Boys Basketball

By: Shyanne Sexton

We are in the thick of basketball season, and the Pleasanton boy’s team is dominating. The results so far indicate a promising season despite a couple bumps on the way. Now it’s a straight shot to the district championships and perhaps even a state championship. It is the players, both on and off the court, who bring the energy, hyping everyone up and pushing them closer toward their goals.

Let’s talk about scores. The Eagles beat Great Hearts Northern Oaks 87-50 on Friday, December 12 at home. In the days following, on December 14, the boys were victorious over Brooks Academy, coming away with a 65-40 victory, and on that Friday they had a 71-50 victory against Uvalde, showing their depth and resilience. After a string of wins, the boys played London on Tuesday, December 29, and lost 55-64. But picked it up again on Friday, December 31 against Davenport, winning 69-43. After playing Fox Tech at home, the Eagles won 81-61 the following week. The next two games would be district games, both of which the team won by over a 10 point lead.

When asked how this season differed from previous ones, players said, “Last year I don’t think we were bad, but as a team we didn’t have time to develop and understand each other’s styles but we are definitely better than last year”. In addition, the boys basketball team continues to impress and PHS is very fortunate to have these players. The PHS journalism staff wishes them the best of luck throughout district play.

Defend Our Court

By: Jaelyn Morales

Diamond Brownlee, senior, goes for a layup in the game against Cuero.

The Pleasanton Girls’ Basketball team started off District play on Jan 7th against Cuero at home. The Varsity Lady Eagles put up a good fight throughout the game staying neck and neck with the Lady Gobblers, but unfortunately ended the game with a close score of 28-24. The Lady Eagles next two district games were against La Vernia on Jan 11th and Navarro on Jan 14th, with both games being against very tough opponents. Pleasanton gave it their all but came out with a loss in both games, with a score of 61-25 against La Vernia and 60-38 against Navarro. “This season has been a roller coaster for us, ” said Junior, Mary Martinez, “We’ve had our ups and downs this season, but we have improved since last year.” The Lady Eagles may be playing against some hard competition, but that hasn’t stopped them from working hard as a team and giving it their all each and every game. 

On January 21st, the Lady Eagles played the Lady Apaches in Gonzales and won with a score of 48-41. They never gave up and worked hard to win this game. “The best part of playing basketball is being able to call the girl’s family and play with my two best friends,” said La’syenika Garcia. “The best part of basketball is the memories we make with the team and our coach,” said Mary Martinez. This team has made so much progress this season and will continue to make progress and get better as the season goes on. With the second part of district play starting up the Lady Eagles will need our support so if you can, try to make it to one of their next home games and cheer them on. Pride Pride!

Men’s Soccer

By: Kristina Mertz

The Pleasanton High School Men’s Soccer team has kicked off the season quite well. With their first game for this month against Eagle Pass where they won 2-0, meanwhile the JV lost with a score of 5-3.  There was a Varsity Tournament where, the JV team then went against Floresville and eventually tied with 0-0. On Friday January 14th, the team then went up against Canyon Lake High school and won again with a score of 4-1. That same day the JV team went against Poteet where they won 3-0. They then went up against Wimberly and lost 5-4. The Varsity Team then went up against Fox Tech on January 25th where they won with a score of 2-0. That same day JV lost against Fox Tech 8-0. Recently on January 21st the Varsity team then tied with San Antonio Christian High School. Then on January 22nd the Varsity team went against Burnet High School where they won with 3-2.

Coach Breiten says, “The season is off to a good start, we have collected a few wins which is always a good thing and we are learning who we are pretty quickly.” Brian Avery, a Junior, who is a right wing, says, “For Jv it’s [the season is] off to a slightly rough start. We’ve tied two games and lost one, but when we participated in the varsity tournament we won a game and we also lost the other, but nevertheless we’ve had a strong morale and were improving greatly.”  He later added that, “Well i would definitely say that we should work on our communication and just like having a personal understanding of each other cause they’re short with each other a lot.” While Coach Breiten said they could improve on, “learning about whoever’s on the field … trusting their abilities… we have some young people playing with us, so just being able to trust your teammate with their job…”

Brian said his favorite memory was, “Beating Poteet’s varsity was pretty cool. We didn’t beat them bad, but it just solidified that ‘hey! We might have a chance here.’” Coach Breiten then stated, “They seem like they’ve come as a team faster than years prior, which is always a good thing [as] we don’t have a lot of negative distractions.” The men’s soccer team will continue to persevere, so go catch a game some time. PRIDE PRIDE!

