Only The Beginning

By: Brian Avery & Jayden Palacios

A Challenging Start to the 2023 Eagle Football Season!

As everyone is settling into the new school year, the Eagles are getting up and ready to take on the new season! Over the summer, they had their football camp, where they got to know the freshman athletes and get prepared for the upcoming season.

Before the first game of the season, we had the opportunity to interview a senior athlete, Diego Luna, and Coach Arevalo. Diego Luna shared his thoughts on the upcoming season, “I feel like we’ll do good this year, and when we face other good teams we’ll have good battles.”

The Eagles had their first game at home on August 26th against Antonion. The Eagles gave it their all, but unfortunately lost 27-13. The Eagles played Boerne for their first away game, the defending district champs, and it was a tough battle, ending in a loss 41-7. The following game was against Jourdanton, a long-time rival, and they were determined not to go down without a fight. The Eagles went into 5 overtimes, barely losing 27-25. Coach Arevalo had great advice, “[The] Number one[thing to do] is to stay calm. Getting out of hand mentally will never enhance the particular moment you are in. I like to stay composed so I can best be prepared to analyze the situation.” On the 16th, the Eagles played Gonzales and secured their first win of the season 37-14. 

The Eagles started off rough, but that just gave them more resolve to play harder and to push. We are looking forward to what the Eagles will do next! Pride, Pride!

That’s What She Set

By: Jaelyn Morales & Lilly Krause

Victoria Urbanzyk hits 1000 digs and 1000 assists!

The Varsity Volleyball team has been on fire since the start of the season, and they are currently at a record of 27-1. After losing their first game of the season to Johnson City in 3 sets, the Lady Eagles regrouped and came out focused and ready for their next game against Poth, coming out with a victory of 3-1. After only one game, the team found their groove and maintained it throughout the games that followed. On Aug 11-13th, the Lady Eagles won the Edgewood Tournament, placing 1st for the second year in a row. Kiley Wiechring and Madelyn Estrada made the all-tournament team, Victoria Urbanczyk was Offensive MVP, and Sadie McAda was named MVP of the tournament. On Aug. 16th the Lady Eagles played Southside and beat them 3-1. The following Thursday was the start of the Devine Tournament and our team played every game without losing a set. The championship game was against the host of the tournament, the Devine Arabians, and the Lady Eagles came out strong and beat the Arabians in 2 sets leaving the score at  2-0. Victoria Urbanczyk and Angel Tucker made the all-tournament team and Sadie Mcada was MVP of the tournament. 

On Aug 24th the team played YWLA and won 3-0, and started the Southwest tournament that Thursday. The team went undefeated throughout the tournament while playing some good competition and played the host, Southwest, in an intense match that the Lady Eagles fought in ‘till the end and won 2-1. Grace Keylich and Victoria Urbanczyk made the all-tournament team and for the 3rd time this season, Sadie Mcada was named tournament MVP. On Aug 30th, the girls were back on the road to play Randolph and came out with another win of 3-0, then played Fox Tech on Sept 3rd and won 3-0, keeping their winning streak alive. Their last non-district game before district was against D’hanis and the girls did start to struggle throughout the game, but quickly pulled themselves together and won the game 3-1. On Sept 9th, the Lady Eagles played their first district game against Carrizo Springs and with ease won the game with a score of 3-0 to start district off strong. On Sept 13th, the team had a day off from district and played John Jay in a very hard-fought game. After the girls lost their first set, they stayed focused and won the next 3 sets to beat them 3-1. On Friday, September 16th, the Lady Eagles had their 2nd district game of the season against one of their toughest opponents, the Devine Arabians. While the girls did beat them in the Devine Tournament, they still had to stay focused and come out strong to make sure they got the win. 

We decided to spotlight the freshman team, this issue, and we met with the new freshman Coach, Coach Townsend, on September 8th to hear what she had to say about the freshman team’s progress this season. She began to tell us that her goal for this season was to get her athletes to be focused and play with each other. “I don’t care how many games we win, as long as we work together as a team.” Which she continued to say was also one of their biggest obstacles and that she has some team-building ideas to help work on that. As district play starts we want to wish all three teams good luck in the future and if you have time to catch a game and support, they would gladly appreciate that. Pride! Pride!

 

Order on Court

By: Shyanne Sexton and Kassidy Vickers 

Doubles Partners Evelynn Caraway (left) and Makenzie Richter (right).

Pleasanton High School’s tennis team started off the season with a tournament against Ingram on Wednesday, August 14th. Though they fought hard, the match ended with a 3-10 loss. On August 8th Pleasanton played La Vernia on home courts, and they finished with a 2-12  loss. The following Wednesday the team traveled to Somerset ending the night with their first team win of  12-3. Starting the month of September, Pleasanton faced Navarro in a tough fight ending with a score of 4-15. Later on September 14th, the tennis team got their second big win of the season against Gonzales with a final score of 18-1. 

