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A Message from Diana Sayavedra

Dear El Paso ISD:

The end of this school week began with the somber news of the loss of one of our most celebrated alumni. Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to ever serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and a 1946 graduate of Austin High School, passed away Friday at the age of 93. Justice O’Connor was a legal luminary and also a proud alumna of El Paso ISD. Her time at Austin High School left an indelible mark on her, shaping the foundations of her future achievements. As a lasting tribute to her legacy, Austin High School proudly houses the Sandra Day O’Connor Public Service Academy, which provides students with specialized education in criminal justice, forensics, and legal studies, reflecting Justice O’Connor's enduring influence and commitment to public service. We honor the memory of Sandra Day O’Connor and express our gratitude for her remarkable contributions to the legal landscape of our great nation.

The commitment to serve was evident at El Paso ISD as we welcomed the month of December. We were proud to host this year’s edition of the Great Khalid Foundation Christmas with Khalid program Friday at Bowie High School. The event, which put a brand-new, wrapped toy in the hands of more than 400 students from Putnam Elementary School and Cooley Elementary School, is designed to ensure that all children get to experience the holiday spirit. The smiles of our students were a joy to see as they were handed gifts by Khalid, his mother, Linda Wolfe, and all the volunteers representing the Great Khalid Foundation.

The McDonald’s HACER Education Tour made a stop Friday at El Paso High School. The tour is a day of motivational assemblies, leadership development, workshops and more to help inspire students to overcome challenges and pursue higher education. Students throughout El Paso ISD high schools heard stories of triumph from notable individuals, including Juan Cangas — a nationally renowned youth speaker and co-founder of the THRIVE Leadership Club. The event, which also offers students the opportunity to receive scholarships worth up to $100,000, was made possible by Richard Castro, a former educator and owner of 30 McDonald’s franchises in El Paso.

We create bright futures for our students because of our community partners. We are grateful for their help in inspiring and empowering our learners to thrive.

This week, we hosted the opening session of our Board Leadership Academy. More than 50 community members attended the first in a series of six sessions to familiarize themselves with the role a board member serves in our district. We look forward to continuing this journey with our Academy members as we share how our district operates as a whole and how decisions are made that impact our students.

Crockett Elementary School celebrated a milestone this week. The school marked its 103rd anniversary Wednesday with an event that brought together current and former students, faculty, staff and members of the community to commemorate one of the longest-serving campuses in El Paso ISD’s 140-year history. The event included performances from the school’s orchestra, cheerleading team, and the Austin High School mariachi group. The campus gathered for this celebration after not being able to celebrate its 100th anniversary during the COVID pandemic. Happy birthday, Crockett!

We have three weeks remaining before we go on our holiday break. There will be a flurry of activity at our campuses throughout the month. Watch your campus calendars and check the district’s website and social media for updates throughout the holiday season. We look forward to a productive month. Let’s move forward together.

It starts with us.

Sincerely,

Diana Sayavedra
Superintendent of Schools