Science Class Visits Park, Studies Saguaros

By Getsemani Cazares

On Monday, Feb. 19, Pueblo teacher Ms. Elizabeth Raizk escorted her juniors and seniors in her advanced placement environment science class on a field trip to nearby Saguaro National Park (West) to study our desert’s indigenous cacti.

On this trip, approximately 15 miles west of Pueblo High School, students studied different sizes of saguaros—as well as to measure their heights and temperatures. Students even studied bird holes in these saguaros.

Raizk said, “There were four groups of six students, and each group’s job was to study a different plot, each with five saguaros.”

Students were required to hike to find their “assigned” saguaros, so they used a GPS and a photo log, which were helpful resources to these students.

Raizk said, “My students and I were outside for two hours, so after all of the hiking, we spent some time at the Visitors Center to eat lunch.”

Senior Maria Servellon attended the field trip, and she expressed that this event ended up being a “blessing”.

“[Before the trip] I was totally stressed—about grades, tests and deadlines,” Servellon said, “so this field trip was definitely an outlet for me.”

She added, “At first, however, I thought this would be just an average hiking trip through a land of cactus. However, my peers and I had an opportunity to conduct annual saguaro surveys and observed how certain cacti grow over time and how they measure environmental impacts. I learned that saguaros are great indicators of weather patterns and water patterns.”

Senior Marco Madrigal also attended the field trip.

“I very much enjoyed the experiences about this field trip—especially how to measure saguaros and learn that the desert is an integral part of where we live,” Madrigal said. “We definitely learn a lot more when we actually get to experience learning instead of reading about saguaros out of textbooks. I’ll never forget everything I learned on this field trip.”

Saguaro National Park (West) boasts many visitors, Raizk said, but not many native students, which Raizk think is “a shame” because the Park is the “grand symbol” of the Sonoran Desert.

Saguaros should be respected by all, Raizk said, and they are especially culturally important to the Tohono O’odham Nation. These Native Americans harvest ripe saguaro fruit in the spring to make wines, jams, and jellies. Saguaro wine is ritually consumed during Nawait I’i, a Tohono O’odham rain ceremony.

Few people know that saguaros are the largest of all cactus species in the United States and can grow to more than 40 feet tall and can weigh more than a ton! Saguaros can also live to be between 100 and 200 years old. Some saguaros can grow as many as 25 “arms”; some grow none.

On March 1, 1933, in the last days of his presidency, Herbert Hoover signed a proclamation that established the Saguaro National Monument, which was considered a victory for both botanists and boosters in Arizona who had worked for years to protect this species. Most importantly, in 1961, at the urging of the people of Tucson and Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall, President John F. Kennedy added 25 square miles of splendid cactus lands in the Tucson Mountains to the Monument.

Finally, after setting aside vast areas as wilderness, Congress elevated Saguaro to “National Park” status in 1994.

Raizk said, “The desert is a piece of all of us.”

Mariachi Aztlan De Pueblo Psyches-Up For Conference

By Jacquelyn Gutierrez

Pueblo High School’s 17 members of Mariachi Aztlán will be participating in this year’s Tucson International Mariachi Conference (TIMC) later this month and hopefully bringing home an impressive fifth consecutive first place.

The TIMC is a prestigious event that includes participants from mariachi groups all over the country, including world renowned Mariachi Vargas, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, and this year, Mariachi Sol De Mexico is coming to Tucson from Los Angeles.

Closer to home, Pueblo Mariachi Aztlán member Carmen Membrila, a sophomore, said, “We’re very hopeful in winning for the fifth time this year. We have a very good set list, so the whole Mariachi group and I are very excited.”

This Conference is held at Casino Del Sol for three days—from April 25 through April 28. The Mariachi’s vary in ages—from as young as elementary-aged students to high school.

Pueblo mariachi teacher Mr. John Contreras said, “We’ve been working long hours during and after school. This [conference] is our main focus right now, so I wish us the best of luck.”

Practicing for a couple months now, Mariachi Aztlán has been preparing to keep up the number one record. For the five seniors in this year’s program, they are hoping for another victorious placing.

“Unfortunately this will be one of my last conferences,” said senior Liam Membrila, “but we have been working hard and playing the songs over and over, so I’m confident about how we do at this year’s conference.”

Mariachi Club president Destiny Olea, a senior who has been in the club since her sophomore year, said, “Between now and the conference, our group needs to perfect our set list enough for us to compete—as well as to remember to have fun and not stress.”

“Regardless of the new members this year, our mariachi group is just as dedicated as ever,” Olea said. “Our passion and our originality are definitely assets to our program.”

She added that the group does more than just play mariachi music. Earlier this year, Pueblo’s mariachi group raised approximately $5,000 for school children victimized by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Texas area by performing with other local mariachi groups.

