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A Message from Diana Sayavedra

Dear El Paso ISD,

We are a week away from our two-week fall intersession and our students will have earned their break as a flurry of activity will mark the eighth week of the 2023-2024 academic year.

It begins tonight with a full slate of football games highlighted by the 93rd Battle of the Claw between El Paso and Austin high schools. The generational rivalry is one of our city’s oldest traditions and drew the attention of CBS4 Local, which featured the schools on its Friday Morning Football segments today. Thank you to our student organizations who showed up at both schools before the sun came up to share that Tiger and Panther pride!

Tonight’s games also will feature 2,100 of our student-athletes wearing special gold socks to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us as we go gold and show our young ones afflicted by this disease that they aren’t facing their fight alone. On Friday, Sept. 29, we will pull out our gold socks again as we join a citywide commemoration. Go Gold!

Our high school marching bands will entertain the crowds at halftime tonight. They also will have their own showcase next weekend during the El Paso ISD Marching Band Invitational. The competition will feature 25 bands from throughout the region Saturday, Sept. 30, at Bowie High School. See our area’s best performers take the field beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Some of our middle-school band performers are getting recognition, too. The Hornedo Middle School honor band was recently named a “Commended Winner” by the Foundation For Music Education. Meanwhile, Hornedo’s jazz band has been invited to play at the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference in Chicago in December. It is the first time an El Paso ISD band has been invited to the prestigious event, which is widely known as the world's largest instrumental music education conference. Congrats, Tornados!

Next week, we will celebrate another significant milestone in the history of one of the oldest operational high schools in El Paso. An official state historical marker will be dedicated Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Bowie High School’s original location — now the site of Guillen Middle School — in El Paso's Segundo Barrio. Dignitaries from El Paso County and the El Paso County Historical Commission will join us for the ceremony to mark more than 100 years of the school's existence and its rich history of academic excellence and community engagement.

We say it often — attendance is the No. 1 predictor of student success. To help our students meet that end, we resumed our Reconnect EPISD Attendance/Recovery Walk initiative this week. Our high schools hosted rallies for their feeder patterns Wednesday before administrators and staff fanned out across neighborhoods and visited families at their homes to outline a plan for students to maintain or resume their educational paths. Next week, we are visiting campuses to recognize campuses with exemplary attendance percentages as part of our district attendance campaign. Show Up! You Matter!

Other campuses got visits Tuesday from representatives of the Sun Bowl Association and the University of Texas at El Paso as part of the Big Day for Teachers campaign put on by the College Football Playoff Extra Yard for Teachers program. The Sun Bowl recognized our teachers of the year — Dianna Brun Ferriter of Rivera Elementary School and Marcos Muñoz of Jefferson High School — while UTEP student-athletes delivered $10,000 from the Extra Yard organization to Logan Elementary School to create a mental health space on campus. Thank you for going the Extra Yard!

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, join us for El Paso ISD Night at the Locomotive at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be a fun night of soccer at Southwest University Park as our El Paso Locomotive takes on the Phoenix Rising. You can still get specially priced tickets by clicking here.

It’s a busy time as September enters its final week. Let’s complete the month on a high note.

It starts with us.


Diana Sayavedra
Superintendent of Schools

Sept. 22, 2023