• May 18, 2022
 Video+Story: Socorro ISD honors outstanding students, staff for co-curricular, athletic achievements

Video+Story: Socorro ISD honors outstanding students, staff for co-curricular, athletic achievements

Traditionally, each month at the SISD Board of Trustees meeting, the board members and superintendent honor outstanding Team SISD students and staff who have earned local, regional, statewide, or national accolades and recognition.

“Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been possible to bring in these exceptional individuals and teams,” SISD officials share. “However, they are still deserving of a moment in the spotlight for their outstanding achievements.”

District officials released the information on Wednesday, along with a full presentation to honor all the hard working students and staff who earned honors this spring.

The video can be viewed above, a link to the photos and pages can be viewed by clicking here.


Helen Ball Elementary students won the highly sought 2020 SISD Battle of the Bluebonnets championship title. The team of elementary students showed excellent reading comprehension skills and an outstanding enthusiasm for reading in the district’s unique literary competition.

The Helen Ball team ranked as the top team with their unparalleled knowledge of the subject matter in the Texas Bluebonnet Award nomination books. Congratulations to the Helen Ball Elementary team, the 2020 Battle of the Bluebonnets winners. They are:

Laylah Maese
Victoria Valles
David Jasso
Emma Sanchez
Roxanne De Leon
Erin Sanchez, Librarian

A student from Pebble Hills High School earned honors for advancing and competing at the 2019-2020 UIL Congress state competition, which promotes leadership and communication skills through rigorous interaction and debate on issues confronting our democracy. He drafted legislation, researched the docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies.

Congratulations to this outstanding student Bryan Liston from Pebble Hills High School and his teacher Israel Boswell.

Two Team SISD wrestling teams won 2019-2020 UIL district championships. This year was historic for the Pebble Hills Spartan wrestling team as they had five state qualifiers, one state alternate and three All-State wrestlers.

The team finished their outstanding season by placing 15th at the state meet.

Congratulations to the Pebble Hills Spartans, the championship Spartans are:

Ernie Mata
Justin Rodriguez
Isaac Gomez
Aray Delgado
Julian Solis
Gabriel Valdez
Dominic Melendez
Diego Muñoz
AJ Delgado
Cyrus Garcia
Gus Renteria
Stephen Hayes
David Elmendorff, Coach
Carlos Paniagua, Head Coach

The Montwood High School girls wrestling team also had an outstanding season. This year, the Montwood Rams were 1-6A district champions and earned All-City recognition by the Greater El Paso Wrestling Coaches Association. Congratulations to the Montwood Rams!

They are:

Lauren Gonzalez
Teresa Catellanos
Karla Garcia
Eleisia Gamboa
Karina De La Torre
Saleen Doblado
Priscilla Hernandez
Aremie Steel
Arista Najera
Alexis Landeros
Oscar Norez, Head Coach

In addition, several Team SISD individual wrestlers advanced and competed at the 2019-2020 UIL state competition. Most notable was Eastlake High School’s Kylie Hernandez, who  won the UIL 5A wrestling state championship.

The wrestlers who worked hard all season and earned their way to the state meet are from Pebble Hills High School, Americas High School, Montwood High School and Eastlake High School. Congratulations to these outstanding SISD athletes. They are:

Pebble Hills High School

Julian Solis
Dominic Melendez
Anthony Delgado
Justin Rodriguez
Isabel Walker
Jayanne Lopez
Derek Elmendorff, Coach
Carlos Paniagua, Head Coach

Americas High School

Jacob DeSantos
Noe Robles, Coach
Dorian Rojo, Head Coach

Montwood High School

Ivan Escobar
Karla Garcia
Pedro Escobar
Saleen Doblado
Oscar Hernandez
Aremie Steele
Arista Najera
Oscar Norez, Head Coach

Eastlake High School

Andre Ramirez
Shayden Muzio
Joshua Gonzalez
Kylie Hernandez, State Champion
David Atilano, Coach
Carlos Armendariz, Head Coach

Five Team SISD boys’ and girls’ basketball teams earned honors for winning 2019-2020 UIL championships. The Americas High School boys basketball team finished the season with a 23-12 overall record and 8-2 district record.

