Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Arnold

By: Gabby Palacios

Ms. Arnold, an Art 1 and the Graphic Design teacher posing for a photo

 

Mrs. Arnold is an alumna teaching Art I and Graphic Design here at her alma mater, PHS. Though things have changed tremendously since she graduated with the class of 1995, she still admires PHS, its traditions, and what we stand for as a community.

The Art and Graphic Design teacher attended the University of Texas at Austin, fulfilling her desire to attend the same college as her aunt, who she deeply admired. She explained, “One of the main people that influenced me growing up was my aunt… so I just knew that’s where I wanted to go.”

It was at UT that she studied to become an Art teacher. “All throughout school I really liked art and creating, that’s just what I enjoyed, [and] what I was successful at …” she explained. Mrs. Arnold wishes to have as lasting of an impression on her students as her teachers once did on her. She continued, “ I just knew that I wanted to [make it fun and interesting] for other students who maybe didn’t really know what they were into but could come to art and create things and enjoy it… Even if they’re not going to be an artist, it still helps them in other areas of their life and gives them an outlet.”

Mrs. Arnold began teaching at Stinson Middle School in San Antonio in 2000 and would go on to spend the next 8 years teaching there, until she decided to move to Poteet Middle School in 2008, spending 4 years in the neighboring town. After a job opening became available at PHS, Mrs. Arnold moved back to the old classrooms she once sat in as a student and found her place as the outgoing Art and Graphic Design (Yearbook) teacher we all know and love her to be.

Though she wasn’t able to get her career started here at our campus, she had always known she eventually wanted to be a PHS Art teacher. She explains, “[I didn’t start working here initially]  because there were no job openings… It was my ultimate goal but there were no art positions available…” Still, Mrs. Arnold appreciated her time at Stinson because it gave her a sense of home and reminded her of PHS, which she deeply enjoyed. “I always felt like Stinson reminded me of here which is why I was glad that was my first job… It just felt the same like where you have teachers that work really well together, everybody liked going to work, and we all liked working together…” she added.

Her experiences at PISD have shaped her into the proud eagle alumna she is today. Reminiscing on Mrs. Kotzur, a former art teacher of PJH and PHS who retired last school year, Mrs. Arnold expressed her gratitude for the encouragement and good memories her teachers gave her, explaining, “I always enjoyed art but… I think it also had a lot to do with the teachers… they just always made it fun and interesting. I wanted to do the same.”

Though many may not have gotten the opportunity to know her as a person, Ms. Arnold has proven to be one of the most genuine, light-hearted, and spirited people to ever walk the halls of PHS. On behalf of the rest of PHS, thank you, Mrs. Arnold, for being a constant supporter of our school and always being positive. In the words of Mrs. Arnold herself, “Eagles all the way. Go big green!”

PRIDE PRIDE! EAGLE PRIDE!

You Just Got Served

By: Gabby Palacios

The PHS varsity volleyball team pictured discussing the game during a timeout.

After suffering a 3-1 loss against the Cuero Cobblers in their first district game, the Lady Eagles varsity volleyball team played LaVernia in their second district game, ending with a 3-0 loss against the Bears on Friday, September 25. The following Tuesday, September 29, they suffered another 3-0 loss, with the Navarro Panthers coming out victorious.

Starting the month off on a good note, the Eagles traveled to SA Holmes and bagged a 3-1 victory against the Huskies on October 3. They kept up the good pace against the Gonzales Apaches on October 6, gaining a 3-0 victory. Unfortunately, they suffered another loss on Friday, October 9, against the Cuero Gobblers, ending with a 3-2 score. On Tuesday, October 13 the Eagles traveled to LaVernia and ended with another 3-0 loss against the Bears. The team lost against the Panthers on Friday, October 16, with Navarro gaining a 3-0 victory over the Eagles. Fortunately, the Lady Eagles ended their last non-district game with a 3-0 win over the Tilden Cowgirls on Tuesday, October 20.

On Friday, October 23, the team played their final district game against the Gonzales Apaches. Going into five total sets, the Eagles came out victorious with a 3-2 ending score. Only winning one district game up until this point, the team needed this win in order to advance. 

Excited to advance on to Bi-District Playoffs, Senior Jussiah Lopez states, “The game honestly was the craziest game like ever for me… within my high school career. Both teams went out… fighting to win. We all celebrated at the end of the game. Even Coach Aguirre was like ‘YEAH!’ We were all pumped…” 

The first playoff game is taking place on Thursday, October 29. Lopez continued on with encouraging words, stating, “No matter how we do, it was a good season and at the end, we all had fun throughout it.”

Wishing the Lady Eagles varsity volleyball team lots of luck at their first game. PRIDE PRIDE! EAGLE PRIDE!

Teacher Spotlight

By: Kloie Sosa

CSM Nuells standing proudly at his podium

 Pleasanton High School sends a big welcome to our new Army Instructor, Command Sergeant Major Nuells. CSM Nuells is very honored and excited to be the first teacher spotlight of the new school year.

CSM Nuells is from Victoria, TX and this will be his first year of teaching. He attended Eldorado High School in Las Vegas, NV then went on to attend Webster University, earning a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration.

