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, Cholla Attend CTE Meeting

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By Felicity Aguilar and Yisela Nuñez-Molina

JTED hosted an officer training here at Pueblo and invited CTE students and teachers from Cholla High School to attend. More than 50 students from PHS and another approximately 35 from Cholla were in attendance in Pueblo’s library on Monday, September. 14, 2016.

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Pueblo CTE Students

Funded by the Pima County JTED Department, this event lasted the entire school day and included students from JTED/CTE classes, along with their teachers. The following Pueblo organizations were present: Educators Rising; HOSA; Skills USA (Graphics, Photography, Auto, Media, Printing); Yearbook; National Technological Honor Society; and DECA.

One of the primary objectives of this event each year is to help prepare students to become leaders in the future. They have been selected as officers for their clubs/classes or will be selected in the future. A variety of activities kept students from both schools interacting with their peers and engaged with analytical and evaluative tasks and hypothetical scenarios.

Rosa Duran, a senior from Cholla High School, said, “This training has truly taught me to work equally among my peers and to be respected as much as I respect their opinions.”

According to Pueblo’s CTE site coordinator, Dr. Maria Bicknell, another one of the primary objectives of this workshop is to instill within students the empowerment regarding knowledge and leadership.

Bicknell, along with Cholla’s CTE site coordinator, Ms. Lucy Swift, spent weeks of planning and organizing this workshop for both schools.

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Cholla CTE Students

“Teamwork—that’s what this workshop is partly about,” Swift said. “My students [from Cholla] and I are very pleased at the organization of this event and how well students behaved and responded to the challenges that were presented to them.”

Mr. Curt Bertelsen, the training inspector from Pima County JTED, once again hosted an electrifying and engaging display of parliamentary procedure for students.

David Molina, a junior who attended this meeting, said, “Mr. Bertelsen’s presentation gives us students the skills and knowledge to successfully run our clubs.” He added, “The knowledge that I will take back will shape the way I help run the auto club for the next two years. He was truly an amazing and unforgettable speaker who knows how to keep students interested and thinking.”

Cholla graphics and design teacher, Mr. Mike Hensley, said, “I believe that it is very important and inspiring for students to see peers not only from their school but also to learn what students from other schools are doing in their CTE classes.”

Destyni Payan, a sophomore from Cholla who is enrolled in her school’s yearbook class, said, “I am returning to my school tomorrow with a new sense of purpose and will be even more positive about what I am doing. When I see all of these great students from both Pueblo and Cholla, I am really proud to be in a CTE class knowing that I’m learning the latest in technology and putting what I am learning into practice.”

“I want to become a better leader for my club and open my arsenal to new opportunities,” said Estevan Medrano, president of the auto club. “This workshop really is a great idea and offers us students new perspectives which is always a good thing.”

Maria Servellon, a junior who is president of HOSA, said that she learned a great deal at this workshop including how to properly conduct a meeting.

“Today’s experience was positive on so many levels, although I wish that we Pueblo students could have interacted with our Cholla guest students more,” Servellon said.

Jirsey Duron, a senior at Pueblo, who is the secretary of Educators Rising (sponsored by Ms. Bonnie Stull), said that the workshop was a lot of fun and a great learning experience at the same time.

“I learned how to work well with my peers and how to be a positive role model,” Duron said. “We need more of these workshops—not just CTE members but for all students in high school. Diplomacy is way beyond important in our violent world.”

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.

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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.”

Students Learn Valuable Lessons At DECA Conference

By Iram Arce and Daniel Cantu

On Sunday, March 1, six Pueblo Students attended the DECA [Distributive Education Careers of America] Conference at the Phoenix Convention Center, competing in events among 2,000 other students from all around the state.

Also known as CTSO [Career Technical Student Organization], DECA is part of marketing—giving students an opportunity to learn business skills and compete with others in various activities.

Mr. Pete Pederson, Pueblo’s digital printing (and yearbook) instructor, was a judge for one of the DECA contests that involved students having to apply for an entrepreneurial business proposal. Pederson said that Pueblo students did not compete in this event.

“All contests were scenario-based,” Pederson said. “Students had to play their part and exemplify business etiquette and business savviness.”

Mina Van Gorder, President of the DECA chapter at Pueblo, attended the competition for the second time—this year with more experience and preparation.

“Last year, I had no idea what I was doing,” Van Gorder said. “Now I had more experience on what to expect from the competitions.”

Junior Daniella Contreras admitted that she was really nervous in front of people during the competition, but was able to confront her fears and succeed.

“I was about to have a breakdown, but luckily Mina [Van Gorder] was there to help me out,” Contreras said.

After the competitions students enjoyed the award ceremony—and this is when our Warriors found out that they would not advance to the next round.

“Although we didn’t win, we met lots of new people and gained much more experience on how to talk professionally, making us effective leaders,” Contreras said. “Learning how to be an effective leader is important—not just at school but in ‘real’ life.”

The advisor/sponsor for DECA, Dr. Maria Bicknell, explained that students were very successful raising money for this trip through numerous events and student participation.

Bicknell said, “I’ve been to many of these conferences, and I never get tired of them. I have a never-ending passion to help our students grow and to learn to be leaders as well as critical thinkers. I really want them to succeed in life.”

Drama Club To Perform Much Ado About Nothing

By Avae Velasquez

Pueblo’s drama club is doing exciting things this school year. On Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24, our Pueblo actors and actresses will be presenting the Shakespearean play, Much Ado about Nothing. The play, directed by Ms. Sarah Sutton, the drama teacher, with the help of the assistant director, sophomore Estevan Medrano.

The play will be held in the Little Theatre, Sutton said, and the doors will be opened at 6:15 p.m., and the show will be starting at 7 p.m. sharp. Tickets are only $4 and they are expected to sell out quickly, Sutton added.

Sutton said, “Please come to support Pueblo’s growing theater program! Our students have been working hard in practice over the past several weeks, and I feel like they are definitely ready to perform.”

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s most common plays and one of his best comedies. The plot revolves around two love stories that are intertwined and the turmoil and confusion that follows.

One of the actresses to perform in the plays, senior Tatiana Begay, said, “I think our play is going to be really successful. We worked really hard and have come a long ways since the beginning.”

Mariachi Aztlan Performs At Arizona State Capitol

This past Monday, March 4 Pueblo’s Mariachi Aztlan performed at our Arizona State Capital. Three performances were given, one to Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Senators Bradley and Lopez, one on the mall between the House and Senate and the third was at the opening of senate meeting.

Pueblo's Mariachi Aztlan Performs At Arizona State Capitol

Pueblo students with Secretary Bennett and Senators Bradley and Lopez.

This is the first time a student group has been invited to perform for a senate meeting. The students received a standing ovation by all the senators. The House plans to extend an invitation in the future and the comments from everyone were of the highest compliment.

Secretary Bennett, Senators Bradley & Lopez And Teachers

Fine Arts Teachers with Secretary Bennett and the Senators.

We are so proud of our Mariachi representing our school at the local, state and national level!