Two Class Of 2019 Seniors Receive Dorrance Scholarship

By Jacquelyn Gutierrez

Hector Gamez & Yazmin Almazan

Two very talented and deserving Class of 2019 seniors found out on April 27 that they were the recipients of the prestigious Dorrance Scholarship.

Yazmín Almazán and Héctor Gámez were chosen among hundreds of applications. Only 12 students are selected per in-state university (the University of Arizona; Arizona State University; and Northern Arizona University).

Almazán said, “I had my interview on a Friday; the very next day, I was notified. I was very excited to learn this because there was a lot of competition—unfortunately even from some of my close friends at Pueblo. For a few years, no students from Pueblo were awarded the Dorrance scholarship, and to be one of two students from Pueblo to receive the award this year makes this reception even more exciting.”

Gámez said, “I found out that I received the Dorrance scholarship while I was doing yardwork with my father. I was so excited that I screamed, and I scared my mother.”

Both students plan to attend the University of Arizona following graduation.

Almazán will be studying molecular and cellular biology, and she plans to pursue a minor physiology.

“I’ve been extremely interested in this field for several years due to my experience in biotechnology with Dr. Andrew Lettes in my sophomore year,” Almazán said. “I also want to credit Mr. Bill Richards, my honors biology teacher during my freshman year. He persuaded me to enroll in Dr. Lettes’ class, and I’m so glad that I did because of all of the new knowledge that I would be introduced to—as well as all of the opportunities Dr. Lettes encouraged me to take advantage of.”

Over the past few years, Almazán has fervidly been involved with summer workshops and internships at the University of Arizona regarding biomedical research.

“This collegiate experience really inspired to further my aspirations into research and medicine,” Almazán said.

As for Gamez… This is his second year at Pueblo. Prior to that, he lived in Sonora, Mexico, and knew very little English prior to coming to Tucson. This year, as a senior, he is enrolled in four advanced placement classes, included AP English. Following graduation, Gamez plans to pursue a career in neuroscience—specifically to become an orthopedic surgeon.

“A lot of family members have bad backs, and I think this inspired to pursue orthopedics—because I might be able to help them,” Gamez said.

“I knew nobody when I came to Pueblo, and there was already the language barrier to overcome,” Gamez said. “Receiving this scholarship is an affirmation of all of the hard work it took to acclimate to Pueblo and to life in the United States.”

Both Almazan and Gamez are eligible to participate in the Dorrance Study Abroad Program, which lasts for one semester—an experience that introduces students to different cultures, both in theory (academically) and in practice (the study abroad experience itself)—which contributes to global citizenship.

Art Students Awarded Scholarships

The Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild’s Annual Art Scholarship Competition awards scholarships to high school seniors who:
1) will attend college in the fall of 2019, and
2) plan to pursue a career in art, art education, or an art related-field.

Pueblo students submitted artworks and were judged on the following criteria: sense of design, composition, and technical skill, originality, handling of materials, presentation and visual expression/impact.

Congratulation to Class of 2019 Seniors Alejandra Flores & Rohan Ather for winning $500 Merit Scholarships! Here they are posing next to their winning art piece.

Alejandra Flores
Rohan Ather

Mr. Frank Rosthenhausler Named Principal

It’s official, Mr. Frank Rosthenhausler will lose the interim title and will be our new Principal effective July 1. The TUSD Governing Board made the announcement during their meeting held on April 9, 2019.

Mr. Rosthenhausler(fifth from the left) with TUSD Governing Board & other appointees

Mr. Rosthenhausler met with Pueblo’s faculty & staff on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, to express his gratitude for all the support during this school year. He was very appreciative of his administration team composed of David Montaño, Kathryn Gunnels & Steve Lopez.

Mr. Rosthenhausler shares his vision for Pueblo for next school year & beyond.

He finished the special meeting by sharing some of his vision for next school year & beyond. Congratulations Mr. R!

Winter Break 2018-2019

by Alina Cuen and Evan Maharry

Winter break is a long awaited time off from school as well as a time when holidays are celebrated and memories with family to be forged. Our Warriors just returned from their two-week vacation, embracing the cool weather and even experiencing snow for the first time in eight years. Already, the Pueblo community has made lasting warm memories of the break.

The ushering in of the new year has allowed many students and staff members to reflect on times recently passed.

Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, assistant principal, who took this time to visit her mothers and sisters.

“In St. Louis, the weather wasn’t as bad there as I had thought it would be,” Gunnels said. “But we got stuck in a blizzard in Albuquerque. So husband and I talked in the car and read books while the freeway was closed.”

Gunnels was not the only one who had a dramatic or bizarre story to tell. Junior Arsenio Castillo traveled to San Antonio, Texas, where he visited his sister.

“A tornado was a couple miles away and almost hit us,” Castillo said. “This tornado was a big shock, but I’m glad that we were okay. Being obliterated by a tornado would have ruined Christmas.”

Our Warriors gathered lots of memories on Christmas morning. Gifts ranged from the small, like the slippers that junior Carmen Membrila received…or the large, such as sophomore Karolina Bracamonte’s new phone.

Carmen Membrila & Mia Carpenter

Membrila had received a grand gift that she will not ever forget; she was given the opportunity to go to London to walk in the New Year’s parade from her recognition in a Cheer camp. She and another junior student, Mia Carpenter, who was also recognized for her talents at a Cheer camp, traveled together and enjoyed the cultural differences.