Some of his hobbies are racing his car (in a controlled environment), playing basketball, and lastly grilling and barbecuing. CSM Nuells served 30 years in the army, earning many awards and decorations. The Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, for example.

Command Sergeant Major Nuells has been to many different countries, including Korea, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. As of right now Nuells is still a part of the army, his last day of active duty being October 31, 2020.

Command Sergeant Major Nuells stated, “My transition has been great and stress-free since I have already started working in my second career.” Nuells realized that he wanted to teach JROTC two years ago so that he can continue to help mentor young men and women. He stated, ¨What is rewarding about my job is watching the growth of my students and how they mature and develop their leadership skills¨. Command Sergeant Major Nuells enjoys the way everyone here at PHS treats each other like family.

We are thrilled to have you at our campus and wish you a great year of teaching!

Bring It On: Covid Edition

By: Gabby Palacios

The PHS Varsity cheer team pictured with their awards from the last day of camp.

Every summer, the PHS cheerleaders attend a 4-Day Overnight camp with the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) and prepare for the upcoming season. However, due to Covid-19, the teams were unable to travel for camp, so the camp was brought to them.

Throughout the span of three days, the cheerleaders and mascots spent 8 hours a day learning a cheer, multiple chants, band dances, and two Extreme Routines. They also participated in leadership training to learn how to be great role models to the community, understand the sports they cheer for, and recognize what it means to be a cheerleader.

Every day, after long hours of tough work and team bonding, daily awards, varying from skill-based to fun contests, were given out. On the last day, the honorary All-American Award tryouts took place. For these tryouts, participants must perform the All-American cheer, one Extreme Routine Dance, and a jump of their choice. Any contestant who receives the award has the opportunity to travel with fellow UCA All-American cheerleaders and participate in special events, including the Varsity Spirit London Tour, where they perform in a Christmas Parade. This year, sophomore Brooke Rankin, juniors Linda Sanchez and Noelani Guerrero, and seniors Gabby Palacios, Lynda Rodriguez, Diya Chandra, and Erica Santee received the All-American award.

Junior Linda Sanchez, explains, “In my previous two years we’ve gone to an away camp so we got to meet new people and experience new teams and how they perform… We got to interact more as a team [at away camps.] This year doing an at home camp, it was different getting to know each other…”

Although they were unable to experience getting to know other teams, this allowed them to take a step back and work on building a new foundation for the team based on teamwork, friendship, and communication. “In past years, people were so caught up in wanting to hang out and meet people from other teams, that they neglected to get to know their own teammates. It was more hanging out with your specific friend groups rather than a team bonding experience. This year, I truly felt that I got to know everyone, for the most part, and bond with them as a team,” states an anonymous senior.

Although this year’s camp was different from what the team was used to, they learned a lot of new material and continue to work on and improve the skills of the team. Wishing you all a good rest of the season!

PRIDE PRIDE! EAGLE PRIDE!

Getting on with Graduation

By: Gabby Palacios

The dress code for the 2019-2020 graduation ceremony on Saturday May 30.

During this weird time in the world, there has been one constant question in our community. Are the seniors going to have their graduation ceremony? Well, thanks to the hard-working parents, community members, and PHS staff, our Class of 2020 seniors will walk the stage.

Saturday, May 30, the ceremony will be held at the newly renovated football stadium at 8:00 pm. Due to the current circumstances, adjustments will be made to ensure the safety of all guests, PHS staff, and graduates.

This year, all seniors will be allowed up to four guests, and those attending will be required to follow social distancing guidelines. All guests will receive their tickets which have information on how to enter and exit the stadium to keep in compliance with the guidelines. Furthermore, each family will be required to sit on an assigned bleacher and sit apart from others, and the seniors will not be shaking hands with any PHS staff members during the acceptance of their diploma.

During this time, Ms. Olivarri and Ms. Guajardo both find it bittersweet. Though they are disappointed this year ended the way it did, they are excited to see all of the community come together to make this time special, and they know this year’s graduates will go on to do great things in the world.

This time has been tough, but it has also brought our community together and shown that when we come together as one, we can get through anything.

Seniors, you have done great things so far, and no matter what path you choose and where you go, you will continue to do amazing. Remember, once an eagle, always an eagle. PRIDE PRIDE!

Student Spotlight: Student Workers

By: Heaven Marquez and Gabby Palacios

Sophomore student worker JJ Moralez pictured working at SONIC Drive-In.

This time of quarantine and COVID-19 has stopped the world in its tracks. It seems like everything has been placed on hold as this virus continues to attack. However, the students of Pleasanton High School have refused to just sit back and use this time to relax or slack off; they have decided to make a difference.

Seniors Trisha West and James Barcomb have opted for helping people get fast food with West working at Whataburger and Barcomb operating at Bill Miller BBQ. Other students have decided to help their community by working at the local H-E-B and assisting those who make their way into the store. Seniors Saul Raquena, Nick Robles, Madeline Keylich, Jordan Haby, Colby Davidson, Chano Roman, and Celia Alvarez have all supported the store along with juniors John Rosas, David Garcia, Erica Santee, and sophomore Cayden Jones.

