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


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.

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.”

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.


New Receptionist at Chaparral High School

Erika Cisneros

Erika Cisneros is the new receptionist at Chaparral High School (CHS).

Cisneros decided to work as a receptionist because she enjoys working around people, she said, “like multitasking” and “it’s a nice atmosphere working here at CHS”. The way Ericka manages her work load on a busy day is by taking one step at a time, she says, “I try to stay cool and collected.” “I will never get anything done if I get hysterical and anxiety.”

Cisneros’ always wanted to work in the school district, she said, “High school would be a better place for me.” She explains that she has two teenage boys of her own and she said “can relate to them.”

Cisneros’ dream was not always to be a receptionist she says, “I enjoy it and I like what I do .” Her dream was to be the boss “the top dog.” She says “I enjoy what I do.”

She said, “the most essential quality for a receptionist to have is, to be friendly and always smiling,” she said,receptionist “I think that’s one of the best qualities to have.”

Cisneros’ favorite aspect as a receptionist is that she gets to talk to different people everyday, She said, “You do get your mad parents and mad student.,” she said, “You get what you give, so if you give them respect and friendliness you can tone them down a little bit.”

Cisneros doesn’t have experience on multiple phone lines, she said that in her last job she only had one call, she said, “I had to get used to it.” Her primary responsibility as a receptionist is greeting people, distributing mail, and directing visitors, she said “‘just enjoy.”

Our new math teacher knows all the numbers

Jodi Copley

Welcome the new math teacher to our school, Chaparral high school: 

Jodi L. Copley


Chaparral High School has had a lot of teacher turnover to begin this year, and one subject with a lot of change is Math. One of Loboland’s newest math teachers is Jodi L. Copley.

Copley teaches algebra one to packed freshman classrooms and one smaller sophomore and junior class period.

 She had taken the decision to teach math because in the 80s they had a shortage of math teachers, so Copley decided she wanted to teach this subject. It also helped her very much that she “liked all math subjects”.

Copley comes from Peoria, illinois. She graduated from Peoria High School. After that she went to Lincoln college in Illinois. There she was someone who was “two years ahead of others” in college.  Some of her peers had to take more than five years to graduate but not Copley. She did not have to go through that long process. At that same college she graduated with a “masters and bachelors degree in five years.”

Copley can also teach other advanced subjects of math starting from algebra one all the way up to calculus two, and she can also teach statistics, “a math subject that can be hard to learn.” She decided to work with us at Chaparral High school because she is qualified to teach these  math subjects and she has her masters degree in it as well. 

Copley is planning on staying to teach at our “school for a few years.” With some students in her class being “thankful for that.” She is one of the few teachers in our school that agrees with “using ones phone for music can help one to do his work” however a student  should be responsible enough to know that he/she shouldn’t be using their phones whenever there is a lesson being taught during “class, on a quiz, or on an exam because the phone might be a distraction for others during that quiz or exam.”

  Thankfully, Copley thinks that working at CHS is one of the best things that happened to her because she “gets to see of the past again” from other schools that she had worked at before.

 Copley also has said it feels similar to teach here from other schools that she has taught at before so this “is nice” according to her.

  Copley thinks that she has made a “good impression” with the students and that they are still working with “the respect part” of students to teacher. All of the  students in Chaparral High School, according to her, are quite “respectful and have a great potential”. She says the students at this school are quite “responsible with their classroom assignments”.

Copley has a belief that “all teachers in school have a goal and that goal is to help students to reach their academic goals.” 

Student Leadership Confers at CHS

by Yadira Estrada

The monthly, district-wide Student Leadership meeting was hosted at Chaparral High School’s Library September 25.

Gadsden ISD Superintendent Travis L. Dempsey began the meeting by asking the group, “What is this group’s opinion on having dollar dress at the middle school?” All members immediately raised their hands to respond. As the discussion went on everyone came to an agreement that dollar dress is the most convenient way of fundraising for the school and students. It is best to have parents pay one dollar a week rather than $20 dollars a month because his/her child needs the money for a field trip or supplies in school. This way parents know the money is going towards his/her child, and their money isn’t going into the wrong hands.

The second topic that was brought up was about FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Not many students are aware about it, how to access it, and how it can be really beneficial for their future according to Dempsey. Student Leadership came to the conclusion that every school should have a FAFSA night where parents and students can come together in the school so that every student has access to a computer and guidance when in need of assistance or questions to fill out a FAFSA application.

The final concern was about school safety. Dona Ana County Sheriff Deputy Officers are no longer working on campuses due to financial issues. As a result, Superintendent Dempsey told Student Leadership that he will try to enforce school safety such as having more drills to be better prepared for any emergencies. He also said, ” We want to keep our students safe. I will do everything I can to get them (DASO Deputies) back onto our campuses.”

