Category: General Announcement

Letter from the Alumni President


Dear Austin High School Faculty and Staff,

Hello, my name is Raul H. Lerma and I have the honor of currently serving as President of The Austin High School Alumni Association. I am a proud Panther graduate, class of 1973.  First of all, I would like to thank your Principal Ms. Ponce for allowing me to send this message to all of you.

One of the most important functions of our Alumni Association, and probably our most rewarding one, is the awarding of academic scholarships to our graduating seniors.  Each year it is a challenge to raise enough funds to award as many scholarships as possible.  There are so many deserving graduates every year but, unfortunately not enough funds.  Last year was especially difficult to raise funds, due to the pandemic.  Nevertheless, we were able to award seven students scholarships for a total of $8,500.

It is that time of year and I am coming to all of you to please consider contributing to our scholarship fund.  My challenge is especially to any of you who graduated from this great school. Please join our Association.  $10 from the $25.00 membership fee automatically goes to the scholarship fund.   In commemoration of the school’s 90th anniversary we are encouraging a $90 for 90 campaign.  Any amount you can contribute, will be sincerely appreciated.  

Your contribution will enable a graduating senior to pursue their dream of a post-secondary education.  You will be a part of that student’s future.  Please show your Panther Pride and consider contributing to our scholarship fund.  Again, any amount would help.  You can make your contribution by visiting our web site at   Under Menu, click Donate.  Or you can send your check to:  Austin High School Alumni Association, P.O. Box 31495, El Paso Texas, 79931  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 915-208-0133 or


Raul H. Lerma

(class of 1973)

Austin Alumni Association Appreciation!

The Austin Alumni Association provided lunch in appreciation to Austin staff Elva Rangel, Regina Trejo, and Mike…

Posted by Austin High Alumni Association El Paso, Texas on Friday, April 17, 2020

The Austin Alumni Association provided lunch in appreciation to Austin staff Elva Rangel, Regina Trejo, and Mike Gonzales, for helping with providing lunch to our students. Thank you for your dedication!! #AustinPanthers #AustinAlumniAssociation

Maribel Hernandez-Loya, a 1980 Austin graduate, honored at Austin High School.

(AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL — Jan. 23, 2020) — The life and legacy of an Austin High School alumna killed in the Aug. 3 attack at the Cielo Vista Walmart was celebrated on Thursday during a poignant memorial that united her family with a new generation of Panthers.

Maribel Hernandez-Loya, a 1980 graduate, and her husband Leo Campos died that tragic August day. Her brother reminisced about her life and time at Austin – telling students of the good times they had in the very same gym that hosted the memorial, cheering on their fellow Panthers at pep rallies. 

“I want her to be remembered as a beacon of what was happening here at Austin High School in the 1980s – goodness, happiness, no hate,” her brother Albert Hernandez said. “We don’t want her to be remembered by what happened on Aug. 3. We want her to be remembered as a beacon of light, a beacon of peace.” 

The memorial was a project led by a group of Austin’s Panther New Tech/Sandra Day O’Connor Public Service Academy students who wanted to do something to honor one of their own. 

“We wanted to figure out a way to honor her and celebrate her life,” said senior Dylan Mauldin. “One message we want students to walk away with is that no matter what generation you’re from, what year you graduated, no matter what you do or what your race, culture or religion is, we are one big family. Everyone respects each other here.”

Mauldin and student organizers offered words of hope, often touching on what it means to be a Panther and the culture that is now known as El Paso Strong. 

“We know we can’t replace her, but we can support each other, celebrate her life and heal together,” senior Francesca Ramirez told the family before presenting them with flowers and a framed photo of Hernandez-Loya taken during her sophomore year at Austin. 

Mariachis, the choir and the jazz band contributed to the uplifting tribute. The Austin High-based Nueva Frontera band perfectly ended the ceremony with a bilingual rendition of the song “We Belong Together,” made famous by Ritchie Valens. 

“This represents our community,” said Yvette Shibley, Hernandez-Loya’s daughter.

“Not only are they sharing their love and extending it to my mom even though she had been out of school for a long time, there are also sharing it with her extended family. It’s been very touching. They’ve embraced us and there’s nothing better than that right now.” 

But more importantly for Shibley is the legacy of this next generation and the difference they can make by spreading their love and acceptance. She finds that the majority of mass shooting assailants happen to be in the age group just older than the current class of high-school students. For her, the ceremony offered a sign of hope.

“I’m hoping these kids right now are going to take over that generation and take over all the craziness we’ve had in the past few years,” Shibley said. “They are trying to support us but more than anything I want to support them because we are counting on them. This our future.”Story by Reneé De Santos
Photos by Leonel Monroy