Water The Bamboo

By: Courtney Henson

Over the Christmas break the women’s soccer teams kicked off their season. Both the JV and Varsity teams partook in many scrimmages to begin the season and get a feel for things with new teams. On January 3, the teams faced Wimberly for the first game of the season. Unfortunately for the Varsity team they lost 7-1. Soon after this, Pleasanton high school hosted a tournament for varsity teams. At this tournament the varsity team lost to Wagner 2-1, lost to Buda Johnson 4-1, lost to Southside 3-0, tied Uvalde 1-1, and beat Wagner due to forfeit. Days later on January 11, both the Varsity and JV teams faced Boerne, falling short, the varsity team lost 5-0, and the JV lost 4-0. 

On the weekend of January 13-15, the Varsity team participated in the Wimberly tournament. At this tournament, after a few long fights, the Varsity team lost to Lake Belton 11-0, lost to Fredericksburg 4-1, and lost to Tivy 3-0. The weekend of January 21-22 the JV team partook in their home tournament. They opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Southwest. They soon lost to Medina Valley 1-0, but came back and beat Poteet 6-0. 

On January 26, both teams traveled to Fredericksburg for their next game, where the Varsity fell 5-0 and the JV tied 0-0. 

On January 28, the women’s Varsity team faced Fox Tech High School. Making their comeback, the varsity team won 8-0. 

Although this season has not begun as the teams had hoped it would, the girls remain hopeful and motivated. For junior Slayde Huggins, she looks “forward to getting to know my teammates better and getting to work out this new formation.”

As the season continues and the girls continue fighting, we wish you the best of luck. Pride! Pride!

Track & Field

By: River Reyes

January is coming to a close and Track season will be moving into motion. All participating members have spent the month diligently training for the upcoming season. From footraces, to hurdles, to high jump to polevault, there’s a training regiment to be fulfilled every practice.

Starting the second week of January, athletes started conditioning by running and building both endurance and speed. Something new this season is that runners will be going to the weight room after practice in order to maintain muscle for their respective sports and general fitness. Athletes will generally begin practices from 3-4 pm and finish anywhere between 5-6 pm. Improvement is the key and our runners have spent the better part of the month getting times and planning for improvement. 

As for our field events, most have yet to really get started, but the Discus and Shotput throwers have been working on their throws for the past few weeks. The rest of the field events will be getting into motion as the season progresses and the athletes get with their coaches and plan for their respective training.

With a strong start, the season is looking to be very prospective as the varsity athletes set their sights for the State meet at UT in the coming months. 

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PHS Tennis

By: Farah Standley

Devon Clark and his new medal

The tennis season started with a well-played tournament. The players are getting better, and preparing for an amazing season. The tennis team went into battle at Clemens on Friday, January 21st. Devon Clark got 3rd place overall and won consolation, as the only Pleasanton athlete that placed. I interviewed Shyanne Sexton after the tournament, and when asked about how she feels about the season, she replied, “I feel it started off rough, but we have a lot of new players and we are changing it up this Spring. I feel like we have a fresh start.” The players have been practicing hard every day after school. Upon being asked about practice, Shyanne stated “I feel we have made a lot of progress during practice since last year. It was awkward adjusting to the new coach and new environment, but we are getting into a groove.” The tennis team has their eyes on District, and are preparing for success. On Thursday, January 27, 2022, the JV tennis team will fight hard to win our first home tournament! The Varsity team will follow after on Friday the 28th. You can come to the home tennis courts by the ROTC building to show your support.                                                  

Student Spotlight: Mayson Smith

By: Myame Lara

Every month, the Quill does a “Student Spotlight” article to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing students who attend PHS. To start off the new year with a bang, the journalism team decided to shine the spotlight on senior Mayson Smith. 

Mayson Smith is currently attending his fourth and final year at Pleasanton High School. In his four years of high school, he has impacted not only our school but also our community! Mayson is a proud member of PHS’ very own news show, the Big E News. He is a news anchor, a field reporter, and a proud co-host of his very own segment, “The Chocolate Milk Show.” Along with being on the Big E News, he is also a member of the Mighty Eagle Band where he plays the trumpet! Having been in band for four years, Mayson expressed that band director, Mr. Solis has impacted him the most here at PHS. Mayson says, “Band may be one group but learning new music and going to events is amazing.” 

