‘Ozzy’ To The Rescue: New Campus Monitor Hired At Pueblo

by Jenaiyah Molina 

Ozzy Herrera

Pueblo High School has once again gained another monitor this school year. Mr. Oswaldo “Ozzy” Herrera has joined our community to help keep students safe and to ensure that these students are adhering to all the rules and policies. 

Herrera said that he takes his new job very seriously and just wants to make sure all students are safe, in and out of their classrooms. 

“It’s a never-ending job,” Herrera said, “keeping students in line and helping the other monitors with the huge task of getting students where they’re supposed to be: in class!” 

Herrera, who might look like a high school student himself (he’s only 23!), said that he enjoyed his years as a high school student, and he wants to make sure that today’s high school students stay safe and out of trouble. 

“I really wish that all of the students at Pueblo knew how important staying in class will help them in the long run,” Herrera said. “I realize that times are tough—nothing is easy—but earning high grades and eventually graduating on time should be in students’ best interest.” 

Unfortunately, Herrera has had his share of “busting” students who have broken school rules—although he did add that he’s not as “busy” in recent weeks as he was earlier this school year. 

“In the beginning weeks of this school year, I was busting about three students a day smoking pot in the bathrooms,” Herrera said. “Now, that number is down to about once a day and sometimes less.” 

He said that having a few more male monitors could help him to do his job more thoroughly. 

“We have awesome, smart, strict monitors who are definitely doing their jobs,” Herrera said, “but this school needs more male monitors to help with the male students who are breaking the rules in bathrooms.” 

Herrera added that although he has had the unfortunate task of busting students, he also acknowledges that most of the students at Pueblo are respectful and talented. 

As an avid fan of sports—specifically, volleyball, football and basketball—Herrera said that has observed that Pueblo High School is full of talented student athletes. 

“As I monitor the gym, I see a lot of talented kids who really should be on the basketball team or in other sports teams,” said Herrera. “I encourage all students to belong to a club—whether or not it’s related to sports or not. Students who are engaged in high school motivates them to attend classes every day and to stay focused on what they love most.” 

As much as Herrera loves the challenge of being security monitor at Pueblo, he said that his long-term goal is to become a recording engineer. 

“I attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, Ariz., and I loved what I learned there,” Herrera said. “I want to save up some money and eventually move out to Los Angeles with my brother, who is already waiting for me there to join him in establishing ourselves as recording engineers.” 

Until then, Herrera said that he wants to stay focused on keeping the Pueblo High School as safe as possible. 

“I love working at Pueblo,” Herrera said. “I love the monitors here—they’re a great group of dedicated workers. As I love and respect this school, I expect to receive the same from them.”

New Monitor Strengthens Security: Joanna Medina

By George Molina

Joanna Medina

“If I had my way, I would hire four more monitors to help with discipline problems at Pueblo High School,” said Ms. Joanna Medina, one of two monitors hired in 2021.

Specifically, Medina said that she would hire more male monitors to help balance the ratio between male and female security personnel.

“Female monitors are not allowed to enter the boys’ bathrooms without knocking first to inform them,” Medina said, “and by that time, bad behavior is missed.”

Medina knows exactly what it feels like to be in charge over hundreds of young people. She was a correctional officer and counselor for criminally troubled girls at the Gila River Detention Center near Sacaton, Ariz., in Pinal County, north of Tucson.

“My job is definitely easier here at Pueblo than at a detention center,” Medina said. “However, our students at Pueblo really need to follow the rules better, listen to authority, and take their learning more seriously. They also really, really need to get to class on time. Finally, I wish that a lot of girls would learn to dress better and not so revealing.”

Medina said that if she were an administrator, she would hire more monitors to enforce the rules—especially a few more male monitors.

Despite her challenges since being hired last January, Medina said that she is starting to feel the warmth of the Pueblo High School community.

“I really like working with the other monitors,” she said. “They all have their own distinct personalities, and all of our differences is what makes us strong and united.”

