SOCORRO — The Socorro Independent School District Board of Trustees voted on the names of the district’s newest elementary and middle combination school at the regular school board meeting Tuesday night. The board voted unanimously on the names James P. Butler Elementary School and SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School.
James P. Butler was a physical education teacher, athletic coach and an adaptive physical education teacher in the special education department in SISD. He worked at Socorro Middle School and Robert R. Rojas Elementary School. Throughout his educational career he launched many programs to benefit SISD students in athletics and special education. He began a swimming program designed to teach third graders how to swim, created the Physical Education Showcase Day, led Rojas Elementary to be a national model Project FIT America school and was a driving force in orchestrating and improving the Special Olympics each year.
Manuel R. Puentes attended Socorro Elementary School and was a 1969 graduate of Socorro High School. Puentes was raised in Socorro with his family of 15 brothers and sisters. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War. In 1971, the patrol unit he served in was ambushed in South Vietnam and Puentes went missing in action. Several years later the Army classified him as killed in action.
The new elementary and middle combination school is scheduled to be completed in June 2013. The school will open for the 2013-2014 school year to serve the El Dorado area. Rosa Chavez-Avedician and Libby Tidwell have been named as the principals of the elementary school and middle school, respectively.
The mascots and colors of the schools also have been approved by Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. The mascots will be the James P. Butler Coyotes and the SSG Manuel R. Puentes Bobcats. Teal, black and desert orange will be the colors for both schools.