Warriors Witness ’17 Solar Eclipse

by Paula Fierros

Principal Dr. Augustine Romero takes a moment to observe Eclipse 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, hundreds of our Pueblo Warriors witnessed their first significant solar eclipse. Although Tucson was able to view just a partial eclipse, for many it was a cosmic experience.

Arizona Partial Eclipse 2017

A solar eclipse an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the moon passes between earth and the sun­­­­—thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the sun for a viewer on earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across earth’s surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometers wide.

Eclipse Path 2017

This year’s total eclipse was visible to tens of millions of Americans—from Oregon to South Carolina.

Dr. Lolly Levine, one of Pueblo’s science teachers, was able to travel to Glendo State Park in Wyoming, to view the total eclipse.

“During the total eclipse moment, the sky became very dark, and the temperature drastically dropped down to 10 degrees!” Levine said. “The eclipse was heavenly—it gave me goose bumps. No clouds—the sky was perfect. The eclipse was definitely an experience of a lifetime.”

Back here at Pueblo, Tucsonans were able to view about 59% of the eclipse.

Partial Eclipse

Junior Andrew Romero said, “Only in [partial or total] darkness is when we can truly see the beauty outside our little blue planet that we call ‘home’.”

Ismael Altamirano, a senior, said that the eclipse was a “phenomenal” experience. “However, I really hated sharing my glasses with sweaty strangers.”

Another student, senior Riana Lara, said, “The eclipse was a beautiful sight to see—so amazing to have a total eclipse in this country after so many years.”

Science teacher, Ms. Wilma Amaro said “[The eclipse was] auspicious.”

Campus monitor Ms. Nellie Rivera said, “I thought [the eclipse] was more hyped than it was supposed to be, but at least it brought people together.”

Senior Calista Gonzales said, “The eclipse was lit!”

Unfortunately, not all Warriors were able to see the eclipse. Pueblo’s principal Dr. Augustine Romero announced to the school that unless students had parental permission—and had exclusive solar eclipse glasses that safely allowed students to view the eclipse—students were not permitted to leave their classrooms. Some teachers, too, did not release students during the peak time of the eclipse in Tucson—at 10:36 a.m.—which coincided with third period.

Senior Mercedes Sanchez said, “I was locked in a classroom during the eclipse.”

Vivi Cruz, another senior, was saddened that her teacher would not allow her to leave class to view the eclipse. “I heard that we were suppose to have permission slips in order to view the eclipse,” Cruz said, “and I didn’t have the special glasses. I heard that there will be another solar eclipse near Arizona [passing through Northern Mexico into Texas and beyond] in 2024, so maybe I can see that one.”

Math teacher Mr. Gregory Obregon said, “I missed the peak [of the eclipse]. I wasn’t able to go up to Nebraska to see the total—eclipse.”

Some Warriors are “old enough” to recall the February 26, 1979 eclipse, which was the last total eclipse in the United States prior to the 2017 event. Unfortunately, only the northwestern states experienced a total eclipse; Arizona, was able to view another partial 38 years ago.

Dr. Romero, principal, said, “This eclipse was not my first. I was in sixth grade back in 1979, and I think the first eclipse is always the most impressive and historical. Still, the eclipse [this year] was very interesting, and I got to view it with glasses—to see the crescent-shaped sun.”

Mr. Rana Medhi, English and journalism teacher, said, “I was a junior in high school during the big ’79 eclipse—still I remember my algebra class going outside to view it. In those days, nobody made a big deal out of wearing special glasses. Maybe that’s why everybody needed glasses before graduation day in 1980.” He paused and said, “I’ve never seen a total eclipse, but I’d like to before I die.”

Mr. Rana Medhi & Mrs. Kathryn Gunnels checking out the Eclipse 2017

Although there have been total eclipses in the United States in the past century, this was the first to coast-to-coast event in 99 years. The next U.S. coast-to-coast total eclipse won’t occur until August 12, 2045, according to NASA.

However, there will be total eclipses in the United States that won’t be bi-coastal, including the event on April 8, 2024, just seven years from now—visible from northern Mexico and extending into central Texas and stretching all of the way up to New England. Many Warriors are already saving their money for that event.

Eclipse Path 2024

“Texas isn’t that far from Arizona,” said senior Calista Gonzales, “and I plan to make a road trip with my friends to Austin or San Antonio to see the total eclipse! Heck yeah!”

Some students wanted the event to last longer.

Senior Alina Perez said, “I waited so long to watch something [that lasted] so short.”

Look In The Sky…It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane…No, It’s Our Drone!

By Angelita Delcido

Pueblo Drone Flyby

On March 29, 2017, during 4th period (and first lunch for some), Pueblo’s CTE Graphic and Web Design teacher, Mr. Ernesto Somoza, gathered all of the spring sports girls’ teams—including soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball (as well as Cheer)—to celebrate their upcoming “AIA Tony Komadina Award” with a group picture.

