It’s Not Always ‘Senioritis’

An Opinion by Jose Nagore

Let’s face it: People are lazy. It’s in our nature to want to take breaks. Most people would rather play games or draw rather than listen to a lecture. But why do we want to ignore what can help in favor of entertainment?

Sometimes, it is the student’s fault. Whether it be that they just don’t want to pay attention to the subject, or something self-inflicted, such as poor sleep schedules. These are usually the easiest fixes that should help not only in school but in life.

Sometimes, it’s out of the student’s control to observe class. Some students have mental disabilities, such as ADHD and dyslexia. These conditions affect learning in many different ways, and all must be catered to accordingly. ADHD causes issues with paying attention, fidgeting, and a lack of effort. Dyslexia causes struggles within understanding and retaining knowledge. Approximately 5.5% of children in the U.S. had ADHD in 1997. Today, that percentage has nearly doubled to 9.4%. These few millions of students can succeed under the right conditions, but they must be diagnosed properly, and schools have an ethical responsibility to ensure that their needs are met.

Homework can also affect student performance. Students can feel overwhelmed with work and lose the dedication to continue class at all due to excessive homework. Homework can also increase students’ stress levels. This can be solved by teachers giving little or no homework, which has lately become more of a popular idea among teachers, and has a whole movement known as the Anti-Homework movement to support this theory.

Some students also deal with traumatic issues at home. Child abuse can heavily affect a student’s trust with others, which will result in a lack of asking for help and understanding of subjects. Students who work at home all day (house cleaning, animal care, etc.) can result in a lack of studying, as well as suffer communicative skills. Nearly 25% of children in the U.S. experience different forms of child abuse, such as physical abuse and child neglection. These issues are harder to solve, as the student is often scared to report the issues out of fear of punishment from parents.

Apathy can come from poor teaching. Ineffective teachers can lower a student’s self-esteem to the point where students believe they cannot succeed. The students might then think if they cannot succeed in their classes, they will be unable to succeed at life. This also hinders problem-solving skills, and without the knowledge to solve challenging problems, students will learn to simply give up on a problem that they can’t solve. This is a challenge to fix, as we can’t find enough teachers who are passionate due to the teacher shortage.

A school’s funding can cause a lack of enthusiasm. A poorer school environment not only lowers academics, but it also causes a stigma where people put in less effort in a school. Lower-funded schools also have less supplies, causing negative issues with student’s learning and studying. To resolve this, we should balance school funding better, and stop overfunding sports all the time in most schools.

The flaws in the school’s system can also cause a lack of desire to learn. The system has not been updated since the industrial revolution. This causes issues, as everyone learns in a streamlined manner, whether students will use these skills or not. The education system is also geared to the average student, which also causes problems. For intelligent students, they struggle to study or have the will to keep going when a roadblock occurs. For students who struggle in school, they won’t understand what school tries to teach them, and might fail in life due to the lack of assistance. Only 46% of students in the U.S. find themselves in jobs that correlate to their field of study. This problem is by far the hardest to fix. This can only be fixed in the U.S. government, forcing a change within the system.

Truly, there are several reasons as to why students can be slacking off. However, don’t always blame the student, as other factors may be adversely affecting them.

Boys Basketball: Senior Night Honors Six Players

By Kassandra Espinoza & Jose Jovel

Pueblo High School boys’ basketball team held their Senior Night on Jan. 29 against Salpointe High School—honoring six senior players and two managers.

Head Coach Daryl Jones has been coaching at Pueblo for three years, so this group of seniors have been with him the longest.

Jones said, “I will for sure miss this year’s seniors! This is the most I’ve gotten to see my players grow due to me only having been here for three years.”

Unfortunately, Pueblo fell short against Salpointe (56-49), but that did not change the celebration held after the game in honor of the seniors.

Senior basketball Captain, Jorge Franco said, “Even though I was stressed out at times during the game and throughout the season, it was also very exciting and an honor to be captain of the team.”

With plans to play basketball year-round with their own club team, Pueblo’s boys’ basketball team plans to grow during this time to have a thrilling season next year.

Senior Co-Captain Jacob Maya said, “I will most definitely miss playing games at Pueblo, as well as playing with my teammates. They’re like another family to me.”

