Ana Mendez is a 1977 graduate from Van Horn High School. After graduation, Ms. Mendez worked at several different jobs, but working as a dispatcher in Alpine, Plano, and Leander, Texas helped her develop a lifelong love of law enforcement. She attended Sul Ross State University, married and had three children, Ana Jo, Jonas, and Ruth, but did not complete her degree. Ana attended Austin Community College and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2002 and went on to graduate from Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement. She additionally earned a Paralegal Certificate through the Center for Legal Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2012.
Ana moved back to Van Horn in 2004 and lived in Allamore. She was employed with the West Texas Detention Facility, Sierra Blanca, Texas until 2006, when she was hired as a Deputy Probation Officer with the El Paso County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, Van Horn District Office. She worked in Van Horn until 2014, when she was promoted to Auditor/Trainer which required her moving to El Paso.
Ana is in a relationship with Samuel Ramirez, and there appear to be marriage bells in the forseeable future, and as she says, “the third time is a charm.” For the time being, she is content to be around her seven, “super wonderful” grandchildren, Jose Luis Tarango, Jr. (Louie), Fernando Tarango, (Ferbie), Christopher, Shelita, Jay Jr., Andruw (and it is spelled with a “u”), and Jayden—six boys and one girl. According to Ana, “so that’s my life after high school, in a nutshell!”
Wiley Koepp is a 1991 graduate of Van Horn High School…at least in spirit. He is actually the only one of four children of Phil and Marsha Koepp to not graduate from VHHS. The Koepp family (Wiley, his parents, and siblings Warren, Marla, and Natalie) lived at Guadalupe Mountains National Park for six years, from 1981-1987.
After spending his elementary school years at the Guadalupe School, located at the old El Paso Natural Gas plant an hour north of Van Horn, Wiley attended junior high in Van Horn and began high school here. But his family’s move to Big Bend National Park in the middle of his freshman year led him¬ to complete high school in Alpine.
While attending school in Van Horn, Wiley competed in band and UIL academic competitions. It was his drumming in the Eagle Band that really stuck with him, however, leading to a number of percussive pursuits in the years since.
Wiley attended The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in English and earning teaching certification in Secondary Level English, 4th Grade, and Special Education. Living in Austin, “The Live Music Capital of the World,” allowed Wiley to build on the musical education that started in Van Horn. He performed in several bands throughout college and started his own musical promotion company called Coyote Music. In 2015, Coyote Music celebrated its 20th Anniversary, having promoted over 1,000 shows and nearly 1,000 artists and venues.
In 2000, pursuing his dream of becoming a rock star, Wiley moved to New York City. He landed a job at Universal Records’ subsidiary Farmclub Records, where he was a talent scout. During his tenure he got to meet a number of artists who would later become famous, including Norah Jones, John Mayer, and Dallas-based heavy metal group Drowning Pool. A personal highlight was getting to attend a private birthday party for soul legend Isaac Hayes, with a performance by Chaka Khan.
On September 11, 2001, Wiley was working in a building just several blocks from the World Trade Center and later wrote about that experience (wileykoepp.com/2002/08/a-day). He and his coworkers made it home safely that day, but like everyone were greatly impacted by the traumatic events.
Wiley returned to Austin in 2005 after the birth of his first child and entered a software developer training program at U.T. He has worked in web development ever since. Today, Wiley is a Senior Developer at TradeMark Media.
Wiley is the proud father of two sons, Holland and Drake. His wife Brittany is a bandmate in two projects, including his “dream gig” drumming for CHASCA (a fantastic band inspired by David Bowie’s glam, rock music of the 70s and 80s, and the visual oddities of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Wiley is extremely excited to venture close to home in May of this year, playing with CHASCA at the Lost Horse Saloon in Marfa on Thursday, May 12 and Railroad Blues in Alpine on Friday, May 13.