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.”
The 2,000 or so students, faculty, staff and administrators in the Pueblo High School community have historically been very expressive regarding their gratitude in light of Thanksgiving. Here are just a few of those voices:
Andrew Romero, senior: “I am thankful for my family,and worldly possessions. However, more than anything I am grateful to be living…and for my girlfriend.”
Austin Davis, sophomore: “I am thankful for my Subway sandwiches and my friend, Sabino.”
Brian Alegria, sophomore: “I am really thankful for thrash metal music and my mother.”
Anahiz Lopez, sophomore: “I love my older twin sister, Analia. She defends me, and although she can sometimes be a little mean, I still love her.”
Eduwiges (Vicky) Cordova, senior: “I am thankful for my education, family, and friends also the roof over my head.”
Mariel Ponce, sophomore:
“Everything that’s been given my way.”
Genesis Alba, junior:“I’m grateful for that God blessed me with privileges like my education, my family, and the love they shower me in—and being able to eat.”
Mr. Frank Rosthenhausler,
Principal: “I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead this great school.”
Jesus Soto, junior: “I’m thankful for all the strength and blessings God has given me.”
Ruben Rivera IV, senior: “I’m thankful for Coach Sanders for teaching everything I’ve learned these past four years. I’m thankful for my team for being some real dawgs and never backing down.”
Andres Jorge Lujan, senior: “I’m thankful to have both of my parents living under the same roof.”
Ms. Katherine Gunnels, Assistant Principal: “I am thankful that I have a lot of good cooks in my family,and that my husband is the most amazing man ever.”
Sabino Raygoza: “I am thankful for my friends and family and my red Air Max’s.”
Nicole Del Toro, junior: “I am thankful for my parents and the people that genuinely care about me.”
Isaac Guerrero, junior: “I am thankful for my family,for my earphones, and ice cream, too.”
Darian Aldaco, sophomore: “I am thankful for having a roof over my head and a place to sleep.”
Mr. Steve Lopez, assistant principal: “I am thankful to be back home, Pueblo is home to me.”
Antonio Rodriguez, senior: “I am thankful for friends and family.”
Ms. Amaro, chemistry teacher: “Thankful for wonderful students at Pueblo and in the Chemistry Club.”
Andres Apodaca, senior: “I am thankful for my mom because that’s why I’m here today.”
Ryana Talavera, senior: “I’m very thankful for my two friends, Candy and Michael, because they have helped me through a lot and have always been there for me.”
Ms. Elizabeth Raizk, science teacher: “I’m most thankful for the students here at Pueblo. They’re kind, perspective, and they keep me going.”
Zahira Barcelo, sophomore: “I’m just thankful for what I have.”
Angelica Aros, attendance secretary: “I am thankful for my family because I love them; they are my everything.”
Ms. Teresa Toro, counselor: “Very thankful for my health, family, and my extended family at Pueblo.”
Susie Esquivel, senior: “I am thankful for my brother because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have pursued my interest as a musician. He’s inspired me for everything I do in my life, and he’s my best friend.”
Aaron Cano, junior: “I am thankful for everything my parents have done for me and everything that my girlfriend does for me.”
Carlos Molina, junior: “I’m thankful for my family and friends and how supportive they have been for me in baseball and life.”
Mia Carpenter, junior: “I’m thankful for my eyelashes because they don’t need mascara.”
Mark Anthony, junior: “I’m very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given.”
Ms. Kate Straub, nurse: “I am thankful for my health, my job here at Pueblo and also my family…I feel like I pretty much have everything I need in this world.”
Bryan Ramierz, junior: “I’m thankful for my mother because she cares for me, and she motivates me to always work hard.”
Jose Montoya, sophomore: “First of all, I’m thankful for my family because they love me, and they’re always there for me.”
Adam Pelayo, junior: “I’m thankful for the great life that I have and I’m also thankful for my parents because they work so hard.”
Ms. Goya Ruiz, campus monitor: “I’m thankful for my kids, my family, and good health.”
Adrian Cervantes, junior: “I’m thankful for everything—but specially my mom, my clothes, the rest of my immediate family, and of course my grandma.”
Paula Fierros, senior: “I’m thankful for everyone who has made my senior year pleasant and memorable so far, especially Mr. Medhi who elected me editor-in-chief this year. He’s the best.”
Ms. Marie Little, yearbook/exceptional ed teacher: “I am thankful for my health, my son[s] and my family.”
Martin Martinez, senior: “I’m thankful that my baseball career has become as success. I’ve been offered several baseball scholarships, including one from Minnesota.”
Mr. Ernesto Somoza, graphic design teacher: “I am strongly thankful for my five four-legged, furry friends as well as my friends and family-and, at last, for my ever-growing friends and family at Pueblo.”
Even though the solar panels project in the parking lot was supposed to be completed before the beginning of this school year, this construction project did not begin until July 16, making the beginning of the school year a bit chaotic for many employees and students looking for parking spaces.
More than three months later, the project is nearing completion. Final work continues,and an expected date of completion is estimated to be near the end of the semester.
Mr. Mark Farcis, a foreman for the Future Vervan Energy corporation, said, “We are nearing the end of our stay here,” he said. “All that is left is to connect all of the panels to one power source.”
of this project will ease parking nightmares for faculty, staff and students.
