TORNILLO, Texas (KTSM) – The Tornillo Independent School District has only 813 students in its entirety but even with the low numbers, Superintendent Rosy Vega-Barrio has tried to educate the adults in the community so they can pass it down to their kids.

This includes opportunities such as English classes, applications for citizenship and opportunities to receive a high school diploma through a General Education Development Test (GED).

“That is our way of moving our district forward, and what we like to say, moving our community our learning community forward because we’re the hub, because we’re the heart of the community,” Vega-Barrio said.

Tornillo ISD struggles to compete with larger districts like El Paso Independent School District and Socorro Independent School District, but it does allow the teacher to connect with the students one on one. Special Education Teacher Georgina Miramontes said this creates a family that works to give the best education to the students.

“We have mom and dad, we have brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, we argue, we disagree, we come to a mutual agreement, disagreement and then we’re back, we’re here for the kid,” said Miramontes.

For the first time, Tornillo will have students graduate from their Early College High School.

In addition, this will also be the third year the district will have students graduate with their associate degrees from Western Tech. This allows the graduates to apply for jobs right after high school but if they wish to obtain their bachelor’s degree, they will be eligible for scholarships.

“You usually hear this in bigger districts and it’s like wow, how is Tornillo making this happen? You know that is our mission, that was our vision from our district and that’s what we’re placing all of our efforts into it,” added Vega-Barrio.

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