Medina said that she hopes that students start taking her and the other monitors more seriously as the first semester comes to a near-end.

“Most of our students are great,” she said, “but it only takes a few bad apples to tarnish that greatness.”

Viviana Fimbres Makes It To Pueblo—Finally!

By Leslie Burgos

Ms. Viviana Fimbres helping some of her math students.

This school year, Pueblo High School is elated to have Ms. Viviana Fimbres join the faculty as a new geometry teacher for mostly sophomores, juniors and seniors.

It’s been a long journey for Fimbres to finally get here…

As a teenager, Fimbres wanted to attend Pueblo like most of her friends and her siblings, but Fimbres was not able to attend PHS because her parents had preferred her to go to a new charter school. After graduating from the University of Arizona, she taught at University High School for four years.

Then…Fimbres transferred to Pueblo—FINALLY making it to PHS.

“Coming to Pueblo was a dream come true—a little late but better than never,” she said.

Thus far this semester, Fimbres said that she has already experienced many positive moments.

“As I was walking into the school in the morning, I was carrying papers in one hand and a coffee container in the other hand—and a student was kind enough to open the door for me,” she said. “Our [Pueblo] students are very generous and kind, and they respect their teachers.”

Fimbres said that she loves Pueblo because of the school’s culture.

“This place [Pueblo] makes me feel comfortable, and I know I can talk my native language here and not be judged for it,” she said.

“Sometimes students have bad moments—like when one left class early and was asked to return, and he slammed a locker really hard,” Fimbres said. “But by the next day, we had both forgotten about the incident. However, most students say good morning to me if they see me in the hallways, and I love that friendliness here.”

Fimbres describes her students as “hard working” and added that all of them have the potential to earn A’s and B’s.

“I’ve been here long enough to wish for a few changes in the bell schedule,” Fimbres said. “I wish that every day classes were dismissed at the same time and that passing periods were a few minutes longer. From the complaints I’ve been hearing from students, our school should offer better lunch menus.”

Fimbres said that she has set her standards high, but she knows that her students are all capable of passing her class with very high grades.

To help these students achieve these high grades she plans to continue getting to know the students and the different ways they learn.

“I believe I can only take my profession day by day as long as I always remember that every student has a different pace of learning,” Fimbres said.

College & Career Bulletin Guides Seniors To Future

By Hector Guzman 

Due to the pandemic that has stopped Pueblo from its normal functions since last March, the College and Career bulletin has still been available to provide Pueblo’s community with various types of information aimed at helping students succeed. 

This bulletin is especially essential for seniors planning their futures. 

Mr. Roberto Cruze

Mr. Roberto Cruze, Pueblo’s College and Career Coordinator, emphasizes the importance of this bulletin. One of his goals consists of more seniors having access to the bulletin’s information and to inform the entire school of other academic programs and announcements. 

“It’s ‘GO’ time when it’s your senior year,” he said, emphasizing the importance of students preparing for post-high school life. 

Cruze stated that this bulletin has been accessible to students for several years and has gone through many shapes so that the bulletin is now accessible to students online, which has become especially important this school year due to students not being on campus. 

He stated that the bulletin has piqued the interest of many seniors who are interested in applying for college. In fact, the bulletin has been able to increase the number of student applications for the University of Arizona by 96%, Cruze stated. 

“It’s very important that seniors start mailing their applications,” he said. “We are already halfway through the school year.” 

Cruze said that he does feel some frustration not knowing if all students are reading the important information listed on the bulletins. He makes it easy for students to have access to this important information by adding them to the Warrior Weekly or emailing it directly to teachers who are hopefully passing the bulletins on to students or posting them online. 

“I am considering sending the bulletin directly to students’ emails to confirm they have the bulletin,” Cruze said. 

Cruze said the most enjoyable thing about the bulletin is the variety of information and opportunities offered to students. He added that he would continue to offer the online and print versions of the bulletin for students when Pueblo is reopened. A QR code may also become available for students to access the bulletin through an electronic device. 