With the start of this season, we have already seen some great athletes including sophomore, Farah Standley. We interviewed Farah and she sees the start of this season as strong and even though there have been a few losses there have been wins along with it. Her teammates are also important to her and left a great message to her fellow teammates saying, “Stay out of your head and keep going and never stop fighting because the biggest comebacks are possible if you just keep working.” This is a great mindset for all athletes, especially our tennis players as they go through their season. 

We wish the Eagle tennis team the best of luck as they continue on with their season and dominate on the court. 

 

🎵Running Up That Hill🎶

By: Farah Standley

2022-2023 Cross Country Team

 

To start off the season, the Eagles went to Floresville, where all of the athletes fought hard to tackle steep hills and tough competition. The varsity girls got 7th place as a team overall in the 2-mile race, seeing amazing performances by all of the girls, including Kassidy Vickers (Finished 12th; Time: 13:19), Kara Medina (Finished 31st; Time: 14:02), and Shalyn Gutierez (Finished 33rd; Time: 14:03). Shortly following them came Shanna Hime, Evalynn Garcia, Aryana Partida, Jauslyn Ramirez, and Mallory Fey. The JV girls came in 7th place as a team, with contributions from Syrena Clark, Aleza Robledo, Xochitl Hernandez, Vanessa Chapa, Katelynn Garza, and Rebecca Martinez. The varsity boys came trucking through at 5th place as a team overall. The leading scorer for Pleasanton was Micah Klein at 17th place, with an 18:23 3-mile. Next came Xavier Rodriguez (Finished 37th; Time: 19:25), Ian Rodriguez (Finished 45th; Time: 19:45), Jayden Ogg(Finished 46th; Time: 19:45), Joseph Cuellar (Finished 73rd; Time: 21:00), and Logan Knox (Finished 85th; Time: 21:57).  Every athlete on the Pleasanton cross country team put in all of their effort, and pushed through mental and physical pain to better themselves and their teammates. They encouraged each other through long summer practices and early morning workouts before school, and now that the season has started, they plan to push each other all the way to regionals, and hopefully, the state meet in Round Rock, Texas. 

We had an interesting interview with Coach Foster about the season, and she seemed very excited to see what the team has to offer this year. She has been teaching/coaching for 6 years, and this is her first year here at Pleasanton. She graduated from Jourdanton High School and graduated college from Texas State University. When asked about how she feels this season will go, considering the brand new team, she stated, “I think the team is going to do very well this year, it’s a young team across the board, with only two seniors… they are going to do very well pre-season… we’re going to have a good chance to go to regionals, but also win district… girls and boys.” We also had a good conversation with Kassidy Vickers, the number one runner on the team. First, we asked how she feels about the start of her season so far, she said, “I feel like the start has already been good … It’s only been the third meet and I already have a new P.R., and I’ve just been getting better every single meet.” We asked how she feels about her new teammates, and she replied, “They’re doing really good, they’re really stepping it up, being new to high school, and they’re really strong competitors… I feel like we have a really strong team this year”. We asked how she feels about the new coach, Coach Foster, and she stated, “She’s a good coach… I would say she’s definitely helped us out… just conditioning and… working on… specific areas like endurance.” We questioned what some goals and mindsets she and the team shared for the year, she said, “Definitely a goal…for our team is to make it to State, I think we have a good chance of doing that this year, and then be District Champions… A goal for me is to be District Champ.” We also asked how far she thinks she as an individual will get in terms of competition this year, she stated, “This year, I honestly see myself making it to state because the times I’ve been hitting are… better than my state times.” Her current P.R. (Personal Record)  is 12:27, which is a seven-second jump from her P.R. last year, 12:34. The team looks forward to gaining a lot of success this year, and all of the athletes have a good outlook on the future.

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Lasater

By: Libby Sanchez & Alex Richter

Mrs. Lasater, a name many of you have probably grown to know over the past few weeks, has been elected for this month’s student spotlight. Her charismatic personality has made many students immune to the hard subject of English, making them pick up on lessons easier than they ever have before. Though the year has just begun, it is easy to tell that her presence on our campus is nothing short of great. 

As the child of a golf pro, Mrs. Lasater moved around many times throughout her childhood before settling in Dumas, Texas, just north of Amarillo. Having lived there the longest, for 5 years, she considers this to be her hometown. In late high school, Mrs. Lasater was able to witness her mother teaching religious refugees from Burma, Thailand, and China. “They grew up in a jungle, like a literal jungle where elephants would eat their roof. So seeing my mom help them and seeing how they could flourish, that’s what encouraged me to become a teacher,” said Mrs. Lasater. After graduating from Dumas High School, Mrs. Lasater went on to attend Tarleton State University with a full academic ride.

Prior to Pleasanton, Mrs. Lasater taught in Houston for the past ten years, then before that, she taught in La Porte. Her career started off teaching 8th graders before she moved up to the high school, following her students that begged her to move up with them. After teaching high school for the first year, she knew it was where she belonged. With English being her strong suit, she wanted to help students understand a subject held so close to her. 

“The kids are really nice, the atmosphere is nice, it feels like you’re a part of a family,” stated Mrs. Lasater. PHS is very lucky to have such a passionate teacher working hard to make sure her students understand every lesson, whether that be in life, or in the subject of English.