Being a senior at PHS and second semester quickly taking action, graduation is soon approaching for Mayson. After graduation, he plans on going off to pursue film or psychology. During his junior year of high school, Mayson took AV which pushed him to find an interest in what he wanted to do and explore what he is passionate about. Mayson states, “If making movies doesn’t work out, I’d love to get a job that helps people instead.” This is where wanting to study psychology steps in!

Mayson is an amazing person who attends PHS and there is never a dull moment when he is around! Band director, Mr. Eduardo Solis, stated that Mayson goes “above and beyond” what he asks of other students. Mayson is always making sure others are enjoying their experiences and getting the most out of PHS. We at PHS are very grateful to have Mayson Smith attend our school and can’t wait to see the impact he has on this school! 

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Rodriguez

By: Noah Ramos 

For this Teacher Spotlight we had the pleasure to interview our beloved Theatre Arts teacher Mrs. Rodriguez. Her story starts in college where she actually had a different career path before acting/teaching and found an ad asking for actors that could sing for a play at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Since she had sung during high school she decided to audition and got to be cast in the play where she said she loved it. At that point she decided it was time for a career change and started to work towards her Theatre degree to continue acting. 

She has acted in many plays such as Las Nuevas Tamaleras along with commercials with H-E-B and some for the pandemic. When asked about why she chose to work here she claimed it was because no one knew her here and it was like starting with a clean slate here. Since she had been performing in San Antonio for so long that when she would go for job interviews they would recognize her from when she performed. Her philosophy for education didn’t align with this since that wasn’t the way she worked with students and was excited with teaching them what she knew.

 Since no one recognized her in Pleasanton Mrs. Rodriguez felt as though this was her chance to talk about what meant so much to her where she wanted to work with the students and give to them. She enjoys the people along with meeting, speaking, and teaching others in Pleasanton when she gets the chance. Mrs. Rodriguez has 2 siblings where she is the oldest of the bunch with her younger sister being the second and her younger brother being last. Her sister also worked in education for 30 years before retiring while her brother is an environmental lawyer. 

Unfortunately her mother has Alzheimer’s disease but has done many interviews for News Stations getting the message out on how to treat those with Alzheimer’s along with how they feel. However, even though her disease is progressing she still spreads the message about Alzheimer’s while being cared for by the husband who took the role of being a caretaker for her. Mrs. Rodriguez is also a part of the Caring for the Caregiver Council who is taking a look at those who care for patients with Alzheimer’s. Like what they need or how they feel but are an advisory council in order to tell them about programs that need to be known and researched.

 Mrs. Rodriguez’s parents have been huge advocates for going out of their way to help with earlier detection and how it helps to make things easier for not just the patient but for the caregiver as well. Mrs. Rodriguez has a couple plays she loved such as again Las Nuevas Tamaleras, Real Women have curves, and Miss Saigon but her favorite straight play was Fences by August Wilson. During competitions at One Act Mrs. Rodriguez enjoys seeing how the students’ skills have grown from when they started to the day of the competition. She also states when it is time for competitions that it is out of her hands and now it is fully the students in control to see how much they have grown.

 Mrs. Rodriguez was also the person who proposed Pleasanton participate in One Act and has been doing it for 20 years running. So students if you happen to see her in the hallways or somewhere else don’t hesitate to say hello or if you have questions about acting she is the one to ask. 

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Pippen

By: Brian Avery

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Kelly Pippen, and featuring her in this month’s staff feature.

Mrs. Kelly Pippen is a math teacher and co-head of the Special Education department here at Pleasanton High School. She has impacted many students’ lives, and continues to improve others’ lives to this day.

Mrs. Pippen graduated from Giddings High School, later attending Texas A&M in San Antonio, where she originally studied to become an accountant, however she[= switched her career path to become a teacher. She started as a math teacher, and would later become co-head of the Special Ed department. She came to Pleasanton High School 17 years ago, and is still going strong.

When asked to comment on her favorite aspect of teaching, she replied, “I love my students. I enjoy being with them, and seeing their growth from Freshman year to senior year. It’s always encouraging to know we’re[Teachers] making a difference.” She emphasized her love for the sense of family that PHS brings, from her coworkers to the students. The only thing she wished she could change at PHS is emphasizing the importance of some of the skills they teach that students don’t value. 

It was a pleasure interviewing Mrs. Pippen, and make sure you tell her hello when you see her in the halls! 

