Pueblo Faculty: Sweet All Over

By Celestina Marinez

Pueblo teachers stop by to judge the yummy desserts.

Just in time for the holidays, Ms. Sarah Barnes has continued the trend of sponsoring a taste-testing contest for Pueblo’s faculty and staff. The name of this timely event, “Desserts in the Desert”, truly lived up to its name—with a dozen or so contestants vying for a first place win for their home-made tasty treats, ranging from toffee bars to cupcakes to “specialized” cakes and other confectionery concoctions.

On Wednesday, December 5, during both lunches, several dozen members of the Pueblo community participated in judging their favorite two desserts. The top three winners were announced later in the day at teachers’ professional development meeting at 2:30 p.m.

The first place winner was psychology and math teacher Ms. Hannah Yoder; she won for her scrumptious “chocolate toffee croissant rolls”.

The one dollar entry fee from tasters added up to $48.

Yoder received a $20 gift card, and she plans to use the money for “date night”.

“I was very excited to learn that I had won first place,” Yoder said. “I was very surprised to be chosen among all of those great entries!”

“There were some truly decadent entries this time around,” Barnes said, “and it was a lot of fun to see people eating these treats.”

Ms. Sarah Barnes

Barnes said that she will continue to host this event because “it brings Pueblo’s faculty and staff a little closer, especially at a time when everybody is so busy.”

She added that she would like to host at least one more of these tasty events next semester and encourages the faculty to help her come up with new ideas and themes.

Campus Monitor Nellie, Ms. Bonillas ‘Hot’ Winners In Salsa Contest


By Emiliano Rodriguez and Juan Romero-Ruiz

Ms. Sarah Barnes, our learning support coordinator, has done it again—inspiring Pueblo’s staff members and faculty to compete against palatable entries. This time, she sponsored and organized a “Best Salsa” contest among our school’s faculty.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21—in early celebration of Rodeo Vacation—Barnes displayed all of the salsas from faculty and staff members.

This year, the 44 judges—consisting of several dozen staff members and even a few seniors—overwhelmingly chose the salsa concocted by campus security monitor Ms. Nellie Rivera for the “gold”; Folklorico and ELD teacher Ms. Carmen Bonillas received a “second place” award.

“I love cooking,” Rivera said. “It’s always fun for me. This contest was more than just a competition—it was a way for our faculty and staff to unite more often.”

She paused and said, “I don’t think I won—I think everyone won.”

Second-placer Ms. Carmen Bonillas said, “It’s not the ingredients that makes for a winning salsa—it’s all about the proportions.”

Bonillas added, “These kinds of contests are fun because we teachers sometimes need to just have fun.”

The good news is that every participant received at least a few votes, Barnes said.

“The non-winners all received certificates—as runners-ups in the contest,” Barnes said.

Both Rivera and Bonillas received gift cards.

On March 15, the day after the official “PI” Day (3.14), Barnes will host another contest among faculty and staff members: of course, pies! Normally, the pie contest would be on National Pi day, but because of the scheduled “March for Our Lives” event, Barnes said that the contest will be on Thursday.

She anticipates that she will have no shortage of judges for this one. Barnes herself said that she plans to enter this contest—although she’s keeping her entry a secret.

Ready, Set… Cook!


By Iram Arce and Brianna Metzler

On Friday, Dec. 8, approximately 70 faculty members, staff and students turned a cook-off into a raffle contest where the chili, soup and stew were evaluated.

Ms. Sarah Barnes, a Multi-Tier System of Support Facilitator, coordinated the event during first and second lunches.

“This event is part of a plan to build a sense of community,” Barnes said. “It’s always fun to pull an event that is focused on food as a way to bring people together in a playful way.”

Tickets were one dollar—allowing one to be a “taster”.

“Diverting from a professional setting helps people get to know one another along with showing off the staff’s hidden talents,” senior Carlos Chavez said. “I think that all of us students like to see our staff getting along and having fun. It definitely humanizes our teachers a bit more.”

“This event was an excellent break from the grueling grind of teachers’ schedules and encourages the staff to enjoy one another,” Barnes said.

Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, assistant principal, earned the blue ribbon—a first place for her chicken and gnocchi soup.

Marketing teacher Dr. Maria Bicknell won second place for her three-bean vegetarian chili.

Mr. Patrick Peatrowsky, economics teacher, won for his “green chili de gringo” creation.