Student Spotlight: Brooke Rankin

By: Ariana Johnson and May Smith

Brooke’s senior volleyball picture.

When carefully selecting this month’s student spotlight, we wanted to highlight someone who has a great work ethic and determination. Brooke Rankin, a senior at PHS, is someone who is included in many activities while also being a good student in the classroom. She also has many extracurricular activities outside of school.

Out of curiosity, we posed the question of what is your favorite class. She eagerly responded with “Ag structure design.” When asked about her favorite aspect of Ag, Brooke responded, “I like how they’re more hands-on than other classes.” Then, she mentioned some of the activities that she participates in in the class. These activities were: “building cornhole boards, birdhouses and other things like that.” She enjoys activities that require more physical work.

Brooke is involved in extracurricular activities such as volleyball, NHS, cheerleading, student council, she shows steers and pigs for stock shows. Not only does she participate in Mesquite 4h, but she is also currently the president of the Mesquite 4h. Additionally, her most impactful thing in high school is sports. In fact, Brooke is on the varsity cheerleading team and plays varsity volleyball as a right-back or setter. Curious, we asked her how these two sports have affected her. She stated, “I really enjoy being with my friends as we crack a lot of jokes and have fun.” Many of Brooke’s friends describe her as friendly, compassionate, and sunshine on a cloudy day.

Brooke has booked her schedule with a lot of classes, always pushing to challenge herself. She made a connection with many teachers as she got to know them throughout the school year. Some of her teachers and their teaching style has taught Brooke many lessons that can be used in the classroom and in life. One of the teachers who had a positive impact is Mrs. Cook, as Brooke stated, “I really enjoy the way she teaches.”

In the end, we found that she is someone that is well-liked by everyone, pushes herself in all of her classes, and involves herself in many different activities. Recognizing her as the student spotlight was a no-brainer!

Staff Spotlight: Mr. Portillo

By: Noah Ramos & Savannah Valdez 

 

 

As many students were eager to meet our new principal, Mr. Portillo, the Quill Staff wished to welcome him as our first Staff Spotlight for the year. Mr. Portillo was happy to have been chosen for this momentous article. To start off, we wanted to know the main reason why Mr. Portillo wanted to work in this district, specifically here at PHS. He claimed to have been in the area before and had lived in West Texas when he happened to see an administrative position open here near the San Antonio area. Since Mr. Portillo wanted to go back to a traditional high school, he felt it was the perfect opportunity and applied here to our school PHS. He previously had already been to Devine and Cotulla but never close enough to travel into Pleasanton which encouraged him to check this town out even more. After the interview process with the school district, Mr. Portillo was hired to be the principal here at PHS.

What motivates Mr. Portillo is when people doubt him or he doubts himself. He knows that we are all human and should stand back up when we fall. Even if at the moment it may hurt, it is for the best. “Remaining positive ensures that you can overcome any obstacles you face. If those around you don’t always have the confidence, they might be too afraid to show it, and that’s okay.” This is Mr. Portillo’s mindset and he won’t stop for any obstacle that blocks his path as long as he stays positive to himself then nothing will keep him from his goal. 

Mr. Portillo didn’t plan to become a campus administrator until 10 years ago. He was a Teacher/Coach and was approached by the principal of the current school he was employed at. They suggested that Mr. Portillo would be a great administrator. They then asked if he had ever thought of becoming one himself but Mr. Portillo at the time enjoyed being a coach and declined the offer. He was then asked to think about it. Later, Mr. Portillo decided to go back to school in order to be available to become a principal and ended up getting hired as an assistant principal in Midland. After another 2-3 years the principal at Midland asked if he had thought about working on his superintendence. Like before, Mr. Portillo felt fine where he was and declined the offer once again. They wanted him to think about getting it done himself and eventually, he got his superintendence done after thinking hard about it. He had planned to get into college coaching, but after trying out being an administrator, he loved it too much to give it up. Even though he took on a new position, he still made an effort to attend games for the kids. He still pondered becoming a superintendent himself but knew he wouldn’t get to work with kids as often but liked to interact with his students and get to know them better. 

One of his goals for PHS is to improve student outcomes and feels it should be everyone on the campus who works in education. As well as improving academics and helping students who struggle in school rather than leaving them to figure it out for themselves. Mr. Portillo wants to make sure when students leave high school they will be ready for the outside world. Even though not every person may be able to do college there are still other options available to those who take the opportunity to inquire about it. So hopefully after reading this article you got to learn more about our new principal Mr. Portillo.

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

By: Myame Lara

Each year during the month of September, Americans celebrate Hispanic culture, making September Hispanic Heritage month. Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th. Following its start on September 15th, is Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16th. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in recognition of ancestors of Americans who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 to recognize the diversity and historical significance of American Latino descent. This week-long event was later extended to a 30-day celebration by President Ronald Reagen in 1988. Since then, many traditions and celebrations have attached themselves to this month-long celebration

Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated in many ways. Activities such as visiting a Hispanic Heritage Museum, or learning more about the Hispanic Culture are very common around these times of the year. Things such as festivals, art shows, conferences, and community gatherings are also usually hosted during Hispanic Heritage Month. Organizations like, “Hispanicheritagemonth.org” dedicate the time and patience to educate people about why Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated. It’s great to use this time to celebrate Hispanic culture and learn more about the culture as a whole! 

