Victoria Is Back!

By Lauren Ahern and Nayeli Sanchez

For the past two months, Ms. Victoria Burge, one of Pueblo’s most beloved campus security monitors, took a break due to medical issues. Finally, on April 1, 2015, she returned.

Though it was a struggle coming back, she said that she is very excited to continue her Pueblo career for the rest of the year in better health.

“I fought to get back to you guys, but that’s how bad I wanted to be back,” said Burge.

Upon Victoria’s return, many students welcomed her back with hugs and warm greetings.

Pueblo Campus Monitor Victoria Burge

“When I was gone, some of the students decided to draw me pictures, and they got sent right to my mailbox,” said Burge. “As I opened these cards, I sat by my mailbox and cried my eyes out realizing how much I needed to return.”

Victoria’s return confirms that she is not retiring any time soon.

“During the beginning of the year, I promised the freshman class that I would stay for all of their four years they were here, and to watch them graduate. I keep my promises.”

She paused and said, “Pueblo has stolen my heart.”

Ernesto Somoza: Getting Students Ready for the Next Step

By Anais Salais

Mr. Somoza (center in plaid shirt) with group of students

This spring semester welcomed several new faculty and staff members to the Pueblo community, including Mr. Ernesto Somoza, our new Communication Media Technology teacher.

Somoza attended the University of Arizona where he earned his bachelor’s degree in photography while minoring in art education.

While attending the University of Arizona, Somoza worked for the campus’ newspaper, The Daily Wildcat, as a photographer. The significant amount of hours that he invested while working for the Wildcat (and later with Red Bull as a photographer) was enough for Somoza to earn a CTE teaching certification in photography.

After graduating from college, Somoza took his first teaching position working as a special education teacher at Utterback Middle and later at Oyama Elementary School.

Eventually, Somoza saw an opportunity to teach photography, and this position eventually brought him to Pueblo.

“I wanted to find a job that was close to home and one that I got to teach photography and graphic arts,” said Somoza. “It’s exciting coming to work [at Pueblo] because I’m teaching what I truly love.”

Somoza is teaching a new class here at Pueblo that educates and trains students about enrolling in communications media technologies courses.

“This class hopefully breaks the monotony of how school is set up,” Somoza said. He added, “This class helps students understand basic concepts while making them more creative while adhering to the Common Core.”

Although Somoza came in at the beginning of the second semester—and the class is something both new to him and his students—Somoza remains optimistic and positive.

“So far, my experience at Pueblo has been great!” Somoza said. “The students are enthusiastic, and that makes me excited to teach when I see that they are excited.” He added, “I’ve already seen students’ creative levels increase, and I can just imagine where they’ll be by May.”

Somoza’s goal for the remainder of the school year is to ensure that his students are prepared to enter the appropriate communications art class next fall.

“I’m hoping that when students leave this class in May, they’re able to amaze their next teachers,” said Somoza.

Somoza also has hopes to see more students, especially the underclassmen, enroll in his class as they prepare for the communication art electives.

“I would encourage students to take this class if they are interested in taking classes like photography or graphic arts,” said Somoza. “This class is about going more in depth with the outstanding programs that are offered here at Pueblo.”

New Monitor Adds More Safety to Pueblo

By Avae Velasquez

As of Tuesday, Feb. 24, staff and students welcomed a new monitor, Mr. Sean Jack, to the Pueblo community, giving our school more security after losing two monitors earlier this semester.

New Pueblo Monitor Sean Jack (Bottom)

Jack was born and raised in Tucson and graduated from Tucson High School in 2001. Around the same time, Jack joined the Air National Guard.

During his time in the Air National Guard, Jack served as a medic and traveled to countries such as Jamaica performing health and wellness checks. He was also deployed to Afghanistan in 2006.

Jack is currently attending the University of Phoenix as a business major and is pursuing a bachelor’s in business management. He hopes to later receive a master’s and to become an officer in the Air National Guard.

In the meantime, Jack has committed to being a part of the Pueblo staff. Although it is only his first two weeks, he had some positive feedback to give the El Guerrero staff.

“So far, Pueblo seems like a good school,” Jack said. “I haven’t run into any serious problems, and the staff and students seem nice and are really easy to talk to.”

