Seniors Urged To Sign Up For Class Trip

by Gabriela Varela

Time is quickly evaporating for seniors to sign up for the upcoming senior Class of 2018 trip to southern California on May 30 through June 2. Senior class sponsor Mr. Greg Obregon wants seniors to know that there is still time for seniors to commit to this “memorable” experience.

Obregon said that seniors need to make a minimum of $140 deposit “as soon as possible”; seniors can pay as much as they can until they have given the total amount of $499—even as late as the day of the trip, although they need to have approval with Obregon near the end deadline.

Seniors will be going to Knots Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Disneyland and Magic Mountain (Six Flags, California). One day will be designated for seniors to dip their feet into the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles.

“I really think that seniors will have a great time in California before they venture out in the ‘real world,’ Mr. Obregon said, “and to have a relaxing time before they start their futures.”

One senior, Lydia Angulo, said, “It’s going to be an exciting moment for us, and I really look forward to not being under T.U.S.D. restrictions.”

Obregon said that he will chaperone the senior trip—and will have additional supervision of students from the security company.

At this point, Obregon said he is hoping for a minimum of 50 seniors to attend, although he expects more than 50. If more than 50 students participate, then an additional bus will be used.

Another senior, Carlos Chavez, “I’m looking forward to sharing memories with a lot of great friends in the Class of 2018 and capturing wonderful and memorable moments that will last a lifetime.”

Roman Estrella, who is also planning on attending this trip, said, “I plan to have a really good time on this trip—going to some theme parks with friends and just having a blast!”

Ms. Sarah Barnes Begins New Life In Tucson In 21st Century

By Ernesto Estopellan

On the first day of the 21st Century (Jan. 1, 2001), Ms. Sarah Barnes, one of the most visibly new employees at Pueblo High School this school year, arrived in Tucson from the East Coast, serving as a multi-tiered systems facilitator to help teachers learn new strategies to help increase our students’ test scores—as well as boost the overall morale at Pueblo.

Late last semester, Barnes was the primary speaker for our entire student population during a cohort meeting, stressing responsible cell phone behavior and other important social media advice.

“I want to get to know everybody at Pueblo,” Barnes said. “I want to know our students, the teachers, work with administrators and I want people to ask questions because I have a lot of questions to ask. In the short time that I’ve been here, I can tell that this school has a heart and soul.”

Barnes was born in Delaware in 1977, and while visiting Tucson, she fell in love with the weather, so she transferred from the University of Delaware to the University of Arizona.

“Moving here [to Tucson] was like getting out of jail,” Barnes said. “It was liberating to get out of Delaware for many personal reasons.”

She explained that education was not her first choice for a career. In fact, Barnes said that she studied criminology and even considered joining the police academy.

“Somehow my focus changed to education when I met somebody who suggested that I become a teacher,” Barnes said. “That somebody was our assistant principal Frank Rosthenhausler.”

She taught math for more than a dozen years before becoming interested in becoming a multi-tiered systems facilitator.

“I want to be a positive influence at Pueblo,” Barnes said. “I’m here for just about everybody—especially our students. But, I want teachers to know, too, that I wholeheartedly support them in every way possible.”

Barnes helps recognize students’—and teachers’!—perfect attendance this school year, printing achievement certificates for them.

“Everybody is a star at Pueblo,” she said.

Ms. Rachel Apalategui ‘Checks In’ With Attendance Office

By Esperanza Landeros

After the sudden retirement of registrar Ms. Marina Ordoñez last summer, a new Warrior comes to the rescue to fill that position: Ms. Rachel Apalategui—who actually knew Ordoñez for many years prior to coming to Pueblo.

Apalategui is no stranger to Tucson Unified School District. She has worked at multiple schools, including Grijalva Elementary School, Pistor Middle School, Tucson High Magnet School and now at Pueblo.

“So far, I really do enjoy being here,” Apalategui said. “Pueblo people are very sweet, and our students are very, very kind.”

Coming to Pueblo has been somewhat of a bittersweet transition, Apalategui admitted. She spent 14 years at Tucson High, which she said kept her “grounded”.

“To be honest, I was really homesick [for Tucson High] in my first few weeks of being at Pueblo,” Apalategui said. “However, I have no regrets at all at this time, but coming here was a really huge change. I was used to more than 3,200 students compared to half of that number at Pueblo.” She paused and said, “I do love the smaller numbers.”

To be a high school registrar requires a great deal of communication and diplomacy, Apalategui explained. For example, this spring, she has to ensure that seniors have sufficient credits to graduate, and that can be very frustrating. She added that she has to have a frequent dialogue with counselors to make sure every senior is on track to graduate—and how to help every senior graduate in May.

“My advice to students—and especially to seniors this semester—is to make an appointment with their counselors to make a plan to best suit their chances of graduating on time,” she said. “Nothing is more tragic than seniors waiting until the last few weeks before graduation only to realize that they are missing one credit or even one-half credit—and not graduating until summer.”

Although her office walls are a bit bare, they won’t be for long, Apalategui insisted.

“Pueblo is home now,” she said.

…And Assistant Principal Gunnels Makes Four

by Adamaris Castillo

New this school year to the administrative family at Pueblo High School is former English teacher Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, who officially begins as assistant principal with a long list of responsibilities, including the planning of meetings for teachers (Professional Learning Communities), supervising advanced learning opportunities, finalizing the master schedule and organizing student-testing events.

She also communicates to staff via a weekly update on teachers’ computer work stations.

“This is the hardest job I’ve ever had,” Gunnels said, “but I also love it—not only to help students but also to support Pueblo’s great teaching staff.”