PHS Dress Code Advice

By: Aaliyah Herrera

PHS has a new dress code this year and we are very excited about the new changes to our dress code. Here is some advice! 

Clothing – Clothing shall be sized to fit students. Students are expected to come to school looking clean, neat, and modest in appearance. All students are required to wear undergarments that cannot be seen through outer clothing. The physical development of the student should be a consideration in determining the appropriate time for certain undergarments.

 

  • Pants – Pants should be fitted at the waist as well as the crotch. Pant legs should not drag on the ground. Oversized, sagging, and/or baggy pants will not be allowed. Bagginess will be determined by the campus administration. Shreds or holes in any clothing that show skin or undergarments above mid-thigh are not allowed. Shreds or holes in jeans are allowed as long as they are below mid-thigh. Leggings/yoga pants may be worn provided the overgarment/top is longer than mid-thigh. Pajama pants/bottoms are prohibited.
  • Skirts/shorts/dresses – skirts, dresses, shorts, and split skirts will be permitted provided they are no longer than 2 ½ (the narrowest part of a dollar bill) above the kneecap, front, and back. Shorts are allowed provided they are appropriately fitted, no shorter than mid-thigh when standing. Bicycle shorts, from fitting shorts worn alone, are prohibited. 
  • Shirts/tops – tank tops, halter tops, exposed-midriff blouses, muscle shirts, blouses/dresses with spaghetti straps, strapless and/or low cut tops, exposed backs, see-through clothing, and tanks with oversized armholes are not permitted. Undershirts cannot be worn alone. A single shirt cannot be less than two inches wide on a shoulder strap. Necklines on blouses may not be lower than an individual’s underarm. No jackets or coats longer than mid-thigh length will be allowed. 
  • Footwear – appropriate footwear should be worn at all times. Because of daily PE, tennis shoes are encouraged. House shoes/slippers, cleats, steel-toed shoes, and roller / wheeled shoes are not permitted. 
  • Accessories/tattoos – only the following body-piercing ornaments will be allowed on school property or at school sponsored events: up to two earrings per ear; and, up to one clear flush mounted nose piercing. No body ornaments can be covered with a bandage or any other device through the hole considered a body-piercing ornament, including gauges. Ear gauges, facial, skin, or body piercing rings or ornaments are prohibited. Tattoos will be covered at all times (the school will not provide bandages or any other coverings. It is the responsibility of the students to have their tattoos covered before arriving on campus.)
  • Grooming – hair should be neat, clean, and not touch the eyebrows in front or interfere with vision. Maintained / neatly trimmed beards and mustaches are allowed. Facial hair shall be clean, groomed, and natural in color. Hair that is dyed an unnatural color, such as bright red, blue, pink, green, orange, or a similar color is not permitted. Students may not cut designs or patterns in their hair or eyebrows. 
  • IDS –  students are required to wear their ID badges visibly at all times while they are on campus during the school day. Although they may be required for admissions to school events, students are not required to wear but must carry their ID badges at school events. ID badges may not be defaced, front or back, for any reason. Students should treat an ID badge like any official document. ID badges that are defaced may be confiscated and the student will be required to purchase a new badge prior to the start of school on the next school day. Replacements for lost or confiscated ID badges can be purchased in the library at specified times. 

 

Our dress code has a couple new changes this year. Including rips/holes in the jean below mid-thigh, one pierced stud on the outer nose area, facial hair, and a single earring in both ears is now allowed for boys.

Holes/rips in the jean below mid-thigh are allowed this year. Everybody is very excited to not have to wear leggings/tights underneath their jeans unless there are rips/holes above mid-thigh. It’s a very positive change because during the hot days we have in Texas it is very refreshing, covering them up sometimes can get uncomfortable. 

There has been a new change to our grooming section of the dress code. This year boys are allowed to have facial hair as long as it looks neat and is taken care of. A lot of the boys this year are very excited about not having to worry about shaving or wearing a mask to hide their facial hair. 

Piercings have had an update this year students are allowed to have one piercing, one stud on the outer nose area students are yet again appreciated for the new change no more having to hide behind a mask. Boys are also allowed to have one earring in each ear now. It wasn’t really fair that girls were only able to have earrings so very much appreciated for the boys with piercings and are allowed to wear their earrings to school. 

For how much we love the new changes to this year’s dress code, let’s make sure we all follow the rules and keep these new changes from now on. Make sure to check that you are in the school’s dress code before arriving on campus.

True Crime Vol. XXIX: The Zodiac Killer

By: Kendall Zuniga 

On October 30th, 1966, a woman by the name of Cheri Jo Bates was slashed and stabbed to death on the Grounds of River City College. She was 18 at the time. She was the Zodiac Killer’s first victim. He confessed by sending a message to the police and giving a sign to “Beware” of him. In 1968, a teenage couple was shot to death in their car in a remote area of San Francisco. The following year, another couple was attacked in similar circumstances, but the male victim survived. The Zodiac Killer then made himself known to the police again the same as the years before, confessing to the 1968 and 1969 murders. Later, the Zodiac Killer attacked another young couple, and his last known victim who managed to survive the grips of death is a taxi driver who was shot in October of 1969. 

