Category Archives: News

Our Newest Math Teacher Is Finally Here

Jason Harvey

Jason Harvey is the newest math teacher at Chaparral High School (CHS).

He joined CHS on September 24, 2019. This is his first year as a teacher. He teaches freshman classes. He plans on staying at CHS as a teacher. 

He always wanted to be a math teacher, “I’ve always been really good at math since I was born,” said Harvey.

For him, being a math teacher is not difficult. “The student sometimes pushes your buttons, other than that, it’s not a big deal.” Harvey enjoys working with his students. “They are challenging and something new everyday.

 Harvey’s main quality to be a good teacher is that he’s easygoing. Some techniques Harvey uses to teach are Google classroom and group projects. The way he deals with non-English speaking  students is to pair them up with another student that are bilingual.

One of his most important rule as a teacher is to be respectful to his students. For Harvey, the way to earn the respect of his students is by being fair, he said, “Not treating any student differently than the other students.”


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Ubinger is one the 2019 Magnificent Seven Golden Apple Award Winners


David Ubinger

The Golden Apple Award of Excellence for Teaching in New Mexico was awarded to David Ubinger along with six other teachers. This honor is based on their performance in the classroom and commitment to their profession. 

This award has been given to New Mexico’s most outstanding teachers since 1996. Nominations are collected from teachers, students, administrators, parents and our community to create a pool of worthy candidates for this prestigious award. By source:

Ubinger believes that reason he was awarded the Golden Apple Award is because he motivates his students. “My job is to encourage them. Showing my expectations to them and believing in them is a way they can reach their goals.”  

Ubinger helps his classes improve every day with “formative assessments, exit tickets after each lesson, taking a quiz every Friday and homework every weekend.” Ubinger also gives them quizzes using an online program so that he and the students can “see where they are with their math skills compared to other schools.”

“I felt proud of the students and teachers, proud of their hard work,” said Ubinger. At the end, Ubinger expresses  gratitude to “the students and the teachers in Chaparral High School for their efforts and hard work in the PARCC testing, End Of Course exams and the day to day activities.”


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NMPED trades SAT for PARCC

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be New Mexico’s new exam required for high school graduation.

The SAT is an exam offered nationally that is administered by the College Board of Educational Testing Service. It is widely used for college admissions in the United States. The SAT tests students in math, reading, writing and language with the option of writing an essay.

The New Mexico Public Education Department chose the SAT to be the new replacement exam because it aligns with state standards and accurately gauges student achievement according to New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED). Besides, unlike the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the SAT isn’t as “high-pressure and counterproductive,” according to New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. 

College Board and NMPED will be providing hands-on training and support to educators. “Educators will also have access to a wide range of free support material” and “can look inside the SAT to become familiar with what kinds of questions students will see and what the test measures,” said Deputy Secretary of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Gwen Perea Wariment.

New Mexico will be using the SAT as an assessment for students’ math, reading, and writing skills. While the passing score for each individual subject has yet to be determined, should students earn a high score in the exam, they will be able to mail their reports to post-secondary education and scholarship organizations free of charge. The test will be state funded, so it will be at no cost for public school juniors taking the test for the first time.

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Welcome Mr. Lugo


Leonardo Lugo

Leonardo Lugo was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, who before working at Chaparral High School, worked as a Special Education Assistant for Santa Teresa Middle School.

His background with special needs children makes him qualified to work as a Special Education teacher. “This job will be my main job,” said Lugo. “I want to help children, because something as simple as cooking is easy to you, but something like this can be a challenge for them.” He seeks to help his students anyway he can.

He hopes to integrate his special needs students with regular students classes. “A teacher should connect with his or her students because it’s a key component in teaching. The important thing is to not only teach, but to be a role model to your students,” said Lugo. Along with this he hopes to gain more experience revolving around special education. 

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It might have been a win but “their performance was awful”

                                                                                             Head soccer coach:                                                                                                Assistant soccer coach:                Aaron Hernandez                                                                                                Fernando Hernandez


The final regular season game for the boys soccer team was a win, but was it a satisfying one?

According to the Head Coach and Assistant Coach Hernandez  the game they played was “just not a satisfying one because of the way it was played” and it was “a disappointing win.”

The players had taken the “game for granted” according to the assistant coach, but the coaches and players were “disappointed with the performance.” The win was a win for Chaparral High School versus Ruidoso HS, but they knew that the players “didn’t do well to win.” According to Assistant Coach Hernandez,“The win was however still done by taking advantage of a lucky break” and they also “refused to lose” the game.

Mentally, the players “could have been prepared and follow the game plan” that was given to them, said Head Coach Hernandez. They could have “finished the opportunities that were given to them and been more creative” during the game and more. Because of these things that were missing, the team and the staff were not “satisfied with the way it was won.” The players also were not “happy enough because of the given performance.”