Lastly, lunch was served and the menu consisted of Subway sandwiches that came with cookies and chips. CHS sponsor Mireya Ulibarri also made her special homemade lemon cookies. Most agreed these were delicious! After lunch Student Leadership toured the campus guided by the Lobo representatives. The highlight of the tour was the new Auxiliary Gym. With the tour over, Dempsey announced that the next time Student Leadership meets the entire group will be taking a filed trip to the Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces.


Franklin Returns to CHS

Patricia Franklin

Do not be alarmed! The person you see in the hallways is not a ghost, it is in fact Ms. Franklin- an English Language Arts Teacher.

Franklin is back! Do not be embarrassed if you were initially surprised or scared. It would not be the first time she’s taught here. She likes to “scare” her students as a way to motivate them to learn- “I scare them…I’m pretty sure I scare them.”
She grew up in Northeast El Paso. That combined with her “love” for the area motivated her to take the job despite being offered a job at the Navajo Indian Reservation in Gallup, New Mexico.
Franklin loves to teach, and has been doing it for 29 years, which leads to the advice she has for people wanting to become teachers- “You gotta love what you do.” Franklin loves drama and excitement. That is what she considers her teaching style to be- “I tend to be very dramatic.” Her strengths as a teacher? “Humor.” You can never go wrong with humor! She believes the biggest challenge as a teacher is the small amount of time there is. “…it just seems like we don’t have enough time to do the things we want to do with our students.”
Students are very important to her, in fact she says her “best teaching moment” was . . ., “There’s so many because students have different situations and if I was able to help them in any way, then that was the best moment.” She continued, “Teaching is not about me, teaching is about the students.” Teaching is important to Franklin because she believes we “need to have an educated citizenry and that students should have the best possible chance for their own success.”
Teaching is not what she expected “and that’s what makes it exciting!”

Automotive Teacher Begins Second Year On The Job

Jack Younker

The new Automotive teacher is Jack Younker.

He just joined Chaparral High School this January and became a Lobo. Younker says, “I came to this institution because this school gave me the opportunity to teach as an Automotive teacher since they didn’t have one after the last one left. I accepted because it wasn’t a boring job of a Math or English teacher even though I taught some of those subjects years ago.” Younker has been teaching high school for 20 years as a Math, English, Science and History teacher, but this is his third year teaching as an Automotive teacher. Younker commented “What I like about this institution is the school calendar we have like spring break, winter break, summer break, fall break and Thanksgiving break. I still get paid even when I’m not working so that’s even better!”

Younker said, “My strengths as a teacher are probably being able to teach what I like to do for a living, and my knowledge in content”. To which he also added, “My weaknesses as a teacher are organization, like my lesson plans and staying on task. Those weaknesses are the hardest for me”.

During college, he had most credits in education which is the reason why he decided to become a teacher. Younker dropped out of college the first year but came back the second year and finished his career in four years. While he was in college, he worked at three jobs at a time, he worked at bed and breakfast during the morning, horse trainer in in the afternoon, and he worked as a dishwasher at night.

Younker says, “Before I was a teacher I was on the Top 20 Horse Trainers Of The World since I was 16 years old.” Younker adds, “I want to be remembered for that because it’s something I’m proud of and makes me who I am and it’s part of my background.”

Younker was born March 4, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He graduated from Pecos High School located in Pecos, New Mexico. Younker then graduated from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Local Lobo becomes New Art Teacher

Chaparral High School has a new art teacher and he is from Chaparral. 

Jose Alvarado

         Jose Alvarado is the new art teacher of Chaparral High School. One of the most important things about Alvarado is that he always wanted to teach at Chaparral High School because “I live here. I grew up here. I’ve always wanted a job here, but they didn’t need me yet,” he said. 

        He graduated from Gadsden High School in 2002. After high school he went to EPCC for three years and then graduated from UTEP in 2011. He has been teaching for nine years, seven at Santa Teresa High School and two at Barron Elementary in El Paso, TX. 

       He became an art teacher because “I love everything about it. It is everywhere. I love the fact that you can express your feelings.” 

      Just like every other teacher, it frustrates Alvarado when students give up and use their phones when they are told not to do so. 

      In his free time, he likes to jog around Dolores C. Wright Park in Chaparral, and go to his bible meetings (he’s a Jehovah Witness) at Kingdom Hall in El Paso, TX. He also likes spending time with his family. He considers his best friend’s family, his family along with his parents and his dog Sandi.   

      He compliments his students by saying they are “very creative and self-driven.”

      In order to build a good relationship with his students, he said that first he starts by learning their names and after that he gets to know each one individually. 

         Our new art teacher says that he loves how Chaparral High School is built; he says that it is like “college life.” 

       “My favorite part about my job is getting to watch my students succeed everyday,” Alvarado said. One achievement Alvarado is proud of is that in 2016, he took two of his students from Barron Elementary School to London and Paris. 

       “If I wouldn’t have become an art teacher, the other career I would have done, is being a full time artist.”

        Lastly, something that motivates him is “nature, because I try to imitate it in art and also, God’s power because he is our creator,” he said.