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Outstanding students, staff recognized for June board honors/special presentations

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Editor’s note: Traditionally, each month at the SISD Board of Trustees, the board members and superintendent honor outstanding Team SISD students and staff who have earned local, regional, state, or national accolades and recognition. Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the health and wellbeing of students and staff, it has not been possible to bring in these exceptional individuals and teams. However, they are still deserving of a moment in the spotlight for their outstanding achievements. This article and presentation recognize the students and staff who earned recent honors.

Two Team SISD NJROTC programs had outstanding seasons and qualified and competed at the Area Nine Drill Championships in Oklahoma City. The Socorro High School NJROTC was challenged this year by limited practice locations due to the reconstruction of their school; however, they still had a great year achieving their goals. They completed more than 8,000 hours of community service, performing all four local drill meet competitions, and over 100 color guards throughout the city. They also achieved their ultimate goal, which was to perform at the area competition for the eighth straight year. They performed superbly against the top schools throughout six states. Of the 60 Area Nine high schools, 10 schools competed in Oklahoma City in January with Socorro coming in sixth place, finishing in the top 10 percent of the competition.

The Socorro High School NJROTC is:
Esmeralda Aguilar
Guadalupe Aguilar
Jennifer Amaro
Lucero De La Pena
Aedriane Garcia
Jammy Gonzalez
Dylan Harden
Ariadna Luna
Angel Marquez
Ashley Martinez
Larisa Morales
Luis Moreno
Roberto Moreno
Alan Ramirez
Daimion Reyna
Dominique Reyna
Marco Rincon
Juan Rodriguez
Julia Rodriguez
Fabian Rodriguez
Kevin Rodriguez
Arlene Torres
Bryan Vazquez
Michael Morales, Senior Naval Instructor

The Pebble Hills Spartans traveled to Oklahoma City for the Area Nine competition for the first time since the NJROTC program was relocated to SPARTA. The Spartan cadets put in many hours of hard work to rightfully earn their spot at the competition. The Spartans earned fourth place overall, second place in unarmed exhibition, third place academic team and third place in uniform personnel inspection. Their goal for the 2020-2021 school year is to make a return appearance to the area competition and place higher to earn a spot at the Navy nationals in Pensacola, Fla. The Spartan NJROTC members are:

David Allen
Katherine Allen
Octavio Amaya
Jay-Lynn Anaya
Jennifer Anderson
Nevaeh Buntyn
David Carpio
Mateo Contreras
Anthony Donacio
Deyanira Escobar
Aaliyah Fernandez-Hernandez
Aaron Greer
Issa-Marina Gutierrez
Trent Henry
Diego Macias
Julian Medina
Emily Munoz
Jesus Nevarez
Noah Nunez
Kimberly Pierre
Leith Rafidi
Christopher Simental
Malachi Sutherland
Honystee Tuialuuluu
Jocelyn Warren
Treyden Williams
Elijah Wooddall
Vivian Ybarra
Justo Mendoza, Senior Naval Instructor

Three SISD schools placed in the 2020 EPISD Secondary Student Digital Film Festival, which is open to all Region 19 students. Montwood High School won second place for comedy. Pebble Hills High School won first place for action. Socorro High School won first place for comedy and drama. Congratulations to all three Team SISD schools who were film festival winners!

The Montwood High School film team is:
Stephanie Jimenez
Vanessa Velarde
Marvin Hanley, Teacher

The Pebble Hills High School film team is:
Krystian Araiza
Patrick Jimenez
Alexis Ramirez
Gabriel Sanchez
Benjamin Munguia, Teacher

The Socorro High School film team is:
Alan Aguirre
Aurora Avalos
Armando Hernandez
Devin Lopez
Daniel Vela
Luis Perez, Teacher

Two Montwood High School students won first place in the 2020 Better Business Bureau Student Video Contest for their video “Law Trouble.” They placed first among 49 entries from 15 El Paso schools and 25 entries from seven Juarez schools. Their video brings awareness on how the Better Business Bureau helps consumers with honest ratings and reviews so that they can make safe purchases. Congratulations Montwood Ram TV Productions! They are:

Vanesa Martinez
Kaylee Reyes
Marvin Hanley, Teacher

The Lower Valley School Nurse Association (LVSNA) offered a scholarship opportunity to Team SISD seniors this year. Applicants were asked to write an essay describing their challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they coped. An Americas High School 2020 graduate won the $1,500 scholarship. She will be attending UTEP in the fall and majoring in kinesiology. Her essay revealed she is a mature and optimistic young adult, whose mental and emotional resiliency will no doubt help her navigate through life after high school! Congratulations to Kathia Rivas!

An Americas High School professional communications and debate teacher has been named the 2020 National Speech and Debate Association Coach of the Year. As a longtime speech and debate coach at Americas, she has led her teams to multiple regional, state, and national competitions. With her continued commitment to student success and her motto this year of “Appreciate the Journey,” she instructed another group of talented speech and debate students to further achievements. She also earned the District Coach of the Year title in 2018 and 2019. This is the first time an El Paso teacher has won the NSDA coach of the year award. Congratulations to Americas High School teacher Irene Gardea.

An SISD administrator earned the Regional Athletic Administrator of the Year award from the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. This dedicated Team SISD employee was chosen from eight regions in the state for the prestigious recognition. Before joining the SISD Athletics department, he served three years as the principal of Jane A. Hambric School, five years as the assistant principal of Bill Sybert School, and seven years as a teacher and coach at William D. Slider Middle School, Sun Ridge Middle School, and El Dorado High School. During his coaching career, he coached seventh and eighth grade baseball, basketball, track and field, and football at both middle and high school levels. His personal motto to “Compete with Integrity” is what drives him to ensure that the athletic programs, coaches and student-athletes in SISD are second-to-none. Congratulations to Assistant Director of Athletics James Nunn!

Published June 16, 2020

Strategic Direction: College and Career Readiness