By: River Reyes
Class of 2021 Valedictorian Matt Garcia
From freshman year to senior year students compete relentlessly for the top rankings of their class, be it for the pursuit of their dreams or a strong competitive nature. The Valedictorian is the one who stands above all else, successfully maintaining the highest standard of grade and seeking out the greatest challenge with every given opportunity. The Pleasanton High School Class of 2020-2021 Valedictorian is Matthew Garcia, a well distinguished student who has worked tirelessly to stay at the top of his class for his future endeavors.
Matt will be attending Texas Tech University enrolled in the honors program looking to major in finances. When asked about his class ranking and how it affected his opportunities, he said, “It made the admissions process much less stressful and gave me more of an advantage over others…I was awarded many scholarships based off of test scores and rank…” The payoff for all of Matt’s hard work is clear and staying on top of the workload taken was an integral part to maintaining such a high rank. Matt says that to maintain his school/life balance, he would spend “…time before and after school catching up on or getting better clarification on any task 3I may have had trouble on.” Taking advantage of the help that teachers provide is extremely important for those looking to excel in their academic pursuits as you are allowed that 1:1 experience which guarantees the clarification necessary to be successful.
The teacher with the strongest impact on Matt’s high school career is Mrs. Bast. Mrs. Bast is the current College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus teacher. Mrs. Bast takes great pride in having taught Matt and watching him develop as a student who prioritizes challenging himself. “Matt is one of those well rounded people who will succeed at whatever they set their mind to in life and in addition to being a gifted brilliant student he’s a nice guy as well he’s a really good guy and a great role model for other students. I’m proud to call him my student.” It truly goes to show that Matt has left a strong impression on his teachers and sets a strong example for his peers.
At home Matt is just as diligent with his responsibilities as he is at school. When asked how she feels about his Valedictorian status, Matt’s mother says, “Matthew is very deserving of his Valedictorian status, because we have seen first hand how much diligent devotion, time, and bottomless energy that he has applied to his studies. We are happy for him, and have high expectations for him in the future.” As his parent, Matt’s mother is very engaged with his endeavors, both failures and successes, encouraging him to meet his highest potential. As a graduating senior, Matt will be entering the open world head first and his mother has full intention of supporting Matt now so that he can pioneer his own future with his independent efforts.
The Valedictorian is the one who stands above all else, successfully maintaining the highest standard of grade and seeking out the greatest challenge with every given opportunity. Matt has been successful in many of his pursuits and worked tirelessly, diligently, and honorably, deserving all the recognition he has received. We congratulate Matt and hope he will continue to be his best both now and in the future.
By: River Reyes
Junior, Reed Foster, during a tournament.
With the end of the golf season here, the Pleasanton golf teams are wrapping up the year with a series of tournaments. The Eagles participated in 5 tournaments and the Lady Eagles participated in 4 tournaments with Lacey Stevens qualifying for state. The month of April has been a tight ship with the build up to the end of the season.
On March 30, the Eagles placed 1st with 326 points and the Lady Eagles placed 3rd with 398 points. On April 5 Eagles Varsity placed 1st with 315 points, JV placed 3rd with 465 points, and the Lady Eagles placed 3rd with 402 points. On April 8, the Eagles placed 1st place with 626 points and the Lady Eagles placed 2nd with 789 points. On April 20 and the 21st, the Lady Eagles placed 8th with 405 points for the region 4 tournament and the Eagles placed 1st with 650 points, winning the 4A region 4 tournament.
With their win at the regional tournament on the 21st and 22nd, the mens golf team made school history being the first team to win a regional tournament and qualify for state. Lacey Stevens will be competing for the UIL State Golf Tournament on May 10th and 11th in Kyle, and the mens team will be competing for the UIL State Golf Championship on May 17th and 18th in Kyle.
Overall, the vast majority of games played were won, with the teams advancing to the finals. We wish them the best of luck in the upcoming state tournaments.
By: River Reyes
The month of March is dedicated to supporting and celebrating the American Red Cross. American Red Cross Month raises awareness to the duties of Red Cross workers, raises funding, volunteer support for projects and relief efforts, as well as instilling the goodwill of the people.