‘WOW’: Skaters Search For Space

by Celestina Marinez

There is a history to Pueblo’s “WOW” (“Warriors on Wheels”) Club, which has transitioned to “Smokeout Skateboards”, an organization that currently has a Facebook page. They even promote their club on their own t-shirts.

Unfortunately, not many people have seen these t-shirts because of the printed illegal paraphernalia: cigars in the shape of skateboards as well as “a lot of smoke” on the front of these shirts, which might be construed by some as “a disruption of the educational process”—as they are banned from Pueblo’s campus.

Daniel Coronado Solis, a senior, made the initiative to turn a small group of skateboarders into an official club, thanks to their sponsor Mr. Gene Balsz.

For one year, WOW was very visible on Pueblo’s campus, doing their tricks and spinning their wheels. However, the club was dissolved when administrative support for the skateboarders waned.

Solis said, “At first Mr. R. [Rosthenhausler] seemed supportive. However, after a year or so of promising us a spot on campus to skate, eventually we were told by administration that we could no longer skate because of possible injuries.”

“It was kind of depressing to all of the skaters because we couldn’t do what we loved most,” Solis said. “Our lunch time became very sad.”

Armando Alcoverde, another senior who was been with the club for about a year, said that he, too, was devastated when the skateboarders were told not to skate anymore.

“I’ve always used skateboarding as a great way to relieve stress and anxiety,” Alcoverde said. “One day, when I was practicing new tricks on campus before classes started, I landed on the skateboard wrong, and as a result, my board went flying and my head hit the cement—enough to give me a Level One concussion.”

Alcoverde said that he was sent home after his injury, which he describes as “the lowest form of concussion”.

Soon after this incident, Rosthenhausler put a red light to the club, citing that they were insurance liability to the school.

Freshman Santiago Estrella is new to the club this year, even though officially the club doesn’t exist at Pueblo. However, Solis insists that his Smokeout Skateboard is the new “WOW”.

“I would like to bring back WOW to Pueblo, officially, next year as sophomore,” Estrella said. “We are going to have to be persuasive with Pueblo’s administrators—and somehow convince them that we are worthy of having our own club again. Maybe if we promised to wear protective gear, they might listen to us.”

“If a student gets hurt in football or another core sport, administrators don’t cancel these clubs,” Estrella said. “Many students have had concussions from other sporting events, and yet they continue at Pueblo?”

Our skateboarders are still trying to persuade Rosthenhausler for a permanent location for them to practice their trade. There is no word yet if students will be allowed to spin their skateboard wheels on campus next year.

“Even though I’m graduating in May,” Alcoverde said, “I would love to leave a legacy—and that is to see a skateboard club reinstated here at Pueblo.”

Warriors United For ‘March For Our Lives’

By Iram Arce

On Wednesday, March 14, thousands of high schools across the United States participated in a “March For Our Lives” event to pay homage to the 17 shooting victims at Marjorie Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14—as well as to express their strong opinions about a lack of stricter gun laws.

More than a thousand Warriors and many teachers and staff members participated in its own march at approximately 12:45 p.m. after the radio broadcast during sixth period.

Students started by walking in solidarity around the track two times.

Participants marched from their classrooms to the football field for approximately 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims in Florida. Students then were directed to the bleachers to listen to students’ speeches.

First, Dr. Augustine Romero voiced his support for students’ opinions.

Twelve students spoke afterwards—each of them conveying their concerns regarding school safety and regulating the Second Amendment, either in short two or three-minute speeches or in the form of poems.

One of the dozen speakers, senior Brianna Metzler, said, “Because of my anxiety issues, giving this speech was a true testament to needing to express my voice. I took a chance [to publicly speak] and do not regret the words that I shared with nearly a thousand students. I’m proud of myself, and I really hope that I was heard.”

Warriors listened attentively to the speeches prepared by their classmates.

“I was shocked at how many students participated,” said senior Jorge Becerril, who was one of a few students instrumental in organizing this event. “I was equally impressed by the quality of the speeches from students who were very committed to expressing their voice about gun violence at our schools across the country.”

Another senior who co-organized this event, senior Liam Membrila, said, “I have always seen and felt the hunger for myself and my generation to be heard. I really want to show our representatives our reality—seeing the swarm of Pueblo students and faculty marching and chanting, ‘The people united shall never be divided!’ This inspired me to be even louder.”

Membrila added, “The greatest frustration, however, was a constant tug-of-war with the district about allowing local media on campus. It’s not as if our march were something disrespectful or about something illegal. We [students] were speaking about our safety. My generation will be the change.”

“Last minute changes were very frustrating,” Becerril said. “I was disappointed that our administrators did not allow Channel 4 [KVOA] on campus, but I suppose that they had their directives from the district office. It’s not like we were trying to riot or speak about something not legal. We students definitely had a mission and a purpose, and our diligence to have common sense gun laws hopefully lasts until there is change. I would think that our administrators would want the Pueblo community to have media coverage because what we students did was very positive.”

Student body president Kanani Salazar, a senior, was one of the two emcees at the event, introducing each speaker.

