Budget Cuts In CCLC Funding

By Ismael Angulo & Xylenn Nevarez

CCLC Students In Library

Pueblo High School’s 21st Century Community Learning Center, also known as CCLC, has been a five-year program helping students excel in their school work and to catch up with their credits. However, the program had its budget cut from $140,000 to $100,000 this year and next year. This is year five, and Pueblo has to reapply next year for another five-year cycle to fund the program with $100,000.

Ms. Mary Wallace, the coordinator of the program, said, “It’s [the budget cuts are] very difficult, and all of it comes out of instruction, but Pueblo got lucky this year because we got an enhancement grant to put in a maker space.”

The enhancement grant will cover the budget cut, boosting the program’s budget back up to $140,000.

Wallace said, “The students would not have seen as many classes offered, and we wouldn’t have as many tutors. Last year we had 22 employees, and we spent every dime of our budget on those 22 employees.”

She added that losing that money from a student’s perspective would prompt a decrease in grades and G.P.A rates among the students in the program since less activities would be offered.

The program has had a great impact on students.

Senior Desiree Martin is currently making up her freshman credits for English and Algebra 1.

“During my freshman year, I struggled a lot,” Martin said. “The CCLC program is helping me to graduate in the spring. I can’t believe that this program may not exist in the future. Even if there are budget cuts, it’s going to affect a lot of our students at Pueblo. CCLC is the perfect opportunity to catch up with credits- especially for us seniors.”

Michael Rodriguez, a senior who is also in the CCLC program,  said, “I’m so relieved that I have the extra time and help I didn’t have in class. This program has allowed me to take my time and understand the content.”

Wallace wants students to know that they can still enroll in the CCLC program. The program does not have a cap regarding the number of students enrolled.

“Grades 9 and 10 are our primary focus,” Wallace said, “We do not have a limit, we have a goal, and we need to have 120 students who attend at least 30 days or more.”

Wallace wants to ensure that the program will continue successfully after she decides to retire. She said, “It’s important for me to teach another person how to apply for the grant and take over as the new CCLC coordinator so that the program can carry on.”

Health Clinic On Wheels Serves Pueblo Community

By Darian Aldaco and Palmira Henriquez

The Teen Mobile Health Clinic (on wheels!) rolls onto the Pueblo High School campus twice a week, every second and fourth Monday of each month. According to Pueblo’s nurse Ms. Kate Straub, many students have taken advantage of the clinic’s services. Some students have asked questions regarding sex health and hygiene including those related to sexually-transmitted diseases [STD’s] and birth control.

Nurse Straub said, “Students need to know that their visit to this clinic is completely free and very confidential.”

Students who wish to visit the clinic are required to schedule an appointment with Nurse Straub; students will be excused from class.

She added that students do not need their parents’ permission to visit the clinic.

The Teen Mobile Clinic makes its rounds at various other schools, including Project More, TAPP (Teen Age Pregnant Program) and Cholla.

Nurse Straub said, “[Students] having access to this clinic is fantastic, and everybody deserves to have free and confidential help.”

Class Of 2000 Grad Returns To Pueblo As Attendance Clerk

By Getsemani Cazares and Arlie Kontic

The last time Ms. Angelica Aros was at Pueblo, as a high school senior in the 1999-2000 school year, PHS still had pay phones around campus; 18 years ago, students—and much of the world—did not know what cell phones were. People were still “paging” on their “beepers”, she recalled.

Aros is Pueblo’s newest attendance clerk—filling in for Ms. Rosalie Sinteral, who retired in December. But, she is not new to working in T.U.S.D.

“I know this [attendance office] work extremely well,” Aros said. “I could do this job in my sleep.”

Prior to returning to Pueblo, Aros worked at Pistor Middle School for seven years; then, she moved to Hohokam Middle School until the facility closed, at which time she transitioned to Tucson High Magnet School, where she remained for nearly four years.

Following graduation from Pueblo High School in the spring of 2000, Aros (whose maiden name was Miranda) attended Pima Community College with a soccer scholarship.

“Sports were always my passion in high school,” Aros said. “In fact, they still are.”

She added that although she loves her job, sometimes she chuckles at some of the excuses parents give for their children being absent or tardy.

“I could probably write a book about all of the stories I’ve heard [from parents],” Aros said. “As silly as some of the excuses are, we [the attendance office] have to accept them as legitimate.”

Except for the pay phones being removed from campus, Aros said that Pueblo “pretty much looks the same” as it did back in 2000.

“It’s good to be back,” she said.

Ms. Sarah Barnes Begins New Life In Tucson In 21st Century

By Ernesto Estopellan

On the first day of the 21st Century (Jan. 1, 2001), Ms. Sarah Barnes, one of the most visibly new employees at Pueblo High School this school year, arrived in Tucson from the East Coast, serving as a multi-tiered systems facilitator to help teachers learn new strategies to help increase our students’ test scores—as well as boost the overall morale at Pueblo.

Late last semester, Barnes was the primary speaker for our entire student population during a cohort meeting, stressing responsible cell phone behavior and other important social media advice.

“I want to get to know everybody at Pueblo,” Barnes said. “I want to know our students, the teachers, work with administrators and I want people to ask questions because I have a lot of questions to ask. In the short time that I’ve been here, I can tell that this school has a heart and soul.”

