by Ana Terrazas
Former law firm runner and property land appraiser Raymundo Velarde, has come back from the flames of Alta Vista Early College High School.
Two years ago Mr.Velarde was working at Chaparral High School (CHS). This past year, he worked for Alta Vista Early College High School (AVECHS), and did not appreciate CHS’s students and staff until he left.
This year Chaparral High hired a new principal, Ms. lopez and when asked what he thinks about her, Velarde replied “It was not my first time working with her” then identified Ms. Lopez in a sincere tone as “tough but fair” and appreciates that.
Velarde was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but moved around quite a bit. When he was only seven years old, Velarde moved to Washington D.C., then El Paso, after his parents finished college.
Velarde’s mother holds master’s in education from Harvard and his father graduated from Boston College Law.
Before becoming a teacher, Velarde lived in Houston and worked as a manager at Salt Grass Steak House and a waiter at Applebee’s when he was a teenager. Seeing his father be so involved with the criminal justice system encouraged him to go to South Texas School of Law (now known as Texas A&M Law School). His official educational background is, he went to Boston College in ’98 and went to get his masters at NMSU. His mother encouraged him the most to become a teacher because she emphasized it so much, but he really just chose a path that he thought would be easy. “Boy was I wrong!” he says, “Although I believe it was worth it.”
During law school, Velarde and his wife got pregnant with their eldest son, German. They then decided to return to El Paso, where he worked for El Paso Community College (EPCC), Eastwood High School, and Cathedral High School. After feeling like he wanted to start new, Velarde went on to search for a new job to provide for his family. The only school at the time, with a position in Social Studies was Chaparral High School. Still loving the social sciences, Velarde later traded Social Studies for Government class. He chose to switch to government and to teach third year high schooler’s, because juniors are a “balance of maturity.”
Running is an outside of the classroom activity that he likes to do. In fact, Velarde has ran a full marathon. A hope he has is to continue his “cardio fun” before he gets “too old.”
Three words he used to describe his experience at this school so far are “Awesome, awesome, awesome.” There will always be love in Velarde for CHS.
The 2018 Senior Awards Night for Chaparral High School rained more than $4 million in FAFSA Loans and awarded scholarships on the worthy Lobos with the majority, $2,707,880, in FAFSA grants and scholarships.
In addition to these honors, the First American Banks Scholarships, up to $30,000 each, were awarded to 20 Lobo seniors: Bernice Acuna, David Alvarado, Ruby Cisneros, Ana Flores, Evangeline Flores, Emanual Galvan, Evelyn Garcia-Hernandez, Bethsaida Gomez, Mia Luna, Yamile Madrid, Priscilla Marquez, Hope McKay, Richard Perez, Carolina Pulido, Emily Radell, Fidel Soto, Bryanna Torres, Ashley Vila, and Edith Yanez.
This is the seventh year that First American Bank has handed out these scholarships said retiring Chaparral branch President Russell Foddrill before announcing the winners. These scholarships are secondary awards which means the selectees must use their primary awards in full before accessing these funds.
Money was not the only awards that were handed out. CHS Principal Mark J. Rupcich announced the All Lobo Man and Woman, David Alvarado and Emily Radell, followed by the Salutatorian and Valedictorian, Bernice Acuna and Priscilla Marquez respectively.
Scores of other Lobos were showered with awards in many Career and Technology Education fields such as: welding, culinary arts, automotive technology, digital media, criminal justice, and broadcast media.
Joining in the celebration were representatives from Dona Ana Branch Community College, New Mexico State University, and Gadsden Independent School District Superintendent Travis Dempsey.
The following portraits are of the Class of 2018 First American Bank Scholarship awardees.
The following charts serve as evidence of sexting trends at Chaparral High School. 20
freshmen, 19 sophomores, 9 juniors and 9 seniors were surveyed, providing a total of 57
responses. Of these responses, 23 were female, 27 were male and 2 were unspecified.
These surveys were taken and posted in relation to the Howler’s story series about the
existence and consequences of teen sexting at Chaparral High School.
1) Have you ever sent sexually explicit photos or messages to another person?
a. Yes, to a boyfriend girlfriend 12 percent.
b. Yes, to a stranger 6 percent
c. No. 75 percent
d. Prefer not to Answer 12 percent
1.1) At what age did you begin doing this?
a. 10 to 12 9 percent
b. 13 to 14 15 percent
c. 15 to 16 6 percent
d. 17 to 18 3 percent
e. Prefer not to say 67 percent
2) Have you ever been pressured into sending sexually explicit photos or messages?
a.Yes 21 percent
b. No 75 percent
c. Prefer not to say 4 percent
3) Have you ever pressured someone else into sending sexually explicit photos or
a. Yes 8 percent
b. No 87 percent
c. Prefer not to say 6 percent
3.1) At what age did you begin doing this?
a. 10 to 12 6 percent
b. 13 to 14 11 percent
c. 15 to 16 3 percent
d. 17 to 18 11 percent
e. Prefer not to answer 80 percent
4) Do you feel that ‘sexting’ is a dangerous activity for teens to engage in?
a. Yes 69 percent
b. No 31 percent
5) How aware are you of the potential consequences of ‘sexting’?
a. Very Aware 79 percent
b. Somewhat Aware 19 percent
c. Not Aware at al l3 percent
6) How likely are you to report someone for sending you unwanted sexually explicit
photos or messages?
a. Very Likely 27 percent
b. Somewhat Likely 12 percent
c. Not Likely 42 percent
d. Prefer not to answer 19 percent
7) Have any of the previously mentioned activities happened on school campus?
a. Yes 45 percent
b. No 42 percent
c. Prefer not to say 13 percent
8) Have you engaged in any of these activities with someone you have met at school?
a. Yes 13 percent
b. No 75 percent
c. Prefer not to say 12 percent
by Arlene Perez
Our longest tenured Lobo administrator is Victoria Lopez, and she has been an assistant principal for eight years. She likes being an assistant principal because she loves kids and school. Some of her major responsibilities are to discipline her students, be in charge of master scheduling, gradebooks, and online classes. She plans to be an assistant principal until she decides it is the right time to stop. Lopez doesn’t like being absent to school as she’s only been absent ten days in her whole eight years in high school.