Mighty Eagle Band

By: Allison Collins

Towards the end of 2021, select members of Pleasanton High School’s Mighty Eagle Band auditioned at Lytle High School for region band. They spent many months working on their own free time practicing. Their hard work paid off, many of the band members competed and made the region band as members and alternates.

After more traveling and auditioning, Michaela Anguiano, a junior here at PHS made the ATSSB All-State Band on alto clarinet! On February 12, she will be traveling to San Antonio to perform with many students from all over Texas. “I’m really proud of myself and I think it’s a really big accomplishment.” Michaela states. She’s not the only one excited about her success though, Mr. Solis, the head band director states “I’m very happy for her, she works very hard in everything she does.”

With region band slowly finishing, UIL Solo & Ensemble is starting. “It’s a big contest for us because almost the entire band does it.” Mr Solis states. More people getting involved brings more possibilities! We’re excited to see what happens with Michaela and UIL, we wish you luck. Pride! Pride!

BPA: Business Professionals of America

By: Autumn Webster

PHS BPA organization at regional competition

The BPA, or Business Professionals of America, is an organization made to be an innovator in Career and Technical Education, providing their members with opportunities for growth through education, competition, community service and personal development.

Mrs. Olivarri is the sponsor of Pleasanton High School’s BPA, and last weekend they hosted a business competition in Medina Valley.

The Qualifying Individuals are listed as follows:
Thang Nguyen – 1st Place – Digital Media Production
Courtney Henson – 1st Place –  Administrative Support Research Project
Alexis Ramos – 1st Place – Payroll Accounting
Lilee Ramirez – 1st Place – Health Leadership Topics
Delanie De La Fuente – 1st Place – Prepared Speech

Elynore Hernandez – 2nd Place – Digital Media Production
Connor George – 2nd Place – Device Configuration And Troubleshooting
Jazmin Bernal – 2nd Place – Health Administrative Procedures

Qualifying In Team Events Includes:
Kenneth Alergria, Michaela Anguiano – 1st Place – Broadcast News Production Team
Brandi Barnett, Adyson Brymer, Ashlyn Vera – 2nd Place – Presentation Management Team
Shayane Cazier, Gage Pawelek – 2nd Place – Podcast Production Team
Madeline Brymer, Sadie Hartmann, Paige Read – 2nd Place – Small Business Management Team

Students Who Placed As State Alternatives Are Listed As Follows:
Alexandria Balderas – 3rd Place – Extemporaneous Speech
Jaelyn Morales – 5th Place – Intermediate Word Processing
Alejandra Martinez – 5th Place – Banking And Financing
Preston Pilgrim –  6th Place – Banking And Finance

Open Events – Non-Advancing:
Neil Patel – 2nd Place – Computer Program Concepts – 3rd Place – Medical Terminology Concepts – 4th Place – Information Technology Concepts
Alexandria Balderas – 2nd Place – Medical Terminology Concepts – 3rd Place – Business Management Meeting Concepts
Giancarlo Garcia – 3rd Place – Computer Program Concepts – 4th Place – Administrative Support Concepts
Connor George – 6th Place – Information Technology Concepts
Jaelyn Morales – 3rd Place – Digital Communications And Design Concepts  

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By: Aaliyah Herrera

FFA is dealing with agriculture and livestock, its a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.The culture of raising animals for the Atascosa County Livestock Show runs deep in our school. Many of our students participate in acquiring, raising and showing their prized animals. 

Mrs. Kelly, who sponsors FFA at Pleasanton Highschool, helps students navigate their stock show experience. I had interviewed Mrs. Kelly and asked her some questions about her experience with stock show, and some challenges. She did have a big challenge when students returned from Christmas break she had said “there was a spike in COVID”, which led them having to find substitute exhibitors. “All hands on deck,” she said. If a student was out the substitute would care for their animals. She also had said there were more exhibitors and animal entries which had made pen availability tight and more trips hauling animals in on the trailer. Preparations she had done was, every year they would have to set up pens and clean the barn ACLS, trailers had to be cleaned, disinfected, and set the animals needed to have new shavings and all pigs and goats had to have their hair clipped. I had asked Mrs. Kelly explained why she decided to sponsor FFA. She had said “FFA is an inter-curricular organization, meaning every student enrolled in an AG class is part of FFA..” students who are enrolled in AG can extend their knowledge and also have fun. “FFA not only instills knowledge about agriculture but also gives students opportunities to use that knowledge in real-world applications” she said. 