What makes this so-called “Zodiac Killer” infamous and memorable to all? Nobody knows who he is, where he is, or if he is still alive to this day. He would confess to the police his crimes in his own sadistic and unique way, coded letters he had made himself saying “This is the Zodiac speaking”, “I like killing people because it is so much fun,” and “I hope you are having lots of fun trying to catch me.” Taunting those who follow and try to solve the fascinating codes and identity of the Zodiac Killer, even leaving his own symbol at the bottom of every letter he sent to the police, consisting of a circle with a plus sign overlapping. 

Many have come forward claiming to be him but none have matched the handwriting and description of the true Zodiac Killer. After 62 years of searching and decoding, no one has been able to decode and solve the identity of our Zodiac Killer. Will Zodiac ever be decoded?

Movie Review: Purple Hearts

By: Kendall Zuniga 

Grab your tissues and prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster, because Purple Hearts is sure to make the butterflies in your stomach flutter. Purple hearts is a dramatic romance movie starring Disney’s Sofia Carson, Nicholas Galitzine, and Chosen Jacobs. Directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, “Purple Hearts” received a Rotten Tomato score of 30% and a 6.8 out of 10 on IMDB. Although receiving these low scores, many people actually had pleasing things to say about this 21st-century romance drama, loving how it involves current problems in the world today including poverty, broken healthcare systems, and military trauma. However, this movie has also received its fair share of problems. Its depiction of type 1 diabetes has received much backlash from actual patients who live with type 1 diabetes.

I enjoyed watching this movie but thought it was a little choppy when it came to certain scenes transitioning. I would give this movie a 7.5 out of 10, I would watch it again if I hadn’t seen it in a while.

 

August-September Poll

To start off the new school year, we wanted to see how everyone felt about their break! The majority of people felt like their summer was good overall with 38.7%, with amazing summers coming in close second at 34%!  Alright had 19.8%, and kinda boring was last with 7.5%. Fortunately, no one had a bad summer! We here at the Quill are so glad to hear it, and we hope this school year is amazing as well!

Poem of the Month

September-

Again the golden month

before the smoke

after the fire

beauty on beauty cusp-

tell us

how summer’s

green dreams and desires

only sleep 

as October creeps

over the dry ground.

 

By: Unknown

 

It’s a new school year and we are welcoming the new freshman. I hope that you can achieve the things you’ve wanted to do in the four years you have because the four years will go by in a flash. You will be a senior before you realize it. So enjoy every moment in high school.

Sincerely,

Passionate Poet

 

Sweet Treat

By: Alexandra Garcia 

Are you looking for a soft and chewy treat? 

Then you’re in luck! This sweet treat is called Red velvet cookie bars.

A few slices of red velvet bars after being baked and sliced.

We can all agree that it’s been extremely HOT! With that being said these cookie bars also go great with ice cream placed on top. 

These cookie bars could not be more simple. This is a one-bowl recipe that could be whipped up in 30 minutes! 

Here are all 7 ingredients & utensils needed: 

  • Red velvet cake mix
  • Salted butter 
  • Large eggs 
  • White chocolate chips 
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk 
  • 8×8 inch pan 

 

Steps to make the red velvet bars: 

  1. Spray an 8×8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. 
  2. Mix together box cake, butter, and eggs with a hand mixer, then fold in chocolate chips. 
  3. Mix dry cake mix with butter and eggs using an electric hand mixer, then stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  4. Spread the prepared mix into a baking dish (the batter will be thick.)

Next, bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is firm and then let the dish cool completely before cutting and eating. This dish is completely okay to put in the freezer or refrigerator and heat up when you take it out.

And there you have it! A sweet delicious easy treat in less than an hour. 

Horoscopes

By: Noah Ramos 

Aries: 

This week may be a little tough to go through but keep your head up. Good things will be heading your way after you have faced the hardships head-on. 

Taurus:

Something unexpected will suddenly arrive or happen to you. You won’t know if it’s good or bad but it will definitely alter your future for this week so be alert.

Gemini:

The next couple of days will be smooth sailing which gives you time to learn something new! It would be great to try out something new and who knows you may make it a hobby.

Cancer:

You’ve been having doubts and are looking for an answer to put your mind at ease. This week will surely give you the answer you seek but there is no telling if it will be the answer you want to hear.

Leo:

This week you will not feel the best so maybe it would be good to just try to relax and watch some movies or read a book to save your energy. 

Virgo:

You don’t seem to know what you want to do for the future but don’t worry. This month will show you something that will help you find something you’ll love.

Libra:

You will be full of energy and feel as if you can finish anything that comes your way. Use this energy not only for yourself but for others as well.

Scorpio:

You feel as if you’re invisible at the moment but you will have your own chance to shine in the spotlight soon if you take a risk. 