David Garcia, a junior HEB employee, states, “There are definitely people who take advantage of the system… Neighbors, family, friends, acquaintances, find someone who might need help or is struggling to get these things and offer or even just do it out of kindness but do what you can to share or even run those errands for them.”

Erica Santee, also currently employed at HEB, explains, “It’s a little stressful I’m not going to lie. I’m trying to work as much as I can and the store itself was a little hectic at first, but after taking great precautions as well as maintaining the customers’ satisfaction, it got easier. At HEB our managers and other partners helped out a lot by bringing people from other stores to our store for help when it got really crowded or hectic, it made me realize this was a very serious matter, and everyone needed to keep calm.”

Not only are there students helping people get their basic home necessities, but there are also those who provide fast and quick meals to others, including other essential workers.

An anonymous junior employed at SONIC Drive-in states, “It makes me feel good knowing that my job is to provide food to others who are out on the frontline as well. We get a lot of oil field workers, police officers, and nurses who come in on their lunch break or after a shift and sometimes you can tell that they’re really tired and it just makes me appreciate the work that they do for me even more.”

These are students that deserve recognition for the hard work they put in to help serve our community during these trying times. Thank you for staying positive and helpful throughout this quarantine! PRIDE PRIDE!

*SPIRIT FINGERS*

By: Gabby Palacios

Beginning on the week of February 24, PHS held tryouts for the 2020-2021 cheerleading team. At the first practice, the twenty-nine candidates began putting together a routine with the help of Geometry teacher and former head sponsor, Mrs. Roberson.

     On Saturday, February 29, the girls performed two jumps, a dance, a cheer, and the PHS Fight Song dance routine in front of judges from the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA). Twelve girls have made the varsity squad, and the JV squad is now made up of 6 girls. Due to a lack of candidates, the team currently does not have a mascot. However, the group is planning to make some changes regarding community involvement and the performance of the varsity and JV squads as a whole.

     Mrs. Rutherford, the new cheerleading sponsor states, “I am a Pleasanton High School alum. My whole family is from Pleasanton and we are very prideful in our community, and I think we need to step up our game as far as spirit and community involvement in our schools… I want the cheer squad to be very visible in the community… and spotlight our school…”

     Neviz Rodriguez, the cheerleading manager, states, “Most of our improvement is going to come down to cooperating with one another and being open with each other… and the group as a whole and how they’re going to choose to work with each other and through certain problems.”

     We are excited to see what the new team has in store for us. Congratulations ladies!

Freshman Sirrah Maxwell and Sophomores Linda Sanchez and Noelani Guerrero pictured before their tryouts.

Varsity:

Juniors- Gabby Palacios, Natalie Contrerez, Erica Santee, Lynda Rodriguez, Diya Chandra

Sophomores- Linda Sanchez, Noelani Guerrero, Melanie Douglas

Freshmen- Brooke Rankin, Riley Porter, Paige David, Sirrah Maxwell

Junior Varsity:

Freshman- Desiree Duran

8th graders- Emree Adamitz, Alexandria Balderas, Alejandra Martinez, Megan Mayse, McAda Rutherford

*Jazz Hands*

By: Gabby Palacios

Milagros García, Natalia Cano, and Alexandra García pictured with their acceptance letters for the PHS Pacesetter team.

This year, tryouts for the Pleasanton High School Pacesetter team took place the week of March 2-7. Candidates were taught a routine that involved specific kicks and dance techniques, and a combination to advance across the floor. Before tryouts, they were expected to have their right split, right stationary leap, and a right pirouette. For tryouts, the girls performed their left and right techniques and the combination they were taught.

On the afternoon of March 7, the new team was announced. The 2020-2021 Pacesetter team is made up of 33 members, including one manager, Edward Ottinger. 

This year’s Colonel, Jewels Kinsel, states, “Well we have a much bigger team now, so we will most likely focus on unison, and involve choreo that matches different levels of skill… With it all being fairly new dancers, the dances will be beginner dances, but Mrs. Dewaal really wants to focus on strengthening all of the girls, and not just the new members… I’m sure our dances will have many parts that showcase each dancer’s skill set.”

Congratulations to the new members of the 2020-2021 Pacesetter team! We are excited to see what you all have planned for the upcoming school year.

Sofia Aguilar, Kaitlyn Allen, Saidee Almendarez, Lexi Andrada, Brianna Arevalo, Miranda Caballero, Natalia Cano, Jasmine Carlos, Selena Cerda, Domingo Cordova, Alexandra Garcia, Milagros Garcia, Rosemary Garcia, Lorenza Gonzalez, Sergio Gonzalez, Jewels Kinsel, Erin Light, Alexandra Luna, Yolanda Miranda, Anisa Murillo, Illeana Ochoa, Bianca Perez, Madison Peters, Lladira Ramos, Alexis Robles, Cecilia Rodriguez, Samara Ruiz, Jayla Salazar, Kaylie Stratton, Autumn Tortes-McGinnis, Larissa Villarreal, Marisol Villarreal, and Edwin Ottinger (MANAGER).