, and advancement in K-12 and higher education.
“Our primary goal is to elevate the status for all women who continue to make strides in educational leadership worldwide,” said Sharon Adams-Taylor, associate executive director, AASA, co-founder of the WLE and the network’s scholarship coordinator.
Staff Report May 5, 2017NewsComments Off on YISD Reveals 2017-18 Support Employees, Teachers of the Year
Pebble Hills Elementary School teacher Heather Holmes and Ysleta High School teacher Allen Haynes were named YISD’s top 2017-18 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively, at a special gala Friday, May 5, at the Centennial Banquet & Conference Center at Fort Bliss.
In addition, Martin Olivas from YISD’s Service Center was named the 2017-18 Support Employee of the Year.
Holmes, a second-grade teacher at Pebble Hills Elementary School, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree from UTEP, and has taught pre-K and elementary school students for six years.
Growing up, Holmes said there were few opportunities and resources available to her, and it motivated her to become an educator.
“I believe every student can be successful in life,” she said. “My mission is to inspire and be a support system to students so they, too, can attend the college of their dreams and achieve their long-term goals.”
Other finalists for Elementary Teacher of the Year were: Karla Bazán (Del Valle ES), Jessica Fette (Cedar Grove ES), Bernadette Rey (Ysleta Pre-K Center), and Nancy Gonzalez-Uribe (Scotsdale ES).
Haynes, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Park University and a master’s degree from Fort Hays State University, says teaching is his passion.
He is the JROTC instructor at Ysleta High School, which he pursued after retiring from active duty in the U.S. Army and volunteering at Parkland HighSchool’s JROTC, with enthusiastic support from his daughter.
“My personal passion starts with teaching. I make it a daily objective to teach at least one thing to someone every day of my life,” Haynes said. “I also value lifelong learning, educational research, and physical fitness.”
Other finalists for Secondary Teacher of the Year were Laura Fabela (Valle Verde Early College HS), Nicholas Flood (Indian Ridge MS), Rebeca Montes (Young Women’s Leadership Academy), and Stephanie Bocanegra Morales (Bel Air HS).
Olivas, who began working 30 years ago at YISD as a custodian, is currently an equipment operator/roofer at the Service Center.
Aside from his job duties, Olivas volunteers every year for the student/parent Thanksgiving Luncheons at YISD campuses, where he helps serve, clean tables, andthrow away trash. He also donates gifts and winter jackets to YISD students in need each Christmas.
Other Support Employee of the Year finalists were: Karla Acosta (representing Bel Air MS); Melissa Pacheco (Young Women’s Leadership Academy); Armando Valdez (Eastwood HS); and Miguel Vasquez (Camino Real MS).
Holmes and Haynes will now go on to compete in the Teacher of the Year competition for Region 19. A list of all 2017-18 YISD campus Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year can be found on the district’s main website.
Staff Report April 27, 2017NewsComments Off on YISD, EPCC Announce Two New Early College High Schools
The Ysleta Independent School District and El Paso Community College (EPCC) announced the designation of two new early college high school programs by the Texas Education Agency during a press conference Thursday morning.
Parkland Early College High School and Ysleta High School Early College Academy joins Valle Verde Early College High School as the second and third early college high school programs in Ysleta ISD, with both schools opening the 2017-2018 school year.
Both programs have already accepted students to their respective early college high schools. Ninety-four students will begin ninth grade at Parkland ECHS while 103 freshman willbegin at Ysleta High School Early College Academy.
The early college high school model has proven to be successful in the El Paso community. YISD’s Valle Verde ECHS has received numerous accolades from the TEA, including receiving all seven distinction designations and being named as a model campus. In addition, Newsweek and US News & World Report named Valle Verde ECHS among the best high schools in the nation and the top high school in El Paso in 2016.
The addition of the Parkland Early College High School and Ysleta High School Early College Academy will increase options for students to earn an associate’s degree from EPCC while simultaneously earning a high school diploma.
The “school within a school” model at Parkland and Ysleta will also provide students the opportunity to enjoy traditional high school activities such as athletics, fine arts and JROTC while taking dual credit courses.
Staff Report April 20, 2017Local NewsComments Off on 3 Ysleta ISD Schools Earn spot on Prestigious Texas Honor Roll
Three campuses in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) were among 727 in the state to be named to the 2016 Texas Honor Roll after demonstrating high levels of academic achievement and reductions in achievement gaps during state testing last spring.