“[Seniors], make sure you are getting offers from schools that help you reach your future academic goals,” Cruze said.

Pueblo Welcomes New Speech & Language Specialist

By Freddy Gradillas and Axel Rosas 

Ms. Julia Raykin

Ms. Julia Raykin is new to the Pueblo High School staff this year as a speech and language therapist. Even though she is new to PHS, she has been working as a speech therapist in high schools for more than 14 years. 

Born in Moscow, Russia, Raykin would find herself moving with a group of other Jewish immigrants, who moved to Austria, then Italy—and then from Italy to the United States. 

During her high school years Raykin was very interested in languages and how people talked—so she decided to learn more about her fascination for linguistics and languages. She completed an internship through her high school at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. After high school, she studied in Israel for a year. She came back to New York to pursue a degree in Communication Disorders and earned her Master’s degree at Long Island University, graduating with a Master’s of Science in 2004. 

“I was really interested in languages and wanted to help people out,” Raykin said. This love of languages probably had to do with the fact that she was bilingual. Her mother was a speech therapist in Russia, but speech therapy was very different there. She said that she is able to communicate fluently in English and Russian and can converse in Hebrew and Spanish. 

Like most teachers and staff members at Pueblo, Raykin said that she has been challenged working via Zoom this school year. 

“The amount of work, sending numerous emails every day and returning assignments to students is very difficult,” Raykin said. She added, “Sometimes I feel like it’s hard to connect with students when they want to have their cameras off because I can’t really tell what’s going on with them.” 

Raykin said that she would return to Pueblo when the TUSD School Board decides when it is safe to do so. 

“When I do return, I will certainly follow all of the proper safety precautions,” she said. 

Raykin said that she enjoys focusing on her students’ strengths and weaknesses—to determine what they need to continue developing their positive attributes and how to improve areas that need to be developed. 

She stated, “I really want to focus more on students’ careers and how schools can help them with their futures.” 

Raykin added that self-discovery is one of the most valuable lessons a child could learn in school. 

“Getting students to know themselves is the life-long journey that I want to help them begin,” she said.

Ms. McCormack: Loyal To The End

By Angella Armenta and Kevin Salazar 

Even with the rocky start of the 2020-2021 school year, Pueblo High School’s teachers remain faithful and committed to teaching our Warriors. 

One of those loyal teachers is Ms. Teresa McCormack, who has called Pueblo “home” since the fall of 2018, when she was simultaneously completing a one-year master’s teaching program at the University of Arizona while student-teaching Spanish I and II at PHS. 

McCormack currently teaches ELD I (English) to freshmen and sophomores. 

“I miss my kids!” McCormack said. “I miss the whole interaction with them. I want to come back. I’m not planning to retire nor resign like some teachers did or are. The students at Pueblo are awesome, fun, respectful, and they create an atmosphere not seen or felt in other high schools. The staff and administration at Pueblo played a huge factor in me being at Pueblo.” 

McCormack earned her bachelor’s in education in 2017, with honors, and she taught in Germany a year before coming to Pueblo High School. 

“My husband served in the Air Force for 24 years, and several times we were stationed overseas, including Germany,” she said. “Living there was a once in a lifetime experience.” 

While living abroad on a military installation, McCormack accepted a job as a para-professional working with general and special education high schoolers. 

“It was the best time ever!” McCormack said. “I met students from all over the 50 states, and I still keep in touch with some of them through social media.” 

She said that she chose her teaching field because she wanted to have a positive and influential impact on the next generation. 

“As a teacher’s aide for more than 10 years, I saw a connection that I had with teenagers,” McCormack said. “I did not want to lose that impact on future students who I had not met yet.” 

When students and teachers are allowed to return to campus, McCormack said that she will do everything possible to make her classroom a safe environment. McCormack hopes to be able to help her students in person and to continue giving them positive advice. She added that she wants to continue to encourage her students to follow their dreams in life without obstacles. 

“I can’t wait to come back to the classroom,” McCormack said