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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Welcome Back Mr. Velarde

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.

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Who’s the Deputy on Campus?

There’s now a Dona Ana Sheriff’s Office deputy on campus. His name is Jacob Urbina but can be referred to as Deputy Urbina.

Deputy Urbina attended college courses at Dona Ana Community College before realizing he wanted to be in law enforcement. Urbina’s past had many influences on his career; His father had always wanted to be an officer. Urbina’s older brother is a border patrol agent and Deputy Urbina said, “I want to become a border patrol agent in the future.”

Urbina has been working in law enforcement for five years. He started his career by being a guard at the Otero County Detention Facility. He worked at the prison for a year before joining the Dona Ana Sheriff’s Office where he became a Deputy. He started by patrolling Anthony, New Mexico, for four years. Then he was transferred over to Chaparral High School.

Deputy Urbina is stationed at the high school because, as he said, “We were being called to one of the other high schools every day, so they decided to have deputies at the schools.” Deputy Urbina hopes to reduce any violence that occurs at the school and prevent more violence from occurring.

Deputy Urbina was a troublemaker when he was younger. He grew up in Anthony, New Mexico. Deputy Urbina has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for ten years, they have three kids together.

Deputy Urbina would like to connect with the students at Chaparral High School while stationed there. He can’t deal with students the same way he does with adults. Students have to be read their rights before they can be questioned. Students are also given the choice to have their parent with them or they can go through the questioning alone.

Deputy Urbina isn’t really sure how long he will be stationed at Chaparral High School. He can be found in the library if needed. He is opened minded and easy to talk to, he would be glad to help with any problems.

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Welcome Mr.Stearns!

William Stearns

 

The newest teacher and football coach for Chaparral High School, William Stearns. Thirty years of teaching history and coaching football this teacher sure does have a passion for it, but after teaching in Arizona for a long time he decided to come back home, “After working within the area I decided to go back home and try something new”. Once coming back to Chaparral, he heard from his friends and family about the openings as a teacher in our school.

In Arizona he worked in the Indian Reservation in White Rivers. He enjoyed working with the native kids, “They were majestic students”. His last job there was about six hours away from Chaparral, “Yea it was a good six hours from here”, “There is one thing I could compare where I last lived to where I live now and it’s that both places are isolated”, but he sure does love two things from here, “I love the beautiful campus. I love how the teachers/staff always seem to be so positive everyday”.

Stearns coaches our football team, “Yea, I was offered the position as a sports coach and I accepted it”, he only wanted to coach football and no other sport for the only reason he played the sport itself for most of his life!. He admires the athletes, “The kids are hard workers and they got talent and a huge passion for the sport”. Stearns plans on pushing our football players to do better for themselves and for the team by having a positive attitude to become a role model for others, “Practice what you preach”.

Stearns is working here for both the money and personal enjoyment but mostly to make a   positive change in our area. He always expects to learn something from his coworkers and his students, “I learned life lessons, I’m not here to teach but to observe and learn”, “The kids will always make an impact on people”. If he had the opportunity to change something in the school he would include Agriculture, Planting and Farming clubs to help children experience hands-on environmental causes. Hopefully this will be the last school he works in for years to come.

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The Newbie on Campus

Samantha L. Soltero, known by students as Mrs.Soltero, is Chaparral High School’s newest and youngest English teacher. She worked as a middle school writing teacher in Phoenix, AZ.  “I loved working at my old school but my husband and I needed to move back to this area,” said Soltero.

Soltero was born in El Paso, TX. She went to UTEP, where she majored in English with a minor in secondary education, “When I get asked how long I’ve been teaching, I always say ‘more than one year, less than 10.’”

“I had plans on being a teacher since I was in middle school,” she says. Part of her inspiration to become a teacher was two of her high school teachers. She says she even tries to base her own teaching style off of them. Soltero’s teaching style seems to be working, “She’s nice, gives formal education and has proper techniques to be a teacher,”  says senior Jose Robles who has her during sixth period.

“I would say my strengths as a teacher are building a positive classroom environment and organization. I get excited about assignments and occasionally plan more than what is realistically possible,” said soltero.

Being a teacher affects her personal life only in the time she spends at home grading or planning. Soltero says, “Luckily, I have an awesome family that listens to my crazy ideas when I am planning my next assignment.”