In addition to the six players congratulated during senior night, two managers, seniors Emely Villanueva and Alexis Vargas, also got to be a part of the commemoration.

“As the season progressed, I learned more about the sport,” said Villanueva, “and I am going to miss the team more than anything because they always had such great morale. Even after losing a game, they would still be happy about being able to play basketball as a team.”

December 2023 Grads: On Their Way

By Briana L. Barreda

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, more than a dozen Pueblo High School students earned their secondary education diploma, and most attended a graduation ceremony the same day—held at Catalina High School, along with more than 100 other students from across TUSD.

Congratulations to the following December graduates:

Bryssa Alcantar; Jacob Amado; Angel Avalos Dorame; Kara Bertsch; Daritza Bravo Zavala; Moses Carpintero Sainz; Mariana Heredia; Krystal Hidalgo-Enriquez; Adrian Perez; Esteven Ruiz Hong; Steven Redondo; Jaime Rivera; Nathaly Salazar; and Senida Santiago.

Kara Bertsch

Most of these students needed an extra semester to fulfill credit requirements, and a few, like Kara Bertsch, graduated a semester early.

Bertsch said that she has saved enough money to live on her own and to attend college and eventually join the military.

“College is my ultimate goal, and so is serving my country in the military,” said Bertsch. “I decided to graduate a semester early because I feel mature enough to do so.”

Bertsch describes her three and half years at Pueblo as “exciting” and “fun”. She enjoyed her participation in sports, including swim and football as well as being part of Student Council and enrolling in AP classes.

“My experience here all of my four years went really well, considering all the positive experiences and opportunities I have gained,” Bertsch said.

Despite an amazing high school experience, Bertsch said that she has also endured some hard times and acknowledges Mr. Abel Escalante for support and encouragement.

“I thank Mr. Escalante for being there for me during my toughest times and encouraging me to meet my goals and graduate early,” Bertsch said.

As a Pueblo senior graduating early, Bertsch would like to give advice to her fellow Warriors struggling with challenges.

“I want to let everybody know that high school is important for you before going into the real world, so it is very important to finish strong. You’re almost there.”

Senior Graduates Early, Off To The Marines

By Aubrey Medina & Dania Navarrette

Before Pueblo High School student Jacob Amado develops “senioritis” next semester, he has decided to graduate early and begin a five-year military commitment in the United States Marines Corp.

Amado, still 17, will earn his high school diploma at the end of this semester and head off to “boot camp” for three months in San Diego, Calif., next month.

“I have been committed to the military since the end of my sophomore year,” Amado said. “I had a feeling two years ago that I wouldn’t be able to stay focused in college, so my decision to serve my country has been a wise one. I don’t want to waste any time or money in college when I’m still not sure what life career I want to pursue.”

After boot camp and a brief break, Amado said he will then be stationed in Virginia for approximately five months before finding out his next assignment which could involve guarding American embassies around the world and a few years of infantry.

“Nothing is as hard as you might think it is,” Amado said, advising his peers that they should never abandon their dreams no matter how challenging they may seem to be.

Amado worked especially hard this past semester to complete his high school credits early.

“The moment I committed to a future in the military, I stayed focused on completing this [Pueblo High School] chapter of my life,” he said.

Amado said that he does plan to attend the district’s ceremony for December 2023 graduates at Catalina High School so that he could officially have “closure” to this part of his life.

Although he said he will miss his family, friends, dogs and the “comforts of home”, Amado is eager to venture to boot camp on January 8, 2024.

“There will always be something [in Tucson] to return to,” he said, “but this [military commitment] is the next chapter of my life.”

[Amado is the grandson of campus monitor Ms. Nellie Rivera.]

Pueblo Class of 2024 Takes Group Photo!

By Kassandra Espinoza

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 2:30 p.m., the yearbook class organized and took a group picture for the Class of 2024, captured on the “Curly” Santa Cruz football field bleachers.

A senior in yearbook, Tatei Lopez, organized this event, posting an Instagram on the yearbook and student council pages to inform seniors where and what time the class picture would occur.