The Trailblazers won the UIL 1-6A district championships and a 6A bi-district boys basketball title. The championship Trailblazers are:

Jordan Hernandez
Jaden Andrus
Jose Luis Lugo
Joey Sosa
Christian Nevarez
Jonathan Castañeda
Cristian Martinez
Damien Vincente
Juan Zamirripa
Andrew Morales, Coach
Gil Romo, Coach
Mike Brooks, Head Coach

The Pebble Hills High School girls’ basketball team finished the season with a 19-15 overall record and an 8-2 district record. They started the season not ranked at all but finished at No. 3 in the city of El Paso.

For the first time ever for Pebble Hills High School, the Spartans won the UIL 1-6A district, 6A bi-district and 6A area championships. The championship Spartans are:

Abby Puebla
Laryssa Washington
Hilary Chavez
Payton Fields, Most Valuable Player
Katelyn Calderon
Jasmine Gonzalez, 1st Team All-District
Alyssa Mathews
Yasmine Quirino, 2nd Team All-District
Victoria Aguayo, Newcomer of the Year
Kandis Hall, 2nd Team All-District
Daniela Rosas
Yasmine Avila, 1st Team All-District
Mya Sullivan
Natalie Flores, Coach
Cynthia Borrego, Coach
Steven Lee, Head Coach

The Montwood Rams girls basketball team won its first bi-district championship since 2006. They ended the season with an overall record of 17-16 and 7-3 in district. Montwood has two seniors, eight juniors, three sophomores and one freshman.

Among those 12 returning players are athletes who earned offensive and defensive player of the year awards, along with first-team, all-district selections.

The Montwood Rams champions are:

Preciosa Velasquez
Monique Moya, First-Team All-District
Karlene Alamo
Lauren Valtierra, First-Team All-District honorable mention
Victoria Lopez
Marina Escobar, First-Team All-District
Alexa Muñoz
Destiny Espinosa
Tori Martinez
Alyssa Rodriguez, First-Team All-District honorable mention
Mia Lozoya, District 1-6A Offensive Player of the year
Kayla Green
Ruth Sodipe, District 1-6A Defensive Player of the year
Jayda Molina
Raul De La Rosa, Coach
Damian Enriquez, Coach
Diana Garduno-Rico, Head Coach

The Eastlake girls’ basketball team had many outstanding achievements this year. The team earned their third straight bi-district championship, ended the season with an overall 28-8 record and a 15-3 district record.

The Falcons earned second place in the Franklin tournament and were consolation champions for the Katy ISD Classic. Individual achievements included athletes earning district and city MVP awards, all-state athletic and academic honors and earning more than 1,000 and 2,000 career points.

This outstanding team ended the season with the most wins in program history. The Eastlake Falcons girls basketball team members are:

Edith Ramirez
Hailey Tena
Danae Villalva
Mia Lares
Cheyanne Bonilla, District MVP and El Paso Times Co-Player of the Year, more than 2,000 career points
Kayla Quintana
Vanessa Herrera, Texas Girls Coaches Association All -Star team, more than 1,000 career points
Alexis Landeros
Amaris Saucedo
Adelyn Gamboa
Chris Granados, Coach
Karina Padilla, Coach
Joi Woodard, Head Coach

The Eastlake High School boys basketball team who also had an outstanding season, finishing with a 22-12 overall record and a 13-5 district record.

They won a UIL 5A bi-district basketball championship. The championship Falcons are:

Adam Herrera
Orion Olivas
Blas Compean
Ralph Ortega
Derek Rojas
Julian Romero
Jeremy Vasquez
Ethan Marquez
Christian Saldaña
Josh Vasquez
Nathan Rodriguez
Jaden Ramos
Matthew Jones
Taylor Young, Coach
Johnny Crawford, Head Coach

Four Team SISD mariachi groups advanced to the 2020 UIL State Mariachi Festival. Americas, Eastlake, Socorro and El Dorado high schools were four of the six mariachi groups in the region to advance to the UIL state competition.

All four ensembles earned a Division I Superior rating at the UIL regional contest, which qualified them for the state mariachi festival. SISD’s talented mariachis gave outstanding performances with strong song selections, stage presence and talent.

Congratulations to all four SISD mariachi groups!

