Pueblo Students Blaze ‘Ivy League” Trail Once Again

By Esmeralda Almazan

Six Pueblo High School students were selected to participate in the Southern Arizona Ivy League Project trip, which has become somewhat of a tradition for the past eleven years.

Senior Juan Pablo Gomez, as well as juniors Esmeralda Almazan, Xristian Berry, and Marianna Martinez, left Tucson at the end of the third quarter, at the onset of Spring Break for an eight-day itinerary-packed adventure 3,000 miles from Tucson.

However, the weather was anything but “spring-like”, as students and chaperones endured very cold temperatures on the East Coast. PHS students traveled with four other students from nearby high schools as well as several chaperones, including three parents and Ms. Corina Ontiveros, founder/organizer of the Ivy League Project, also accompanied students.

Day One was perhaps the most exhausting for students: Tucson… to Denver… to Boston- at 5 a.m. on Friday!

Martinez said, “There was no room for us yet at the hotel, so we went on to visit nearby MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] and Harvard University. The architecture back East is so beautiful and historical- completely different from Tucson.”

She added, “We also got to visit Quincy Market in downtown Boston, and that was an awesome cultural experience.”

Finally, at 7 p.m., the students got to their rooms!

Throughout the next six days, students were treated to more than a dozen universities and numerous historical landmarks and memories.

Before leaving Massachusetts, students visited Boston University (the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) Almazan said, “There was something magical about Boston University. I felt comfortable in the city, and I’m considering pursuing a Biomedical Engineering degree here.”

Then, students were off to Amherst University, Smith College (an all women’s institution), Tufts University, and 112-year-old Fenway Park-one of the country’s most beloved baseball stadiums (and host of the Boston Red Sox). Students then traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, to tour Brown University.

Berry said, “It doesn’t take long to get through those New England states. We’re [those in Tucson] are used to driving two hours to Phoenix. In the Northeast, you can get to and through three different states at that same time!”

Bill De La Rosa

Day Four’s itinerary was packed! From New Hampshire… to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut…There, students got to visit 2012 PHS graduate Bill De La Rosa, who is completing his degree in Law School.

Next on the students’ itinerary was Colombia University in New York City. While in “The Big Apple”, students visited the 9/11 Memorial and Times Square. Still in NYC during the morning and early afternoon hours of Day Five, students took a ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island and were awestruck seeing 150-foot Lady Liberty.

Then… onto New Jersey and Princeton University and then to Philadelphia, Penn., often called “the birthplace of America”, as it was the country’s first capitol and where our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.

Day Six was perhaps the students’ busiest day—visiting Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania— before heading to the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, where the students visited Georgetown University and many American war monuments. Also on the agenda were the Washington Monument and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

On their last day, students visited Catholic University in DC and then the U.S. Capitol and Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva’s office. Students met John Green, the New York Times best-selling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down (which has been turned into a movie and will be released this spring).

The White House was one of the students’ last stops before heading for the airport.

After a week “on the road”, students looked to the sky—as they were jet-propelled back to Tucson…And then to their beds. Dr. Toro has accompanied the Pueblo High School group every year. This year, she decided to take a step back and let Mr. Alvarez and other school faculty attend.

“I am not going to be at Pueblo forever, so it is important for other faculty members to experience its value and want to continue it after I leave,” Toro said. “Sustainability and legacy are vital keys.”

Berry said, “This trip was inspirational, for sure, and I am already considering applying to Yale University. I loved the school’s architecture and spirit. That campus is like its own little city.”

Martinez said, “I loved Colombia, Brown, and Yale, and I’d love to pursue my goal of becoming a speech pathologist at one of those colleges.”

Almazan added, “Don’t let anyone influence you about a school. Keep an open mind regarding your choices. If you feel comfortable there, then you’ll feel more at home.”

As May arrives, students with a 3.75+ GPA will be invited to apply to the Arizona Southwest Leadership Initiative and then interviewed in June.

Pueblo Groups Entertain Crowd At 99th Annual Rodeo Parade

By Jenna Twaje

This past Feb. 22 marked Tucson’s 99th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo (simply known as just “the Rodeo”), and for the past nearly 60 years, Pueblo High School students have performed in this Southern Arizona iconic event.

This year, Pueblo’s Cheer, Mariachi Aztlán and Band entertained the crowd from 12th Avenue all the way back to the rodeos grounds.

Yesenia Martinez, Pueblo’s Cheer coach, enjoyed the experience there. With the team practicing for a few weeks, she praised her team for doing a “great job.” She added that she loved seeing family and friends in the crowd waving and supporting our Warriors.

