Prom 2022 Returning to ‘Almost Normal’

By Isaiah Sotelo

Yazbel Robles, Class of 2022 President of Prom Committee

Pueblo High School’s “Happily Ever After” themed prom is bringing students back to the routine of having proms again! This year, the Prom Committee has a real treat for Warriors.

The prom will be held on Friday, April 29, from 7-11 p.m., and the event will be located at the Ambassador Event Center. Tickets are now $60 but will increase to $70 in April as the prom date nears.

Student Council students will be hosting and prepping for the prom, and sponsor Mr. Gregory Obregon is very enthused about this event.

“We’re going to try to be as ‘normal’ as possible this year,” he said. As for students’ safety, he added that there will be enough security to make everybody feel comfortable.

Obregon also asks anyone who attends the prom to wear a mask as a safety precaution.

“Based on how things [COVID-19 cases] are right now, we’re going to ask people to wear masks,” said Obregon, “so make sure those dresses and tuxedos match with those masks!”

The venue will be providing drinks and pastries for students—free to everyone who purchased a prom ticket.

Prom Committee president, Yazbel Robles, encourages people to eat before prom.

Robles and a team of about a dozen have been planning the prom since the beginning of the school year. She encourages students to go to prom because it’s an opportunity that students shouldn’t miss.

“We’ve been in a pandemic for so long and most of us haven’t experienced a traditional prom,” said Robles. “We really want to bring this experience back into our school year and make it an event that we all look forward to before graduating.”

Obregon anticipates a larger than usual prom because students haven’t experienced a “real prom” in the last three years due to the pandemic.

“For everyone who is here right now, especially seniors, Pueblo was not able to offer them a ‘real’ prom last year, and there wasn’t a prom at all in 2020.” He paused and added, “Let’s all get back to being almost normal this year—at least, as close to normal since 2019!”

“I’m excited to go to prom because it’s going to be a new experience for me,” said senior Evelyn Parra Rodriguez

She added that she hopes that all the seniors attend prom because it is a time when students will have an opportunity to feel grown-up, get dressed up, have fun, and make life-long memories.

Another student, junior Lucia Pineda, said, “I’m excited to go to prom because I really look forward to dressing up and looking as pretty as possible.”

Junior Sadie Avalos added, “I’m excited to go to prom because it’s our first year back [to prom] since COVID-19 happened, and it’s going to be an unforgettable memory from our high school years.”

“It’s going to be fun and a great time,” confirmed Obregon. “It [prom] is something that that you will always remember and will be one of the highlights of your high school experience.”

Eighty Percent Of Indigenous Women Experience Violence

By Victoria Cazares

Women’s abuse is well-known and documented throughout history. However, until recently, many have ignored the fact that indigenous (Native American) women live their lives at an elevated risk of being murdered and/or facing violence.

Currently, four out of five Native women are plagued by violence, increasing the murder rate 10 times higher than the national average.

“Homicide is the fifth leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native American,” said the CDC.

Indigenous women have historically gone missing, while the government seems to ignore these appalling statistics—and have done very little to address this crisis.

“This issue has grown into a crisis, known as ‘The Epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women,” said NPR news.

Tribal communities are getting together and creating social media accounts called #MMIW Movement, to inform and educate people what is going on and to try and get the government to do something about these murders and cases of violence.

“#MMIW tweets produced some awareness,” said Carolyn Smith Morris. “The movement is finally drawing much needed attention from the law enforcement.”

This year during Indigenous Day, social media posts relating the (MMIW) movement disappeared. Instagram was deleting their posts, which made people really upset because they were just trying to raise awareness of that issue.

“It’s very suspicious that it was only missing and murdered indigenous women day posts,” said Henderson.” On the day when we are doing the most grieving and the most processing, and this is an incredibly heavy experience for the community.”

A 2017 study by the Urban Indian Health Institute found that Arizona had the third highest number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the nation. (Thirty-one of those cases happened in Pima County!)

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey decided to join tribal leaders, families, and elected officials to sign the H.B. 2570, Legislation establishing a 21-member committee.

“Today, Arizona says, ‘No More,’” said Ducey. “So many families have been subjected to the grief and pain of losing a loved one who was killed or sadly vanished.”

In 2019, President Trump untilled an executive order to open cases and focus on unsolved crimes involving Indigenous victims, said NPR.

An Indigenous woman Kaysera Stops Pretty, was murdered and found dead in August 2019.

Six law enforcement agencies and the FBI devoted resources to finding her. She was even mentioned on a couple news sources.