The honor-roll campuses are Ramona and Eastwood Heights elementary schools, and Valle Verde Early College High School (VVECHS). Earlier this year, VVECHS was nominated for the 2017 national Blue Ribbon award, and is the top-ranked public school in El Paso, according to two national publications.
The Texas Honor Roll, compiled by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE), analyzes data from the Texas Academic Performance Report to identify public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, the Honor Roll recognition includes measures of college readiness.
The Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the Star Schools Award and Scholar Schools Award. All three YISD schools were recognized as Star Schools, or those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time.
“The Honor Roll proves that all schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success,” said Jim Lanich, President and Chief Executive Officer of ERP. “School and school district leaders have a great opportunity to find out what’s working at these Honor Roll schools and replicate it.”
Honor Roll researchers say they have identified a common set of success factors in higher performing schools, which include:
Clear, specific learning objectives aligned to college and career readiness, along with evidence-based instructional practices;
Establishing a system-wide mission of college and career readiness for all students;
Investing in human capital;
Maintaining data and assessment systems to monitor school and student performance; and
Deploying resources and guidance to support schools’ efforts to prepare all students for college and career.
Honor Roll schools will receive a banner to display on their campuses and be featured on the ERP website, where educators and policymakers seek out high-performing schools so they can replicate success.
A full list of the Honor Roll schools, districts, and the STEM awardees can be found HERE.
Staff Report April 10, 2017Local NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD seeks Community Input for Prospective All-Boys Academy
Ysleta Independent School District has launched an online survey to seek input from parents and community members for the district’s new all-boys academy.
The survey aims to collect feedback from participants in order to develop attractive programs and curricula, as well as appropriate grade levels for the new school.
“This survey is an excellent opportunity for Ysleta ISD to hear directly from parents and the community as we develop the new all-boys academy,” said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “Our goal is to provide an attractive school that not only builds on the district’s distinguished academic programs, but also provides students and parents with a slate of specialized programs and activities that will create a sound foundation for our boys to succeed not only at the academy, but throughout their lives.”
De La Torre announced plans to open El Paso’s first all-male public school at his annual State of the District Address in March. The campus location has not been determined; however, the school is slated to open for the 2018-2019 school year.
Parents and interested community members can access the online survey for the all- boys academy by visiting the Ysleta ISD website.
Staff Report April 3, 2017Local NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD Principal Named Finalist for Prestigious National Honor
Capistrano Elementary School Principal Lynn Musel has been named one of eight finalists for the Texas National Distinguished Principal award by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA).
“Being a finalist for the National Distinguished Principal is an amazing honor,” Musel said. “However, this would not be possible without our dedicated teachers and school staff, who are committed to changing the lives of children for the better.”
Musel was selected as a finalist not only for her extraordinary campus leadership, but her commitment to students and staff, serving the community, and contributing to the profession, including their professional associations. She was among 123 principals to be nominated for 2017 award, TEPSA officials said.
“The school principal is critical to student and teacher success,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said. “These exemplary principals are making a difference in the lives of students across Texas.”
The NDP program promotes educational excellence in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, and focuses on the fundamental importance of the school principal.
After a rigorous reading process, in which applicants shared their educational philosophies and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, a peer-review committee selected eight finalists. These outstanding leaders then showcased their achievements during a school visit by a team of educators.
The winner will receive $10,000, and represent the state in Washington D.C. as the 2017 Texas National Distinguished Principal. In addition, all eight finalists, including Musel, will be recognized June 14 at a TEPSA awards reception in Austin.
Staff Report March 24, 2017NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD Breaks Ground for new Bel Air Middle School Campus
The Ysleta Independent School District marked the official start of construction of the New Bel Air Middle School campus during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning. Bel Air middle and high school students, as well as Bel Air alumni, community members, and YISD administrators were on-hand for the ceremony.
“We are committed to the four pillars we established for this and all of our bond projects: on time, under budget, up the quality our students deserve, and, all things being equal, done by local contractors and architects,” said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “I am proud to say that the new Bel Air Middle School project is meeting those pillars and we are excited to see the end result.”
ASA Architects designed the campus and Urban Associates will build the new school, both El Paso-owned companies. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
During the ceremony, Bel Air Middle School Principal Dana DeRouen thanked the YISD voters who approved the 2015 bond measure, as well as volunteers, students, parents, and community members who contributed to designing the new campus.
