Ms. Vickie Bellay: Thank You For ‘Getting Stuff Done’

By Jonathan Redondo & Emely Villanueva

Vickie Bellay

At the end of August, Pueblo security monitor Ms. Vickie Bellay, who was committed to keeping PHS safer for the past 23 years, decided to retire and start the next chapter of her life.

Bellay’s time over the years—one of the longest campus security tenures in Pueblo High School history—has taught her a lot about Pueblo’s “awesome” students. She added that every year during her years at PHS was different because every year brought new kids and experiences.

Undoubtedly, Bellay’s legacy will continue to grow as the years pass. Her campus security colleagues echoed the same sentiment regarding Bellay: “When Vickie was around, stuff would get done.”

Ms. Nora Monge, campus monitor, said, “She [Vickie] is number one, and she has no idea how much she is going to be missed.”

Another monitor, Ms. Nellie Rivera, said, “We’ll miss Vickie a lot, but hopefully we’ll see each other throughout the years.”

Bellay said upon leaving Pueblo, “I hope students will understand why I was so strict. I was doing my job to uphold the rules and policies, and I treated everybody equally. I was always objective—with everyone.”

She added that being with students and seeing their success and their academic pursuits was one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

Bellay said, “Going to work at Pueblo was my job, but it was always a joy, and I always took my role very seriously. All I wanted for students was to see them become successful. I treated y’all [students] how I treat my own kids because I wanted them all to be their best.”

With all the thousands of connections with students, faculty, and staff that Bellay has made over the past 20+ years, the positive impressions she has created are everlasting.

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.”

Warriors Show Thanksgiving Spirit


By Ashley Cordova & Elizabeth Noriega

In spirit of Thanksgiving, our Warriors always show their generosity to the Pueblo community and to the entire city. This is especially true of marketing teacher’s Dr. Maria Bicknell’s students, who made over 400 sandwiches for the Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community; these sandwiches will be distributed to the hungry.

Bicknell said that her marketing classes learn about different social responsibilities, including feeding the homeless.

“It’s [Casa Maria has] been there for so long, and it’s a valuable service that promotes justice and dignity to people who are not only homeless but also are members of the working community,” Bicknell said.

She added that many of her students generous brought condiments, bread and delicatessen meats in order to make the hundreds of sandwiches.

Junior Alexis Castro, one of Bicknell’s marketing students, said, “My favorite part of this project is getting to help people because it’s so rewarding and so humbling.”

Another marketing student, Alexis Basurto, a senior, said, “I have learned to appreciate the little things in life and not to take anything for granted.”

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.

Q & A With Former Wrestling Coach Steve Lopez


After 25 years as Pueblo’s Wrestling Coach (2 as an assistant under John Mulay), Steve Lopez decided to step down at the end of the 2015-2016.  With our wrestling season starting today, we want to show how much we appreciate his service & dedication to our school by publishing an interview we conducted with him on June 3, 2016.

Q: What motivated you to get into coaching?

Coach Lopez: I wanted to coach because I loved the sport of wrestling and what it taught me.

Q: Can you share some of your first memories of coaching at Pueblo?

Coach Lopez: I remember that it was hard. Teaching and motivating kids was hard but yet fun. You get closer to your athletes than you do in any other sport.

Q: Can you explain your coaching philosophy?

Coach Lopez: My philosophy is and will always be, get [the kids] to trust you and like you, then love the sport, then they will move mountains for you.

Q: Can you share some your highs & lows as a coach?

Learning how to coach, being patient, losing and losing bad at times and the kids being disappointed at you for no reason, those were some of the lows.  Having a string of successes, wining multiple region titles and a state title & coaching my son would have to be up there as highs.

Q: Please share some of your most memorable moment(s) of your coaching experience?

Coach Lopez: Winning a state title and my son being a part of it.  Coaching a bunch of fine young men and still having some of them in my life as I have grown older.

Q: What will you miss most about coaching especially the start of next season?

Coach Lopez: I will miss the grind. Hanging out everyday with these boys and motivating them and encouraging them to do their best. Telling them they will be better young men for doing this, participating in the hardest sport.\

Q: How did you know it was time to walk away from coaching?

Coach Lopez: I knew it was time because we have the guys here and in place to take over and are poised to do a great job. No better place to leave [program] in the hands of other former Pueblo Wrestling State champs who love the sport.

Q: Any advice to future coaches here at Pueblo?

Coach Lopez: Continue to motivate guys to do their best and never give up.

Q: Is there anyone you want to thank for their support of your coaching career or the program?

Coach Lopez: Thank you to Dr. Richardson for hiring me at first, Mr. Nuñez who supported me for many years, Frank R. for always supporting me in every way possible, Ms. Rimmell who supported us from start to finish, and many teachers and administrators who were always there.  You have always been a fan and have supported the wrestling program. For that I am indebted to you. Ms. Boone has always been there to support. So many, many people…

Q: How will you spend you free time now?

Coach Lopez: I will probably volunteer and help.  I will spend more time with my family and my new granddaughter Callie, working on my Lowrider and just enjoying my time.

On behalf of the entire Pueblo Family: Thank you Coach!