Student Spotlight

By: Adriana Clark

Senior Caitlyn Nieschiwtz pictured at the beach.

Caitlyn Nieschiwtz is a senior here at PHS. She is a genuinely nice person who can make anyone smile just by talking to them; she’s just someone you can never get tired of being around. Caitlyn Nieschiwtz is 17 years old and when asked where she plans to go for college and what she plans to major in she said “I plan to go to Texas A&M and major in Ag Business.” Caitlyn has been a runner on our cross country and track team since her freshman year and has even been on the varsity team all four years. This is where she has not only gone to Regionals, but State, too. For this year’s cross country season Caitlyn had another opportunity to go to Regionals where she placed 12th. When Caitlyn was asked what she hopes for this year’s track season, she said “My goal for this year’s track season is that I will be able to break the school record in the 800 and mile, and make it to State.” Caitlyn also hopes to run track while attending Texas A&M.

Cross Country

By: Adriana Clark

Girls JV Cross Country team is pictured at Bandera.

The PHS Varsity Cross Country teams traveled to Dilley on September 27th. The varsity girls had 8 girls who placed in the top twenty, with Caitlyn Nieschwitz taking 3rd place, Kassidy Vickers in 5th place, and Kennedy Guajardo taking 7th place along with Kara Hinojosa in 8th, and Mary Martinez in 10th place. Karolyna Arguijo placed 13th, Fe Vielma placed 18th, Jillian Barcomb with a time of 14:23, Raylin Castillo 16:02, and Sofia Aguilar 16:20. For the Varsity boys, Wanish Tortes-McGinnis placed 5th, Tim Klein placed 6th, Xavier Rodriguez placed 12th, Zander Zamora placed 15th, and Jaydon Ogg placed 19th.    

Our Cross Country team later traveled to Devine on Wednesday, September 30th. There, our Varsity and JV girls placed 1st. Caitlyn Nieschwitz placed 2nd, Kassidy Vickers placed 5th, Kara Hinojosa placed 7th, Mary Martinez placed 8th, Karolyna Arguijo placed 11th, Fe Vielma placed 13th, and Kennedy Guajardo placed 14th. Running for the JV team, Raylin Castillo placed 1st, Jillian Barcomb placed 2nd, Sofia Aguilar placed 6th, Itzel Perez placed 7th, Adriana Clark placed 12th, and Savannah Clark placed 13th. Varsity boys ran their best performance of the season so far, with Wanish Tortes-McGinnis placing 9th, Zander Zamora in 10th, Xavier Rodriguez placing 12th, and Jaydon Ogg in 18th. 

On Saturday, October 10th, both the Varsity boys and girls, along with the JV girls went to Bandera, where the Varsity Girls placed 2nd.  Caitlyn Nieschwitz came in 8th place, Kassidy Vickers taking 9th, Kara Hinojosa 15th, Mary Martinez 19th, Kennedy Guajardo 23rd, Fe Vielma 34th, and Karolyna Arguijo in 35th. JV Girls placed 1st with Jillian Barcomb in 1st, Raylin Castillo in 2nd, Lindsey Klein in 4th, Sofia Aguliar placed 13th, Itzel Perez placed 14th, Illianna Solorzano placed 15th, Savannah Clark in 20th, and Adriana Clark in 21st. For our Varsity Boys, Tim Klein took 19th place, Wanish Tortes-McGinnis placed 23rd, Xavier Rodriguez placed 24th, Zander Zamora placed 26th, and Jaydon Ogg placed 31st.

On October 14th, the teams traveled to Devine, where our Varsity girls placed 1st. Caityln Nieschwitz placed 1st with Kassidy Vickers right behind her at 2nd place, Kara Hinojosa placed 7th, Mary Martinez placed 8th, Kennedy Guajardo placed 9th, Fe Vielma took 10th, and Karolyna Arguijo placed 11th. The girls JV placed 1st with Linsey Klein taking 1st place with Raylin Castillo taking 2nd, Sofia Aguliar taking 3rd, and Itzel Perez right behind her taking 4th, and Adriana Clark placed 6th. Varsity Boys had Xavier Rodriguez in 7th, Wanish Tortes-McGinnis in 8th, Zander Zamora in 9th, and Jaydon Ogg in 17th. 

Congratulations to all the runners, District is their next big meet. Wish them luck!

