Pueblo Warriors & Cholla Chargers Unite For Change

by Laura Conde

Presentations during Pueblo’s Many Faces of Action Conference

On Oct. 3, 2017, Pueblo and Cholla High Schools collaborated for the “Many Faces of Action Conference: A Student Action Forum”, a chance for participating students to learn about their rights, speak up about issues they cared about and overall, feel empowered.

Primarily hosted and meticulously organized by teachers who teach culturally relevant courses at Pueblo (Dr. Raúl Gonzalez, Ms. Victoria Bodanyi, Ms. Tifanny Mendibles-Muñoz and Ms. Jessica Mejia), Pueblo and Cholla students made the most out of this educational experience. According to organizers, this event was “a collaboration of many fascinating and intelligent individuals.”

Social studies teacher Ms. Victoria Bodanyi said, “The conference went really smoothly. Besides our own nearly100 Pueblo students, we hosted more than 50 Cholla students. We were also able to have presenters from TUSD, local organizations, professors from the University of Arizona and our very own Pueblo teachers.”

Additionally, two science teachers (Dr. Andrew Lettes and Ms. Elizabeth Raizk) held workshops to educate students about Valley Fever and environmental racism, respectively.

The conference lasted for an entire standard school day—8 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Early on, participating students were welcomed accordingly and later divided into three groups (pink, yellow and green) that would direct them to different workshops around campus.

Many Pueblo students left the conference with a deeper comprehension of political and social issues that affect them in their lives.

“I learned that there are many ways for the community to come together for a problem everyone has but doesn’t see,” said Liam Membrila, a senior.

Cholla students were invited to come

“I feel more confident in ways I could get involved because I’ve wanted to help with the issues going on but I was confused and now I feel a lot more prepared,” said Jacquelyne Acuña, a junior.

“A lot of ‘DACA’ students are struggling, and we need more support and people to be aware. I see how I am more fortunate, and I’d like to give more people that opportunity,” said Gerardo Arzabe, a senior.

On behalf of Pueblo High School, a special thanks to the following people and organizations: Mr. Frank Armenta, Ms. Dominique Calza, Mr. Salo Escamilla, Ms. Maria Federico-Bummer, Mr. Richard Gastelum, Mr. Maurice H. Goldan, Ms. Sarita Gonzales, Mr. Enrique Garcia, Dr. Andrew Lettes Ms. Elizabeth Raizk, Dra. Andrea Romero, Dr. Augustine Romero, Mr. Bryant Valenica, Calpulli Teoxicalli, Cholla High School, LUCHA, LUPE, Tierra y Libertad Organization.

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.

Blood Donors Give In Honor

yamilex-garcia-el-guerrero-pueblo-2016  omar-quintana-el-guerrero-pueblo-2016

by Yamilex Garcia and Omar Quintana


On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, Pueblo’s student council held the first blood drive of the year with over 60 students participating in the donation.

Student council teacher and advisor Ms. Kari Warner said that the American Red Cross is always in need of blood for those who are in desperate need of this precious commodity in theTucson community.

“It’s cool seeing students willing to donate and help others,” said Warner.

Juniors Joseph Palomarez and Viviana Cruz shared their enthusiasm for helping others by donating blood and said they plan to continue donating.

“I was blessed with the blood to donate to everybody and might as well use this privilege to donate to others,” said Palomarez.

Warner said that there will be other blood drives throughout the school year if students missed this opportunity—in December, February, and May. Students who are 18 do not need parental permission; however, for 16- and 17-year-olds, a parent’s signature is required as well as a completed packet to allow their child to donate blood.

‘Beatlemania’ Rocks Pueblo

by Yamilex Garcia

On Thursday, March 15, 2016, Pueblo’s fine arts department students entertained a small crowd with a concert, performing some of the most influential music by the 1960s English rock and roll band, the Beatles, who, even to this day, hold the record for the most number one singles by a band and the most singles in the Billboard Top 100. In fact, in one week in early April 1964, the Beatles occupied all of the Top Five singles—an amazing feat that has never been duplicated.

After 50 years since the Beatles landed at New York’s JFK Airport in February 1964, “Beatlemania” has not waned. Here at Pueblo, there are many who consider the Beatles one of the greatest bands ever.

The concert consisted of guitar class students, mariachi students, solo performances by teachers, staff, and students, and included the jazz club’s first performance, all whom performed Beatles song in different musical styles.

“The performances were a new concept and all of Mr. Vargas’ ideas, but the concert took on a life of its own,” band and jazz director Mr. Jeff Shepherd said.

After teaching his students Beatles classics for the third quarter, guitar teacher Mr. Jonathan Vargas used the performances as an evaluation for his students and their progress. Mariachi Aztlan also took part in the event, interpreting two Beatle songs in a mariachi style, including “All You Need Is Love”. They also performed Tony Bennett’s 1962 classic “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” and the 1960 R & B classic, “At Last”.

