Ernesto Somoza: Getting Students Ready for the Next Step

By Anais Salais

Mr. Somoza (center in plaid shirt) with group of students

This spring semester welcomed several new faculty and staff members to the Pueblo community, including Mr. Ernesto Somoza, our new Communication Media Technology teacher.

Somoza attended the University of Arizona where he earned his bachelor’s degree in photography while minoring in art education.

While attending the University of Arizona, Somoza worked for the campus’ newspaper, The Daily Wildcat, as a photographer. The significant amount of hours that he invested while working for the Wildcat (and later with Red Bull as a photographer) was enough for Somoza to earn a CTE teaching certification in photography.

After graduating from college, Somoza took his first teaching position working as a special education teacher at Utterback Middle and later at Oyama Elementary School.

Eventually, Somoza saw an opportunity to teach photography, and this position eventually brought him to Pueblo.

“I wanted to find a job that was close to home and one that I got to teach photography and graphic arts,” said Somoza. “It’s exciting coming to work [at Pueblo] because I’m teaching what I truly love.”

Somoza is teaching a new class here at Pueblo that educates and trains students about enrolling in communications media technologies courses.

“This class hopefully breaks the monotony of how school is set up,” Somoza said. He added, “This class helps students understand basic concepts while making them more creative while adhering to the Common Core.”

Although Somoza came in at the beginning of the second semester—and the class is something both new to him and his students—Somoza remains optimistic and positive.

“So far, my experience at Pueblo has been great!” Somoza said. “The students are enthusiastic, and that makes me excited to teach when I see that they are excited.” He added, “I’ve already seen students’ creative levels increase, and I can just imagine where they’ll be by May.”

Somoza’s goal for the remainder of the school year is to ensure that his students are prepared to enter the appropriate communications art class next fall.

“I’m hoping that when students leave this class in May, they’re able to amaze their next teachers,” said Somoza.

Somoza also has hopes to see more students, especially the underclassmen, enroll in his class as they prepare for the communication art electives.

“I would encourage students to take this class if they are interested in taking classes like photography or graphic arts,” said Somoza. “This class is about going more in depth with the outstanding programs that are offered here at Pueblo.”

Say ‘Cheese’! Warriors Enjoy Benefits of Photography Class

By Holly Pogue

Iram Arce interviews Annalisa Verdugo

Pueblo offers many electives to its more than 1,500 students, and one of the most integral branches of the communication magnet program is photography, which provides students beginning and advanced classes.

Sophomore Jacqueline Guerrero wholeheartedly believes that students should enroll in photography classes in the future because of the many benefits the program offers; she attests to how beginning photography has helped her in numerous ways.

“This class truly has prepared me to be more professional and to interact with others,” Guerrero said. “I’ve really learned how to express myself better.”

She said that she enjoys how teacher Ms. Emma Tarazon gives her and her peers opportunities to go out of the classroom and take pictures—not just randomly but specifically for Tarazon’s assignments.

“Sometimes she [Ms. Tarazon] wants very precise pictures,” Guerrero said. “Everything we do is for a purpose. We are being prepared to be advanced photo students, and I intend to stick to this program hopefully all four years of high school.”

Felicity Aguilar interviewing Ms. Tarazon

Students use the Macs frequently—learning an array of photography editing skills, including restoring old photographs and learning how to remove unwanted objects in pictures to make them more aesthetic.

Guerrero said that she has also enjoyed learning how to use different cameras, including film cameras and learning how to develop pictures “the old-school” way.

“I really encourage other students to enroll in this program because photography will help them to become better people,” Guerrero affirmed. “You’ll learn how to view the world in a different way and be more positive, which is always a good thing.”

Another student, Analise Verdugo, who transferred to Pueblo from Cienega High School last semester, said that she is glad that she enrolled in photography because she is not only having fun but also learning a lot of strategies about photography.

Verdugo said, “I really enjoy the days when we students are allowed to go outside—to take a break from being cooped up inside of a classroom—and learning new techniques about photography, including lighting and shadows. And, who doesn’t like taking pictures? This is such a great class!”

Despite having some mixed classes of beginning and advanced photography students, teacher Ms. Emma Tarazon has observed improvements with her first-year students.

She said, “Despite the agonizing challenges of teaching two totally different groups of students at once, I’ve had to somehow make it work like a lot of electives teachers at Pueblo.” She paused and added, “It’s not fair for the advanced students to be with beginning students, although there are opportunities for job-shadowing, which is a valid way to teach beginning students and reinforce what my experienced photography students already know.”

One student, sophomore Kimberly Teran, said that she enjoys her beginning photography so much that she is considering a career as a photographer.

“Ms. Tarazon has truly been helpful and has taught me so much in a short period of time regarding photography,” Teran said. “This is one of the very few classes I’ve had at Pueblo that has been both fun and academically rewarding.”