This picture was taken a little unusual; in fact, a drone snapped the picture in effort to “stay in the current world,” Somoza explained. “[The drone] is a fairly new consumer product,” he added. “A year ago, the drone wasn’t as prominent as now.”

Freshman (Class of 2020) Jacquelyn Gutierrez, a member of Cheer this season, was part of the crowd.  “It was exciting to be part of this event,” Gutierrez said. “I felt inclusive with Pueblo—like I was a member of this great school, like I was really connected to the school. As a freshman, this is a great feeling because I think we all come into high school and feel a little left out. But, that’s all changed now.”

Another freshman (Class of 2020) Alina Cuen, member of cheer, also took part of the crowd photo and said, “I felt special and proud to represent Pueblo. The drone was definitely a unique way to take our pictures. Mr. Somoza was brilliant to have thought of this approach.”

Sophia Shivers, a freshman (Class of 2020), was on this season’s girls’ JV basketball team said, “Even though it was really hot that afternoon, I felt cool to represent Pueblo’s girls’ sports programs.  The drone was cool, too, and I think that this is how future group pictures should be taken.”

Sophomore (Class of 2019) Yazmin Almazan, a member of the girls’ JV volleyball team this season, said that she felt a sense of unity with the other girls at Pueblo, and she loved the drone!

“The drone took some very unique shots of us—pictures that a person would never be able to take. I hope that the drone is used again to take more interesting pictures,” Almazan said.

National Honor Society: Still In A League Of Its Own

By Josselyn Rivera

Pueblo’s National Honor Society (NHS) continues its highly reputable status. This organization continues to corral some of Pueblo’s highest-achieving students—not only in academics but also in character.

The requirements for being in NHS continue to be very specific and very high. Students are required to earn at least a 3.6 grade point average (GPA), have some community service experience, possess a “good” character, including having leadership experience and/or motivation to be a great leader.

NHS is a community service-based club, serving the needs not only at Pueblo but also the community itself. This year, for example, NHS has committed to fundraising for Pima Animal Care Center (PACC). NHS students have raised money from car washes and other activities to raise funds for the PACC.

According to NHS sponsor Ms. Kelly Crane, “We raise money so they [Pima Animal Care Center] can use it as they need.”

NHS currently has 63 members. Of these, 29 are new members joining this spring semester. Crane reported that 20 seniors in NHS will be graduating with honors in May.

One of those seniors, Valentino Lugo, president of NHS, said that this club helps contribute to society by getting students to volunteer because that is the way to get into this club besides having high grades.

Valentino said, “I have really liked being president this school year because it’s a good way to communicate with everybody in the school. I’ve really gotten to know a lot of underclassmen.”

He added that although he has enjoyed the privilege and prestige of being one of Pueblo’s most elite clubs, he is ready to “pass the torch” onto somebody else next year.

Pueblo Convalesces After Vandalism

  

By Iram Arce and Lya Thurston

During 2016-2017 winter break, Pueblo High School’s Lever Gym, along with 23 classrooms, were broken into and vandalized. Two classrooms were set on fire, and the flooring of Lever Gym was flooded—thus, warping the wood, and currently the flooring is still being removed.

Science Room Vandalism Damage

Because chemicals were spilled during the vandalism, eight classrooms had to be relocated upon students’ return to school on Monday, January 9, 2017, while the haz-mat team quarantined the science wing until the chemicals could be removed.

One science teacher who was relocated, Ms. Wilma Amaro, said, “It’s an unfortunate situation, but we pushed through as one.”

This positive attitude has been very contagious to her students and the entire campus.

Still, the damage remains and is a constant reminder of what still needs to be completed. The damage in Lever Gym is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another $50,000 in lab equipment needs to be replaced.

Lever Gym Floor Water Damage

Chemistry teacher Ms. Melissa Espindola, whose classroom was burned, said, “My lesson plans have changed, but I still need to do my job as a teacher. This means I must continue teaching and just accept the reality in order to move forward.”

Biotech teacher Dr. Andrew Lettes knew that they had to get back on track as soon as possible.

He said, “Coming back from break, I was completely devastated. However, that helped me realize that we needed to do a lab [experiment] on Friday, and that is exactly what we did with the help of U of A donations.”

“The compassion of this school is amazing as both students and teachers have helped by donating, some out of their own pockets,” said biotech and forensics science teacher Ms. Elaine Straub. “However, I do believe that the vandal’s actions could have been deterred if the district approved to set up window screens over the winter break as it was originally planned.”

As if this incident was not devastating enough, two weeks after the winter break incident, the vandals struck again—this time two more classrooms were the target, displacing more students and two more science teachers, Ms. Straub and Dr. Lolly Levine.

“Even though this happened to me, we united,” Straub said. “These vandalism cases are senseless, but together we show the hearts of Warriors and show that we can survive.”