“Traffic in and out of Pueblo has been horrid,” said Assistant Principal Mr. David Montaño, “but we’ve done the best we could do under these circumstances. We hope that everybody can be a little patient because in the end, we’re going to have a beautiful new parking lot that will be environmentally impactful.”
Due to a reduced number of spaces in our usual parking lot due to the installation of the panels, many teachers have had to park in the several new areas that have been designated temporary parking locations.
In the end, the solar panels will be improving the environment as well as reducing the district’s electricity bill.
“Cutting the energy bill in half is always a good thing,” said Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, assistant principal.
The big plan is to go green will take over the district. Many schools in T.U.S.D. have already completed their own solar panels projects in those schools’ parking lots.
Gunnels said, “We live in a world with limited resources, and it makes perfect sense to use our unlimited resource in Arizona—the sun.”
There is a history to Pueblo’s “WOW” (“Warriors on Wheels”) Club, which has transitioned to “Smokeout Skateboards”, an organization that currently has a Facebook page. They even promote their club on their own t-shirts.
Unfortunately, not many people have seen these t-shirts because of the printed illegal paraphernalia: cigars in the shape of skateboards as well as “a lot of smoke” on the front of these shirts, which might be construed by some as “a disruption of the educational process”—as they are banned from Pueblo’s campus.
Daniel Coronado Solis, a senior, made the initiative to turn a small group of skateboarders into an official club, thanks to their sponsor Mr. Gene Balsz.
For one year, WOW was very visible on Pueblo’s campus, doing their tricks and spinning their wheels. However, the club was dissolved when administrative support for the skateboarders waned.
Solis said, “At first Mr. R. [Rosthenhausler] seemed supportive. However, after a year or so of promising us a spot on campus to skate, eventually we were told by administration that we could no longer skate because of possible injuries.”
“It was kind of depressing to all of the skaters because we couldn’t do what we loved most,” Solis said. “Our lunch time became very sad.”
Armando Alcoverde, another senior who was been with the club for about a year, said that he, too, was devastated when the skateboarders were told not to skate anymore.
“I’ve always used skateboarding as a great way to relieve stress and anxiety,” Alcoverde said. “One day, when I was practicing new tricks on campus before classes started, I landed on the skateboard wrong, and as a result, my board went flying and my head hit the cement—enough to give me a Level One concussion.”
Alcoverde said that he was sent home after his injury, which he describes as “the lowest form of concussion”.
Soon after this incident, Rosthenhausler put a red light to the club, citing that they were insurance liability to the school.
Freshman Santiago Estrella is new to the club this year, even though officially the club doesn’t exist at Pueblo. However, Solis insists that his Smokeout Skateboard is the new “WOW”.
“I would like to bring back WOW to Pueblo, officially, next year as sophomore,” Estrella said. “We are going to have to be persuasive with Pueblo’s administrators—and somehow convince them that we are worthy of having our own club again. Maybe if we promised to wear protective gear, they might listen to us.”
“If a student gets hurt in football or another core sport, administrators don’t cancel these clubs,” Estrella said. “Many students have had concussions from other sporting events, and yet they continue at Pueblo?”
Our skateboarders are still trying to persuade Rosthenhausler for a permanent location for them to practice their trade. There is no word yet if students will be allowed to spin their skateboard wheels on campus next year.
“Even though I’m graduating in May,” Alcoverde said, “I would love to leave a legacy—and that is to see a skateboard club reinstated here at Pueblo.”
To honor the 17 slain students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, Pueblo’s “March For Our Lives” encourages all students and faculty members to participate on Wednesday, March 14—exactly a month after the tragedy. Hundreds of schools across the nation will be participating in their own marches on this date.
Senior Jorge Becerril was one of the architects of this movement.
“This country desperately needs common sense gun control,” Becerril said. “We students—and the teachers, too—shouldn’t have to worry about our safety at school. We are here to learn.”
Students and teachers—as well as everybody in the Pueblo community—are encouraged to participate in the solidarity movement after the radio broadcast in 6th period.
Participants are encouraged to wear orange, the color that has come to represent the anti-gun violence movement.
There will be an announcement over the intercom instructing Pueblo to begin their 17-minute march (one minute for every lost life in Florida) to the football field—much like a fire drill procedure. Once on the football field, students will continue walking around the track until the 17 minutes has lapsed. Then, everybody will sit in the bleachers and observe a minute of silence.
The two masters of ceremony, seniors Kanani Salazar (student council president) and Cynthia Amarillas (student council representative) will introduce student speakers. These speeches will last from one to three minutes. TUSD School Board member Ms. Adelita Grijalva is expected to be a speaker.
Becerril added, “There have been plenty of school shootings since I was a freshman, but for some reason, this shooting really affected me—maybe because there was so much press of this event in the aftermath of the tragedy. I’ve been inspired by many of the survivors of the Florida shooting who are adamant about getting their legislators to pass laws to make high school campuses safer.”
Becerril explained that this event is not about eradicating the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms), but rather making our society and our schools safer with common sense legislation that may ensure a safer country.
“This march is not an excuse for students to ditch or to skip their sixth period classes,” Becerril said. “We want our school to portray a mature message about this topic. This is also a great opportunity for students to voice their opinions. This topic is also a great opportunity for teachers to have meaningful dialogues and discussions in their classrooms.”