Barnes was born in Delaware in 1977, and while visiting Tucson, she fell in love with the weather, so she transferred from the University of Delaware to the University of Arizona.

“Moving here [to Tucson] was like getting out of jail,” Barnes said. “It was liberating to get out of Delaware for many personal reasons.”

She explained that education was not her first choice for a career. In fact, Barnes said that she studied criminology and even considered joining the police academy.

“Somehow my focus changed to education when I met somebody who suggested that I become a teacher,” Barnes said. “That somebody was our assistant principal Frank Rosthenhausler.”

She taught math for more than a dozen years before becoming interested in becoming a multi-tiered systems facilitator.

“I want to be a positive influence at Pueblo,” Barnes said. “I’m here for just about everybody—especially our students. But, I want teachers to know, too, that I wholeheartedly support them in every way possible.”

Barnes helps recognize students’—and teachers’!—perfect attendance this school year, printing achievement certificates for them.

“Everybody is a star at Pueblo,” she said.

Ms. Rachel Apalategui ‘Checks In’ With Attendance Office

By Esperanza Landeros

After the sudden retirement of registrar Ms. Marina Ordoñez last summer, a new Warrior comes to the rescue to fill that position: Ms. Rachel Apalategui—who actually knew Ordoñez for many years prior to coming to Pueblo.

Apalategui is no stranger to Tucson Unified School District. She has worked at multiple schools, including Grijalva Elementary School, Pistor Middle School, Tucson High Magnet School and now at Pueblo.

“So far, I really do enjoy being here,” Apalategui said. “Pueblo people are very sweet, and our students are very, very kind.”

Coming to Pueblo has been somewhat of a bittersweet transition, Apalategui admitted. She spent 14 years at Tucson High, which she said kept her “grounded”.

“To be honest, I was really homesick [for Tucson High] in my first few weeks of being at Pueblo,” Apalategui said. “However, I have no regrets at all at this time, but coming here was a really huge change. I was used to more than 3,200 students compared to half of that number at Pueblo.” She paused and said, “I do love the smaller numbers.”

To be a high school registrar requires a great deal of communication and diplomacy, Apalategui explained. For example, this spring, she has to ensure that seniors have sufficient credits to graduate, and that can be very frustrating. She added that she has to have a frequent dialogue with counselors to make sure every senior is on track to graduate—and how to help every senior graduate in May.

“My advice to students—and especially to seniors this semester—is to make an appointment with their counselors to make a plan to best suit their chances of graduating on time,” she said. “Nothing is more tragic than seniors waiting until the last few weeks before graduation only to realize that they are missing one credit or even one-half credit—and not graduating until summer.”

Although her office walls are a bit bare, they won’t be for long, Apalategui insisted.

“Pueblo is home now,” she said.

Welcome, Ms. Janet Olvera! (Déjà Vu?)

By Iram Arce

Ms. Janet Olvera

Among the more than two dozen new teachers and staff members new to Pueblo High School this school year is Ms. Janet Olvera, Pueblo’s Data Intervention Specialist—to interpret data to assist teachers in developing specific interventions to improve student learning. Even though this job may be new to Olvera, Pueblo is hardly new to her—as she graduated from P.H.S. back in 1997.

Olvera is joining the Warrior teaching/staff family with many years of educational experience. She taught elementary students at Henry Oyama and Lynn Urquides Elementary Schools. Then, she spent another three years at Pistor Middle School as a counselor after earning her master’s degree from the Northern Arizona University.

“I loved teaching [elementary students],” Olvera said, “but I really prefer working with students one-on-one, which is why I prefer counseling students. I like helping students with their academic, social and emotional needs.”

Olvera said that it’s no accident that she was steered in the field of education.

“I had great teachers at Pueblo back in the mid-1990s,” she said. “I can’t believe that a lot of my teachers are still here. I definitely remember Ms. Avila-Miranda, my math teacher. She sure had a lot of patience. Even though I was always respectful of teachers, I probably gave her a harder time than I’d like to admit. I remember laughing a lot in my classes—just having fun but always learning.”

She paused and added, “I also learned a lot in Mr. [Steve] Lopez’ math class! I never knew math could be taught with such enthusiasm and creativity.”

Olvera said that she also remembers Ms. [Wilma] Amaro, Ms. [Lydia] Morales, Mr. [Cristobál] Santa Cruz and Ms. [Dr. Maria] Bicknell and added that she is glad they’re all still teaching because they all made such huge impacts on her.

“Mr. [Rana] Medhi was my favorite teacher at Pueblo, though,” Olvera said. “Everything I know about English, I learned in his class. I can’t even write a letter without thinking of him and everything he taught me. He definitely left a lasting impression on me, and it was so good to see him again.”

Olvera also expressed that Pueblo Principal Dr. Augustine Romero has been extremely supportive.

“Dr. Romero is definitely the best administrator that I’ve ever worked for,” Olvera said. “He values and respects his teachers and staff members. It’s like being part of a family here at Pueblo, and I love that community feeling here.”

As for being back at Pueblo, Olvera said, “Some things never change—surprisingly, Pueblo is about the same as it was in the 1990s when I was a student here—minus students’ dependency on technology.”

Several years after graduating from high school, Olvera said that she had a few dreams about returning to Pueblo.

“Somehow, I always knew I’d be back here,” Olvera said.