“Her case was mentioned 398 times on Fox, 346 times on CNN, and 100 times on MSNBC,” said the Washington post. “This happened in a seven-day period.”

While these cases are getting more media attention, prosecuting the perpetrators of these heinous has barely budged.

Clearly, this issue needs local, state and national attention—as well as action. Abuse of Native Americans (including men) in this country is not only an embarrassment to the United States but an atrocity that needs the support of government and law enforcement at multiple levels.

In Loving Memory Of “Nana”

By Marla Terminel

Pueblo music teacher Mr. Jesus Jacquez (left), 2020 alum and former drum major Alex Leyva (middle) and Ms. Brenda Toltin (aka “Nana”) (right).

A life lived so beautifully, generously, and kindly should be remembered as such…

It is in deepest sorrow to announce the death of the beloved band volunteer, Ms. Brenda Toltin, better known by band students as “Nana”.

Nana passed away at the hospital the morning of New Year’s Day after several weeks of battling infections in multiple systems in her body. She was hospitalized the Wednesday before her death when her body did not respond well to treatment.

“Nana was the whole band,” said Pueblo High School music teacher and band director, Mr. Jesus Jacquez. “She [Nana] has spent countless days and so much of her time with the band.”

He added that Nana consistently spent full school days in the band room and was still present for after school practices and sports games.

Nana volunteered with the band, unpaid, for more than 30 years, longer than any high school band director has ever taught in Tucson.

Color Guard junior Natalie Trujillo said, “I will never forget a time after Nana took some time off class. She greeted me in the band room with the biggest smile ever. She always asked me how I was doing and always told me how amazingly the whole [Color] Guard was doing.”

As much as Nana was a volunteer, she has been a friend to the hundreds of music students who she has worked with.

“I was broken up with once, so I sat next to her and let everything out to her as she listened to and comforted me,” said freshman band member Victoria Borquez. “She was such a sweet and amazing soul, and I will never forget the times that we shared together.”

Sophomore band member Gage Tellez said, “At our first marching competition at Sabino [High School], Nana sat next to me and noticed how stressed I was. She comforted me with her stories about the past. She never accepted ‘no’ for an answer whenever she offered me food or a ride home.”

Despite the untimely bereavement to all current music students at Pueblo, the band will continue to function with a few changes to honor her memory.

Jacquez said that the entire end-of-the-year concert will be dedicated to Nana, featuring some of her favorite music played by the band and choir performances inspired by her favorite TV show, Glee. Two of her favorite songs, “Ex’s and Oh’s” by Elle King and “Happy Together” by The Turtles will now permanently be “stand” tunes to be played at every pep event and sport game. The uniform room will also be named with a plaque in her memory.

“It’s okay to be sad,” said Jacquez. “This was a shock to everyone including myself. Everyone will react to this differently, but we will always be here for each other through this.”

‘Grief & Loss’ Group To Continue In Spring Semester

By Joshua Urbalejo

Mr. Juan Mejia & Mr. Efrain Carrillo

For the past 15 years, social worker Mr. Efrain Carrillo has been helping students with traumatic and emotional issues, and for the fifth year, a “Grief and Loss” group has been helping students cope with overwhelming feelings due to challenging issues.

“Round 2” of the Grief and Loss group will continue into the spring 2022 semester, Carrillo said.

“I look forward to continuing to help students with a whole spectrum of problems,” he said.

Carrillo has a little “help” this school year, as he is working with Mr. Juan Mejia, whose internship will be completed in May—allowing Mejia to earn his master’s degree from Arizona State University (Tucson campus).

“This [Grief and Loss] group is a safe place for people to share their stories and not be judged,” Mejia said.

Mejia added that he hopes to stay in Tucson—maybe even at Pueblo—after earning his degree.

“The Grief and Loss group allows students to express their feelings,” Carrillo said. “I am always there for them—to listen to them, to comfort them and most of all, support them through difficult times.”

Carrillo created this group, feeling the need to fulfill students’ emotional needs.

“What students tell me is very confidential,” Carrillo said, “although I always have to take additional steps when students are suicidal or if abuse is expressed or suspected.”

He wants all Warrior students to remember the Loss and Grief motto: “Comfort, Hope, and Purpose.”

“I want to help students with their sadness and to listen and validate their feeling before they turn into depression,” Carrillo said. “My office is always open, but the group meets regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 199.”

Carrillo said that he counsels students in several other groups that meet on campus, including Boys to Men”, LGBTQ students, a girls’ group and “Si Se Puede”.