The Americas High School mariachis are:

Santiago Marrero
Hugo Hernandez
Diego Villalobos
Sebastian Chaparro
Andres Avila
Jesus Diaz
Jonathan Perez
Karla Lopez
Alondra Garcia
Bryan Dominguez
Adriana Montoya
Brisa Serrano
Jacqueline Jacobo
Noah White
Cody Fineron
Sophia Walker
Nicolett Guerrero
Luisa Ramos
Bryant Chaffino, Music teacher
Rocio Manriquez, Music teacher
Jose Rios, Music teacher

The Eastlake Mariachi Falco members are:

Evelyn Alvarez
Jorge Cobian
Diego Desantiago
Alexandro Escalera
Alexis Escalera
Annette Fernandez
Maximiliano Gonzalez
Alexia Hernandez
Regina Hernandez
Carlos Mendez
Alondra Morales
Roman Pastrana
Michelle Pelayo
Karyme Perea
Christian Rodriguez
Edgar Rodriguez
Luis Rodriguez
Angeles Valdez
Steve Hernandez, Music teacher
Cynthia Cabada, Music teacher
Jessica Garcia, Music teacher

The Socorro High School Mariachi Los Gavilanes are:

Edward Bautista
Rebecca Bautista
Jennifer Betancourt
Jocelyn Betancourt
Nicolette Brilliant
Christian Corrujedo
Jessica Delgado
Elma Garcia
Areli Grajeda
Dorothy Macias
Angela Moran
Jose Pompa
Pablo Rosas
Angel Sanchez
Erik Sigala
Edel Terrazas
Jesus Torres
Jesus Trevizo
Roger Rosales, Music teacher
Juan Gonzales, Music teacher
Jose Parada, Music teacher

The El Dorado High School mariachis are:

Alan Medina
Melissa Salaises
Stephanea Valles
Marcelo Melendez
Alberto Valenciana
Aleida Holguin
Daphne Serna
Isaac Valencia
Sherlyn Avalos
Abraham Vaughn
Pauline Rassmussen
Elian Urías
Ana Marquez
Sahid Palacios
Grecia Rivas
Claudia Rascon, Music teacher

Several Team SISD students won top honors in the citywide 2020 Black History Month Art Contest. The SISD students’ artwork won best of show, second, and third place from the hundreds of entries entered in this year’s contest. Congratulations to the talented artists and their teachers. They are:

Sun Ridge Middle School

Itzel Rios Dominguez, Third Place
Daniel Lopez, Teacher

Krystal Macias, Second Place
Amanda Trevizo, Teacher

El Dorado High School

Jaylin De La Paz, Second Place
Maddelinde Fields, Teacher

Col. John O. Ensor MS

Haven Ortiz, Best in Show
Rosa Villarreal, Teacher

SISD students advanced to state in the 2020 Visual Arts Scholastic Event competition. From the hundreds of unique art pieces entered in the contest this year, the work of 10 SISD students was among the best. Seven of the 10 students earned a division four rating, the highest possible rating, at the state contest. The judging this year was held virtually. Congratulations to these award-winning artists. They are:

Eastlake High School

Carolina Fonseca
Claudia Castaneda, Teacher

Pebble Hills High School

Viridiana Kropf
Arturo Villegas, Teacher

Treyden Williams
Julian Vidales, Teacher

Angelica Soto
Rosa Villarreal, Teacher

Americas High School

Saree Renee Castaneda
Myah Gonzalez
Leticia Luevanos, Teacher

Angela Gomez
Victor Gomez
Samuel Munoz, Teacher

El Dorado High School
Roussel Acosta
Allison Vega, Teacher

Montwood High School

Noelle Serna
Joseph Mitchell, Teacher

A Team SISD swimmer from Americas High School had an outstanding season and advanced to the 6A 2019-2020 UIL state competition in the 100-yard butterfly. In addition, he was named to the Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association All-State team. Congratulations to Jose Sanchez and his coach Raquel Aguilar.

Several SISD teams advanced once again to the Destination Imagination state contest. Destination Imagination is an educational program that challenges students’ creative problem-solving skills and higher-level thinking.

SISD students shined at the regional event and showcased their science, technology, engineering and math expertise, in addition to their talents in improvisation, writing, project management, communication, innovation and teamwork. The SISD Destination Imagination winners are:

Elementary Destination Imagination Teams

Cactus Trails ES

Raymundo A Velarde
Annimarie Rhowen Flippin
Minaya Felix
Aaron Guzman
Shanelle Hocog
Patricia Velarde, Team Manager

Belinda Frausto
Leah Lopez
Noelle Flores
Isabella Gerber
Bryce Rodriguez
Kelsey Anderson, Team Manager

Chester Jordan ES

Mya Martinez
Maria Armenta
Jaleana Solis
Gia Nguyen
Sonia Cardoso, Team Manager
Caitlyn Bowen, Team Manager

