Aztec Architectural Academy at El Dorado High School welcomes its first cohort

The Aztec Architectural Academy, Socorro Independent School District’s newest advanced academic program, welcomed 48 students to its first cohort at a meeting for the members of the new program on May 12.
AAA is the first academy of its kind in El Paso. The unique program will allow students to gain a foundation in the fields of interior design, construction, civil engineering and architecture. Students also will have the opportunity to take dual credit and career and technology courses to be on an advanced pathway to earn a degree in architecture.
“This is a very unique program,” said Luisa Valenzuela, AAA instructor at El Dorado High School. “Our students will be exposed to architecture all four years. They will build their knowledge and by their senior year they will know what it is like to be an architect. They will become excellent designers, they will have the opportunity to present to professional architects and civil engineers so that when they graduate they are prepared for the college environment and be ready for the real world.”
The inaugural meeting kicked off with a presentation for students and their parents by El Paso Community College architectural program representatives and campus administration.
“I encourage all of you to stay in this path,” said Alejandro Mireles, architecture coordinator at El Paso Community College. “We are here to help you! Architecture is constantly changing. It’s competitive and this will challenge you, but it also will be a very exciting experience.”
Students and their parents received information about graduation requirements, endorsements, courses, and electives. They also learned about the different software programs they will use and the competitions they can join.
“I’m proud that my son was accepted to this program,” said Steven Engbrecht, a parent at Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School. “It’s great that he will able to graduate with an associate’s degree and be the first class to graduate from the Aztec architectural program.”
For students, the best part was the hands-on activities. They learned how to sketch properly, analyze architectural form, shape and depth, and practiced their schematic design skills using clay.
“I am really looking forward to the next four years in this program,” said Steven Minjarez, an eighth-grader at Sun Ridge Middle School. “I enjoy being creative and this is something I want to do when I grow up.”
AAA students will have a summer camp June 4-8 where they will train and test for the Texas Success Initiative exam to enroll in dual credit courses. Students…

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