Pueblo’s band teacher Mr. John Guzman said his class had also performed “very well” throughout the parade. He admitted that the team worked very hard and there was a lot of preparation for the rodeo parade, conditioning his class for the three-mile march.

Senior Alexis Vargas, a member of Mariachi Aztlán group, had practiced with her class for a week before the rodeo.

“This was my second appearance at the rodeo,” Vargas said, “and I really tried to soak it all in since it’s my senior year.”

Next year’s La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo will be celebrating its centennial (100th) year, and Pueblo High School will be sure to be part of the festivities.

Pueblo Science Night: Another ‘Explosive’ Success

By Jose Jovel

On Friday, March 22, Pueblo’s Science Club held their 17th annual “Science Night” in the patio and South Gym after school for guests to enjoy and to intrigue.

The Science Club was not the only group present; multiple science classes showcased several types of science experiments and activities to entertain and fascinate visitors.

Science club sponsor Ms. Vaishali Jaiswal said, “Students did an amazing job with participating during Science Night, and my anatomy class dissected a rabbit and sheep’s eye.”

Pueblo High School’s physics, chemistry, physiology, and biotechnology students and teachers answered questions to the science-curious, and they boasted their knowledge of various sciences.

PHS’s Mariachi Aztlan, Tucson Electrical Power, and representatives from the University of Arizona food safety group also made their presence known.

Science Club president junior Esmeralda Almazan said, “Science Night was an immense success in my opinion, and I cannot wait for next year’s event to make this an even grander event.”

Science Club members were successful organizing this evening, spending weeks orchestrated various activities and to set up for visitors from not only PHS students, faculty and staff but also community members.

Science club sponsor Ms. Elaine Straub said, “We sponsors just make sure to facilitate the meetings and ensure we have the space ready for Science Night. The students are really the ones who run the show.”

Science clubs plan to continue meeting every Thursday after school, conduct more experiments, recruit more members, and get more advertising for next year’s Science Night for an even better turn-out.

Science Club vice-president Czarina Grijalva said, “We need to advertise better, but everything else about Science Night was a success. I love science—as all of us do who were involved in this evening, and we want to promote all the great things we do in our science classes at Pueblo.”

Pueblo Community Rolls Up Its Sleeves… Again

By Jose Jovel

Pueblo High School Librarian Ms. Marsha Jean Burrola rolls up her sleeves.

On Tuesday, March 5, the Red Cross paid another visit to Pueblo High School’s Lever Gym, and once again, Warriors rolled up their sleeves to donate blood at a very crucial time in the community when blood donations have been steadily decreasing in recent years.

The blood drive was organized by Student Body Secretary senior Czarina Grijalva, who has been organizing Pueblo’s blood drives for the past two years.

“It’s not as stressful as you think to organize a blood drive,” said Grijalva. “It’s our community duty to donate blood, and the Pueblo community has been historically generous.”

Red Cross member Chastity Morris said, “Students should try to donate blood because it saves lives, and everybody’s blood type is valuable.”

One blood donor, senior Sergio Lopez, said, “I donate blood to help my community, and knowing that I could be saving lives is definitely a motivating factor.”

PHS librarian, Ms. Marsha Jean Burrola, rolled up her sleeves as well.

“I’ve been a blood donor since I was 17,” she said. “I am thankful I can share my health with others.”

A total of 17 pints of blood were “collected”.

Pueblo’s next and last blood drive will be held May 8—when the PHS community is encouraged to help a shortage of blood in Southern Arizona. Students must bring their IDs and a signed permission slip, available from Student Council. Students must be at least 16 years old to become blood donors and meet certain criterion; students who are 18 or older do not need a signed permission slip.

ACT Prep Classes: Get Those Scores Up!

By Natalie Salazar & Alicia Santa Cruz

Pueblo High School has added three ACT Prep classes as an elective to better prepare about 100 juniors for the ACT in April.

With the help of Ms. Mary Anne Kelly, Mr. Johnathan McLeod and Mr. Rana Medhi, juniors taking ACT for the first time in a few months will utilize their test-taking strategies and apply their academic preparation.

“I hope this class is a successful program for our Pueblo students,” said Dr. Rosario Hutchings.

She has organized a meticulous schedule for the ACT Prep teachers, who will be boosting students’ skills in three categories: reading, English (grammar) and mathematics.

Medhi, one of the ACT-Prep teachers, hopes to make a positive impact with his students’ test scores.

“I wholeheartedly want students to value the ACT and to help boost students’ confidence when taking a test,” said Medhi. “If it were up to me, I’d start this program when students were freshmen and give them a two-year head start on the ACT.”