Childhood Cancer Awareness

By: Adriana Clark

Childhood Cancer Awareness gold ribbon

September is the month that brings awareness to those who are facing or have faced childhood cancer, a time for people to focus on the importance of finding the cause, making a prevention plan, seeking possible treatments, and cures. Families often come together during this month to tell inspirational stories of the children who are facing or have faced cancer. Each year, 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and 175,000 are children under the age of 14. Cancer does not always mean that it is just one disease. Instead, it can often be found in different places in the body; the most common type of cancer found in children is leukemia (a blood cancer). Cancer is less likely caused by a child’s environment and lifestyle, but instead can be caused by genetic changes or better known as mutations. A strong family history of cancer may increase a child’s risk. Thanks to therapies, over 80% of the childhood cancer patients have become long-term survivors. Organizations the help bring awareness is the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) who help by shaping policy, supporting research, and providing free education to kids with cancer, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California help by creating a home away from home so they are able to stay close to their hospitalized child without causing any financial toll on the family, and the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation help elevate the mental, social, and emotional wellbeing of families that undergoing cancer treatment volunteers prepare packages filled with board games, books, and toys for different age groups which are then shipped out to hospitals and oncology centers across the world.

New Teacher of the Year: Miss Netherton

By: Adriana Clark

Miss Netherton is a science teacher at PHS, known for being one of the nicest and sweetest teachers on the campus. She has a loving personality, she’s uplifting, and she’s funny. Miss Netherton has been working at PHS for 3 years, which is her entire teaching career. Miss Netherton had attended Mississippi State University, where she majored in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Engineering concentration. She has also majored in English.

Before Miss Netherton joined us at PHS as a high school teacher, she was a Civil Engineer In Training which was also known as an EIT. “I really enjoyed all my civil engineering classes in college, but working as a Civil Engineer just wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t get to be super creative, I either had a lot of work or almost no work, and I didn’t get to help others…” Miss Netherton had worked on computers and got to go to sites and design drainage layouts, water mains, and work with the EPA to ensure their jobs followed conservation laws. “…it was an interesting job, but not a good fit for me. I enjoy teaching a lot more because I get to help people learn and grow and I can be very creative with my lessons.”

When Miss Netherton heard the news that she won New Teacher of the year, she was excited and stated, “she doesn’t do the job for recognition, but it does feel very validating to get this award.” This also helps ensure that she is doing a great job and encourages her to keep it up! “PHS has been an amazing place to work and I really feel really lucked out starting my teaching career here. The environment is very positive and everyone has the opportunity for major growth here. You can also tell that all the employees really care about the students in everything that they do. I am very grateful to have such a supportive network here who all focus on the good of the students.”

Things To Do While Bored

By: Adriana Clark

List of things to do to avoid boredom:

  1. Exercise: This improves one’s health but can also help manage any anxiety.
  2. Painting: A creative outlet during this time, people can try a new technique they have never tried before. 
  3. Reading: Reading helps with one’s imagination; some people read to help get away from their lives-many people would use that as an outlet to take their minds off of COVID-19.
  4. Do a puzzle: This can be satisfying once the puzzle is complete; puzzles challenge our brains.
  5. Clean: Cleaning helps us take advantage of the time we have right now.
  6. Learn something new: Learning something new can help sharpen our skills, expand our horizons, or it can just help you realize you might have had an interest in something that you just never had time to try before.
  7. Talk to friends: Connecting with others is important.

Staff Spotlight-Cafeteria Staff

By: Adriana Clark

The cafeteria workers here at PHS work hard constantly to provide the food we have at lunch. Not only do they have to provide the food we eat, but they also have to make sure all the tables are clean and that there is enough food for b-lunch.

Our cafeteria staff includes Kathy Garza, the manager, who has been working here for a total of 6 years. Kathy says her favorite part of her job is being in charge. She also used to work at the primary and says that “it is a big difference from the little ones to the big ones. Mainly at that age in elementary, you have to deal with tattle-telling, the hair-pulling, along with many other things along those lines.” 

Mary Ybanez has been working here for 20 years and her favorite part about her job is her group of coworkers. Mary Ramos has been working here for about a month and a half and one thing she enjoys about the job is the surroundings.

Julia has been working here for 3 months and she enjoys the dishes. Rebecca Alcorta has been working here for 2 years, Christabel Douglas has been working here for 5 months, and Mary-Alice Rodiguez has been working here for 10 years.

The group was asked what the most challenging factor about their job was, and they all agreed that the most challenging factor was making sure there’s enough food for everybody and not running out, but they also don’t want to make too much food where they would have to throw it out.

A piece of advice the cafeteria workers would like to give to the students is that they (the students) aren’t always going to get free stuff, being respectful to the staff and each other, to be appreciative, and that “please and thank you” can go a long way.