Sagittarius:

Your positive attitude is contagious and rubs off on other people. Others will want to be around you more often because of this.

Capricorn:

You may feel like the work piled on your shoulders is too much for you to handle. But you will find the strength you need from someone unexpected.

Aquarius:

Your love for adventure will hit its peak this week with the opportunity to do things you’ve never gotten to experience before.

Pisces:

You may have hit a rough patch this week but don’t worry your luck will turn for the better soon.

Op-Ed August-September 2022

Anonymous 9th grade, 8/25/22

Should social media companies be doing more to make social media safer for children?

The question “How young is too young for social media?” has been heavily debated by parents and children alike ever since social media’s rise. It is clear now that social media is here to stay, and kids under 13 all over the world have access to it. There is little way of preventing kids under an appropriate age from accessing social media, so should companies do more to make social media a safer place for kids?

It has been made apparent that an alarming amount of young kids are on social media. Parenting tactics are subjective, and everyone has different opinions, so what can be done about the next generation’s well-being concerning social media? I believe that because some children will find a way to social media no matter the age restrictions, the responsibility lies in social media companies’ hands to make social media safer for children. There are many things that these companies are doing to ensure their users get hooked, and a social media addiction is incredibly harmful to a child that is still developing mentally. To help limit the likelihood of social media dependence, social media companies should stop targeting children with addicting algorithms. Senator Markey of Massachusetts has proposed a bill to solve the said issue, but thus far, nothing has been passed.

This issue applies to every generation, but especially ours. We can all most likely agree that we have, at some point, felt we spent too much on social media. If you want to make a difference on a large scale, email your representatives and advocate publicly for the cause by showing support for movements such as Log Off and Reboot and Recover. To help this issue on a smaller scale, have conversations on this matter with your friends and family. Nothing will change if we do not discuss these issues with the people around us. Everyone has the power to cause change, even if it be informing others about your views on trending topics, so use your voice.

 

Valedictorian: Montgomery Cain

By: Libby Sanchez & Shyanne Sexton

Montgomery Cain, a student who lives by his motto of “never doing anything halfway,” and, “ if he is gonna do it, he’s gonna do it right.” Montgomery, who goes by “Monty,” is known around campus for his hard work and determination. Over the last 4 years, Monty has worked incredibly hard in all of his classes to keep his grades up and earn the title of Valedictorian of the graduating class of 2022. 

Montgomery is planning on attending Texas Tech University to study finance with a concentration in real estate. “Both my parents are Red Raiders, so I’ve kinda been raised as a Red Raider,” stated Montgomery. He looks forward to learning how to properly run a business and manage money, which is not only important in business but in life as well. “I love Lubbock, it’s a big town with everything you need in it, but it still feels like a small town. I’ve got a lot of friends up there, good connections, and it’s gonna give me a quality degree that I’m gonna be able to use and be able to make a living off of,” he says. 

One of the most prosperous things Montgomery lives by is the quote, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The ability to network among people and talk comfortably among others is one of the hardest traits to have. For Monty, it all comes naturally. “Being able to communicate with people is a huge part of not only just business but everything in life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to. If you’re diverse in a lot of fields, you’re able to relate with all kinds of different people and learn from them,” he says. 

Montgomery has a drive in him that keeps him going till he’s satisfied, and even then it’s not enough as he sets even higher goals for himself. Outside of his education, Montgomery is in the process of earning his private pilot license. He is hoping to get all the way up to airline transport pilot, which means getting his instrument rating, multi-engine rating, and access to flying helicopters. With these licenses, Montgomery is expanding his future options. He could go into the military and fly fighter jets, he could go with commercial airlines, or he could open a private helicopter business with a focus on ag aviation and wildlife surveys. Recently, he’s invested his time into his newly founded business “T47, LLC.” Named after his grandfathers, the company focuses on custom welding and fabrication. A lot of people think welding is just putting two pieces of metal together, you run a bead to connect them, and you call it good. But when you’re running it as a business, creating it as a product with your name on it, that represents you and what you believe in. For me, its quality,” stated Montgomery. Along with running a business, Monty competes in competitive shooting sports. In 2021, Montgomery earned himself the title of a 4-H Shotgun National Champion alongside his three other teammates. It’s admirable that he’s been able to find the balance between his education and work outside of school. 

Montgomery is a very persistent individual who will grow up and accomplish everything he wants in life, but not without giving credit to those who have helped him along the way. Teachers like Mrs. Bast, Ms. Kelley, and Mr. Townsend have helped pave the way for this phenomenal leader. Mrs. Bast, who has impacted students throughout her years here at PISD, is one of Montgomery’s biggest influencers. “It’s amazing to be in the presence of someone who’s had so much experience of something really unique, like working at NASA. She teaches a hard subject too, not everyone is meant to understand calculus. At some points, I didn’t even understand it. Mrs. Bast made it always feel like it was possible, she always took something that seems really difficult to most people, and it is, and made it doable,” he states. When asked about Montgomery’s character and performance during her class, Mrs. Bast’s response was: “Amazing. Gifted. Willing. I think his thirst for knowledge and understanding is inspiring to teachers and classmates alike.” As someone who is looked up to by not just Montgomery, but the entire graduating class of 2022, Mrs. Bast leaves them with this advice for their future: “Don’t let the climate of the world steal your faith or your hope, or your dreams.”