Lujan-Chavez ES

Camila Carrasco-Morales
Fernanda Sanchez
Christian Duron
Kylah Dickerson
Alyssa Paredez
Brendon Lewandowski
Lujan-Chavez ES
Erika Carrasco, Team Manager

Sgt. Roberto Ituarte

Victoria Dominguez
Vanessa De la Rocha
Lazaria Spears
Vania Cruz Torres
Gabriel Lopez
Cristian Gonzalez
Zechariah Carrasco
Tina Sanchez, Team Manager
Andrea Carrasco, Team Manager

Sierra Vista ES

Nadine Mercado
Lillian Esparza
Aubrey Erives
Amy Lozano
Edgar Romero
Eddie Duran
Jaiden Gutierrez
Carmen Melendez, Team Manager

Middle School Destination Imagination Teams

Jane A. Hambric School

Laila Carreon
Camila Caldera
Danielle Lewis
Victoria Rios
Diego Rojas
Arleen Aguirre, Team Manager

Paso Del Norte School

Arnold Payan
Vincent Carpio
Ethan Shatte
Sebastian Nunez
Cianny Carpio
Mariel Zamora
Ivana Morales
Vanessa Colon-Payan, Team Manager
Monica Moreno, Team Manager

Danna Morales
Camila Morales
Jesus Garcia
Jonathan Russell
Ahviyouna Floyd
Ethan Souza
Lucius Gross
Pamela De La Torre, Team Manager

Sun Ridge Middle School

Zenadia Ramirez

Jack Garcia
Vianney Lopez
Andromeda Weregwe
Esperanza Valero-Carter
Robert Dickerson
Terri Naylor, Team Manager

Anissa Baeza
Amirah Chacon
Lizbeth Rodriguez
Julissa Daniels
Christina Thai
Cynthia Aragon, Team Manager
Gabriel Aragon, Team Manager

William D. Slider MS

Arturo Quezada
Joaquin Porras
Brianna Mata
Ava Grace Lazcano
Ashlee Zubia
Laura Reyes, Team Manager
Inez Castaneda, Team Manager

High School Destination Imagination Teams

Eastlake HS

Jaqueline Guerra
Cassidy Gaytan
Jeremy Guerra
Darien Booth
Joel Sierra
Victoria Zuluaga
Alondra Morales
Angelica Gonzalez, Team Manager

El Dorado HS

Amaya Flores
Pauline Rasmussen
Mia Gonzalez
Riley Miner
Isaac Logan Soto
Roussel Acosta
Donna Sianez, Team Manager


Andrea Veliz
Daniela Chacon
Erin Barrientos
Adriel Bustillos
Zven Chavez
Sandra Blough, Team Manager

Yanet Meshirer
Hannah Romero
Fabian Sanchez
Manny Alvarez
Antonio Castruita, Team Manager

A Horizon Heights Elementary student was selected to attend and help present the author award at the Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon at the 2020 Texas Library Association conference. Kaylee Hansen was selected to represent Horizon Heights and Team SISD at the annual event.

Hansen was one of 10 students invited to the prestigious luncheon. She also was among one of three teams who placed third at the SISD Battle of the Bluebonnets. Her favorite book is “Esperanza Rising” and she believes that through reading books we learn to be better individuals. Her librarian is Shannon Ortega.

Two students from Americas High School qualified and competed at the 2020 state UIL Theatrical Design contest. The talented theater students, Cierah LeBron and Nandini Parikh, were the only two contestants accepted to state from the El Paso area. They analyzed the script for “Life Is A Dream” by Pedro Calderon De La Barca and created a set design and costume designs for the play.

LeBron is a senior and has been active in theater, performing, working backstage and designing for multiple theater events. This was her first time entering the UIL design contest. Parikh was accepted to state for her second consecutive time in costume design. Parikh won first place earlier this year at the Texas Renaissance Festival for costume design. She also has been very active in theater, acting and working backstage. Their teacher is Thomas Haase.

Five future health professional students from Socorro High School qualified for the international HOSA competition. The Bulldog team excelled at the area competition with a project that focused on community outreach and several mass casualty exercises. Their main focus was helping to improve the school district’s CPR, AED and Stop the Bleed awareness programs.

The health professional students will participate in the HOSA International Leadership Conference that will take place virtually June 24 through 27.

Congratulations to these Socorro High School students! They are:

Dayra Barron
Adriana Corona
Mariana Fri
Chathrini Kularatne
Jizel Lucero
Adriana Knight, Instructor

The Montwood High School Student Council won the 2020 National Gold Council of Excellence award from the National Student Council for its exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community. Student councils who are awarded the gold level of the award have successfully demonstrated the highest levels of leadership.

The Montwood Student Council organized a variety of events to assist and engage their community, including hosting an end of the year banquet for the Special Education department, assisting Helen Ball Elementary students to set up their first-ever student council, and organizing a “Montwood is El Paso Strong” pep rally to unite and heal the community. Congratulations Montwood High School Student Council. They are:

Aileen Contreras
Alan Reyes
Alyssa Soto
Alyza Ramirez
Amber Ortega
Amy Rangel
Areli Rosales
Ariadna Perez
Arlette Soto
Brianna Romo
Celia Cadena
Chantal Valadez
Christopher Burk
Christopher Gomez
Denise Bernal
Devyn Sauls
Emily Flores
Eugene Montano
Gael Delgado
Giselle Herrera
Haidee Varela
Heaven Gonzalez
Iara Martinez
Isaac Jaramillo
Ivan Cervantes
Izak Jimenez
Jackie Lozano
Jesus Sanchez
Julian Hita
Karina Gomez
Karla Chavez
Katelynn Cazares
Lehyda Perez
Lizbeth Molina
Louie Garcia
Marco Hinojosa
Mariana Lopez
Maribel Vasquez
Mauvy Muniz
Michelle Urruticochea
Montserrat Ramirez
Natalie Nunez
Preciosa Velasquez
Ramiro Villegas
Rebeca Garcia Ayub
Rebecca Cordova
Ruben Gonzalez
Samantha Chavez
Sara Lopez
Sarah Carbajal
Sarah Tellez
Sofia Ojeda
Sophia Hernandez
Sophia Lozcano
Victoria Martinez
Daniel Gutierrez
Marisol Hernandez
Jinelis De Jesus
Miranda Fuentes
Lucero Espinoza
Alondra Romero
Bianca Ramos
Vianey Chin
Ana Player, Instructor

Two SISD seniors from Americas High School and Mission Early College High School earned the prestigious Gates Scholarship. Gustavo Ramirez from Americas High School and Eric Corona from Mission Early College High School are among 300 students nationwide who earned this highly selective scholarship.

The Gates Scholarship provides for the full cost of college/university attendance including tuition, fees, room, books, transportation and other personal costs. Both Ramirez and Corona worked tremendously hard for this opportunity by taking their education seriously and meeting their expectations every school year.

Students from three SISD high schools were recognized for graduating from the Chamber of Commerce 2020 Junior Leadership El Paso program.

El Dorado, Montwood and Pebble Hills high students were among fifty high school juniors in the El Paso region to take part in the 17th class of Junior Leadership El Paso.

These students have shown interest and potential in becoming El Paso’s future leaders. Congratulations to these students! They are:

El Dorado HS

Daniel Bringas
Dante Guerrero
Jeremy Locklear
Pauline Rasmussen

Montwood HS

Abraham Echinton
Christopher Trejo
Said Ajo-Montano
Santiago Guerrero Reyes
Zoe Nunn

Pebble Hills HS

Allison Trevino
Gabriela Armendariz
Kristina Olave
Minah Miranda
Nicholas Martinez
Sienna Ochoa

The SISD Fine Arts department has earned the 2020 Best Communities for Music Education Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Team SISD has earned the prestigious award, which recognizes school districts who provide access to music education to ensure all students receive a well-rounded education. Congratulations to SISD Fine Arts Department, they are:

Vanessa Salazar, Administrative Specialist I
Margie Monje, Administrative Specialist I
Janet Lynch, Instrumental Music Specialist
Macka Jones, Visual Arts Specialist
Ron Pingor, Assistant Director of Fine Arts (retired)
Candace Pintz, Assistant Director of Fine Arts
Armando Martinez, Director of Fine Arts

SISD Assistant Fine Arts Director Candace Printz won the Life Changer of the Year award from the National Life Group and its Foundation. The prestigious, national award recognizes and rewards outstanding K-12 educators and employees from around the country. Printz was one of five educators in the nation to win the prestigious grand prize award. She is a leader in her field who is constantly finding ways to not only develop students’ artistic skills, but to save the environment.

The LifeChanger of the Year award aims to honor those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Prior to becoming the assistant fine arts director, Printz was an art teacher at El Dorado High School where she positively impacted many students with her numerous community service and art activities and initiatives.

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