Music teacher Mr. Jim Hill, along with Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Vargas sang two songs, including the Beatles’ “Oh, Darling”.

Also, teachers Ms. Sarah Sutton (drama) and Mr. Shepherd sang two duets.

Mariachi teacher Mr. Johnny Contreras said, “This concert was awesome! I think Pueblo should have more concerts that involve students and teachers.” He added, “Maybe next time Dr. Romero could sing a song for the audience.”

“The night was an awesome collaboration of all the fine arts programs,” said Vargas. “I’m proud of all of the students who participated in this event. We had really positive criticism from the Pueblo community, including Dr. Romero, who announced over the intercom that he really enjoyed the concert.”

Mariachi Aztlán Travels, Performs In Palm Springs With Pink Martini

America Cardenas Pueblo El Guerrero

By América Cárdenas

On January 31, 2016, eighteen students from Pueblo’s Mariachi Aztlán mariachi group, including several chaperones and teacher Mr. John Contreras, ventured to Palm Springs, CA, as an opening act for the group, Pink Martini, a pop jazz and Latin/lounge musical group from Portland, OR, that is traveling around the country.

Mariachi Aztlan De Pueblo with Pink Martini

The three-day trip began on Sunday, January 31, at 6:00 a.m., driving straight through to Palm Springs, a five-hour trip from Tucson. Most students slept on the bus, but perked up once they arrived at the hotel.

One member of the Mariachi Aztlán, senior Daniel Motley, said, “Once we got to the motel, we all woke up quickly. My favorite part of the trip was being able to share the stage with Pink Martini and learning a few of their songs.”

Mariachi Aztlán performed four times during this trip, and each performance was slightly different because the group played in different areas.

Rafael Miranda, another senior, said “In order to prepare for the Pink Martini Performances, I practiced throughout the entire year. I also listen to their recordings over and over.”

Senior Jaret Young said, “A member of Pink Martini who really influenced me was Miguel Bernal. He was very open and humble. He told me about his life in Cuba and how he told his family about me and the mariachi. He also offered me free Conga lessons. Another influential member of the group was Phil Baker. He wrote down music for me and offered me free bass lessons in Oregon.”

Mariachi teacher Mr. John Contreras said he was contacted by Pink Martini’s management over the winter break. They said that Pueblo’s mariachi group had been recommended as one of the student groups that excelled in Tucson by the manager of the Rialto Theatre, Curtis McCrary, who had dealt with Pueblo’s mariachi group in various capacities over the part of the 10-15 years.

“One of the members of Pink Martini found some YouTube footage of Mariachi Aztlán, and they liked what they saw,” Contreras said. “They invited us to perform a couple of their songs with them and possibly open the show for them, and that was the way we were put in contact with them.”

Several members of Mariachi Aztlán were interviewed by local news reporters in Palm Springs, who happened to attend the performances.

Senior Yajaira Othon said, “All of the experiences this weekend truly were magnificent! Pink Martini’s band members and their audience were extremely supportive and very nice. This three-day weekend ranks in one of my favorite moments in my high school years.”

Eighth Graders Get An Early Start On Math At Pueblo

Felicity Aguilar El Guerrero Pueblo 2015 Yisela Molina El Guerrero Pueblo 2015

By Felicity Aguilar and Yisela Molina

8th Graders Taking Math At Pueblo High School
8th Graders Taking Math At Pueblo High School 2016

For the second consecutive year, Pueblo Magnet High School has offered a program to teach Honors Algebra to over a dozen eighth graders from Hollinger K-8 and McCorkle Middle School.

These students attend this class four days each week and are taught by Pueblo math teacher Mr. Billy Campbell during first period.

Campbell said, “This class [algebra] will help these middle school students get a head start, so when they come back to Pueblo as freshmen, they will be one step ahead and will be able to take geometry a year earlier than most students.”

In order to get to Pueblo, these students walk, take the bus or get dropped off by family members. When class is over, Mrs. Laura Gallego (Pueblo’s Magnet Recuiter), Mr. Adalberto Rodriguez (Pueblo’s Media Specialist), Albert Ochoa (Pueblo’s Custodian) & others escort them back to school in time for their next class.

8th Graders Taking Math At Pueblo High School With Billy Campbell
8th Graders in Math Teacher Mr. Billy Campbell’s class

“Mr. Campbell is a very creative teacher,” said Joseph Vega, an eighth grade McCorkle student. “He’s full of energy and enthusiasm, and he uses many methods to teach us. His class is really fun.”

Diana Quiroz, a student from Hollinger, said, “Mr. Campbell keeps us motivated to want to learn, he tells us stories to keep us interested!”

The idea of this program was a joint effort between Pueblo and Hollinger. In the future, Pueblo hopes to expand this program to include other middle schools.

Pueblo’s principal Dr. Augustine Romero said, “I wholeheartedly support the idea that Pueblo should have more collaboration with middle schools across the city—and perhaps expand to other subjects other than math.”