Alongside the teachers and faculty here at PHS, there are two more very important people who have had a tremendous impact on Montgomery’s life. “Everyone probably says this, but I truly could not have done any of this without my parents’ constant support and guidance,” he states. His parents, who have made it their mission to teach Montgomery every definition of the word “humility” could not be prouder of their son in all that he does. “We are proud of him and grateful for the teachers and others who have inspired him and been part of his journey. Every parent wants happiness for their children. Montgomery has boundless energy and career and life goals. We hope he strives for excellence, pushes through fear, and has fun while realizing his vision for the future. We love him and can’t wait to see what’s next for him,” his mother says. It’s clear to see what a positive impact Montgomery has had growing up, and it’s even better to see him succeeding with that built character. 

Montgomery has a bright future ahead of him and judging by his character, he will be determined to keep reaching for higher goals. He leaves his fellow classmates with the advice, “If you reach a goal, don’t stop there and just be complacent with that, keep going. Never limit yourself.” Remember all the hard work you did to get to this point, and keep pushing the limits. To Montgomery, and the rest of the class of 2022, we wish you all the absolute best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Salutatorian: Kenley Everett

By: River Reyes

The 2022 Salutatorian: Kenley Everett

At the top of the class lies those who worked the most throughout their high school career, the two who have dedicated their time and efforts to their family, school, and future. Vying for the highest honor are the valedictorian and the salutatorian, both achieving and being recognized as some of the brightest and capable individuals. The salutatorian for the Pleasanton High School Class of 2022 is Kenley Everett, a intelligent and driven individual who has by every means earned the honor of her position. 

Kenley will be attending Baylor University in the fall as an Business Entrepreneurship major with the hopes and dreams of owning her a multi chain level real estate company. When asked why she chose Baylor, she said, “I want to go to Baylor because all their standards align with mine, from academic standards, to religious beliefs, to just the essential way of living.” Kenley is very well known for her work ethic and academic capabilities and it’s very clear that her standard reflects in her school of choice and that she will continue to strive for excellence. In order to get to Baylor, the road was rough and Kenley endured many obstacles that would set her back. When asked what motivated her to work for the top of the class, Kenley said, “It was never honestly about me saying that I want to be salutatorian. It was the fact that I know that no matter what I do, I’m going to give my best effort. So just the fact that I made salutatorian made it all worth it in the end because all I know is that everything I do is going to be the best of my ability.” Her motivation exceeds that of her peers greatly and she’s earned her spot. Everything she has accomplished brings her one step closer to her dreams. The future will be very bright and as long as she holds her determination, there will be nothing to stop her.

The teacher that impacted Kenley the most was Mrs. Leonheardt. Mrs. Leonheardt was Kenley’s AP English Literature and Composition teacher and takes pride in having taught Kenley, who she regards as a very talented writer. When asked about Kenley’s greatest trait, Mrs. Leonheardt says, “She brings up a level of conversation because she makes insights and when she shares her insights, other people understand it better too so she brings an overall understanding of literature just because of the connections that she makes.” Kenley is clearly a role model for students in and out of the classroom, using her knowledge to achieve great results while helping the people around her.

As the salutatorian for the graduating class of 2022, Kenley Everett has achieved great results and set an example for many students around her. With an excellent work ethic and incredible intelligence, there is no doubt that Kenley will continue to succeed in her future. We congratulate Kenley for all that she has done and hope for the best in her future.

Teacher of the Year

By: Alexandra Garcia & Aaliyah Herrera


Dr Conner Ayers, who is known as one of our Spanish teachers at PHS was selected as teacher of the year 2021-2022. With his positive attitude toward his students he uplifts the student’s mood with a bright smile as he welcomes everyone at his classroom door. 

When asked how he felt about being teacher of the year he had said he was very surprised because it was his first year here at PHS. There is no surprise that he had received this award, Dr Conner Ayers is very outgoing and always wants to do what’s best for his students to help them succeed. He enjoys being in the classroom doing fun activities and is just an overall great teacher and person here at PHS. Although Dr Conner Ayers has his own challenges he still finds a way to be a positive role model to his fellow students and coworkers. 

New Teacher of the Year

By: Myame Lara and Darla Rodriguez

CSM Nuells is well known around campus as a very motivational teacher. He is usually found with our JROTC participants, alongside Kernel Wynder With it being his second-year teaching at PHS, he was awarded the “New Teacher of the Year ”. PHS’s journalism staff is honored to have the opportunity to find out more about our beloved CSM Nuells!

CSM Nuells is a very dedicated and hardworking teacher. The relationships he gets to form with his students and being able to watch them grow and mentally develop throughout their years is one of the many things he loves about teaching at Pleasanton High School. CSM Nuells holds a bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College, and a masters degree in Business from Webster University. He is also a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, where he served 30 years before retiring in 2020. 

