Category Archives: News

Pink Week

This year at Chaparral High School Pink Week was not celebrated.

A few students were upset that Pink week wasn’t done at the High School this year. “I was really looking forward to participating and support breast cancer during school,” said Brianna Ibarra, a student at Chaparral High.  

“Pink week is a week where people can awareness those who suffer from breast cancer,” said Janet Suistatia. When the school would participate in Pink Week a lot of different activities were contributed during that week. Not everyone is obligated to participate in all activities but everyone can.

There are some activities that help in making donations to people who have cancer.

An activity that helped raise money was called “Kiss the pig”. “Students would donate a penny to whoever teacher they wanted to make kiss the pig, the teacher with the most pennies wins and has to kiss the pig,” said Sustaita. Another donation wise activity was the class with the most pennies got to have a pizza party.  

No matter what the activity was, it was always supporting breast cancer.

This year the school may have not been able to do a pink week but according to Sustaita “I had my room decorated with cancer awareness decor items.

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Welcome Ms. Monzon

     Ms. Monzon has now joined the staff and other counselors since October.She grew up in El Paso (or central El Paso to be more specific). She went
on to go to two colleges, one of them being UTEP. Then she went on to first
becoming a high school teacher. She said, “I was first a high school teacher
but I loved to help kids.”

After a while of working with kids she decided to start working with young
adults to help them out. Her first real job as a counselor was actually in
Ysleta Middle School. She said she was inspired by her own counselor to be a
counselor. She said, “I’ve always wanted to help young adults with their future”.
So far she has helped so many of Chaparral’s students.

Ms. Monzon plans on working in Chaparral High School for a very long time.
She even said, “I plan on working here until I am very old.” She wants to help
us all in any way she can and help us find our path to success. According to her
she wants Chaparral High School to be her very last job until retirement.
She said, “I would never quit my job here not even for one that pays more.”

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This type of phone calls are nightmares

When a principal receives a phone call threatening their school it becomes a nightmare.

Victoria Lopez, Chaparral High School’s principal, received a phone call during the morning of Tuesday September 25, from an elementary staff member to inform her at a credible threat whose identity remained a mystery to the authorities.

“Office staff locked up the campus and sheriffs sent students to their first period class and teachers kept students in the class,” said Lopez. Lopez didn’t feel nervous because students were safe in their classrooms.

“We don’t make any investigations, the sheriffs and FBI are in charge of making the investigations,” said Lopez. “Law Enforcement cleared students of any wrong doing,” said Lopez.

“Students were very good, no discipline problems, and most students were following the problem on Facebook,” said Lopez.

Parents started picking up students at 11:00 am, at the end of the day about 550 students were picked up, buses were kind of empty.

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Working and McWorking

Working until you fall. That’s what it seems like.

Many students at various high schools know the struggle of trying to keep a minimum wage job as well as trying to keep up their GPA.

As a working student there are many challenges you have to face: getting enough sleep, keeping up a social life, and the obvious, going to work and maintaining your GPA. It never seems like you have enough time to do everything you need to do. I wake up early in the morning, around 6:00am to attend school and then it seems that almost immediately afterward at 4:00pm I have to rush to be to work by 5:00pm. A normal work schedule for me is from 5:00pm-11:00pm but sometimes the schedule runs overtime and I don’t get out of work until 1:00am. And the cycle repeats.

Sleeping is something that you never seem to get enough of. Getting home late at night and having to get some sleep before school can be nerve-racking to anyone. Falling asleep in class after only getting five hours of sleep becomes a norm until you realize your GPA is falling, then you end up doing homework after work and getting less and less sleep. It seems like you never win.

Not only is this lifestyle hard on the employee but it can be hard on their friends and family as well. “I wish they would give you a set schedule, it’s hard to plan for anything with you,” my mother stated one day after picking me up three hours after my originally scheduled time off. “It’s good for the money but it’s just a lot of heartache and hassle trying to work around your schedule,” said Jacob Herald.

The connections you make can either make you or break you. You have to learn who you can trust with things and who you need to stay away from. As a result of learning who to trust and who not to trust you make friends and you also make enemies.

You run into those extremely rude customers or those regulars that you end up memorizing their orders. You have to learn to deal with rude outbreaks and people being excessively frustrated over minuscule things such as only receiving one extra ranch instead of two. The regulars keeps things a little easier. They come in and you already know what they want and how they want it made. Most times, the regulars are actually a lot more understanding than a random customer.

Your co-workers are what keep you going. Their strength and support help you keep a positive attitude. When you feel over-worked and your co-worker helps you out it’s as if a weight is being lifted off of your shoulders. Then again you get those co-workers who seem to think they’re the boss of you and they boss you around. As I stated previously you learn who to stay away from.

Once you get your check it’s as if none of the hassles mattered. You go to the bank and you see the money sitting there and you think, ‘Wow. I really did it. This is my reward.’ And then it all repeats. The struggles, the stress, and the headaches all come back. Would I recommend working while attending high school? No, but who am I to tell you what to do. I’m not the boss.


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What is National Honors Society?

Being a top tier student can have its perks.

