With the help of the Paso del Norte Foundation, the family of a longtime Eastwood High School educator is ensuring her memory lives on by helping students fund their college education while creating a lasting tribute to their daughter.
“Eastwood was Deby’s life; she wanted to make it the best place she possibly could,” Deby Lewis’ mother, Betty, said. “Her goal was to see that every student would become what they were capable of being.”
With Eastwood High currently undergoing extensive renovations, the Deby Lewis Foundation — `part of the Paso del Norte Foundation’s Community of Philanthropy — saw an opportunity to raise more money to help send kids to college and honor the memory of Deby Lewis.
Over the last several months, the foundation has been selling commemorative bricks that will be used to build a walkway at the school.
The bricks are engraved with names of Eastwood High students and faculty, past and present, and include their graduating class, high school legacy, groups, teams or a personal message.
Teachers, students and alumni have purchased about 560 commemorative bricks. Proceeds from the donations will go to fund scholarships for Eastwood High students.
The non-profit was founded by Betty Lewis to honor and memorialize longtime Eastwood High School educator Deby Lewis. Lewis was a graduate of Eastwood, who went on to a 36-year career as a tennis coach, student activities director and Ysleta Independent School District board member. Lewis passed away in 2015.
Since being founded in 2016, the Deby Lewis Foundation has awarded 16 scholarships to deserving students.
With construction nearing completion, officials with Ysleta ISD are inviting the community to take a grand tour of the new Bel Air Middle School on Saturday, August 25, from 9 a.m. to Noon.
District officials share that the new campus will accommodate 800 students in grades 7 and 8, with core capacity growth to 1,200 students.
The new school will be a state-of-the-art 21st Century Learning Campus with STEM labs, visual & performing arts, and full support for all athletics.
According to Ysleta ISD officials, the $40.6M project – as part of the Bond 2015 – replaced Ranchland Hills and Hillcrest middle schools.
The schools consolidated in 2016 and have been housed at the Hillcrest MS building on Yermoland. The new school is located at 7909 Ranchland Drive.
On Monday, officials with the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced the appointment of new principals at two campuses for the upcoming school year.
Alejandro “Alex” Armendariz, current principal at Valley View Middle School, has been appointed the new principal at Loma Terrace Elementary School, effective Aug. 13.
Armendariz began his professional career in 1999 as a science teacher at Hornedo Middle School, and has since worked as a support teacher and assistant principal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Sul Ross State University.
Due to Armendariz’s new position at Loma Terrace Elementary School, Camino Real Middle School Principal Ida Perales has also been appointed principal of the nearby Valley View Middle School campus.
Perales will oversee both schools until January, when the campuses will be consolidated at the new Del Valle Middle School currently being built as part of a new K-8 combination campus with Mission Valley Elementary School.
Perales began her career in education in 2001 as a biology teacher at Ysleta HS, then worked in the El Paso and Socorro school districts for six years before returning to YISD in 2008 to serve as an instructional specialist, assistant principal, and principal. Perales has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from UTEP.
The K-8 combo campus consisting of Mission Valley Elementary School and Del Valle Middle School is one of several new construction projects made possible through the $430.5 million facilities bond approved by voters in November 2015.
On Wednesday it was announced that EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College Program has been recognized as a finalist in the Examples of Excellence in the associate level.
“EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School programs are having tremendous results in getting youth in our region on a path to higher education,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said. “The data shows that students who take just one college course in high school are more likely to pursue a college degree and be successful.”
The EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College Program gives students opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school.
EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School program was one of only 21 finalists selected from more than 139 nominated programs from 27 states, DC and Puerto Rico.
The four 2018 Examples of Excelencia will be announced October 11th at the Celebración de Excelencia in Washington, DC.
“We are honored that Excelencia in Education has selected El Paso Community College’s Dual Credit and Early College High School Program as an Example of Excelencia. This nation-wide recognition highlights the work we are doing to provide students in our region the opportunity to take college courses while in high school,” Tonie Badillo, Dean of EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School Programs said.
“These students have the opportunity to save time and money by getting a head start on their college career.”
Since being established more than a decade ago, EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School program has addressed the region’s low educational rate in comparison with Texas and the Nation.
The program has become a nationally recognized model for its success rates. Students in EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College programs have high graduation and completion rates in the courses they take and when they continue to 4-year institutions. The data shows that 58 percent of students who take just one college course in high school pursue an advanced degree versus 33 percent for those who do not.
Students in EPCC’s Early College High School Programs have a 75 percent success rate in completing their associate degree while still in high school which outperform the national and state averages which are less than 30 percent.