“The march was extremely organized,” Salazar said. “We heard many different voices that are seldom heard. I hope this isn’t the last of these marches because students need to be heard. Young people across the nation are the future of this country, and we will make positive changes, including common sense Second Amendment laws.”

Another emcee, senior Cynthia Amarillas, said, “I am very proud of the Pueblo community for uniting for a very valid cause. We will be the generation that changes gun laws in America. We all must register to vote so that our voices are heard. We will not abandon this movement. Enough is enough!”

Seniors Darlene Padilla and Bea Nevarez set up a table for 18-year-olds to register to vote, and many seniors took advantage of this opportunity.

Andrea Cuevas, a senior, and one of the hundreds of participants in the march, said, “Voting is essential to change this country’s policies. Young people—especially Hispanics—need to vote. This generation is creating this country’s future. If we don’t vote, then we become merely bystanders.”

TUSD School Board member Ms. Adelita Grijalva (and a former Pueblo graduate—from the Class of 1989) voiced how proud she was of Warriors’ spirit and their commitment to making positive changes.

At approximately 2 p.m., the march was officially over, and students returned to their classes feeling confident that they had made a difference in their community.

“Overall, Pueblo High School’s first march to pay homage to Florida’s shooting victims was undoubtedly very successful,” said Cynthia Amarillas. “Hopefully this march also showed administration that students are capable of organizing and implementing events that make a positive difference.”

Aerial Photos: Andrew Romero, a junior, under the supervision of teacher Mr. Ernesto Somoza.

Juniors, Seniors: ACT Test Dates Approaching Quickly!

By Kyle Elhard and Sasha Villa

Completing college applications can be a fairly difficult process for our seniors, whether it involves the actual application process or passing entrance exams. Also, juniors should be preparing for college since they will be seniors in less five months.

Mr. Antonio Garcia, also known simply as “Tony” by most seniors, is one of Pueblo’s career counselors and is promoting ACT workshops for the remainder of the semester.

Seniors will be able to retake the ACT on April 14; most colleges accept students with a score of 20 and higher. If seniors scored lower than this, they are very encouraged to retake the test next month.

Juniors can take the test for the first time on April 3.

Both seniors and juniors are encouraged to enroll in an ACT Prep Workshop here at Pueblo on March 14 and March 28 from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the College and Career Center.

“The [ACT] workshops help students to understand the structure of tests,” said Garcia, “as well as the importance of them.” He added, “It’s not that students aren’t ready for the ACT workshops, it’s that they’re not prepared.”

Junior Candy Rodriguez is one of hundreds in her Class of ’19 who will be taking the ACT test on April 3rd.

“I’m very much looking forward to the test,” Rodriguez said. “I’ll be preparing for this test over spring break so that I can achieve a maximum score. I really want to score at least 20 on my first try.”

Warriors Plan For Spring Break (Hope For No Homework!)

  

By Alina Cuen and Daniela Moreno

With spring break around the corner, students and staff members are seeing a light at the end of this third quarter tunnel. In a week, it will be time, at last, to be able to put our feet up and relax.

Here’s what some of our fellow Warriors have to say about spring break…

Nobody needs a respite more than our seniors; many of our Class of ’18 students have already had a full-blown case of senioritis, and some are still struggling with this “infliction”.

Mauro Sanchez, a senior, said, “Over the break, I want to go swimming and get rid of this farmer’s tan!” He added, “And for teachers who want to give us homework… NO!!! There’s absolutely no reason for teachers to give us homework over the break!”

Freshman Jorge Olmos said, “I’m excited for spring break because we don’t have to worry about school, and, no, we students shouldn’t have homework because we all really need a break.”

He added, “The perfect spring break would be 365 days.”

Aaron Cano, a sophomore, said, “I’m really excited for spring break because I can finally sleep in and get the rest that I need! No teachers should give students homework! We all need a break—especially the teachers! I know that I desperately need a break from school. I’d love to be able to spend the break with my girlfriend.”

Abigail Sotelo, a senior who is really excited for the break, said, “I can’t wait for spring break! I’m going to go out, swim and party!” She added, “And teachers shouldn’t give out homework, it’s our break, and it’s their break, too! They need time to recharge their batteries before the fourth quarter begins on March 26th!”

“The perfect spring break would be to go to Rocky Point,” Sotelo affirmed.

Principal Dr. Romero said, “Over the break, I’m going to watch my son play baseball and my daughter play soccer. I’ll also be working two days that week. For me, the perfect spring park is spending a lot of time with family, eating rib-eye steaks, pico de gallo and tripas de leche.”

“No, I don’t believe that teachers should give out homework over the break,” Romero said. “I think it’s an opportunity for everyone to recharge themselves. It’s a time to catch up on family, interests, and a time to rest and to de-stress.”

So, teachers, you hear that? – Straight from the Boss! J Happy Spring Break, Pueblo High School!