Mrs. Kelly is a teacher here at Pleasanton High School she had said “I was always aware I wanted to be a teacher with agricultural classes.” She gets to teach real world skills over an unlimited amount of different topics here at Pleasanton High School. 

2022 ACLS Pleasanton FFA Results:

Market Broilers – 

Skylar Mitchell 6th 

Allyson Sherley 8th 

Market Turkeys- 

Allyson Sherley (4th Hen 4th Tom)

Poultry Showmanship-

Xochitl Hernandaez 5th 

Intermediate Market Steers- 

Jayce Krauskopf 1st Class (1 Brahman 5th Class 3 ABC 5th Class 4 ABC)

Sadie Schimelpfening 1st Class (3 Brahman Reserve Champion Brahman Reserve Champion Steer Brooke Rankin 1st Class 1 Exotic Beef Showmanship)

Sadie Schimelpfening (3rd Intermediate) 

Jayce Krauskopf (Champion Senior)

Brooke Rankin (3rd Senior) 

Rabbit Showmanship – 

Rebecca Martinez (5th Senior) 

Breeding Swine – 

Ainsley Kelley (3rd Class 1)

Tristan Barker (2nd Class 2)

Brennan Lopez (9th Class 2) 

Kaydin Olle (1st Class 3)

Reserve Champion BreedingGilt 

Jayce Krauskopf (2nd Class 3) 

Brennan Lopez (4th Class 3) 

Bryndan Olle (5th Class 3) 

Connor Lopez (7th Class 3)

Market Swine – 

Class 2- Dark OPB (Ashton Barker  3rd) 

Class 3- Dark OPB (Trey Hagen 1st and Reserve Breed Champion)

Ryder Smith  (2nd)

Bryndan Olle (7th)

Class 4- Duroc Corgin King  (3rd) 

Zurie Lauderdale        (9th)

Class 5- Duroc Sadie McAda (7th)

Savannah Lauderdale  (8th) 

Wyatt Porter  (9th)

McAda Rutherford  (10th)

Class 6- Duroc Kinsley Barker (2nd) 

Class 7- Duroc Jaxon Bryan (2nd)

 Phoenix Eddins (3rd)

Lanie Porter (4th)

Brooke Rankin (5th)

Ainsley Kelley (9th)

Brady Stevens (11th)

 Class 8- Hamp Jace Olle (1st)

Cade Mitchell (4th)

Matthew Gudea (13th) 

Class 9- Hamp Madlyn Olle (6th)

Adeline Collins (7th) 

Madlyn Olle (8th)

 Class 10- Hamp Trey Hagen (3rd) 

Jaxon Bryan (4th)

Skylar Mitchell (6th)

Connor Lopez (14th)

Class 11- Hamp Jayce Krauskopf (2nd)

Brooke Rankin (4th) 

Skylar Mitchell (6th) 

Dylan Olle (12th) 

Class 12- Light OPB Connor Lopez (6th) 

Class 13- Light OPB Ashton Barker (2nd) 

Class 14- Light OPB Cade Mitchell (2nd)

Kinsley Barker (5th) 

Savannah Lauderdale (8th) 

Class 15- York Tristan Barker (5th) 

Class 16- York Cade Mitchell (2nd) 

Brennan Lopez 3rd 

Class 17- York William Turner (1st and Reserve) 

Grand Champion Swine – 

Kaydin Olle (2nd and Reserve Breed Champion 4th)

Class 18- Cross Trey Hagen (4th) 

Ainsley Kelley (9th)

Cade Mitchell (15th) 

Class 19- Cross Lanie Porter (8th) 

Class 20- Cross Jayce Krauskopf (1st)

Bryndan Olle (2nd)

Wyatt Porter (4th) 

Brennan Lopez (5th)

Cooper Smith (7th) 

Tycen King (8th)

Colt Pruski (12th)

Mason Jones (13th)

Class 21- Cross Sadie Schimelpfening (2nd)

Dylan Olle (4th) 

Whitney Martin (9th) 

Class 22- Cross Trey Hagen (4th)

Jayce Krauskopf (8th) 

Allyson Sherley (9th)

Class 23- Cross Jace Olle (2nd) 

Jayce Krauskopf (4th)

Tristan Barker (8th)

Savannah Lauderdale (9th)

Genieve Turner (13th)