“I know everyone in the community is very excited as we begin to watch the Ysleta Independent School District literally lay the foundation for the success of our students,” he said.
Located at the site of the former Bel Air Junior High School, Bel Air Middle School is the first new campus construction project of the 2015 Bond program.
The $40 million campus will accommodate up to 1,200 students, and will feature state-of- the-art classrooms, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) laboratories, and new athletics and fine arts facilities.
The 2017-18 campus Teachers of the Year at the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) were honored during a reception Tuesday evening at Central Office, where 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.
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 5 at the Centennial Conference Center and Banquet Hall at Fort Bliss.
The top five finalists for the 2017-18 YISD Elementary Teacher of the Year are:
Karla Bazan, Del Valle Elementary School
Jessica Fette, Cedar Grove Elementary School
Nancy Gonzalez-Uribe, Scotsdale Elementary School
Heather Holmes, Pebble Hills Elementary School
Bernadette Rey, Ysleta Pre-K Center
The top five finalists for the 2017-18 YISD Secondary Teacher of the Year are:
Laura Fabela, Valle Verde Early College High School
Nicholas Flood, Indian Ridge Middle School
Allen Haynes, Ysleta High School
Rebeca Montes, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Stephanie Bocanegra Morales, Bel Air High School
A list of all 2017-18 campus Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year can be found on the YISD main website at www.yisd.net.
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy in the Ysleta Independent School District continues to celebrate an array of successes in its inaugural year, including winning a new $10,000 STEM grant and the successful recruitment of a new sixth-grade class that will begin attending the school in Fall 2017.
YWLA was the first single-gender college-preparatory public school in El Paso when it opened its doors in Fall 2016 to 240 sixth- and seventh-grade girls.
YWLA is a member of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), which played an integral part in planning and establishing YWLA by providing private enhancements based on college readiness, leadership and wellness life skills, so that graduates achieve academic success and are prepared for college and life.
“What we found out through this year’s admission process is that our school recruits very high-caliber students who are strongly motivated and interested in our STEAM work,” said YWLA Principal Malinda Villalobos, referring to the school’s emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. “We are so excited about the possibilities of what we are going to be able to do.”
YWLA acceptance letters were mailed out this month to 133 girls, about half of whom hail from neighboring school districts and private schools, or are being homeschooled. Exact numbers for this new class of incoming sixth-graders are broken down below:
Throughout April, the newly admitted YWLA students will register for classes and order uniforms at the campus. All YWLA students – new and returning – are required to attend a weeklong summer camp at the school from July 31-Aug. 4.
In addition, YWLA teacher Ivan Ortega has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Lockheed-Martin to purchase drones, which will allow students to add an aerial aspect to their ongoing projects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Ortega applied for the grant in cooperation with YWPN.
“Our girls just finished a robotics piece in their class, where they built and programmed robots. But even after the project ended, they felt like they really didn’t want to take the robots apart,” Villalobos said. “Now with this grant, they finally feel like they can take their robots apart – because now they’ll be building drones!”
At YWLA, students benefit from advanced coursework and a biliteracy component, as well as three “core value” classes in Responsible Leadership, College & Career Readiness, and Wellness Life Skills. They may also choose to participate in a variety of elective classes and extracurricular activities, as well as language classes in Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language, and Latin.
Staff Report February 23, 2017Local NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD hosts 2017 Parental Engagement Conference Saturday
Ysleta ISD’s Parental Engagement Conference is set for Saturday, February 25th, and all district parents, administrators and community members are invited to the event.
YISD officials say the conference is designed to help parents learn how to help their children succeed in school.
The event features more than 30 small-group sessions that will address topics like social media and school discipline, as well as provide information on our Early College High Schools and adult education classes.
The keynote luncheon speaker is co-founder of Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E. LaVonna Roth. She is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, consultant, and author who specializes in helping people gain confidence in themselves and their talents so they can make a difference in their communities.
The Ysleta Independent School District has hired Aaron Price, former offensive coordinator at Humboldt State University, to serve as Hanks High School’s new athletic coordinator and head football coach.
Price has 19 years of collegiate-level football experience to include offensive coordinator at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), assistant football coach at Tulane University, assistant football coach at Washington State University, and offensive coordinator at Idaho State University.
Price holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Washington State University.
On Wednesday, he was introduced by Hanks High School Principal Gloria Spencer to students, faculty, and staff during a pep rally.
He is the son of Mike Price, former head football coach at UTEP.