Soltero has a husband and three dogs. She has strong opinions when it comes to sharing your personal life with the students. She says “It’s good to let students see teachers as human rather than some creature that lurks in the school at night, building relationships creates that positive environment that I was talking about which makes the classroom a place to learn and take educational risks.”

To become a better teacher, Soltero wishes we had a block schedule, “To have that extra time would mean I could go further in depth with a lesson and explore what the students are struggling with.” She seeks to help students reach a deeper level of understanding. Either way, she is very happy with her job, even if it’s not exactly the way she would’ve liked,  “I honestly have no idea why this spot was available; However, I am extremely grateful to be here and to be teaching my favorite subject.” 


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Welcome Nurse Nancy to Chaparral High School

The school year at Chaparral High School has started and the district has not yet found a permanent nurse. Nancy Bergman, a temporary nurse, is at the high school until someone can fill in the job full time.

Nurse Nancy was born on Long Island, NY. She moved around to various states following her friends trying to find a better medical program. She attended her first two colleges in New York, three in Colorado and finished off her college in Pennsylvania. During college she decided to change her major. Wanting to be a social worker from childhood, she decided to change her college major because of “inspiration from her sister” and wanting to be as much help as she could be. 

After all the moving around she did while getting the education she needed to finish off her career, she ended up here in Chaparral as a flex nurse working for the Gadsden Independent school District.

With a new staff and new students for Nurse Nancy to get used to, she is fitting right in.

“I’ve worked with some of the staff here before and have even known some of these students ever since they were in elementary. They were babies and now I get to see them again.” said Nurse Nancy.

“Listening to kids talk about their careers and all the plans they have is one of the things I enjoy most about this job” added Nurse Nancy.

Of course, there is always going to be something about a job we don’t quite enjoy and for Nurse Nancy it’s the paperwork. “I wish I didn’t have to deal with all the paperwork” said Nurse Nancy. “If I didn’t have to do paperwork every single time someone came into the nurse’s office it would be the best thing in the world.”

Even with all the students she has to see every day, and all the paperwork she has to deal with, Nurse Nancy will continue to work at Chaparral High School until the district can find another nurse to fill in this vacant position.

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CHS’s newest teacher is here.

Thelma Phillilps

Chaparral High School’s (CHS) newest Language Arts teacher, here since August 22, is Thelma Phillips.

Phillips teaches English Language Arts for sophomores and juniors.She has taught English Language Arts for 27 years.

“I like teaching at CHS very much, everyone is friendly. When Mrs. Lopez and Mr. Mata interviewed they were very nice to me,” said Phillips. Before teaching at CHS she taught at Andress High School, in the El Paso Independent District of Texas for 27 years.

Phillips can make students future a success by talking about getting a career or going to college confidently.

Phillips considers herself an open-minded and smart person. “I can make their future a success by having them doing my work in class.”

“I will be at CHS as long as they let me,” said Phillips.

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Say goodbye to puddles, and hello to the new drains

Say goodbye to puddles, and hello to the new drains.

Chaparral High School (CHS) principal, Victoria Lopez talked about the drains at CHS, “The drains are for the water to dig in. When it rained we would have big puddles and people couldn’t even pass through there, so drains are to get rid of the puddles.” The workers stared digging in mid-July.

The drains help the campus by draining standing water and preventing puddles so mosquitoes and trash won’t gather.

If the drains are blocked, the water won’t be draining. Lopez said, “The drains are hard to get blocked because they’re 22 foot long pipes going down.”

“The drain that is in front of the school was completed by August 24, 2018,” said Lopez.

“The cost is around $20,00. the school can afford the drains ,” said Lopez.

located in front of the nurse
located behind the main gym

 

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Lobos rain awards and scholarships on Chaparral for 2018

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.

Mia Luna
Yamile Madrid
Richard Perez
Emily Radell
Evelyn Garcia
Bernice Acuna
Hope McKay
Bryanna Torres
Ruby Cisneros
Evangeline Flores
Edith Yanez
David Alvarado
Ana Flores
Emanuel Galvan
Fidel Soto
Priscilla Marquez
Bethsaida Gomez
Carolina Pulido
Ashley Vila
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Sexting: Lobo survey results

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

messages?

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

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