Pueblo Hall Of Fame Adds A Dozen Inductees In 2016


By Paula Fierros and Daniela Moreno

The PHS Warrior Foundation Class of 2016

On Sunday, October 23, 2016, the second annual Pueblo Hall of Fame ceremony took place at the Hotel Tucson City Center, commemorating the latest inductees into the Pueblo Magnet High School Hall of Fame.

The Pueblo Alumni Foundation welcomed 12 new members this year: Robert J. Acuna ’61, Dr. Leonard E. Basurto ’62, Dr. Tim Dong ’60, Dr. Dale Frederick ’64, Richard M. Gastellum ’61, Dr. Coronado L. Gomez ’67, Adelita Grijalva ’89, Dan A. Klingenberg ’57, Dr. Miguel Palacios ’63, Dr. Rafaela M. Santa Cruz ’66, Saturnino “Curly” Santa Cruz ’62, and Ramon Valadez ’84.

“We are proud to have such an outstanding group of individuals representing Pueblo the way they have,” said Mr. Richard Guillen, President of the PHS Warrior Foundation.

These individuals were nominated due to their outstanding personal and professional achievements.

“Today we honor those who significantly improve the lives of others through their exceptional performance and efforts,” said Mr. Saturnino Santa Cruz, Chairman for the PHS Hall of Fame.

There was plenty of support from all of our Warrior community, including alumni, their families, and current staff and students. Pueblo Principal Dr. Augustine Romero was also in attendance to honor these distinguished Warriors.

Each inductee spoke of his/her struggles as well as their motivation and perseverance to keep pursuing their dreams.

“I learned speaking Spanish was an honor and to be proud of who you are, no matter who you are,” said Dr. Leonard E. Basurto. He added, “Dos idiomas abren dos mundos.” (Two languages open two worlds)

The inductees hope to inspire today’s Warriors—and for them to learn how to give back to their community as they have.

Dr. Coronado Gomez said, “I hope to inspire other students that are at Pueblo porque ¡Sí Se Puede!”

Inductees and guests were treated with a brunch fit for royalty. The Alumni Foundation funded the entire event and look forward to next year’s ceremony.

Pueblo Boasts Tucson’s Only High School Radio Program


By Iram Arce


After 14 years, Ms. Sarah Wilson, continues to improve the only high school radio show in Tucson—KWXL 98.7, at Pueblo Magnet High School.

As Pueblo’s broadcast journalism teacher, Wilson gives students an opportunity to experience what it truly feels like to work at a professional radio station.

“This school year, we were finally able to get some new iMacs,” Wilson said. “This allows me to have more students working on production at a time. I can. I can hold all of my students accountable.”

On Nov. 18, the entire radio staff will participate in a “retreat”, an opportunity for all of the students in the radio program to get better acquainted with their fellow peers.

In the past, Wilson said that this retreat has helped students to bond with one another from other classes because they rarely have time together, unless it’s after school.

One of the biggest dreams that radio anticipates is to one day be able to live stream a Pueblo sporting event over the radio.

Wilson said, “This live-streaming is going to be a group effort between journalism, TV broadcast, and web design and will allow all of our programs to unite and work together. If we can make that happen, we can do anything. The sky is the limit with our communications programs.”

Memories Of A Class Of 2016 Warrior ~ Damaris Karely Ponce

Damaris Karely Ponce, graduated from Pueblo #7 in her class in 2016 with a 3.73 GPA. (She enrolled in 2012.) She was co-chair of the MEChA Club, a National Honor Society Member, Ivy League Tour Participant, TRiO Student & a member of our Swim Team. Damaris plans to continue her education to become an immigration lawyer.

Damaris read this reflection of her experience at Pueblo to our faculty & staff during their Back To School Meeting on August 1, 2016. You can play the audio clip to hear it in her own words.

Damaris Ponce Pueblo High School Reflection
Damaris Karely Ponce

I remember before Freshman year started, my mom was asked what high school I was going to. As soon as she told them that I was going to Pueblo their faces changed. They told her it was a horrible school and well… we all know what they all say. It didn’t scare me because I mean… I came from Mexico so let’s say I’ve seen worse schools. It didn’t take too long for me to discover that Pueblo was actually a really great school, with the best teachers and administration. I felt welcomed, and I received the help that I needed to accomplish my main goal which at the time, was to learn English. I will always feel thankful for the patience and respect that everyone showed me and other students in my situation. The people that think Pueblo is a bad school are the ones that are not part of Pueblo nor is informed of all the achievements we have made.