Dr. Augustine Romero, Pueblo’s principal since 2014, said, “I’m very proud of how our school has reacted to this incident. I’m just asking that everybody at Pueblo to keep their heads up, keep moving forward and to know that there are a lot of people who care about our [Pueblo] community.”

“Through all of this chaos, Pueblo has stayed together and stayed strong held. In fact, we now have an even stronger bond,” he added.

Clothing Bank Offers Opportunities to CBI Students

  

By Yamilex Garcia and Omar Quintana

On Dec. 16, 2016, Pueblo Magnet High School held its grand opening to commemorate the school’s first clothing bank, in the former T-5 building, offering a enormous variety of shoes, clothes and accessories for boys and girls—as well as adults—in need of these items.

The clothing bank also teaches Pueblo’s CBI students special job skills including sewing, ironing, working with the cash register and stocking items regularly.

“It’s challenging for our CBI students to get jobs, so we’re offering opportunities to build on their resume of skills,” said Ms. Trevia Heath, who is Pueblo’s Exceptional Education Coordinator.

Everything in the community bank was donated by teachers, staff and students. All working items are then washed, ironed, and hung in the clothing bank racks.

“If it needs to be washed, vended or sewed, we teach our students how to fix it,” said Heath.

Health acknowledged many Pueblo individuals for making the clothing bank a reality—and especially the following: Ms. Rhonda Alexander, Mr. Derek Gunnels, Ms. Jamie Hogue and Mr. Miguel Sandoval.

Gunnels said, “The entire project was Ms. Heath’s idea, and slowly but surely, it became a reality. Our first period core class helped us a lot with getting the clothing bank looking the way it is today.”

Sophomore Celestina Mariñez, one of the many students who were instrumental in helping to make the clothing bank a reality, said, “I wish people could have seen this space a year ago! I was one of the first people to be in this room and wonder if we could really make it work. But, Ms. Heath never let us believe that we couldn’t achieve this dream. There were pigeons living in here! And, you can’t believe all of the [trash] that we found while cleaning this room!”

Mariñez said that she will be one of the workers in the clothing bank. She said that she is looking forward to her training—learning how to be a cashier, a stocker and anything else that needs to be done.

Heath said that many individuals made this clothing bank possible, including: Dr. Augustine Romero (principal) and the rest of the administrative team; TSW staff members; Tucson area businesses (Cathey’s Sew and Vac, Home Depot, Office Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement) as well as the entire Pueblo community, including parents, who have been “beyond generous,” Heath said.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with people’s generosity,” Heath said. “Some of these donations have been individuals outside of the school, which means a lot to the Pueblo community.”

The clothing bank owes its existence to the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), who approved the $10,000 grant which was used to buy racks, hangers and sewing machines—among other items necessary to making the clothing bank a reality.

Students in need of any sort of clothing item or accessory can simply talk to the teachers, who then refer them to the TWS staff.

Heath said, “Sometimes it’s hard for students to ask for help, so we make it a discreet process.”

She added that if a grant gets approved for next year, her plan is to open a greenhouse near the Science Club’s garden.

“This [garden] could definitely give students a chance to learn agricultural skills and add to their resumes,” Heath said.

Read report by Barbara Grijalva of Tucson News Now:
Tucson school struggling to cope with vandalism is giving back to the community

Mr. Warrior Pageant 2017: Elegant As Usual

By Summer Romero

Mr. Pueblo Warrior 2017 Contestants.

On Feb. 10, 2017, Pueblo held is 6th annual Mr. Warrior Pageant for senior males to show the judges what they got.

Contestants had to endure four different events to prove to judges why they should be Mr. Warrior. They were graded all on a scale from one through five (with “five” being the highest).

The originator of the Mr. Warrior Pageant, counselor Mrs. Teresa Toro, said, “They boys went through four major events. First—contestants were judged on a “strike a pose” dance routine; then, the boys had to “survive” a “swimsuit cat walk”; thirdly, each contestant had to show off one of their talents; and, lastly, each participated in the “Gala” event—that is, presenting their female escort with a thoughtful gift; the boys were required to wear tuxedos!

Mr. Pueblo Warrior 2017 Escorts

The pageant is also a fundraiser—to help seniors raise money for their senior gift as well as to award a senior a $500 scholarship. This year, because of all of the money raised, two scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors.

The four finalists were faced with a pageant question to end the competition; according to Mrs. Toro, whoever answered it the best—evaluated by the judges—won the pageant.

The winner of the 6th Annual Mr. Warrior Pageant…? None other than Manuel Enrique Navarro, who won two free tickets to Prom, a free tuxedo rental and an Olive Garden restaurant gift card.

“I love Olive Garden,” Navarez said.  He paused and said, “Honestly, winning was a total surprise, but I’m not going to lie—it felt good to win. Like, whoa! I’m Mr. Warrior!”

Video of entire show: