Staff Spotlight

 By: Noah Ramos & Carol Sexton


For this month’s Staff spotlight Mrs. Rife was chosen out of our lovely staff and boy does she have quite the story to tell. For those who don’t know Mrs. Rife, she is a paraprofessional who helps out students by guiding them to a path that makes them happy as well as being a great listener to students’ concerns. Mrs. Rife didn’t always plan to work in education, in fact she wanted to go into the military but was dissuaded by concerns from her mother and decided not to go. When she started attending UTSA she wasn’t sure what she wanted to be and was undeclared until her junior year where life suddenly changed her plans. Mrs. Rife got married to a member of the military and off she went around the world with her husband for his job. 

Mrs. Rife has lived in many countries and a good amount of states as well such as Japan, Australia, England, Washington to name a few. When Mrs. Rife was in England, she remembers it being very beautiful and green where the weather went from feeling like summer for 2 weeks before suddenly turning cold the next day. The people she met during her time there were very friendly and loved to imitate our accent as well. Mrs. Rife was living in England when 9/11 happened and heard the announcement of what was happening through a radio and threw the military base she was at in a frenzy. While all this was happening Mrs. Rife volunteered to help make sure that parents could get their kids and making sure the kids were calm until everything had become safe once again. After the ordeal the next day Mrs. Rife was hired because of the actions she had shown during the situation with her ability to perform under pressure as well as having the best interest for the children. Her neighbors were very supportive during this dark time and brought over casseroles while checking up on her family to see if there was anything else they could do to help.

   When she was in Okinawa, Japan which is a set of islands that are very hot her time there was pleasant and the people appreciated when they were spoken to in Japanese and were a friendly bunch. Her kids had to take a culture class where they learned about their host country and a funny story was when she was on a train in Tokyo they were having trouble with directions when a kind couple helped them get to their destination. They lived in cement/steel reinforced buildings since typhoons would occur and their power was often lost so instead of snow days they would have typhoon days in Okinawa. When this happened her daughter would go to her  friend’s house and the brother would have the friend’s brother come to their house to have fun since when the typhoon would happen they had to stay in the house for 3-4 days. 

When moving around this much Mrs. Rife was worried that her children would be sad having to leave friends behind and have to frequently have to adapt to new environments so quickly. However, when she asked her children when they grew up they were actually quite happy since now not only do they have friends all around the world they talk to but they got to experience many things while moving everywhere. Now her son is studying contract law while her daughter has become an office manager which has made Mrs. Rife very proud. Mrs. Rife herself has become paraprofessional of the year and has met some of her old students. Many had changed since the last time she had seen them and her advice for current students now is to do what makes you happy. So, when you see her in the halls or in class make sure to thank her for all she does for our school here at PHS!

New Discoveries: An Impossible new ring system?

By: Noah Ramos

Recently a new ring system has been spotted at the edge of our solar system and it belongs to a dwarf planet by the name of Quaoar. However, this ring baffles astronomers because its distance from its dwarf planet parent shouldn’t be possible according to the information known about ring formations around planets. But this phenomena changes what we thought about ring formations and means that the ring formation theory is going to change based on how it can be explained by this new ring. Previously it was thought that rings can only form within the Roche limit and anything beyond the limit would be too unstable to survive outside since they accrete into moonlets. Quaoar’s ring is different since the ring is made up from debris such as rock, ice, and dust particles that resulted from moonlets colliding. The particles normally cannot reform a moonlet if they are within the Roche limit since they get torn apart which also prevents clumping. However, the particles that make up the ring are constantly colliding with each other and if the particles have an icy coating could cause elastic collision. Elastic collision is when two objects collide and bounce off each other like a bouncy ball. Surprisingly the ring was found accidentally while checking to see if Quaoar had an atmosphere. The researchers were lucky enough to have seen it when it caused a dip in light from a star in the background; the event is known as occultation and lasted for less than a minute.


Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Vargas

By: Noah Ramos & Alex Richter

Mrs. Vargas is a physics teacher for juniors, and in this issue of The Quill, we learned how her class is one that is definitely worth taking. She is very passionate about science and is an overall great teacher toward all students of hers. Our PHS Physics teacher has liked science and how it shapes the world around us, however she didn’t always feel this way. Like most of us, she was not a fan of the subject, but one biology class completely changed her perspective on science. “I just really fell in love with it,” she states.  To start her academic journey in higher education, the now Physics teacher studied archeology for a while where she worked 3 years after graduating. However, she felt it was time for a career change, therefore a switch in professions had her test the waters of becoming a pharmacist. She decided to study more about science in college at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Next, she went to pharmacy school, studied hard, and worked for a while before deciding that being a pharmacist was not her true calling. Once again, our current Physics teacher went back to school to get her degree, but this time, for teaching. She decided to go back since she wanted to be able to “help others understand science and come to love it like she had”.  She had gone into a program where she became a science teacher, and while working, learned that she loved teaching science. Surprisingly, the first school she started to teach at was here in Pleasanton. During this time, there was a freeze on teachers in Texas. However, she graduated and was offered a job here after her second year and felt more than happy to work here. She first started teaching at the junior high which lasted for 7 years before moving over to the high school where she has worked for 4 years. “I had Mrs. Vargas as a teacher at the junior high my 8th grade year and I can easily say that she is the most patient teacher I know. A lot of my class was not as mature as we are now, and it was really great having her as a teacher again my junior year, getting a second chance to show her we’ve grown, and her patience with us has always been my favorite thing about her,” states Libby Sanchez, senior. So, if you see Mrs. Vargas around school make sure to show your appreciation for all the hard work she does for us here at PHS. Thank you for staying with us all these years Mrs. Vargas and to the many more we have ahead.


Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Leal

By: Noah Ramos, Alex Richter, and Libby Sanchez

For this issue of the Quill, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Leal, our very own algebra teacher and track coach here at PHS. Mrs. Leal is an alumni of our school, and not only that, but she is a track legend. Her name currently holds 1st place records in 100m and 300m hurdles, heptathlon, high jump, and she is ranked in many more events from her high school days. She is very much looked up to by the track team and is definitely the most qualified for the position. 

After she graduated from Pleasanton High School in 2015, Mrs. Leal went on to run track at the D1 level with the University of Houston. There, she learned the balance between her education and athletic career, and became the very best student-athlete she could be before graduating in 2020. Before joining us here at PHS, Mrs. Leal worked at an office job, but felt she wasn’t making the impact she wanted to. When a position here opened up, she jumped every hurdle in her way to get it (pun intended). High school was a great time for Mrs. Leal, and her drive and determination led her to want to help future students strive for their best. This is her 2nd year with us, and she has already made a huge impact on our student-athletes. “She’s the greatest, she’s always in a great mood and it truly reflects on us, she pushes us to do our absolute best in everything that we do,” said Emree Adamitz, junior. 

PHS is very lucky to have someone like Mrs. Leal here on campus. An athlete and teacher like herself inspires many students to do better, to be better. We hope Mrs. Leal sticks with our school for many more years to come, she truly is making a difference here. Make sure and return Mrs. Leal’s welcoming smile whether it’s in the hallway or at the track!

Thanksgiving Story: The First Feast

By: Noah Ramos 

There is a short tale that everyone in town knows about that is told to all the children when Autumn comes around and that tale is called “The 4 Seasons War.” It is said that among this world were 4 special people who manifested as seasons such as Winter, Fall, Summer, and Spring. Each held an artifact of immense power, but the problem wasn’t the artifacts themselves, but those who wielded them. Each season wanted to rule supreme over the others and so the 4 seasons waged war on the others. What they didn’t realize was while the battles raged those who weren’t the seasons had to deal with weather that spelled dire consequences. Blizzards froze villages, droughts ravaged crops, relentless rain caused floods, and all around there was almost no safe place. Only when the seasons finally took a look at what had been happening below did they see what destruction they had done to others. So, after finally coming to an agreement, the seasons decided to hide the artifacts in order to not repeat the same mistake. Among these was a golden cornucopia that had the power to make an everlasting feast which could keep a whole continent fed. 

 I, Leah Warren, have vowed to find the golden cornucopia to save my village from starvation after many of the crops had died from an unknown source. Of course, I have been told I’m crazy for believing a children’s tale, but stories always have some truth to them otherwise who would make such tales? I decided, the sooner I set out, the better. While everyone was busy talking about what they would do for the food shortage, I snuck into the woods beside our village. The forest, where I believed the artifact to be, was very dangerous. Not only because of the animals who lived there, but people talked about the abnormal weather in that forest like it was an unknown force trying to get them out. Yet, the surrounding woods beyond that portion of the forest were normal. So, I decided to start by searching the area where the abnormal weather happened. When I started walking through the forest, nothing seemed to happen besides hearing the leaves crunching beneath my feet. But suddenly, a chilling wind swept through, out of nowhere. Even with my jacket, it felt like ice. I kept moving forward with every step bringing me deeper into the forest, as the wind became stronger and stronger. It felt as if I would be blown out before I found anything, but as I looked ahead, a cave came into view. I decided that would be the best place to start looking since everywhere else was just trees and leaves. When I stepped in, the cave was dark. Luckily, I had brought a lantern in case I had to search in the dark. The cave was bigger in the inside than I had seen from outside which only intrigued me further. 

As I moved deeper in the cave, I noticed there were signs of something living there such as discarded food that had long rotted away. What was worse? The stench. I pushed on until I saw some sunlight peering in from a crack in the ceiling. Beneath the light sat a long table with food displayed as well as the golden cornucopia. This felt relatively easy, but if it was here the whole time, how come no one else found it? As I started reaching for it, a voice behind startled me and caused the cornucopia to drop. I turned to be met with a man in a coat made of leaves as well as a staff with an amber-like gem. I asked who he was, and he responded with his name being “Fall”, and that I shouldn’t be messing with his stuff. He appeared to be one of the seasons from the tale, but even in awe, I felt anger. I asked why he hadn’t used the golden cornucopia for the starving village just outside the forest, and he responded by saying “they didn’t deserve it”.

“If you won’t help my town, then I will”, I exclaimed. I quickly reached down and scurried towards the entrance with the golden cornucopia in my arms. The funny thing is, while I was running out, instead of chasing after me, he only yelled I would regret taking the artifact and I would be back soon. I wish I had listened for what came next…

Halloween Horror Story

The Missing Student

By: Noah Ramos

There has been something bothering me lately at school. At first I had no idea what it could’ve been for the longest time. It took a couple weeks to figure out that a chair in every one in my classes was empty. Normally this wouldn’t have bothered me but something about that empty spot just didn’t seem right to me like someone used to be there, and had suddenly vanished. I tried to ignore it but it was like the chair was beckoning to me in the back of my mind no matter what I did to try to forget about it. I decided to finally come back late at night when no one was around to see if I could find anything that would prove my theory. If there really was someone who had vanished without anyone noticing somehow the answer had to lie in the school somewhere. I had tried to see if the attendance had any names that didn’t belong with nothing that caught my eye. Next I went into the principal’s office first to check the files of students in that class to see if there would be evidence. 

Luckily the door was unlocked which made it easier to get into the office undetected and soon I locked the door behind me. However when I looked around I found nothing and was just about to leave when something on the desk caught my attention. One of the drawers was smaller than it was compared to the other one which was a bit suspicious so I felt around until the bottom opened up to a secret compartment. Inside I could see a large envelope but before I could grab them I suddenly heard the jangle of keys like someone was about to come in. Quickly I grab the envelope before closing the drawer’s compartment and hiding under the desk right as the door opened into the office. Luckily it was only the janitor who had come to clean out the waste bin and left a couple seconds later. After I was sure no one else was coming I slipped out of the office and headed outside to the playground to read what was inside.

 Inside were two pieces of paper, one of them was an incident report of an accident that occured here at the school. It detailed how a student had been badly burned by acid and later pronounced dead at the hospital from the wounds. For some reason I didn’t remember the news ever reporting on this which was strange. I looked at the next paper that showed the dead student’s profile and was absolutely mortified with what I saw next. The person in the profile had my name and not only that but the picture looked exactly like me! But this couldn’t be I was still alive for sure. This had to be some sort of sick joke someone was playing on me. It was already morning for some reason when I lifted my head and saw one of my friends heading towards the door. I ran to them to ask if they were in on it but when I tried to grab their shoulder my hand touched nothing. I looked towards the glass door and instead of seeing my reflection I simply saw nothing…


By: Noah Ramos 

This month our Girls Varsity softball team battled against Somerset on April 19th and took victory with a final score of 7-4 after a hard fought game. Throughout the game our team kept their defense up for a solid match to prevent our opponents from scoring. We have a couple of players who were outstanding such as Maggie Maddox who pitched 3 strikeouts along with 1 walk throughout the game. A freshman by the name of Elizabeth Salinas helped her team get their hitters to 4-4 while Maddie Estrada and Aubry Cantu both got the chance and went 2-4 to the plate. 

Many other girls on the team advanced runners using a well timed sacrifice fly where the game finally tied in the 7th inning. However, Jaelyn Morales hit a home run that allowed the eagles to score a 3 man play leaving the score at 7-4. After this the Eagles went on the defensive making a 4-6-3 double play going from Salinas to Estrada and finally to Morales. 

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. 

DIY Christmas Gift

By: Noah Ramos

It’s that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we scramble to get last minute gifts for family and friends while also getting into the Christmas Spirit. If you haven’t gotten a gift for that certain someone yet then I have a gift you can make at home that your family will surely love to receive this year.

Hot Chocolate Snowman

This gift is sure to leave a sweet taste in your mouth when you use it.


  1. Grab 3 small empty jars, Black marker, small cloth, object that resembles a hat.
  2. Add hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, & any other sweets in the jar.
  3. Stack them up & make facial features & whatever decorations you want to add.
  4. Repeat.

Chocolate kisses tree 

This is a good way to get your family members with a little prank


  1. Get some chocolate kisses, square chocolates, construction paper, & ribbon.
  2. Fold the construction paper to make a big triangle then make small ones to make sure the kisses are separated inside the big triangle.
  3. Make the base at the bottom as a square & add the square chocolate in there.
  4. Tie the ribbon around the big triangle and place the big triangle on top of the base.

Homemade snow globe

Sometimes it just takes a couple things around the house to make a gift.


  1. Get a jar, fake snow, mini trees, & glue
  2. Glue the tree to the inside of the jar lid and put some fake snow in the lid too.
  3. Then screw back on the lid and you have yourself a homemade snow globe.
  4. Repeat.

Staff Spotlight: Maria


By: Noah Ramos and Wanish 

For Staff Spotlight we got the chance to interview a very kind custodian by the name of Maria. When asked why she wanted to apply as a custodian here Maria said she had heard many great things about PHS and the other staff were all super nice to one another. Maria is originally from Chicago and misses it sometimes but prefers the hot weather here in Texas over the cold weather in Chicago. When asked about her favorite experience here at PHS Maria responded that when she isn’t here on some days the staff tell her that they missed her. 

When she cleans sometimes students will come up to her and thank Maria for keeping everything clean which always brightens up her day. Before becoming a custodian Maria worked as a Bilingual customer service rep, she worked with a lot of people by either phone or face to face. Maria claims she has always loved to help whether it’s by cleaning or anything else and she is also a CNA as well. Maria is a big people person and loves to be around others.

 If  Maria could give one message to PHS, it would be: “Never stop believing in yourself. Sometimes there are opportunities life gives you and you are scared of that opportunity and; you feel you won’t be good enough, but don’t doubt yourself because you are good enough.” PHS is truly lucky to have a one of a kind custodian, we wish you a great year here Maria!