They didn’t have practice before the game because of the “tight schedule that they had.” The training sessions have always been “demanding for the players” so that  they can keep improving and stay sharp according to both the head Coach and Assistant Coach.

The Head coach and the Assistant Coach that were two distinguished players  from the team during the game, Eddie Posada the goalie of the team and right wing Edwin Lopez.                                                                                                                                          Edwin Lopez                                              Eddie Posada

Edwin And Eddie said that the performance that the team gave during the game “wasn’t the best” and they “could have done better. They all played bad “and they didn’t play like they should of.” They learned that for their next game they should “focus more” and to not be trusted during a game and that they should be ”more concentrated before a game.” however with this disappointing win that they had they now have the “motivation to play better than last time.”

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The Attendance Policy Has Changed

Amy Garcia

This year’s attendance policy has changed because the district has implemented a new attendance policy rule. The new rule is that a student can’t miss school more than five days. 

The CHS (Chaparral High School) attendance policy is if you miss five days, the attendance clerk Amy Garcia will have to call home. If she sees that a student is absent, she will write a report and then write a letter that will be sent home to the parent. Once the student misses five days, they have to send the truancy officer. Then they have a meeting. Garcia said “if the student hits more  than ten days, we have to host another meeting with a parent and at this point the counselors will be included.”

Once the student misses seventeen days they lose credit. She said “this year we’re not very sure if there would be any credit recovery and it should probably stay like that.” Garcia says, “You guys will have to face an attendance committee once you reach seventeen absences.” She said, “That’s why doctor’s notes are very important even though they are excused or unexcused still count against you.” 

The attendance policy affects Garcia by having to report it  every 40 days to the state. The state gives her certain rules to follow and enforce. Garcia said, “It’s like they give us money everyday you guys are in school, so we have to account for you guys everyday. If not, they’ll start questioning us why the student is not in school, if we are paying you for the student to be in school.”

The purpose of the attendance policy is to enforce that students are coming to school. She said, “It’s basically just like a guideline, like if you guys get a job there’s going to be a policy for you guys.”

The amount of absences that are considered excessive are ten absences she said, “With those ten absences, I can drop you guys or that’s when we have a meeting to see what’s going on.” The absences do affect graduation. Absences do not reset each semester; they stay the same. They only reset each year.”

All the school, state wide, have to go to submit these reports to NMPED  on these days: 40,  80, 120, 160, 180. Garcia has to be able to justify why the attendance count is low. The state mandates that we should have an attendance rate at 95 percent, and for the past two years, we have been at 92 and that’s not acceptable . 

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New Mexico College Tuition 2020

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham


In New Mexico’s recent legislative meeting our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, proposed a plan that will make college tuition free for in-state residents. 

The Opportunity Scholarship?

“The Opportunity Scholarship would be available to all New Mexico residents regardless of income,” said New Mexico’s Governor. The proposed scholarship can cover the remaining fees that are not covered by other awards that the state offers.

Who Will It Help?

According to Carmen Lopez-Wilson, deputy secretary of the state’s higher education department. The Opportunity Scholarship will be available to recent high school graduates, GED earners and returning adults, as well as undocumented students. Adults who previously enrolled in college can return under the scholarship while attending college part-time, other students are expected to enroll full-time. Students must also maintain a GPA of 2.5.

What if you don’t live in New Mexico? 

The Opportunity Scholarship would only be available to New Mexico residents, but have hope because it isn’t the only college in The United States that offers free tuition to its in state residents. Other scholarships include New York’s Excelsior Scholarship and Tennessee’s two-year, tuition-free community colleges.

What if you already have student loans?

If you already own student loans then their fees must be paid, but financial consultation will be provided to these students along with information and aid to several sites that help students with their payments such as Student Loan Refinancing, Student Loan Consolidation, Income-Driven Repayment Plans, and Student Loan Forgiveness.


How would New Mexico intend to pay for the program?  If New Mexico’s Legislative branch decides to appropriate funds for the proposal then it will be paid with New Mexico’s general fund. With New Mexico showing growth in it’s gas and oil industries then its state revenue will grow, providing the ability to pay for more programs like The Opportunity Scholarship. The New Mexico Legislative Branch has estimated the cost for this program to be at $25 to $35 million, which Lopez-Wilson called a “very realistic estimate.” estimate


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Changes To Graduation Requirements

CHS Head Counselor Guadalupe Armendariz

For many students, graduating has become even more challenging thanks to the requirements changing over the years. 

