With our deepest sympathies, our prayers and thoughts go out to the Cano and Perales families and to the Bowie, Chapin and Pasodale communities

We’re all heartbroken by the loss of our EPISD family members over the weekend.

Both of these individuals were dedicated to their son and grandson’s teams. Neither one ever missed a game.

The Canos participated in all Bowie football activities with Mrs. Cano becoming a grandmother figure for the team. Last week, she even made menudo for all the players and coaches. The Bowie Bear’s football team was definitely in her heart. She proudly watched from the stands her grandson Danny Cano, last week’s El Paso Times player of the week, and son Ruben Cano, a volunteer coach for the team, on the field.

The same could be said about Perales’ dedication to the Chapin team and his sons Elijah and Noah. Mr. Perales was an educator, motivator and loved the Chapin football team and his students at Pasodale Elementary. Many of the Chapin football players looked up to Mr. Perales as a father figure, who was always in the stands cheering them on.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to both families. We are here to support the families and school communities during this difficult time.

Update on EPISD

As part of our ongoing commitment to communicate with our stakeholders, we are providing a brief update on EPISD. We are working hard to improve morale, change our culture, and restore our reputation. Our size makes us a major factor in the success of El Paso and we take this responsibility seriously. You have my commitment that we are and will continue to work tirelessly to play our role as a strong and reliable contributor to the success of El Paso!

Change and continuous improvement are not easy and it will take a few years and a lot of hard work to go from good to great. Fortunately, we are blessed with caring and dedicated employees with character and passion for children and we will build on these strengths and establish a stronger focus on innovation, creativity and collaboration. I want to offer my personal thanks to those who withstood the difficult times and are still here to blaze a new path. We will move forward on your shoulders and build a premiere school district.

During my first 9 weeks as Superintendent, I have learned a lot about our community. Most importantly, I I have seen a strong sense of unity and commitment in moving forward and building a great district. Across the city the message is clear, “What can I do to help EPISD be successful?” This sense of community is appreciated and invigorating for us at EPISD. It is exciting to come to work knowing that our community is supporting our success.

We are still crafting specific goals, but our work is currently focused on these areas:

  1. Keep it simple and drive resources to the classrooms
  2. Establish critical oversight of systems to assure students come first
  3. Facilitate stability and calm to ensure positive learning environments—Let our Teachers Teach!!
  4. Change the culture to create innovation and better serve students
  5. Rebuild trust in the district
  6. Critical analysis of educational systems to better serve students and eliminate redundancies and waste
  7. Efficient and effective use of district resources and human capital
  8. Operate with transparency and efficiency
  9. School and traffic safety

In 50 days, we have made progress:

  • EPISD Leadership has visited more than 30 campuses and plans to visit all 96.
  • We hired 2 Area Superintendents to help manage our schools and a District Legal Counsel.
  • We created a new position to address traffic and safety concerns.
  • We are strengthening our partnerships with UTEP, EPCC, City, County and Fort Bliss, and other elected officials to assure we are meeting their needs and identifying opportunities for collaboration. Specifically with regard to Fort Bliss, we want EPISD to be a premiere partner and we want to set the gold standard for a military/school district relationship.
  • We will soon require all juniors take the PSAT and seniors take the ACT or SAT and make community service hours an EPISD graduation requirement. We seek to graduate well-rounded, engaged young citizens, and we believe that these policy changes will help us reach that goal.
  • To better understand and hear concerns, we have conducted a principal survey and are planning teacher and student surveys. We are also creating principals, teachers and student leadership teams.

EPISD is changing, and thanks to our dedicated staff, we are headed in the right direction. We can see the momentum build and we have a sense of urgency and high expectations for employees and students. The district belongs to the taxpayers, and we are building a culture of trust and transparency open to your ideas for improvement and innovation. Please reach out and partner with our schools! We welcome the input and we know that together we can build a great district.

In the near future, we will share our goals and more quick wins for students and staff at EPISD. For now, please know we are moving forward and working to build a world-class educational institution for our students and community.