Swine Showmanship – 

Tycen King (2nd Junior)

Ainsley Kelley (3rd Junior) 

Jace Olle (4th Intermediate) 

Jayce Krauskopf (3rd Senior) 

Swine Skillathon –  

Ashton Barker (Champion Intermediate) 

Allyson Sherley (4th Senior) 

Ag Mechanics Show –  

(Class I- Farm Equipment 1st Ryan Martinez- 3 Point Ball) 

(Class II- Truck Accessories 1st Colby Fey- Rear Bumper)

(Class III- Wildlife Equipment 1st Montgomery Cain, Wyatt Tom- Rifle Range Target)

(Class IV- Trailers 1st Hunter Bauer- 16’ Tilt Trailer) 

(Class V- Livestock Equipment 1st Montgomery Cain- 16’ Entrance Gate 2nd Tristan Barker- Hog Wash Racks) 

(Class VII- Picnic Table & Outdoor Furniture 1st Montgomery Cain- Elk Firewood Rack 3rd Austin Rich- Volleyball Firewood Rack)

(Class VIII- BBQ Pits 1st Montgomery Cain, Jacob Montezuma- Air Compressor Pit 3rd Buck Quinonez- Fire Pit)

(Class X- Reconstructed 2nd Mallory Fey- Restored Old School Bell 3rd Ally Sherley- Children’s Seat) 

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Monthly Cause: Blood Donor Month

By: Kendall Zuniga

In the month of January, blood shortages are at a critical stance. This tends to happen because people choose to stop donating during the cold and flu season, donor stations also become snowed out in some states preventing people from donating. About 38 percent of the population actually gives blood, and blood supplies can’t always meet the proper demand due to only 3 percent of the population being age-eligible. Every 2 seconds a person in the United States is in need of blood. Blood donations are used for patients in need of surgery, cancer treatment and transfusions for blood loss from traumatic injuries.

What do you know about your own blood and blood type? Your blood type is determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens, these are substances that can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the body. There are four major blood types: A,B,AB, and O.

 A protein called the “Rh Factor” can be present by positive or negative antigens in our body giving us the eight main blood types:  A+, A-,  B+, B-,  O+, O,  AB+, and AB-.

Thinking of donating blood but not sure how the process works? First make sure you meet the appropriate guidelines before donating or making an appointment to donate blood. When arriving at the donation center you will be asked to sign in and present your ID, such as your drivers license or your school Id. You will be asked to read some information about donating, such as why you should donate as well as how donating benefits yourself and others. A certified nurse will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand new needle for drawing the blood, the needle is only a quick pinch and should go away within a matter of seconds. During the blood drawing process it should only take about 8-10 minutes, and in the duration of your  time you’ll be seated or lying down comfortably. Once approximately one pint of your blood is collected, your donation is complete and a staff person will bandage up your arm. When your donation is complete, you’ll be given a snack and something to drink and are allowed to leave and continue on with your day after 10-15 mins(this is just to make sure you’re feeling well and on your feet).

Feel like spontaneously donating blood? You can go to, go to the red drop down tab and enter your area zip code to find popup donation centers near you!

Professional Advice from a Professional Procrastinator

By: River Reyes

Procrastination is a fickle beast, there is no concrete method for tackling the hurdle it imposes upon a person’s work ethic. When writing this article, many hours were spent thinking about what would work, what is the right way to articulate my thoughts? I was actively working on trying to be productive, yet I had pushed off the responsibility of writing until the next day, and the next, and the next.

People have a tendency to push responsibilities off to the very last minute necessary. In the back of your mind, these responsibilities will remain relevant, but at the same time, you find yourself affixed on minute and trivial tasks. You can still be productive, but you don’t tend to what should be your priority. It’s very easy to understand that what you’re doing is improper, yet it’s still difficult to drive away your guilt and focus on what is important. I believe that procrastination is a product of premature stress. The moment you hear the word “deadline”, in the back of your mind a thought settles, the understanding of your responsibility. You can be exemplary at time management, yet the stress of the idea of a deadline could easily throw you off course as you need relief from the pressure that builds up. It’s a nasty cycle of tearing yourself apart, only to find short-term relief in mundane tasks that don’t amount to anything in regards to the matter at hand. Sure you can clean your room, perfect a personal project, or just get on your phone to distract yourself, but you only delay the inevitable, feeding into the aforementioned cycle of short term relief and further procrastination.