Pictured left to right: Maria Bicknell, Kathryn Gunnels & Patrick Peatrowsky

All three winners received a beautiful apron—from the crafty hands of Exceptional Education Department Chair Ms. Trevia Heath.

She added, “There will be more competitions in the future.” Barnes said that she is considering having a salsa contest and a dessert competition.

Barnes said that $70 was raised, and the money will go into a general fund for future staff celebrations.

“For an event that I sold just six tickets in the beginning, I was very pleased with the end results,” Barnes said.

Welcome, Mr. Berns! (And Thanks For Helping Students Read Better!)


By Victor Garcia and Anthony Gutierrez

Starting this 2016-17 year, Mr. Drew Berns joins the Warrior family as a reading interventionist, helping struggling readers improve their vocabulary skills along with reading fluency.

“We learn a lot of different strategies to help students improve their reading,” Berns said. “One of the best ones is to read a lot of different genres which helps out the students a lot.”

Although this is Berns’ first year at Pueblo, this is his 13th year of teaching. He has taught in several cities, including Nogales and Phoenix.

After graduating from Canyon del Oro High School, Berns then pursued several degrees from the University of Arizona, including a bachelor’s degree in family consumer services and a master’s degree in Mexican-American studies in 2014.

Berns said that the transition to Pueblo was an easy one.

“I really like our students here [at Pueblo],” Berns said. “I think it’s hard for our students to sit in a classroom for 90 minutes on block days [Wednesdays and Thursdays]—especially freshmen.”

Although he works primarily with freshmen, Berns said that he also helps juniors in RTI (Response to Intervention) classes.

“I really enjoy working with our students one-on-one, and I find it rewarding—for both the student and for me,” Berns said.

It’s no surprise that as reading specialist, Bern loves to read. He said that his
favorite novel is The Devils Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea, a story about a group of immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the U.S.

CBI Hosts Luncheon With Success

By Lya Thurston

On November 23, 2016, Pueblo’s CBI students hosted a luncheon for 35 students and some selected faculty and staff members—serving Thanksgiving Dinner a day early, including turkey, side dishes and several pies.

Ms. Indelisa Mendibles, a CBI teacher-assistant, said, “For all 16 years that I’ve been at Pueblo, our CBI students have been hosting this event.”

Mendibles explained that CBI constructed the place mats, decorations and the name plates as well as the streamers, which created a festive ambiance for the classroom T-8—which ended up looking more like a restaurant.

Mendibles said that the construction of the place mats was important because the CBI students are currently learning about patterns and certain colors—and they got to use this knowledge to help with the decor.

One student, Juliane Douriet, said, “It’s been a lot of fun to eat with my family and friends. It’s very lively with all of the decorations.”

Alyssa Tapia, another student, said, “The luncheon was very exciting, and it’s very relaxing to eat with people I know.”

A third student, Jesus Egurrola, said, “I really like all of the food that is being served. It’s like we’re a family eating together today.”

Some of the volunteers for the luncheon had started preparing food as early as 2 a.m., but in the end, all agreed that this was another successful event for our CBI students and another shining moment for our Pueblo community.

Ms. Mandy McTavish: Welcome To Pueblo!


By Daniela Moreno

Ms. Mandy McTavish, our new Career and College Readiness Coordinator, can’t wait to help our Warrior student body get on the right path towards college and success.

mandy-mctavish-pueblo-college-career-readiness-coordinatorMcTavish has been counseling for eight years and reveals that she is very passionate about her job and dedicating her career to helping students.

McTavish said, “I’ve always loved helping students figure out how to solve their problems.”

Having grown up in an underprivileged home herself, she knows how difficult these goals might seem for some of us.

“When you [students] do have a goal and make a plan, it’s easy to be guided,” said McTavish.

Already, McTavish professes her love for Pueblo because our diversity and hopes to guide each student towards a better future.

She has advice for our students: “Find your passion, find out what you love, and I’ll help you get there.”

Recently, on Wednesday, September 14, McTavish helped to coordinate and host the 2016 College Fall Tour held in the South Gym, inviting all Pueblo seniors to talk to more than a dozen organizations (college, universities and a few military branches) regarding their post-high school careers. She also organized the “Tri-Universities” presentation on September  20 in which Arizona’s three universities spoke to seniors as well as offering them brochures and information about their colleges.

“I know that a  lot of our seniors are scared about going out in the real world, but the earlier that our seniors know where they’re going, the more they can enjoy the rest of their high school days,” McTavish said.

She added, “Every senior is capable of greatness in their futures.”