“I organized with our principal, Mr. Rosthenhausler, to set up the date and the time when everyone was mostly free for the class picture,” said yearbook editor-in-chief Sergio Lopez.

Unfortunately, many seniors did not show up for the photo shoot, which was not mandatory. Some seniors have reduced schedules and left school early, and some were not interested in participating.

Tatei Lopez said, “I think the picture should be made mandatory and be taken during school hours so we can have a bigger turn out of seniors.”

“Honestly, I don’t see why we should take another picture,” said Sergio Lopez. “In my opinion, the picture turned out great, and we can’t keep scheduling photo shoots for seniors who do not want to participate.”

He added that the senior group picture has been a Pueblo High School tradition for many years for yearbook classes because the photo allows students to unite and capture one of their last memories of high school.

Yearbook teacher/advisor Ms. Lacey Pratt said, “We took the senior picture to include in the 2024 yearbook, and we wanted to capture the spirit of this year’s seniors. It’s unfortunate that not every senior participated.”

A retake has not been discussed, Pratt said.

Class Of 2019 Finally Gets Its Legacy

By Illianna Valenzuela

Even though Pueblo High School has officially closed its campus this first semester of the school year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that does not mean that there are not great acts occurring. 

On Thursday, October 29, several members of the Class of 2019, along with students from Ms. Espindola’s Garden Club and other volunteers, planted 23 trees around the school. 

Graphic design teacher and Class of 2019 sponsor Mr. Ernesto Somoza said, “The senior class gifted me this project back in 2019, and they had to remind me several times that the project needed to get done. I felt like the student in this case.” 

Mary Rose Bourbon, Mr. Ernesto Somoza, Sam Lopez & Aylin Coronado.

Class of 2019 President Sam Lopez said, “The idea of planting trees was definitely something we have wanted to do since our freshman year. I believe the idea originally started back in a conversation between my mom and me during my first few weeks of high school. From there, my best friend and future Vice President Aylin [Coronado] and I brainstormed ways of leaving something that will embody the spirit and 

growth that the class of 2019 had. Planting trees was the most symbolic thing we could think of. With the help of our amazing sponsor, Mr. Somoza, we were able to pull this all together.” 

Most of the trees were planted in the north section of the school, but some were planted by the tennis courts and a few in the front of the school. Prior to the “big dig” event, Somoza and Lopez initiated the project by shoveling the earth, as starters, and realized that the task of planting nearly two dozen trees was going to be challenging for the incoming crew. 

“The ground was very hard,” Somoza said, “so for the days leading up to planting the trees, Sam [Lopez] and I—along with his mother—went to Pueblo to pour water in each of the holes to soften the dirt.” 

Eventually, after the dirt was softened, other participants from the Class of 2019 included Aylin Coronado, Mary Rose Bourbon, Jovan Miller, Kendall Ervin and Jasmine Bojorquez, could start digging holes and planting the trees. Many other people were involved in this project, including parents, underclassmen and several volunteers from the Tucson Clean and Beautiful Organization. 

Several varieties of trees were planted, including Red Push Pistache and Vitex. Three Texas Ash trees were donated by Pueblo High School Principal Mr. Frank Rosthenhausler (aka “Mr. R”). In the future, Somoza said that bench tables, a mural and flower beds may be placed in the same area to create a “Warrior Pride Plaza”. 

In the short time since the trees have been planted, Somoza said that the spaces are already becoming habitats for wildlife. 

“I saw a large red cardinal sitting on top of one of the trees and many other small wild birds using these trees as resting spots,” Somoza said. “The Vitex trees have already brought some butterflies, a praying mantis and a few lady bugs. It is interesting to see how an area like this can change so quickly in just a week or two by introducing water and trees.” 

He added, “The entire project process was beautiful. I really enjoyed seeing former students working with new students to make a positive change on our campus and in the world.” 

Jonel Castro helps shovel dirt.

“Being a student at Pueblo High School and being part of the Class of 2019 definitely had the biggest impact on who I am today,” Lopez said. “My time here at Pueblo, although short, were the best times of my life. It felt right to give back to something that has given so much to me.” 

Lopez added, “The callouses on Mr. Somoza’s hands will definitely serve as reminders of all of the hard work.”