With being in the US Army, a lot of the skills he gained are used in his teaching methods. “In the military, we take care of our soldiers. When it comes to teaching, I learned to take care of my students the way I take care of my soldiers.” CSM Nuells states. 

PHS is home to CSM Nuells, and we are so glad to have him attend our school! Congratulations on your accomplishments CSM Nuells, we hope for more years with you. Pride Pride!

Paraprofessional of the Year

By: Farah Stanley & Allison Collins

Mrs. Blanco has been honored as the paraprofessional of the year. She is a very important asset to Pleasanton High School, and is very deserving of this achievement. We sat down and had a nice conversation with Mrs. Blanco. When asked how she feels about achieving the award, Mrs. Blanco said “I feel very honored to receive this award. It makes me feel good, it makes me feel appreciated; That everyone here at school and my colleagues see the hard work that I do, so I can accomplish student success.” Mrs. Blanco shared her favorite thing about being a paraprofessional: “I enjoy being here at school. I enjoy working with the students. I like to see them progress through the year, and when I meet y’all the very first day of school, y’all are a little shy. By the time we leave, I can see how much y’all have grown academically and as a human being.” She also shared that her favorite thing about the students is that, “Every student is different…Obviously, truly, I enjoy every single student in their own ways. I’ve learned from you all, and y’all learn from me.” She has been told, because of her nurturing ways and life lessons, that she is like a “school mom” for some students. Mrs. Blanco went on in the conversation to share exactly what she loves about her work: “I like giving academic support, but at the same time if I’m able to guide you on the right path in life, that’s what I love.” Mrs. Blanco has been working in Pleasanton for 4 years, and spoke on how amazed she was watching some kids from freshman year to single year. Speaking of, Mrs. Blanco graduated from Del Rio high school in 1993, and went on to attend college at Sul Ross State University. Mrs. Blanco wasn’t always a paraprofessional here, she served as a long term sub here at Pleasanton. We should all take a moment to appreciate Mrs. Blanco and all that she does.

Track and Field

By: Noah Ramos

On May 1, our Men’s track team traveled south with their sights set for being able to qualify for the State Track Meet and later made it to Texas A&M Kingsville where Preston Piligrim made a magnificent pole vault of 14 -6 which won a gold medal along with a place on the podium. Our eagle runners also qualified for the finals on the first day. Juan Lopez was the first to compete for day 2 with long jumping where he made it to the finals and took 5th place helping to add to the day 1 total score. Then Justin Veale performed in the 110m hurdles where he got a hard fought 4th place while barely missing the podium. Jayden Palacios and Juan Lopez worked together in the run for the 400m dash against some of the best in the region which had Palacios start out with the first 200m with a strong finish with 2nd place and Lopez who scored second to last but still helped for both of them to hit the 1st & 3rd place in the race. Palacios also claimed the 400m Regional Champion title

Softball

By: Jaelyn Morales

On April 22, the Pleasanton Varsity softball team played their last district game of the season at Hondo. The score was tied 0-0 throughout the game with good defense from the Lady Eagles until the top of the 5th when Pleasanton scored 3 runs from good base hits. The girls stayed on top until the bottom of the 6th when the Hondo Owls scored 8 total points in one inning gaining the lead. The Lady Eagles had one more chance to make a comeback in the 7th, but unfortunately only scored 1 run ending the game with a score of 4-8.  Pleasanton placed 3rd in their district and were paired with Pearsall for their bi-district game.

On April 28, the Lady Eagles opened the best of three series in Pleasanton. In the top of the 1st inning, Pearsall scored 6 runs and Pleasanton was able to score when Elizabeth Salinas reached on a walk and scored on a single by Maggie Maddox. Kadence Delgado came in to pinch run for the pitcher and scored on an error. The Lady Eagle still had hope until the 4th inning when Pearsall batted around twice and scored 13 runs in one inning. By the end of the game Pearsall had scored 23 points overall and won 23-2 after the game ended early by run rule. On May 1, the Lady Eagles traveled to Pearsall to finish the series and lost 8-2 and finished the season with a 14-8 record.

Congratulations to the following Pleasanton Eagle Softball players for their awards-

Senior Taylor Bryant: Academic All-State Honorable Mention, Co-1st Team All-District 3rd Base, Academic All-District

Senior Autumn Guerra: Academic All-State 2nd Team, All-District Honorable Mention, Academic All-District

Junior Anai Romo: 1st Team All-District Outfield, Academic All-District, Texas Select All-Star Showcase Non-Committed Player

Junior Jaelyn Morales: All-District Honorable Mention,  Academic All-District, Texas Select All-Star Showcase Non-Committed Player

Junior Bianca Cruz: Academic All-District

Freshman Elizabeth Salinas: 1st Team All-District 2nd Base, Academic All-District

Freshman Gabrielle Ramos: 1st Team All-District Catcher, Academic All-District

Freshman Finley Hilburn: All-District Honorable Mention,  Academic All-District

Freshman Maggie Maddox: 2nd Team All-District Pitcher, Academic All-District

Freshman Aubry Cantu: 2nd Team All-District Utility Player