Library Opens (Finally!)

by Cynthia Rojas

Pueblo Magnet High School’s wait for our library to open full-time has finally ended. This week, Pueblo’s library will be open to students, as a library assistant has been hired: Mr. Leo Graves.

For the first 15 weeks of this school year, Pueblo students did not have access to the library throughout the entire school day.

“Not having a full-time library goes against common sense regarding education, especially at a time when I desperately needed help researching or looking for a book,” said Julie Harrison, a senior.

Our new principal, Dr. Augustine Romero, was working diligently to ensure students access to their school’s library.

“The district thought we had a set fund for a librarian, but when brought to their attention, they saw that there was no budget for this position,” he said.

Up until this week, some Pueblo teachers served as substitute librarians in the mornings and after school. However, this was little comfort to some who needed access to the library throughout the school day.

Ms. Karen Rimmell, who teaches sophomore and junior English, said, “It is difficult for teachers and students alike to receive the help they needed when it comes to researching a subject for an essay, especially when their time in the library was limited to before and after school.”

Students also were unable to visit the library before the school day to finish work. This frustrated many Pueblo students.

Yasmine Osuna-Saenz, a junior, stated, “For the first quarter and a half, I had to interrupt teachers who have a computer lab in order to finish work I have yet to complete.” She added, “Unfortunately, during this time, students who did not have access to computers at home needed to use a computer in the library—when the computer labs were completely full. To even have an assistant librarian is awesome! Maybe nobody will be stealing books now.”

Mr. Jesus Orduño, Spanish teacher, said, “It is a shame that we could not afford a librarian at Pueblo until now. Throughout my K-12 grade years and all throughout my college years, I have always had a librarian. They were major contributors to my success.”

Not having a librarian for the first 15 weeks of the school year made our library a popular ditching spot, according to parent-mentor Ms. Evelia Lopez, whose office is near the library. She said that students ditched in the library every day and nearly every period.

Dr. Romero said that many students and teachers have vented to him about the hardships of not being able to use the library and is relieved that students and teaches will be able to use this important resource. He added that he is aware that some books have been borrowed or have “walked away”—and he asks those who have taken these books to return them to the library.

Dr. Romero insisted, “There will be a full-time librarian next year—the district will ensure that we have a budget for this much-needed position.”

Warriors Welcome New Assistant Principal

By Anais Salais

Pueblo Magnet High School welcomes a new member to the administration team this year, Ms. Alma Carmona-Alday, who is the new Assistant Principal of Community, Advanced Learning and Academic Associated Projects.

This is Carmona-Alday’s first assistant principal position, and with her strong background in education in teaching kindergarten—as well as being a learning support coordinator for TUSD at McCorkle K-8—she said that she feels ready to make a positive impact at Pueblo.

“I feel really welcomed and I am excited to be here!” said Carmona-Alday. “I love being in the classrooms and at the lunches because it gives me the chance to get to know the students better.”

Carmona-Alday was born and raised here in Tucson. She attended Davis Elementary, Utterback Middle School and Tucson High Magnet School. She earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arizona in bilingual education and Spanish, as well as two master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University—in school counseling and educational leadership.

Even though she is very busy with her duties as an assistant principal, Carmona-Alday said that she enjoys dancing and even was a Zumba instructor at Desert View High School.

She admitted that she always loved dancing, and for many years, she thought that she would become a full-time dance teacher.

“After I earned my administrative degree, I found out that Pueblo didn’t have a dance teacher for a while, and I was hoping to become long-term substitute teacher—but I couldn’t because all of the work I was involved with as an administrator,” Carmona-Alday said.

Her husband is a teacher at Sunnyside High School, and they have two children, ages three and five.

“I wwouldn’t have gotten where I am now without my husband and family,” said Carmona-Alday.

Carmona-Alday has a positive outlook on this school year and the future of Pueblo that she aims to be a part of.

“I never thought I would love Pueblo so much,” she said. “I hope to be here for a long period of time.”

She admitted that she is very ambitious and that her goal is to one day become a principal. Her goal for now is to inspire Pueblo students to help make a positive impact at the school and in the community.

“Pueblo is going to be what our students make of it, and I hope that our students don’t ever give up on Pueblo,” said Carmona-Alday.