And Another Gunnels Makes Four!

by Robert Moroyoqui

Pueblo’s new Exceptional Education teacher, Mr. Derek Gunnels, is very proud to educate his students and happy to work alongside his parents and brother. (His father, Mr. Michael Gunnels, is Pueblo’s communications media tech teacher; his mother, Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, is Pueblo’s newest assistant principal; and, younger brother Mr. Jeren Gunnels is an instructional specialist for the TSW (Transition from School to Work) Program.

Derek said that he fell in love with teaching when he became involved with helping with Pueblo’s clothing bank.

“From the clothing bank, we’re now focusing on the greenhouse project for the school,” Gunnels said.

Gunnels wants his students to enjoy their high school years—unlike his high school years.

“It’s what you don’t like that motivates you to come back,” said Gunnels.

He added that he foresees himself being at Pueblo for a long time.

“As long as I’m making connections with my students, I’m going to love being here.”

Mr. ‘B’ Named Pueblo’s Teacher Of The Year

by Calista Gonzales

Traditionally, the teachers and staff at Pueblo select a Circle K “Teacher of the Year”—through nominations from their colleagues. This year, exceptional education teacher Mr. Gene Balsz was selected as this year’s Pueblo nominee. Most schools across the state participate in this program.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, during the weekly teachers’ and staff members’ “professional development” meeting, Balsz received more votes than any other teacher at Pueblo.

Dr. Augustine Romero, Pueblo’s principal, said, “Mr. Balsz does an incredible job with our students and is engaged with them as well.”

Balsz, who has been working at Pueblo for the past seven years, said that he was very surprised when he found out that he was the nominee at Pueblo.

“I think the only reason why I was the nominee [and won the award] is because I can work very well with any of our students at Pueblo,” Balsz said.

He paused and said, “I’m really good with the kids who hate school.”

Besides teaching exceptional education students, Balsz is also very involved with Pueblo’s math club, called MESA—an acronym for Math, English, Science and Achievement.

“Mr. B. does an amazing job in MESA as well,” Romero said. “We are very lucky to have him at Pueblo.”

Ms. Trevia Heath, Mr. Balsz’ department chair, said, “I am delighted with Mr. Balsz’ nomination. He works hard to develop relationships with students and is always willing to try new strategies in his classroom. Gene [Balsz] is committed to fostering life-long learning habits in his students.”

Later this year, in mid-to-late-November, Circle K will announce its winner for the regional “Teacher of the Year”. Everybody at Pueblo is definitely keeping their fingers crossed for Mr. Balsz.