So what’s the solution? In short, there is no conclusive solution, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help yourself to prevent your bad habit of procrastination. Instead of waiting till the last minute for that “spark of inspiration”, take your time to calm yourself and think about what you’re doing and where you want to be. At its root, procrastination is tied to the idea of responsibility and the pressure that may come with it. If you think about where you’re trying to go and set personal goals for yourself to achieve, you may find that pressure lessened. 

Take some time to evaluate your position, think about what it is you’re avoiding. Don’t beat yourself up thinking you have a terrible work ethic, but don’t avoid what’s important. 

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HOSA Handwashing

By: Libby Sanchez

This pandemic has put emphasis on many things, but one of the most important would have to be hand washing. Now more than ever it’s crucial to get such a simple thing right. Our HOSA program here at Pleasanton High School has been informing many students about the process of handwashing and how to do it correctly. Kelly Mertz (senior) and Trinity Garcia (junior) visited the Journalism class and gave a very well-thought-out presentation. They provided a visual example of how to properly wash your hands to diminish the spread of germs. A student was asked to cover their hands in glo germ, a visual tool for handwash training. The student was then sent to the bathroom to wash their own hands based on how they already knew how to. When the student returned, the glo germ for the most part had been washed away. Though, there were still parts of the hand carrying large amounts of germs. Most students wash their hands the basic way they were taught: scrub the palms, between the fingers, scrub the back of the hand, and rinse. It’s become such a habit that people just go through the motions and that’s what keeps the spread of germs progressing. In this presentation, we were provided with the correct process: wet your hands, apply soap,  lather, and scrub (palms, between fingers, under fingernails, back of the hand) for 20 seconds, rinse 10 seconds, grab a paper towel and turn off the tap, and dry your hands. Trinity emphasizes, “It’s very important that you don’t touch the sink at any point during the handwashing process. If you touch any surface of the sink after you put soap on, you’re recontaminating your hands.” In between washes, it’s also a great idea to sanitize often. Kelly Mertz states, “Hand sanitizer needs to have 60% alcohol in order to work effectively and disinfect your hands.” Overall our HOSA program is doing an amazing job of emphasizing the importance of handwashing during this pandemic and every day to follow. We wish them the best of luck in their competition coming up on February 11th!

True Crime vol. XXV: Angel of Mercy

By: Courtney Henson

Jane Toppan was born with the name of Honora Kelley on March 31, 1854. Her mother, Bridget Kelley died of tuberculosis when Jane was very young and her father, Peter Kelley was well known as a very abusive alcoholic, earning himself the nickname “Kelley the Crack” by those who knew him. In 1860, Kelley surrendered Jane and her sister to the Boston Female Asylum. In November of 1862, Jane was placed in the home of Mrs. Ann C. Toppan as an indentured servant. This is where she adopted the last name Toppan. 

In 1885, Jane began nursing training at Cambridge Hospital. During her residency, Jane would pick her “favorite patients” and use them as guinea pigs for experiments involving morphine and atropine. Jane spent a considerable amount of time alone with patients altering charts to avoid any suspicion of wrongdoing. In 1889 Jane began working for the Massachusetts General Hospital where she took many more lives before being fired. After this, she briefly returned to the Cambridge Hospital but was soon dismissed for recklessly administering opioids. Despite her history, and heavy accusations of theft, Jane began working as a private nurse and found great success. 

The killing spree began in 1885 when Jane poisoned her landlord, Israel Dunham, and his wife. She soon followed this by killing her foster sister, Elizabeth, with a large dose of a pesticide in 1889. After poisoning and killing Maddie Davis in 1901, Jane moved in with her elderly husband, Alden Davis, and very quickly killed Davis, his sister, and two of his daughters. The surviving members of the David family called for a toxicology report on the youngest daughter, Minnie, after becoming suspicious. The report showed that she had been heavily poisoned and it was understood that this is what happened to the rest of the family. 

On October 29, 1901, Jane was arrested for murder and by 1902 she had confessed to 31 murders. The identified victims include Israel Dunham, Lovely Dunham, Elizabeth Brigham, Mary McNear, Florence Calkins, William Ingraham, Sarah (Myra) Connors, Mattie Davis, Genevieve Gordon (Annie), Alden Davis, Mary (Minnie) Gibbs, and Edna Bannister. After later confessing to her lawyer that she killed over 31 people but refusing to give names, Jane begged the court to deem her sane, in hopes of later being released. In the end, this claim did not work and on June 23, 1902, Jane was found not guilty on the basis of insanity and committed to Taunton Insane Hospital. 

