Category Archives: News

Don’t be mean behind the screen

All students, teachers, and staff members at Chaparral High School watched a video on online danger, you never know who is behind the screen.

Bullying can be devastating; it is a major problem that needs to be resolved. Torment can happen anywhere and it can happen to anyone. Harassment affects you in many different ways, and may make you feel sick or lose sleep. Students may think about skipping school or about suicide. If you feel helpless, or know someone that is, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

It’s easy to believe that anything you post online is safe, but in reality, it’s not. You never know what is out there. That online “friend” could be a child predator who may want to hurt you. Whatever you post online is never private, so remember not to get personal and that everyone can see what is posted.

Whatever you post may affect you in the future, so think about your choices because you can lose control of the situation; think about the consequences. There are always dangerous people out there. Not everyone is a friend and there is a risk that they may approach you. They can be anyone, they may lie to you in order to be your “friend”. More than 200,000 people are kidnapped and killed when they unknowingly let a predator in their life. Students and Teachers should take this seriously because this is an issue that is costing lives.

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SPED Teacher is a Home Run for the Baseball Team


Victor Lozano, a SPED teacher and assistant baseball coach at Chaparral High School, has been in the educational field for seven years, he has spent his last two years at Chaparral High school, and the rest were spent shared at Gadsden High School and North Valley Elementary. Lozano, also known as Coach Lozano to the school baseball team, has been a baseball coach for five years. Two of those years have been spent coaching the Chaparral Lobos. He has very high expectations for his baseball players; academically and behavioral wise. He expects to “have a good year, with more wins” and see more improvement with his athletes.

Since Lozano has experienced both elementary and high school, he’s found he prefers high school due to his experience at his last teaching position. He chooses to teach because he enjoys the interaction he has with each individual student.  What influenced him to be a coach also was “an impact of his experience”, such as, when he played as a kid and grew up to play in college. Lozano grew up knowing the sport, which inspired him to become a coach himself and help kids grow to become better athletes. In return for his dedication to the team, he expects “positive attitudes, with no complaints, just willing players who want to improve.”

Lozano attended Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas, where he played four years of college baseball. He met Coach Rojas, another teacher at Chaparral, who he played with and was coached by.

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Lopez going long for Lobos




CHS Ass’t Principal Victoria Lopez

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.

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Administrators Howling at New Policy

Being present and on time for school has never been more important than it is now. Previously, it was easy to replace an unexcused absence for an excused absence. It was easy for teachers to change a mistake in their attendance even weeks after the mistake was made. All of that is changing this school year with the implementation of the new Live Data policy.
The Live Data policy changes the way administration gets information, such as attendance and new enrollments to the main office. Previously, the information was sent out to the main office every 40 days, leaving time for mistakes to be corrected and changes to be made. This is why the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) opted to change the policy. Now, all the data goes out to the main office daily, around four in the afternoon. This is why teachers must be sure all of their attendance is complete by the end of the day and also why students now have to put in their ID numbers to get meals.
Aside from the stress that the policy puts on teachers to be absolutely correct in all of their data, the new policy creates another source of stress for teachers and administration. Having to input the data by a specific time can often interfere with teachers’ normal schedules, causing them to either fall behind or lose track of what they were working on. The deadlines are extremely inflexible.
On the other hand, having the daily input helps to make sure that all of the data that is submitted is correct. This prevents faculty from having to go back to check 40 days’ worth of information because they only have to check the information for that day.
The new policy applies to the entire state of New Mexico, and was introduced quite abruptly with little time for New Mexico teachers and administration to learn how it works. As this is its first year, it may or may not continue into other years based on its efficiency this year.
Though the Live Data policy makes keeping track of things easier at the main office, it is causing chaos for teachers and administration at Chaparral High School. According to Janet Sustaita, the sports data entry clerk at Chaparral High, though data can still be changed days after it is input, a record is kept that reflects poorly on the teachers and administration.
These reports are causing schools statewide to become even stricter about students and teachers having correct attendance. The state expects a 95 percent attendance rate for schools, and when it is shown in the report that there are a lot of absences and that students are having to make up hours, it reflects poorly on the school as a whole.
“It is really important for both students and teachers to be present,” said Sustaita, “It affects not only them, but it affects the whole school.”

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Park steps up to counseling Lobos

Jennifer Park new Lobo Counselor

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.

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Lobo Band Boss driving for redemption in seventh season

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.

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Welcome Jesse Aguilar

Jesse Aguilar is a new biology teacher at Chaparral high school

Jesse Aguilar is a new biology teacher at  Chaparral High School (CHS).

Aguilar graduated from the home of the miners UTEP. Aguilar has been teaching for 27 years, 25 of which he was head track coach at Franklin High School. Aguilar wanted to focus on academics first but if there is any opportunity in the future he would consider coaching again. Aguilar competed in track and cross country while he was in school.

Aguilar says he was always interested in biology and had great teachers. His favorite subject in school  

beside biology was history. Aguilar came to our school because he wanted to work with Mr. Rupcich. His plan for CHS students is to help them become the best they can be.

