…And Assistant Principal Gunnels Makes Four

by Adamaris Castillo

New this school year to the administrative family at Pueblo High School is former English teacher Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, who officially begins as assistant principal with a long list of responsibilities, including the planning of meetings for teachers (Professional Learning Communities), supervising advanced learning opportunities, finalizing the master schedule and organizing student-testing events.

She also communicates to staff via a weekly update on teachers’ computer work stations.

“This is the hardest job I’ve ever had,” Gunnels said, “but I also love it—not only to help students but also to support Pueblo’s great teaching staff.”

Gunnels, who taught English for 10 years at Pueblo (in two separate time periods), actually fulfilled her student-teaching assignment under the supervision of Mr. Manny Galvan, who retired a few years ago (but occasionally substitute-teaches) and Ms. Marci Bowman, who also retired from teaching.

“I knew then [while student-teaching] that Pueblo was a special place,” Gunnels said. “I may have left Pueblo for a few years [to pursue other positions], but I’m definitely back, and it feels like a second home.”

She revealed that education was not her first career choice. Gunnels said that she majored in business, but after mentoring at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, she was inspired to become an educator.

And, as far as being the fourth employee with the surname “Gunnels” to be employed at Pueblo High School, Assistant Principal Gunnels said, “We have a rule at our house at the dinner table. My husband, two sons and I are not allowed to talk about school.”

Husband Mr. Michael Gunnels is a communications media tech teacher; son Jeren is a transition school-to-work instructional specialist; and other son, Derek, is an exceptional education teacher.

“I’m here [as an assistant principal] especially for our students,” Gunnels said. “I want students to know that when they make mistakes or face monumental obstacles, it’s not the end of the world. I want to help them realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I want to help them find solutions to their problems.”

She added, “I want our students at Pueblo to know that they can do anything with their lives—they have the potential to achieve greatness.”

Mr. Nicolas Pitts: ‘Pueblo Is the Place To Be’

by Bryan Bueno

Mr. Nicolas Pitts

Mr. Nicolas Pitts is one of the many new staff hired here at Pueblo High School this year, and he said that he is definitely ready to teach!

As a new biology teacher, Pitts feels as if he can make a huge impact on the Pueblo freshmen in his classroom.

“I think biology is the foundation of biotech, which is the future of technology,” he said. “I really want them to make that connection.”

After graduating from Tucson High Magnet School in 2009 and then from the University of Arizona, Pitt traveled to Columbia (South America); he lived there from the ages of 23 through 25.

Pitts said he applied for teaching position at Pueblo because “it’s close to home and his culture” and because he wanted to help build Pueblo’s rich community.

“I feel good very comfortable at Pueblo so far,” Pitts said.

Besides his love of many sports (including riding his bike), Pitts said that he loves to practice speaking Spanish. Pitts said that he also likes “reggaeton” music and claims that Farruko is his favorite artist in this music genre.

At 26 years old, Pitts said that he has a lot planned for his first year at Pueblo, despite not knowing for sure how much longer he wants to remain in Tucson.

“If I stay in Tucson, Pueblo is the place where I want to be,” he said.

Let’s Welcome Dr. Wiley To PHS!

By Victor Garcia

New to our Warrior Family this school year is Dr. Christine Wiley, who is starting the 2016-17 school year as a new ELD (English Language Development) teacher to educate students whose primary language is not English.

Wiley has a very eclectic teaching resumé. She taught for a while at the University of California (at Irvine) and even taught English in Japan to junior high school Japanese students. This is Wiley’s first year teaching high school students.

“I grew up in Tucson, so in essence I moved back home,” Wiley said. “I decided that I really wanted to teach ELD in public education. It seemed like a perfect fit considering my past teaching experience.”

There are four levels of ELD classes, and each ELD student is placed in one of these levels depending upon their level of expertise. Beginning English learners are enrolled in ELD 1; those students who are almost ready to transition to a “regular” English class are enrolled in ELD 4.  This year, Wiley teaches ELD levels 3 and 4, which includes students in all four grades of high school.

Wiley said her goal for this year is to be the best teacher that she can be and help students achieve their academic goals.

“Even though this is my first semester here, I can tell that I already like Pueblo’s students,” Wiley said. “They are all very nice and very caring.”