Damaris Ponce Pueblo High School Chicago MEChA Conference
Damaris At MEChA Conference in Chicago.

Teachers have this incredible ability to change the lives of their students in such amazing ways. I know for a fact you guys do change lives everyday. Before I was a student at Pueblo I’ve never seen teachers so passionate about helping students develop. It always amazed me the amount of personal hours you give to students. Because of my mom’s job and my stubbornness to not take the city bus I used to come really early to school sometimes. There were always teachers already in school ready to give tutoring to students. And if that wasn’t enough, some of you stay after school really late. People outside of Pueblo would say “well that is their job”, but I know, the students know, that those hours are not going to be paid. You clearly don’t know how to be selfish.

Damaris Ponce Pueblo High School White House Ivy League Tour
Damaris in front of the White House during her Ivy League Tour.

The thing that impacts students the most is that you believe in their dreams and most importantly in them. Students are being told that they can’t go to College because of their background so constantly they end up believing it. But here in Pueblo, teachers and administrators not only believe in the students, but encourage them to great lengths and to be the best person they can be. I am a survivor of Mr. Santa Cruz’s class. I will never forget when the year was about to end, he told us we were special because we didn’t give up and continued with the class. The other day, I saw a classmate and she told me she thought the classes at Pima were going to be easy compared to Mr. Santa Cruz’s class. He prepared us so well, we now feel confident about College. This is just one example. I know each of you prepared us and helped us in every way possible. I don’t know if Pueblo was a bad school before, but I do know that Pueblo is the best school right now.

Biotech Warriors Committed To Excellence

By Ingrid Rojo-OlguinPueblo Biotechnology SARSEF 2016On Thursday, March 3, Pueblo students took the short trip to the Tucson Convention Center to present their science projects. This year, 28 students represented Pueblo, exceeding the number of students who have participated in previous years. Also, Pueblo sent more students than any other high school in Southern Arizona this year.

In contrast, just three Pueblo students participated in this event in 2011; and, just three PHS students participated in SARSEF between 1994 and 2010.

Students presented their projects, explaining to the judges the details of their hard work.

Biotechnology teacher Dr. Andrew Lettes said, “I saw many animated conversations that my students were having. It was clear that they were enjoying themselves. I am so proud of our biotech students.”

Three research teams were recognized for their excellence work on Saturday, March 5, held the Tucson Convention Center at 7 p.m.

The following seven biotech Warriors were recognized at the conference.

Seniors Ciera Monique Carrillo and Christian Antonio Castro Arredondo placed for their project entitled: “Can creosote be developed as a pre-emergent as measured by its effect on Arabidopsis root growth”.

Senior Shaira Flores Perez and junior Shaila Rios won for their project, “The role of the R4D9 gene on the sensitivity of saccharomyces cerevisiae to ultraviolet illumination”.

Senior Ingrid Olguin and juniors Alexander Eugene Ross and Adnan Maitham Taleb also placed for the project, “The effect of Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid on the antibacterial activities of homemade soap”.

Later in the month, on March 31, six Pueblo students attended the HOSA State Competition at the La Paloma Resort and on April 1, three of them were recognized for their excellence, and—no fooling—they won first place in the “Medical Innovations” category.

The HOSA State Competition is a student organization for future health care professionals.  Students’ medical innovation was a continuation of their Science Fair Project (SARSEF); they developed a creosote-based soap for both home and hospital use, and this earned them first place in the category of “Medical Innovations”.

1st Place Winners at HOSA Competition for Medical Innovations. Pictures L-R: Adnan Taleb, Ingrid Olguin & Alexander Ross

Alexander Ross said, “The HOSA competition was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my high school years. Hard work and determination definitely pay off. With the help of Dr. Lettes and my teammates, the judges recognized us for an innovation that could improve hospitals’ safety and hygiene for years to come.”

Dr. Lettes said, “It was a pleasure to see the judges understand the value of this project. Pueblo students did an excellent job.”

Three students, Alexander Ross, Adnan Taleb and Ingrid Olguin plan to attend the HOSA International Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN this summer, from June 22-25.

Taleb said, “Being surrounded by successful individuals and professionals—and having them judge your work—has been a tremendous in clearing the path to achievement and success.”