People who want to support the American Red Cross during the month of March can contribute in many ways including, but not limited to: donating blood, donating money, learning life saving skills through their programs to help those in need, and doing volunteer work. You may also help indirectly through general acts of goodwill as the founding principle of the American Red Cross is, “ the duty of care we owe to one another when times get tough.”
Throughout the month of March, the people of the nation should try and contribute to both the Red Cross and their local communities in honor of its vision.
Emergency Response Vehicle with workers helping with relief
By: River Reyes
On Tuesday March 2nd, 2021, Governor Greg Abbot announced that he would be issuing an executive order that would lift the statewide mask mandate as well as opening all Texas businesses to 100% capacity. The executive order was slated to go into effect on Wednesday March 10th, 2021.
After announcing the reopening of the state, the executive order was hotly debated leaving many people conflicted on whether or not we should be allowed to not be required to enforce a mask mandate. Many businesses and schools announced that they would still be enforcing the same mask and social distancing policies for the safety of students and consumers, but there are still a number of schools and businesses that are taking the same direction as the state and ending their restrictions. This raises the question of whether or not it’s too early for the nation to begin operating at 100% capacity, with no restrictions whatsoever.
No matter whether the state is open or restricted, individuals should still practice safe habits and protect themselves as not everyone has been vaccinated and the virus is still affecting millions of people as it has only been a year since the initial outbreak.
By: River Reyes
Team gathered for a photo with their trophy
The Pleasanton Highschool Mens’ soccer team has had quite the successful month in February with great performance befitting the top team in the district. So far the team goes undefeated with a record of 4 wins and 0 losses this month.
The boys played four games until the time of writing (February 23rd), winning each game. They played against the following schools: La Vernia Highschool (3-0), Poteet (unlisted), Uvalde (1-0), and Somerset (3-1). When asked about his favorite game, Coach Brieten said “The games have been fun, my favorite game this month has been our game verse LaVernia. It was an intense and well played game.”
With a strong hold on the season, the boys continue to improve their skills and teamwork. They will without a doubt continue to uphold both their position and standard for the rest of the season.
By: River Reyes
Photo taken to commemorate the JPA inspection
This month the Pleasanton Highschool Eagle Battalion participated in the JPA (JROTC Program for Accreditation) Evaluation. The JPA Evaluation is designed to evaluate the JROTC program to see how well it is following the minimum program criteria.
Select Cadets were chosen to participate, creating portfolios that detailed their experience within the JROTC program. The Staff created several slides detailing the Battalion’s current state. The inspection would also extend to involve our principal (Ms. Guajardo) and superintendent (Dr. Mann). The Pleasanton Highschool Eagle Battalion performed extremely well, achieving the highest award – The Honor Unit with Distinction.
Following up last month, the Eagle Battalion held a Cadet of the month board as well as a Noncommissioned Officer of the month board. The winners of these boards were Cadet Pvt. Courtney Cearley and Cadet SSG. River Reyes from Bravo Company.
The month of February was a very exciting and productive month for the Eagle Battalion and we hope to keep the effort up for the rest of the school year.
By: River Reyes
Senior Mariano Gutierrez is pictured mid-game.
This month was the second bout of the season for the Pleasanton Highschool Boys Soccer team. With 6 (to be updated) games under their belts, the boys are currently at a 3-3 lock. On an even ground, the team hopes to improve upon their collective trust to create an unstoppable force.
Earlier this month, the team suffered defeat in Gonzales and Floresville, but is looking at the bright side as they held the lead for the majority of the Gonzales game and improved their plays for the Floresville games. They would then redeem their loss in full with the Wimberly game, winning 3-2. When asked about their strengths, Coach Breiten said, “We are currently excelling at our passing and communication. Passing and communication were one of the first two things we have been working on during December and January.”
With the season settling in, the team will continue to build upon their strengths and improve their weaknesses in hopes to do well throughout the rest of the season.
By: River Reyes
This month, the Pleasanton Mens Soccer team will be kicking off a new season. The team has been actively practicing after school since the start of December and will be participating in their first games on December 15th and 18th.