Gunnels, who taught English for 10 years at Pueblo (in two separate time periods), actually fulfilled her student-teaching assignment under the supervision of Mr. Manny Galvan, who retired a few years ago (but occasionally substitute-teaches) and Ms. Marci Bowman, who also retired from teaching.

“I knew then [while student-teaching] that Pueblo was a special place,” Gunnels said. “I may have left Pueblo for a few years [to pursue other positions], but I’m definitely back, and it feels like a second home.”

She revealed that education was not her first career choice. Gunnels said that she majored in business, but after mentoring at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, she was inspired to become an educator.

And, as far as being the fourth employee with the surname “Gunnels” to be employed at Pueblo High School, Assistant Principal Gunnels said, “We have a rule at our house at the dinner table. My husband, two sons and I are not allowed to talk about school.”

Husband Mr. Michael Gunnels is a communications media tech teacher; son Jeren is a transition school-to-work instructional specialist; and other son, Derek, is an exceptional education teacher.

“I’m here [as an assistant principal] especially for our students,” Gunnels said. “I want students to know that when they make mistakes or face monumental obstacles, it’s not the end of the world. I want to help them realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I want to help them find solutions to their problems.”

She added, “I want our students at Pueblo to know that they can do anything with their lives—they have the potential to achieve greatness.”

Yearbook Asks For Warriors’ Participation

  

By Brianna Ozuna and Kyra Ycedo

This year’s El Dorado (yearbook) staff has put together a series of questions for students to complete to be included in the 2018 yearbook.

The surveys are currently online at http://goo.gl/tKem7w and will remain until at least the end of February. The sooner these surveys are completed, the better.

“There are teacher surveys, sports surveys and celebrity surveys-among others,” said Ms. Marie Little, Pueblo’s yearbook teacher and advisor. “We are gathering information for our theme, which is ‘Inspiration’.”

Yearbook editor senior Cerena Castro said, “We really want Pueblo students to take these surveys because the more we have, the more accurate our polls will be in the yearbook. These polls will definitely make our yearbook truly Warrior-oriented.”

Another senior Summer Romero, said, “Ms. Little truly has made this class a lot of fun, yet it’s still a professional environment. The class is really trying to make the theme of the yearbook, ‘Inspiration’, a reality and to convey that thee throughout the entire annual.”

Students must pay a deposit of $60 by Friday, Feb. 2, Little said, if they want to reserve a 2018 yearbook.

After Feb. 2, if students have not reserved their yearbook, there will be no guarantee that students will be able to acquire a yearbook this year.

Hiking Club: Mount Everest Is The Limit!

  

By Ashley Cordova & Elizabeth Noriega

Pueblo Hiking Club at Organ Pipe National Monument

Pueblo’s Hiking Club, sponsored by Mr. Ernesto Somoza, is off and running to new heights this year, as a record number of Warriors have joined—a total of approximately 50!—including about 10 adults, which include several teachers.

Last school year, 13 Hiking Club students participated in a Grand Canyon experience during spring break, which may have contributed to the high number of students joining this year, Somoza said. The trip was “very successful” and seemed to be an impetus for students wanting to join this school year.

Somoza plans to repeat this trip during spring break this March—due in part to the success of the club’s tax credit drive which raised more than $1,250. He added that he would love to take students to out-of-state hikes, including Yosemite in Central California and Arches National Park in Southern Utah—among other places. The more tax credit donations that the club receives, the more trips the club can partake in during the school year.

He added that only 10 students are able to participate in the Grand Canyon trip, and this participation is based on students’ generous tax dollars they donate to the club as well as their activeness in the club throughout the school year.

Mr. Ernesto Somoza (Left) with his sister Melissa Somoza at Humphrey’s Peak, the highest natural point in Arizona at 12,633 feet!

“The club has an excellent variety of students this year,” Somoza said. “They come with a variety of skill levels and with an enthusiasm to spend time in the outdoors.”Meetings take place in Mr. Somoza’s classroom (T-12) after school on the first Tuesday of each month. Club President Anette Durazo ensures that the club stay organized and helps approve hiking trips.

Durazo said, “Being in the Hiking Club has truly helped me become more outgoing. I love Arizona more than I did being. Going to Sedona last April really opened my eyes about seeing this great state. I love being outdoors a lot more now and appreciating nature.”

She added that the club’s next trip is scheduled for Feb. 10 to Colossal Caves, just east of Tucson.

“Even though I’m a native Tucsonan, I’ve never been to Colossal Caves,” Durazo said. “In fact, I’ve never been inside a real cave and looking forward to it.”

Senior Thai Kromrei, who has been a member of the Hiking Club for two years, said, “I’ve gotten to experience seeing Arizona. It’s such a beautiful and geographically diverse state. I want to see it all now, and thanks to Mr. Somoza, we are seeing a great chunk of it.”

The club was founded in ­­­­the fall of 2015, Somoza’s first full school year.

The inception of the Hiking Club was the result of a conversation that Somoza had with (then) Assistant Principal Alma Carmona while attending a conference in Colorado. Somoza was talking to her about how he wanted to become more involved outside of the classroom. As a result of his over-zealous spirit, Carmona encouraged Somoza to become a Class of 2019 sponsor as well as the advisor of the newly-found Hiking Club.

“I hiked a lot during my college years, and I wanted students to experience what I enjoyed so much,” Somoza said.

He added that besides the Grand Canyon trip, Hiking Club members can expect other adventurous moments this semester—including the trip to Sedona and other small trips around the Tucson area.

“After I graduate, I plan to stay involved with the Hiking Club,” Durazo said. “Perhaps I could be a chaperone for high school students’ trips—to give me a chance to see more of Arizona and help promote a very worthy club.”