Aguilar thinks technology is great and that there should be more in the classroom. He also thinks that there should be more technology because of our generation and how much we depend on it.

When a student walks into his classroom, he expects them to have an open mind and to study and work like a champion. Aguilar is interested in teaching because he likes working on science, he loves coaching sports and he likes working with other teachers.

Aguilar feels that CHS has great staff and that the students are nice and there are great teachers. Aguilar believes himself to be a fair and disciplined teacher. Aguilar wants to people to know that he is a patient person.

Caption edited 9/10 for capitalization.


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The Dream Killing Monster . . . $$$

While college is acknowledged by some people as a heavenly tunnel towards their preferred career, other people prefer a darker perspective and here’s why:

A year-long study conducted by National College Health Assessment on 17,000 students concluded that 25 percent of college students developed depression. One of the main reasons for college student depression is debt.

Debt, the antagonist on a college student’s journey to success. A conquerable monster that we must prepare to battle. An ugly beast most have challenged but about 44 million people have not defeated. A leviathan that has grown to 1.4 trillion dollars. How do I prepare for my gruesome war against debt? You might ask. In our high school, the elders who know the answer to avoiding this monster are our counselors: Ms. Armendariz, Ms. Park, Mr. Encina and Ms. Tirado.

Our counselors know this monster well and are prepared to recommend blacksmiths of prestigious ranking to help us in our journey. To learn of these blacksmiths (better known as scholarship opportunities, grants and financial aid) all we must do is ask to set up meetings with our designated counselor. Counselors are here to help us, this doesn’t mean they will fight the monster for us, it only means they will guide us towards scholarship opportunities, grants and financial aid applications which could give us just the right sword to defeat said monster.

“It’s better for the government to pay off college” says Armendariz “it’s expensive, money shouldn’t be the issue.”

“Students don’t take advantage of free money, if you want something, work for it” says Armendariz. She provides financial and test tips for students looking to enter college:

  • Keep in mind that applications for financial aid will begin on October first and that FAFSA night (a night dedicated to FAFSA application) is on a date that is to be determined but should be around October first (Opportunity for a diamond sword)
  • Students are given two waivers for college tests, one for the ACT and one for the SAT. Armendariz recommends students take advantage of waivers
  • There are two websites for preparing for the ACT and SAT (ACT) and (SAT)
  • Keep an eye on what GPA, ACT and SAT score your preferred college recommends
  • Get informed and do not be afraid to ask questions. Teachers and staff are here to help you. Armendariz has seen an “improvement in seniors” from last year to this year. She believes “students are more interested in college”
  • Get involved and better your relationships with people in your school community as well as the Chaparral community. Our counselors believe “it all starts with asking about organizations and getting more knowledgeable on how you can help your community.”

Even knowing these tips students will still find there is lots more you should know about when considering college. Remember to schedule appointments with your counselor (elder); they can help you reach your goals and defeat debt and other monsters you might find hidden on your journey to success.

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Welcoming Alex Viera

Alex Viera is a new social studies teacher at Chaparral High School


One of the new staff members at Chaparral High School is Alex Viera. Viera believes he is a good fit for this school’s social studies department, as he said, “30 years of experience in teaching will work well with this school”.

Viera received a phone call from Principal Rupcich inviting him to work at Chaparral High School. Thus far, he says Chaparral is a nice and enjoyable place. He plans to teach here five more years before retirement.

Viera’s teaching career began at the age of 23. As a teacher he taught at Guillen Middle School for eight years. After teaching there, Viera transferred to Bowie High School and taught there for 22 years.

Viera was born and raised in the city of El Paso, Texas. During his childhood he went to Alta Vista Elementary and graduated from Austin High School. Growing up, he looked up to his coaches and teachers, who inspired him to pursue the path of teaching. After graduating from high school, he spent the next four years attending UTEP and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in education.


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New AP English 3 Teacher Comes To CHS

Patricia Franklin

Patricia Franklin is the new AP English 3 teacher at Chaparral High School. She has been teaching for 27 years in different schools.

Franklin enjoys teaching because every day there is always something new. Franklin likes working with kids because she knows what the world out there is going to expect from them.

She likes Chaparral High School, and prefers Chaparral over being in the city. Franklin decided to become a teacher because of her professors.

As a student, Franklin ran track and would go in a corner and read her books. Franklin has not only taught students, she has also worked in a physician’s office.

The school that Franklin retired from was Lincoln Middle School in EPLSD.  Her greatest strength as a teacher is that she believes in the best of her students and feels that “failure is not an option.”  Franklin makes sure her students are on task and that students have aspirational ideas. Franklin decided to come to Chaparral High School because she heard a lot good things about the principal, the staff and the students.

Franklin grew up in El Paso, but says that Chaparral feels like home to her. Franklin wants everyone at Chaparral High School to know about her is that she is part of a western reenactment group called “Gun Fires”.

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