Lopez started as an assistant principal at Gadsden High School. She became an assistant principal because she thought she needed a change from the work she used to have. She worked at a central office but needed a change and missed being around kids which is what made her decide to come work at Chaparral High School.
Lopez went to New Mexico for bachelors and masters for six and a half years. In her eight years of being an assistant principal she didn’t have any issues with any teacher, but had a few teachers fight with each other over work. She’s an assistant principal that does get along with most teachers. One thing she would change about this school if she was a principal is to lock the gates.
Lopez thinks that the students from this high school are great. At Chaparral High School she learned from students and families about their needs. She loves doing her job because she simply loves the kids and likes working with them. She’s fascinated with her job because she likes being around kids and meeting new people. She has different experiences with people. “Every year is never the same”, she said. She doesn’t dislike anything about school because she loves school.
In conclusion, Lobos can expect Lopez on campus for many more years.
Jennifer Park, our new counselor, was one of our English teachers before but now transitioned to a counselor. Parks graduated from NMSU for her bachelors and UTEP for her masters degree. She taught English for eight years before the change.
Park likes her job because she likes kids, being involved and especially not cajoling kids to learn something they are not interested in. Changing schedules, putting in data, helping around and meeting are part of her everyday routine. She believes that her credentials and feeling comfortable is what makes her fit for this position.
A few of Park’s major responsibilities are to fix schedules, help students test for college, check credits and be there for emotional and educational support for the kids. One thing she dislikes about her job is how fast the day goes; she doesn’t have enough time for all her duties. Park plans on being a counselor as long as it is enjoyable. To obtain the job here at Chaparral High, she had to submit an application, go through an interview and be a good candidate. According to Parks, a quality that is important for this job is to be a good listener and be really organized.
Two of the many opportunities this job offers her is to still be around kids and stay informed about the school. On the other hand, one of the challenges is to be organized and the time it takes to complete her duties. She worked at Chaparral High for six years, but is new to the counseling field. She may be less experienced than the others but believes that since she is younger, she is able to connect with kids better than the elder counselors. Her main goal is for everyone to graduate and to achieve that, she needs to do paper work a lot, check test scores, and much more.
Edited 9/10 to correct Jennifer Park’s name.
Chaparral high school band director Adrian Rios is starting his seventh year in Lobo land. This makes him the longest tenured band director in Chaparral history
Rio’s first year at Chaparral was rough, but it is always rough starting a new “gig”. He loves to teach music. During his time here Rios’ bands have earned more than twelve trophies.
He has a bond with his students that is just like a family bond. “If one goes down, we all do.” Rios wanted to follow his parent’s footsteps. His mother taught and his father was a musician. He was born into music and started playing when he was about five years old.
Band contributes to everyday life skills such as responsibility, dedication, commitment and family according to Rios. Students receive performance and competition experience.
Besides school, Rios plays percussion with the El Paso Symphony. He enjoys music in general. Whenever he has time, he goes and plays with different bands ranging from funk to jazz. Rios also plays Rock, Latin, Country and Tejano genres. Rios, in his free time has played in different cities besides El Paso and Las Cruces. The following cities are places he has played: San Antonio, San Francisco, Dallas, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Sierra Blanca, Alpine, Corpus Christi, and Marfa.
Rios prefers concert band over marching because he has never been an outside person. He also prefers to focus on music instead of marching. Rios prefers to listen to funky soul music. Rios knows the basics of all instruments but he majors in percussion, his focus being drum-set.
The challenges Rios is preparing for this year are getting his students to care enough to redeem themselves at contests. Last year at EPISD contest, his band received a four, which is the lowest rating a band can receive. In the next five years, he sees himself still teaching and becoming a better musician.
by Katharina Ronquillo
For the fifth year in a row 20 Chaparral High School seniors were awarded the First American Bank Scholarship. These top scholars will receive up to $6,000 a year for five years while matriculating at the university of their choice.
This year’s awardees are: Carla Acuna, Britney Basinger, David Castro, Felix Escajeda, Paulina Evangelista, Gabriel Gonzalez, Jazzel Gutierrez, Abraham Hernandez, Natalie Lara, Evelyn Loya, Briana Madrid, Jaquelin Martinez, Phillip Martinez, Juan Nieto, Misael Oronia, Blanca Ramirez, Damaris Saenz, Emily Soto, Josue Vazquez, and Alejandra Zapata.
The First American Bank Scholarship is a secondary award which means that the awardees will have exhausted all other scholarship and grant money before it kicks in. This scholarship will also cover the need for a loan of equal or smaller value.
This scholarship is applied only to eligible students at Chaparral High School. To be eligible for this scholarship students must have attended CHS for a minimum of three years, be a citizen of the United States, have been accepted into a college or university, and have maintained a 3.0 grade point average throughout their first seven semesters of high school. Students who have taken Advanced Placement classes are especially likely to be awarded this scholarship.