She said, “The whole week that I was in London was so much fun! Those days were such a new experience for me and really opened my eyes to travel more. Truly, I’ll never forget the amazing experience I had.”

Now that we’ve been in the new semester for a few weeks, many of us are looking forward to spring break and the memories that we Warriors will find there.

Road Warriors Find Their Finish Lines

by Ilyasah Molina, beginning journalism

Road Warriors
Road Warriors at the finish line.

For the 17th year, Pueblo’s Road Warriors participated in the world-renowned El Tour de Tucson, which was held on Saturday, Nov. 17; three students and three faculty members were among the more than 9,000 riders.

Seniors Andrew Romero and Jose Antonio Pesellin and junior Leo Parra, along with faculty members Mr. Ernesto Somoza (sponsor), Ms.Marie Little and Ms. Tina Bruce, all made it to their finish lines.

In the past, Somoza has bicycled from Oceanside, CA to San Diego, about 50 miles. He’s also cycled from the U.S.-Mexico border to Ensenada, Baja California.

Two Pueblo students, Pesellin and Parra, finished the 100-mile race, as did teacher Somoza and his sister, Melissa; Somoza’s father, ­­­­­Xavier Somoza, also participated.

“Practicing was easy,” Pesellin said, “but riding 100 miles was a bit challenging. After the race, I had to see an on-site medic because of the pain in my leg muscles.”

Parra said, “The race was tiring. It was tough, but it was really important to me to reach the finish line.” He added that he raced on his Scatante bike and completed the race in eight hours. Parra plans to beat his time next year as a returning member of Road Warriors.

Teacher Somoza completed the full 100-mile course—mostly to ensure that students would be safe and that they would finish the complete race.

Somoza has participated in many races in the past several years, including 50-miles rides in California.

Another teacher, yearbook and exceptional education teacher Little, participated in the event for the first time, finishing her 25-mile course.

“I will definitely be doing this [El Tour de Tucson] next year,” Little said, “and I will be challenging three of my family members to join me.”

Gabrielle Giffords with Andrew Romero
 Andrew Romero with Gabrielle Giffords.

El Tour de Tucson began in 1983 with just a few dozen riders. In the past several years, as many as 10,000 riders have participated in this event, held each year on the third Saturday in November. This year, a record number of riders dominated the streets of Tucson (an estimated 11,000) in different distance races.

“It’s not necessarily about finishing first, and El Tour de Tucson is not necessarily a race,” Little said. “Being part of the Road Warriors is about having fun. All of the training that prepares us for El Tour really is effective. We hope to get even more students and faculty members involved next year.”

Sponsor Ernesto Somoza also adamantly encourages students to join the Road Warriors Club if they are looking for something to do after school that’s a little bit different than just joining a sports team.

“Road Warrior members have the opportunity to meet other bicyclists in the community. Tucson is truly a bicycle-loving and bicycle-friendly city,” Somoza said.

He added that earlier this month, the club had a new member drive that added nine new cyclists who did not participate earlier this semester. These students will continue to participate in monthly rides until the end of the school year. Rides, which will last about five miles, will beheld on the first Thursday of each month from 3:45 until 5:30 p.m. No prior experience is required, Somoza said.

Somoza said that bicycling has been very therapeutic and allows his mind to rest, and he would like others to discover the mental and physical benefits of bicycling. “If I’m really stressed out, I just go hiking or biking,” he said. “This helps me take my mind off of the chaos in this world.”

Tardiness Problem At Pueblo

by Ramon Lopez

Tardy Line at Pueblo High School
Tardy line in front of administration building.

Tardiness has historically been a big problem in our school, but we are improving on this situation despite long tardy lines. During the first week in December, there were 1,014 tardies reported in the attendance office. The next week, the number of tardies plummeted to 769 tardies, and more than 90% of these tardies were during the first period.

Pueblo’s faculty has addressed this problem and working hard to help decrease students’ tardies. As of mid-December, Behavior Interventionists have completed 258 interventions, 236 student conferences, 20 parent conferences, and two lunch restorations.

Ms. Angelica Aros, one of Pueblo’s attendance clerks said, “Yes, I believe Pueblo can make a change. These lines are not the solution. Students need to value their time at school more.”

Mr. Steve Lopez, assistance principal, affirmed that after students are tardy six times, parents will be called. If tardies persist, Lopez added that home they will be required to attend “Saturday School”.

Bryan Ramirez, a junior, said “I’ve had to go to lunch detention and it truly does help me get back on my feet and realize what am doing is wrong.”

Tardiness begins in the morning right after the first bell, at 8 a.m. 1st Period, and within 15 minutes, the tardy line serpentines from the attendance office to the outside—consisting sometimes as many as a hundred students. Some students express their frustration because they were just seconds late—and still not allowed in class.  By the time they receive their tardy slip and go to class, students will have missed half—or more—of their class.

“The whole tardy policy is just a mess,” said student Ramirez.  “Administration needs to come up with a more effective way to deal with students’ tardies. Being in long lines is not a solution—it’s just a band-aid to a big problem.  I believe that students and teachers should come up with more innovative ways to deal with our tardies. I suppose that students themselves need to fix the tardy problem by just showing up to school on time.”

Administration said that they will continue to make improvements in the tardy policy.  “So far, the tardiness problem has improved,” said Assistant Principal Steve Lopez. “We could always do better, however, and we’ll continue to make improvements as the discussion continues.”