El Guerrero is committed to featuring these stories this spring.

Library To Get New ‘Cover’

By Eve Woods & Kevin Salazar

Library Practice students help with the packing & storage of books.

After 20 years from its last major makeover, Pueblo’s Cajero Library is at last undergoing new significant renovations coming to the Warrior community in early 2022.

Ms. Marsh-Jean Burrola, Pueblo’s librarian, shares her enthusiasm.

“I can’t wait to feel how clean the [renovated] library is going to feel!” she said.

Stained, dirty carpet throughout the library will be removed, replaced with tile in most areas. All of the old furniture—several dozen tables and countless bookshelves—has already been removed, donated mostly to teachers. A lot of new equipment is going to be added to this renovation project.

“There were times when it breathing felt icky in the library,” Burrola said. “Sometimes it was very uncomfortable to be in there.”

“I’ve been here for four years, and I’ve seen the same old carpet every day,” she added.

According to Burrola, these new renovations will be costly but a worthy investment for our current and future students.

“The library is the core of most schools,” Burrola said, “and that’s especially true of Pueblo’s library. I anticipate that more teachers and students will be utilizing its resources once the project is completed hopefully during the third quarter.”

Burrola said that her students have helped her nearly since the beginning of the school year to temporarily move books to other locations.

“Moving tons of books was grueling, and I’m grateful for the help that I received,” she said.”

One of Burrola’s students, junior Samuel Gonzalez, said, “Helping Ms. B [Burrola] was a pleasure. She always told me and the other students how lucky she was to have us to assist her.”

Gonzalez added, “At times, it seemed that we’d never finish packing all those books, but slowly but surely, we had it all cleared out, ready for the major renovations. Finding boxes was challenging, but through a lot of teachers’ donations, we got thousands of books out of there.”

Burrola would like to thank Principal Frank Rosthenhausler for supporting her vision of a much needed and modern library.

She would like to especially thank Assistant Principal David Montano for being instrumental in finding “homes” for the old furniture for teachers’ classrooms.

Pueblo Band Marches To State Championships 2021

By Dayanara Gonzalez & Isaiah Sotelo

Pueblo’s band performing at the University of Arizona on ‘Band Day’. This was the State qualifying competition that the band earned a Top Five spot to qualify.

Pueblo’s nearly all-new marching band has not only made music for our Pueblo community during sports games and other events. Their enthusiasm has been palpable, and students have been very passionate about trying their best.

Their passion and dedication, uniformed cadence propelled this marching band to attend State competitions on Nov. 13 at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix.

Out of nearly 200 bands in competition, Pueblo placed 35th.

However, despite students’ triumph this school year, the season began a bit awkwardly—due primarily to students’ inexperience. However, that was just temporary. Many of the beginners learned quickly—as they strived to be their best not only for themselves but for the entire team.

“It [the marching band] had so much to learn at the beginning of this season that I considered cutting the season,” said Mr. Jesus Jacquez, the band director.

He added that even though it wasn’t easy for them, marching band members gave it their all by practicing not only when they had to but in their spare time as they were motivated to become better musicians.

Jacquez is proudest of his students for their growth and for their motivation. For three years, he has been taking his students to State, and this is the best placement his students have performed.

Junior alto saxophone player Charles Foster said, “I practiced in my spare time because it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m not only improving but also helping out the entire band. Making music is one of my favorite things to do.”

Students remained motivated primarily because of Jacquez’s frequent pep-talks, and this support and unyielding encouragement inspired his students.

“Every year I try [to motivate students to do their best],” said Mr. Jacquez. “We all work really hard, and if students want to be pushed, I will push with them.”

Jacquez, who also teaches AP music theory, orchestra, and choir, really enjoys working with his students and wants to help kids grow and reach new heights.

“Nobody knows exactly when students in the band got so good, but they were all excited about making it to the State championship,” he added. “Obviously, we were good enough to qualify for State.”

Senior tuba player/low brass section leader Raul Velazquez said, “We are breathed a sigh of relief to know that all of our hard work and determination was recognized—as we advanced to the State championship.”

Many of the teammates were nervous but also excited and ready to show the world what they could do at State competitions.

“I’m extremely happy we went to State, although it was nerve-racking,” said junior Joey Rodriguez, tenor saxophonist.

Color guard senior Marla Terminel, said, “We [Pueblo’s band] made history this year! It’s crazy-good to be a part of this success and recognition.”