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SISD students recognized for QuestBridge scholarships, city/state art contests, All-State music in February board honors

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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.

Three SISD students were matched with a QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship. These College Match Scholarship Recipients are granted admission to one of QuestBridge’s college partners with a full, four-year scholarship worth over $200,000 each. This scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the QuestBridge college partner that covers the cost of attendance, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. These students were chosen from thousands of applicants across the country for their outstanding academic and co-curricular achievements in high school.

Congratulations to these outstanding scholars!

Roussel Acosta, El Dorado High School, Columbia University
Amaya Flores, El Dorado High School, Columbia University
Joyce Ceballos, Eastlake High School, Grinnell College

An SISD student was named the 2021 Elementary School Youth Art Month Flag Design winner. The Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary first-grade student was the top elementary school winner across the state of Texas and was chosen from numerous designs submitted from students all around Texas. This was the first time in more than 10 years that SISD entered the Youth Art Month flag design contest, which resulted in a state winner. The student’s flag design is a representation of peace and love filled with bright colors, a peace sign, art supplies and colorful individuals united with linked arms. Congratulations to Amariah Adame and her art teacher Claudia Cardenas.

Two SISD students have been selected to have their artwork displayed at the State Capitol through the Texas Art Education’s Association’s Youth Art Month Program. These two students were chosen among 125 students from 86 participating Texas school districts for the honor. They will be representing Team SISD and the El Paso region when their artwork is displayed on the walls of the Capitol this spring. Congratulations to these creative students!

Fiona Yang, SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School, Teacher: Karina Alvarez
Matthew Garcia, El Dorado High School, Teacher: Virginia Castaneda 

SISD students excelled in the 2020-2021 Texas Music Education Association All-State auditions winning the highly coveted all-state recognition in choir, band, mariachi, orchestra, and jazz. SISD had 16 TMEA All-State musicians - five choir, the most of any district in El Paso; six band; two mariachi; two orchestra; and one jazz. More than 50,000 students from across Texas entered the TMEA audition process. These talented SISD students represent the top of their fields among the 1,860 students selected at the state level. Congratulations to these outstanding fine arts students!

Band
Angel Miramontes, Pebble Hills High School – E-flat Clarinet, Teacher: Max Sierra
Israel Vasquez, Pebble Hills High School – Percussion, Teacher: Max Sierra
Javier Marquez, Pebble Hills High School – Flute, Teacher: Max Sierra
Leelah Palacios, Montwood High School – Eb Clarinet, Teacher: Humberto Perez
Micah Carrasco, El Dorado High School – Tuba, Teacher: Carl Ortega
Osvaldo Rubio, Pebble Hills High School – Piccolo, Teacher: Max Sierra

Choir
Angela Garcia, Americas High School – Alto, Teacher: Janet McFarling
Ariah Labrado, Eastlake High School – Soprano, Teacher: Liliana Labrado
Daphne Serna, El Dorado High School – Alto, Teacher: Tiffany Harper
Esperanza Herrera, Eastlake High School – Soprano, Teacher: Liliana Labrado
Raul Romero, Pebble Hills High School – Bass, Teacher: Joe Estala 

Mariachi
Jennifer Betancourt, Socorro High School – Violin, Teacher: Roger Rosales
Jocelyn Betancourt, Socorro High School – Violin, Teacher: Roger Rosales 

Orchestra
Ricardo Chacon, Americas High School – Cello, Teacher: Adria Dunn
Sahid Palacios, El Dorado High School – Violin, Teacher: Frank Juarez 

Jazz
Santana Rojas, Pebble Hills High School – Trumpet, Teacher: Max Sierra

Nine students and three employees in SISD won top awards in the 2nd Annual “What’s Poppin?!?” Art Contest. The districtwide contest was open to students and employees, who submitted artwork reflecting popular or mass culture. Prizes were awarded to the top three pieces in each category – elementary school, middle school, high school, and the employee category. The contest generated plenty of inspiring, colorful and creative artwork from both students and employees across the district. Congratulations to these magnificent artists:

Elementary School
Alyssa Salgado – 1st place, James P. Butler Elementary School, Teacher: Claudia Cardenas
Alejandria Lopez – 2nd place, O’Shea Keleher Elementary School, Teacher: Abryl Govea
Aubrey Perez – 3rd place, O’Shea Keleher Elementary School, Teacher: Abryl Govea

Middle School
Amber Soto – 1st place, Hurshel Antwine Middle School, Teacher: Elizabeth Trow
Kayla Delgado – 2nd place, Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School, Teacher: Ruby Franco
Sheylah Olmos – 3rd place, Montwood Middle School, Teacher: Abel Saucedo

High School
Tania Casas-Ramos – 1st place, El Dorado High School, Teacher: Virginia Castaneda
Alexandra Longoria – 2nd place, El Dorado High School, Teacher: Miguel Picos
Alexis Hernandez – 3rd place, El Dorado High School, Teacher: Miguel Picos

Employee
Ruby Franco – 1st place, Art teacher, Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School
Ever Acosta – 2nd place, Art teacher, KEYS Academy
Ruby Franco – 3rd place, Art teacher, Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School

Four SISD students placed in top spots in the first-ever Racial Harmony Art Contest conducted by the Green Hope Project and Black El Paso Voice. The students were invited to embrace their art media and have their voices heard through art, advocacy and activism. Students across the region were challenged to interpret the theme of racial harmony and express it through visual arts. The winners were recognized by Texas House Representative Mary Gonzalez and Racial Justice Advocate Sandra Reid during the virtual awards presentation. Congratulations to these talented and creative individuals:

Jessica Castillo, 1st place, Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School
Jenna Nguyen Thai, 1st place, Pebble Hills High School
Myah Gonzalez, 3rd place, Americas High School
Azul Aragonez, 3rd place, Hurshel Antwine Middle School

Published February 16, 2020

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