Although her motive is ultimately unknown, many believe Jane was experimenting to get a better look at the “inner workings” of a human. Some say it was jealousy. Others say it was for sensual reasons, but Jane herself said it was paralysis of thought and reason, just a strong urge to poison. 

In 1931, at the age of 81, Jane died in the Taunton state hospital. Buried under the name “Honora Kelley”, she is laid to rest in the Mayflower Cemetery.

Movie Review: Spiderman No Way Home

By: Kristina Mertz

Beware, spoilers ahead! Spiderman No Way Home directed by John Watts gained a score of 93% on rotten tomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDB. The overwhelming audience reaction sure hyped people up worldwide, as it garnered a net worth of $721 Million at the box office.

Starring heartthrob Tom Holland, along with popular Zendaya and Marisa Tomei, this movie was fully stocked with some rising modern stars. However, this film captured the audience’s attention with a whole list of people seen in your favorite childhood movies. Those included, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, William Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, and JK Simmons.

The movie was spectacular, as from the very start of the film, you could notice the attention to detail was prominent, the amount of time and effort that went into this film really paid off for the audience. The plot was overall, very interesting and kept the audience hooked throughout, as well as the romance between Peter and MJ created another obstacle for Peter Parker while he tried to save the world.

There is a battle that continues throughout the film between Peter and himself determining who he needs to be, because in the end he can;t be both. There are quite a few spoilers left in the film that contribute to the wonderful marvel (pun intended) it is.

Overall this is a great film and I highly recommend it! Be sure to catch it in theaters before its too late!

Sweet Treat

By: Alexandra Garcia

Are you looking for a perfect peaceful party dessert ?  The Berry and Cream Tart is a tasteful 

individual berry dessert which is easy to customize as well.   

Berries and Cream Tarts are very delicious and elegant desserts to satisfy your taste buds, and it will leave a delightful taste in your mouth. For sure a dessert you and your guest won’t miss. 

This dessert includes a buttery crust and rich pastry cream filling with colorful berries on the top.  

Berry Cream Tart | King Arthur Baking

Be sure to prep the oven 30 minutes before. 

The filling ingredients :

¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All- purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 large egg and 1 cup or (227g) of milk
  • 3 tablespoons  (42g) butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract or almond extract

Ingredients for crust :

  • One 9’’ round pate sucree crust, fully baked

Topping ingredients : 

  • 1 pint of strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries 

Glaze (optional) : ½ cup preserves or jam; or ¼ cup jelly


Step 1 – To make the filing : In a warm bowl you will whisk the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add the egg, whisking until the mixture is smooth.

Step 2 – In a small bowl (1 ½ quart) saucepan, begin boiling the milk. Add hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking continually to make everything smooth.

Step 3 – Pour the hot milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan, return to the heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Once the mixture thickens you will wanna keep whisking vigorously to keep it from getting lumpy.

Step 4 – Once you see the filing come to a boil across its entire surface, cook for another minute. Then move away from heat. Then stir in the butter and extract. 

To assemble the tart: Pour the filing into the tart shell. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve the tart, remove the wrap from the filing and top of the tart with sliced strawberries and berries in alternating rows

To make the glaze: If using jam or preserves, warm them up gently and thin with a little water if necessary to loosen them up. Scoop out and discard any solids. Brush remaining glaze over the berries. If you’re using jelly, warm it up and brush it over berries. 

Slice the tart  into wedges and serve with whipped cream if you desire. 

STORAGE INFO: store any leftover tart, covered, in the refrigerator and do not freeze.

Poem of the Month

Winter Wonderland

There are strange and mysterious sounds

When the winds of winter blow,

The long nights are crystal clear and cold,

And the fields and meadows are covered with snow.

The stars are frosty against the sky,

And the wind’s whistle is shrill,

As the snow blows against the house

And drifts against the hill.

Yet, I like to see during the winter

A white carpet on the ground,

To plod aimlessly in the deep snow,

where deer tracks abound.

I like to feel the stillness

Of a crisp winter’s night,

Watching a full moon rise over the horizon,

Exposing a winter wonderland beautiful and bright.

By: Joseph T. Renaldi

Nights are getting colder and track practice is starting along with more sports and tournaments arriving, so remember to keep yourself warm when you practice and play!


The Passionate Poet