A decade ago, the conditions to graduate were different than they are today. Students only needed 23 credits to meet the qualifications created by the state according to the New Mexico Public Education Department. For the most part, the amount of credits needed for each subject have remained the same, such as, four credits in english, three credits in social sciences, and one credit in physical education. Except, students must also have received three credits in math, two credits in science, one of which should have a laboratory component and one credit for communication skills or business education. Plus, by the end of the year, the students should have acquired a total of nine elective credits. 

However, students graduating from 2021, and possibly on, have a different set of requirements to graduate as stated by the New Mexico Public Education Department. While the amount of credits needed for each subject- and overall- are the same as today, the testing assessments have changed. With the removal of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Science Based Assessment (SBA), the state finds it compulsory to now pass the Scholastic Assessment Test, better known as the SAT. While the passing scores for each individual subject has yet to be determined, they will be the new required tests to graduate. 

Though for the graduating class of 2020, they need not worry about any changes to the graduation requirements according to the Head Counselor of Chaparral High School, Guadalupe Armendariz. You’ll still need 26 credits to graduate. Needing to receive 4 credits in both english and math, 3.5 in social studies, 3 in science (2 with lab), 2 in a foreign language, 1 in physical education, 0.5 in health, and 8 credits for electives. Plus, one of the classes that the students will be taking must be an advanced placement (AP), dual credit, or distance learning. 

 Also, despite New Mexico removing PARCC completely, students graduating in 2020 will not be forced to take any other tests to meet the new requirements implemented by the state. So yes, passing scores earned on PARCC tests taken in their junior year will be counted and will be considered the test assessments needed for graduation as stated by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The passing score for PARCC is 725 for both math and english. Students must also earn a score of 1138 in the New Mexico Science Based Assessment (SBA) along with passing one of their End of Course exams (EOC) to meet graduation requirements. 

Additional graduation requirements include: students paying their debt, filling out certain forms, and fulfilling attendance policies. If students don’t pay back their debts, they are permitted to graduate, but the school is allowed to hold onto their diploma. Students are also obligated to fill out two forms: the Next Step Plan which must be checked over by their counselor and the Clearing Out form that has to be signed by their teachers and other staff members. Lastly, students must have good attendance, it’s the main reason that keeps students from graduating according to Armendariz.

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Another New Assistant Principal

John Tullius
John Tullius

For the past two years, Chaparral High has welcomed a new assistant principal into their midst, and now this year, we have our latest addition, Assistant Principal John Tullius. 

Tullius is married and has a son along with two grandchildren who he “absolutely adores.” He was born in El Paso, Texas, but raised in Clint, Texas, “a farm town.” He moved to El Paso after graduating from Clint High.

It was there that Tullius went to the University of Texas at El Paso, better known as UTEP, where he double majored and earned his bachelor’s in both Mathematics and Kinesiology. Furthermore, he obtained his master’s in Educational Leadership.

Tullius managed to pay for college thanks to several academic scholarships he received and even a basketball scholarship. Despite gaining a grant for his skill in basketball, it wasn’t the only sport he played: football, track, baseball, and golf being among them.

Tullius worked as a P.E. coach at Parkland High and a math teacher at Desertaire Elementary. He even worked as an assistant principal in Bel Air Middle School and Loma Heights Elementary. “Yes, I enjoyed it, I like teaching and education. Everywhere I have worked, I enjoyed, yes,” he said. 

Tullius came to Chaparral High because he “wanted to be an assistant principal at the high school level.” He said, “I like it so far. The people I work with make a difference. The students are the same everywhere, still enjoy them, it was the staff that mattered to me.”

“I’m positive, hardworking, and a family man,” Tullius said, “because I want to be a role model for my family. Show them I work hard and am always in a good mood to make my family happy. Always make the most out of a situation, good or bad.”

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Welcome Ms. Alvarez

Lucy Alvarez

Welcome Our New Counselor Ms. Alvarez


            Chaparral High School’s newest counselor, Ms Lucy Alvarez, has transformed into a prideful Lobo after three years of being a youthful Knight.

           She began working as a counselor in El Paso, Texas at Bowie High School, but it’s now a middle school located on South Cotton Street at Sixth Avenue in  Segundo Barrio. Alvarez changed jobs twice, originally working at Chaparral Middle School and now Chaparral High School. “I had selected this job for a change in my worldly view and to help students reach their goals. I wish we could reach students better than we can now when it comes to education, but for the most part I will continue doing what I can,” specified Alvarez.

           “The policies are fine and I believe the school to be a healthy environment. Our district is good and our level in district isn’t where it needs to be, but it could be worse,” Said Alvarez. “We’re a very positive town and this energy ties in to the outcome of students at our school, so knowing that the energy we happen to give off can have lasting effects on others means good things for us.”  She continued to blend how our community affects students here at school. 

           “I think my coworkers are very professional and if a problem would arise then as professionals we would be able to solve it in a polite manner without disrupting our superiors,” said Alvarez.


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