EPCC offers Dual Credit in the majority of area high schools. There are 12 Early College High Schools spread out through area school district partners including Canutillo ISD, Clint ISD, El Paso ISD, Fabens ISD, Socorro ISD and Ysleta ISD.
¡Excelencia in Education! is an organization that works to accelerate Latino student success, enhance our workforce, leadership, and economy. Examples of Excellence recognizes institutions and practices that bring attention to evidence-based practices that work for Latino students in education.
On Tuesday, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced the appointment of three new principals for the upcoming school year, as well as a new Central Office director.
Enrique Herrera, current principal at Slider Middle School, has been appointed the new principal at Hanks High School, effective August 2. Herrera began his career in 2000 as a fifth-grade teacher, and went on to serve as curriculum coach, high school assistant principal, and middle school principal.
Herrera holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Sul Ross State University, and a master’s degree in Middle Grades Education from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
Lisa Lopez, former principal at Del Valle Elementary School, is the new principal at Ysleta Pre-K Center, effective July 1. Lopez began her career as an English teacher in 1997 and subsequently went on to serve as an assistant principal and principal.
Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UTEP and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Sul Ross State University.
Sandra Perez, former Ysleta Pre-K Center principal, is the new principal at Del Valle Elementary School, effective July 1. Perez, who has a 19-year career in education, has worked as a teacher, literacy leader, assistant principal and principal. Perez holds a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from UTEP.
In addition, former YISD Director of Secondary Personnel Craig Lahrman has been appointed Director of Support Personnel, effective July 1. Lahrman began his career in education in 1994 as a teacher/athletic trainer at Del Valle High School. He went on to serve as assistant principal and principal before moving into the Human Resources Department in 2010.
Lahrman holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from DePauw University and a master’s degree from Indiana University.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath announced that Ysleta Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre has been appointed to the agency’s Policy Committee on Public Education Information (PCPEI).
The PCPEI is an influential committee comprised of a small group of school leaders from around the state that provides guidance affecting all Texas public schools. Specifically, this advisory committee addresses policy issues regarding information and data requirements that support students’ educational needs statewide.
This appointment is the second statewide position for De La Torre. Earlier this year, he was elected to serve as the 2019 chair of the Texas Urban Council of Superintendents, a network of the state’s largest urban school districts that meets regularly to discuss governance, leadership, management, governmental relations, and other topics relevant to traditional urban public schools.
Via a news release, YISD officials said, “De La Torre has taken an interest in education policy to ensure that El Paso and West Texas are properly represented on important issues that affect our schools.”
“He plans to use these positions to ensure that future policies do not have adverse consequences that may negatively impact students,” officials added.
The other superintendents appointed to the PCPEI include: Andrew Kim (Comal ISD); Orlando Riddick (Midland ISD); John Wink (Blue Ridge ISD); John Allen (Frankston ISD); Clark Ealy (College Station ISD); Cody Newcomb (Center Point ISD); Patti Blue (Gustine ISD); Kevin Worthy (Royse City ISD); Kathy Rollo (Lubbock ISD); Jason Marshall (Palestine ISD); and Brian Stroman (Bloomburg ISD).
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
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.
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
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|
|Yatzua Corral||$2,000||Community Service|
|Melina Flores||$2,000||Personal Achievement|
|Alexis Hernandez||$2,000||The Hospitals of Providence|
|Emily Mata Quinones||$2,000||Personal Achievement|
|Ryan Reza||$2,000||Allstate Foundation|
|Victoria Ruiz||$2,000||Carroll Dibler and Kristin Dibler Memorial|
|Del Valle High School||Amount||Type|
|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|
|Janeth Sandoval||$2,000||The Hospitals of Providence|
|Eastwood High School||Amount||Type|
|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|
|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|
|Jeter Andrada||$2,000||Personal Achievement|
|LeDessa Davis||$2,000||Personal Achievement|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Alondra Reynoso||$2,000||Allstate Foundation|
|Lynette Contreras Valdez||$2,000||Personal Achievement|
|Daniel Valles||$2,000||Community Service|
|Valle Verde Early College HS||Amount||Type|
|Angelica Amaya||$2,000||Community Service|
|Jailene Amparan||$2,000||The Hospitals of Providence|
|Karen Campos Castaneda||$2,000||Personal Achievement|
|Beverly Gonzalez||$2,000||Allstate Foundation|
|Ysleta High School||Amount||Type|
|Adrian Jimenez Marrufo||$5,000||Hunt|
|Denise Roman Ortiz||$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|