When asked about how the team may perform during their game, Coach Brieten said, “I don’t know how they’ll play, they’re a young team and have a lot to work on. It will be pretty exciting to see how well they perform and what we need to work on going forward.” This year’s team is predominantly composed of sophomores and juniors, with few freshman and seniors. To best prepare for the upcoming games, the boys will be focusing on conditioning, ball skills, and their team play.
Going into the season, the Pleasanton Mens Soccer team will be very unpredictable given the current composition of the team, but it’ll be an exciting season going forward. Best of luck to the boys during their upcoming games.
By: River Reyes
JROTC Eagle Battalion Drill team after the meet
On Saturday, October 31st and Saturday, November 7th, the Pleasanton High school JROTC Eagle Battalion participated in the “Grand Prairie Shootout” virtual drill meet. Participating were the Pink Eagles female color guard, Co Ed male and female color guard, and the Armed drill team.
Both the female and male color guards showed up to the PAC parking lot on October 31st to perform for the color guard phase of the drill meet. Both color guards had a strong performance, representing the Eagle Battalion well.
On Saturday, November 7th, the armed drill team gathered at the PAC parking lot to perform for the drill phase of the virtual drill meet. The armed drill team had a strong performance, maintaining excellent discipline and formation, with few hiccups to count. When asked about their performance, the armed drill team commander Cadet Captain Jared Griego stated, “I feel confident in our performance, all of our cadets performed to the best of their abilities.” As for some of the newer cadets, Cadet Cearley stated, “I feel like we had a good performance, it was exciting competing for drill for the first time.”
With astounding performances, our color guards and drill team kicked off the year strong with a whole season to look forward to, honing their skills for the climax of the season with 5th brigade.
By: River Reyes
Stay safe and have fun!
Halloween is right around the corner and with the pandemic in full swing, this won’t be your standard Halloween experience. Anyone planning to celebrate should be mindful of social distancing and common safety procedures. If you plan on going trick or treating, make sure to have a filtered mask, keep your hands clean and try to minimize any contact you make when receiving your treats.
If you’re going to be handing out treats, one fun method to keep safe distance is by using a chute. You can set up a tube that will carry your candy over a safe distance for anyone receiving candy, keeping transmission low.
Alternatively, you can always just stay home and celebrate with your household or a safe number of friends. Some fun ideas could be Baking Halloween themed treats, perhaps some frosted cookies with spooky designs or decorated marshmallows on a stick. When it comes to sweets, there’s no end to how creative you can get.
If trick or treating and making sweets isn’t up your alley, just kick back and watch some themed movies and shows; Netflix sure has no end to recommendations for season. You can watch everything from classics such as the “Nightmare before Christmas” to more recent horror flicks like last years “Girl on the third floor”, which, yes, you can safely stream from home.
This year will definitely be a first for us all amidst a global pandemic. Our holidays may be more restricted with safety measures, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun. Just make sure that you remember to keep yourself and others in mind when you make your Halloween plans.
By: River Reyes
COVID-19 took the world by storm. All around the world many businesses, organizations, governments, and schools were hurdled into the unknown. Pleasanton High School was not an exception. The worldwide pandemic affected us all, forcing our school to switch to distance learning following the past spring break. Even now, 6 months later, our student body has been divided between distance learners and face-to-face learners with a new set of challenges for our school to overcome.
Naturally, our school has adopted common safety practices to avoid the spread of COVID-19 for our face-to-face learners. There have also been restrictions put on gatherings taking place on school grounds. Everyone on the school staff has been working hard to ensure students have a relatively safe year by monitoring students to make sure they’re following our safety guidelines. Our teachers have had their fair share of difficulties ensuring that every student learns the necessary material with an emphasis on being flexible for the challenges being faced teaching both online and face-to-face.
The students of Pleasanton High school have had varying experiences. Some face-to-face learners feel no real differences in the learning environment apart from the COVID regulations whereas some of our distance learners wish to return to face to face classes to have a better experience when it comes to classwork. In addition, students on campus have been following the new safety practices and behaving well with a respectful attitude.
This school year will prove challenging for everyone with their respective responsibilities, but we will move forward with positivity, acceptance and hope for brighter days in the future.