Seven Warriors To Play Collegiate Sports

America Cardenas Pueblo El Guerrero  Avae Velasquez El Guerrero Pueblo

By América Cárdenas and Avae Velasquez

Pueblo Warriors Fall Sports Signing Day 2016

Pueblo Magnet High School hosted the first annual student athlete signing ceremony on Friday, January 15. Seven of our Warriors announced their schools of interest or their choices of where they will be attending college in the fall.

Among these Warriors, only one senior, Vanessa Molina, officially signed. She committed to attending Central Arizona College to play softball.

“The student athletes had the choice of signing at the college, their home, or here at Pueblo,” said Assistant Principal Frank Rosthenhausler. “Vanessa Molina decided to sign here at her high school and wanted to give the opportunity to her fellow student athletes.”

Three of her fellow softball teammates, Vanessa Duarte, Alizea Corday, and Sierra Gaskill, committed to attend Phoenix College and signed the next day, January 16.

“I am extremely proud of the girls’ commitment on and off the field,” said first year high school softball coach Curtis Ruiz.  “It makes coaching worth every minute especially when  you get to see the players you have had for years finally achieve their dreams of playing ball at the next level.”

Senior Frankie Gomez was also apart of the celebration, and he expressed three schools of interest for baseball. Gomez is still undecided as to where he would like to attend college in the fall.

“I would like to thank God and my family for the amazing opportunities and support they have giving me over the years.” Gomez said. “I still haven’t committed to which college I’ll attend. It’s going to be a difficult decision.”

Jasiah Booth and Justin Pledger have both received offers to play football at the collegiate level.

Pueblo Warriors Fall Signing Day 2016

Booth said that he is also undecided about where he will attend college but has narrowed the choice between Arizona Christian University, Jacksonville University, and three community colleges: Glendale, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

Pledger has the two choices of attending Pima and Eastern College.

Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Brandon Sanders said, “Our student athletes deserve the best. This ceremony was very successful, and I hope this will become an annual event for our Pueblo students.”

Kenya’s Questions ~ What Would You Fix About Pueblo?

Kenya Acosta El Guerrero Pueblo

By Kenya Acosta

The title is self-explanatory. Every two weeks or so, I will ask students to respond to a particular question. Their answers will vary from simple to complex responses. Here is this edition’s question:

What would you fix about Pueblo?Pueblo El Guerrero Kenya's Questions Cartoon

“Students mistreat the school, and they really shouldn’t.” (Leslie Robles, senior)

“They [teachers] don’t care about their students’ feelings, they only care about their job.” (Daniella Contreras, senior)

“The air conditioning isn’t right. They want us to work in a proper environment, yet they don’t provide proper temperatures for class. A lot of teachers have to use their own money when the school should be providing the supplies. School trips aren’t handled efficiently. The athletics department and our academic programs don’t get the same amount of treatment or funding, and there really should be a balance.” (Jose C. Martinez, senior)

“The lunch lines are horrible in first lunch. By the time you get your lunch, it’s time to go.” (Frankie Verdugo, senior)

“The food has no flavor and I have no morale to keep going. Our staff here at Pueblo wants us to do our best, but we can’t do that by eating this quality of food. We also need more supplies for teachers; they shouldn’t have to pay for classroom supplies with money out of their own pockets.” (Hector Jimenez, senior)

“The food is nasty.” (Emilio Grijalva, senior)

“The sausage was literally hanging out of my corn dog during lunch because it was so soggy and wet. What type of corn dog is wet? I can’t stand the cheese here, too, it’s disgusting.” (Mina Van Garder, senior)

“We don’t get enough food.” (Payton Rios-Sanders, senior)

“The ratio between students and teachers should be way different. There should be fewer students in our classes; a class of 35 or more is ridiculous.” (Kimberly Lerma, junior)

“I think that we don’t have enough time in our classes.” (Eneida Flores, senior)

“I took credit recovery ‘Edgenuity’ during the summer. The site crashed the last few days, and once I finally got back on the site, all of my work was gone. I feel like our school should spend our money more wisely. I remember during my sophomore or junior year; we spent over $4,000 dollars on our Cyber Café that nobody uses. They’re planning on doing tutoring there, but we have a library for that.” (Roman Romero, senior)

“There’s almost never soap in the restroom, and that’s absolutely disgusting.” (Shaira Perez, senior)

“Sanitation is a super huge problem. There’s no toilet-paper, no paper towels. This is illegal, isn’t it?” (Aaron Andrade, senior)