National Honor Society (NHS) is a program that recognizes outstanding achievements done by outstanding students. NHS is all about Service, leadership, academics and character to self, school, and community. NHS was founded by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

You can apply to become a NHS member if you have a 3.5 GPA and have a clean record, which means to have a record with no criminal history. Most members in NHS are sophomores to seniors. NHS members tend to strive for high academic achievement and promote community service. When applying to NHS you have to be nominated by at least “5 teachers or a faculty council,” said CHS sponsor Fernando Veramontes.

The current president of NHS is a second-year member, Janet Hernandez. She is currently a senior at Chaparral High School. There are “currently 21 members, processing qualified juniors and senior,” Viramontes said. 

Not only do you have to work in this organization you have to have to have hours in the club. “About ten hours with the adviser and at least twenty hours per semester as community service.” Viramontes stated, “Being an NHS sponsor takes a lot of time and effort, but worth it working with outstanding students.”

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   Chaparral High School New History Teacher


This year Chaparral High School hired an abundance of new teachers, one of which was Donald Benson.  Benson previously worked at Gadsden High School as a History teacher and football coach.

Benson received his Bachelor’s degree at The University of Wisconsin La Crosse and studied Political Science. He later moved to El Paso, TX to earn his master’s degree in Education at The University of Texas at El Paso.

Before pursuing his career as a teacher, he joined the army for four years with the rank of first lieutenant to pay for college.

This year Benson is teaching Lobos World History and New Mexico History. His least favorite aspect about teaching is administrative work, giving lectures, and grading.

Benson says that when he sees a student struggle, he meets one-on-one with that student, and uses alternative methods of instruction to accommodate that student’s needs. He addresses kid’s different learning styles by switching lessons into visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading-writing learners.

Benson says that as a teacher, “It is important to establish good relationships with your students.” Benson is also a football coach with 23 years of experience. He does not accept failure on field and much less in the classroom. Mr. Benson is very much looking forward to a great year here at Chaparral High School.

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Welcome Mr. Viera

  Alex Viera, a social studies teacher, has just joined Chaparral High School. Viera retired after more the 32 years of teaching in Texas at Bowie High School and is now teaching in New Mexico

   Viera said,”I immediately knew that I wanted to teach and coach right after high school.” Viera graduated high school and then went to UTEP. After college, Viera started teaching at Guillen Middle School. He taught there for about 16 years. He then started to teach at Bowie High School for another 16 years before retiring from Texas.

Viera said,”I was given the opportunity to teach at Chaparral High School by   my uncle Mr.Encina. In his opinion Viera is a different teacher compared to the others. Viera said,”I am more lenient, I give students the chance they deserve and I focus on helping them on any problem they have.”Viera wants to make a difference in the life of young adults by teaching them how to succeed in life. Viera said,” Everyone has an opportunity you just have to choose if you will take it.”

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Who is the new special Education Teacher on Campus?

Chaparral high School teacher David Chacon started this year by switching teaching jobs. This year he went from teaching social studies to a special education teacher. There is a purpose as to why.

“In the future I would like to become a principal,but in order to become one I need to have experience in diffeent stages of education, for example learning from special edcation student”, said chacon. One thing that is different is that I learn about every individual rather than getting to know 30-students.

He admires many things about his new job. One thing Chacon admires a lot is being able to have one-to-one with his students now. Before he did not know a lot about his 30 students in his classroom.

In every area of a career there are advantages and disadvantages or areas someone may like or dislike. Although it has been a challenge having to be all over the school following students schedules.

Chacon follows his students schedule to obsereve what they need help in and how they contribute in each of their class. This helps to create an Individual Education Program (IEP) for each student.  With an IEP Chacon can help his students more in achieving their academics goals,for the future as well.

He also wishes he had a prep class, but he is fine without it too.

It is a new position and with time, he will adapt to it.

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Stepping Down or Stepping Up?

After 2 years, Chaparral High School (CHS) has hired a new curriculum advisor, Willie Joe Torres.

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Torres stuck to his roots. He taught for four years at Parkland Middle School and from there, transferred to other schools for better opportunities.  Soon enough he found an opportunity he had not experienced as of yet and decided to apply to CHS.

Torres has two decades of experience in teaching and administration. As the instructional coach at CHS, he plans to do whatever he can possibly do to help teachers improve. Torres believes our school is in need of improving educationally and experientially. He wants to make classes, “more student centered and with more collaboration.”

Comparing CHS to other schools, Torres says, “There’s no difference so far.” He described the students of Chaparral High as, “a lot older and more mature” than his previous students which is expected considering they were elementary and middle school students.

His experience at the school so far has been “great, everyone is so nice”. Torres previously had a job as an Assistant Principal which is what brought him to Chaparral High School. There are a couple reasons why Torres “stepped down” from being a vice principal; it was to “step up” as Principal for Chaparral High School. Unfortunately, for Torres, Victoria Lopez got the position. He decided to try something different and still applied to CHS. Torres was hired as the curriculum advisor, which is, “a lot more focused and possibly harder,” as Torres stated, “but I still have a lot of learning to do.”

Torres enjoys spending his time with his two sons and his wife. Torres has dreams of someday teaching in either California or Colorado, and someday becoming a principal of his own school. After two or three years as CHS’s curriculum advisor, he hopes to achieve this goal.

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