Montwood Middle School -- the third middle school built in the Socorro Independent School District -- celebrated its 20th anniversary recently inside Moose Gym.
Present and former students and teachers were on hand to enjoy the event. Past principals, such as Debra Patin, who opened the school in 1998, and Libby Tidwell, who was the school leader from 2002 to 2015, sent personal videos, expressing their love for the school and the community.
“Montwood Middle holds a very special place in my heart,” said Tidwell, who went on to be principal of SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School for several years before she retired. “It is one of the highlights of my life.”
Patin, who now lives in New Hampshire and also is a retired educator, explained what it was like to establish the school, hire every single employee and why the moose was chosen as a mascot for a school “in the middle of the desert.”
“A group of parents really wanted the moose,” Patin said. “The committee agreed. I really enjoyed my time at Montwood Middle. It was the most exciting time of my career. And you know, the moose is my favorite mascot.”
The celebration also included performances by former and current band, choir and orchestra members, who joined together to form the Mighty Moose Band.
Diego Rivera, who walked the halls of Montwood Middle from the fall of 2011 to the spring of 2014, came back to perform in the mega band. He will be graduating from Montwood High School this year, but he remembers all the good memories he had as a Moose.
“It’s so nostalgic being here and it’s such a great experience that brings back all the memories that I experienced when I was here,” Rivera said. “It leaves a warm feeling in my heart. Montwood Middle was like my starting point that brought new experiences into my life. It brought me to a whole new world.”
A school celebration continued with the reveal of a time capsule that had been sealed in 2008. The capsule contained uniform shirts, a compact disc explaining the highlights in 2008, a list of teachers’ names and extensions of that era and a newspaper article declaring the Mayor of El Paso was John Cook.
Principal Sylvia Esparza, teachers and students put together another capsule and buried it, not to be opened until 2028.
The anniversary party also included the dedication of a new school marquee. The night ended with a tour of the…