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.

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!

Staff Spotlight

By: Eileen Jaksik

The CTE/CCMR Coordinator, Mrs. Shearrer

Mrs. Shearrer, a name you may or may not know, is the CTE/CCMR coordinator here at PHS. She has worked a total of 14 years for PISD, and she plans to work even more. Mrs. Shearrer has not only been a CTE/CCMR coordinator at PHS, but also, as she states, “I taught Agricultural Science from 2002-2005 and Principles of Information Technology for the 18-19 school year.” She has worked all around campus, I taught Agricultural Science for 15 years at 3 different high schools including Pleasanton High School. I taught 8th Grade Science at Pleasanton Junior High as well as serving as an Assistant Principal for Pleasanton Junior High. I also served 2 years as PISD District Testing Coordinator and then took some time off from working for the School District before coming back 2 years ago to teach Principles of Information Technology at PHS.”

When asked about her education, Mrs. Shearrer shared, Typically a CTE/CCMR Coordinator will be a CTE teacher who has managerial abilities in addition to the years of CTE classroom experience. The minimum would be 4-5 years for a Bachelor’s Degree. Most will need 2 more years for a Master’s degree and 5-10 years of CTE classroom teacher experience.” She also said that she attended Texas A&M College Station and Texas A&M Kingsville to get her Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and a Teacher Certification for any class in the CTE field.

Mrs. Shearrer’s job is a very big responsibility. She explains, “As a CTE/CCMR Coordinator I provide support to all of our CTE teachers and students. That support includes researching and providing curriculum, managing the budgets for the CTE programs, and completing all of the required paperwork from Federal and State Agencies. I serve as a resource for whatever the CTE programs need to help students be successful. As CCMR Coordinator, I manage all of the components, provide resources, and track progress of students becoming either college ready, earning and industry based certification, or deciding to enlist in the military.”

Thank you Mrs. Shearrer for everything you do for our amazing campus!

Time To Face The Music

By: Kristina Mertz

Last Saturday, the Pleasanton Mighty Eagle Band traveled to Judson ISD, located in San Antonio, where they competed in their UIL contest. There, they played and performed their 2020 show “Music of The Beatles”. After a tough performance, they received a Division 1 rating, which is the highest rating to receive, from all the judges, meaning they will be advancing to Area, which they haven’t achieved since 2016. Drum Major Shyanne Tijerina says, “I think they worked really hard this whole season and I think they did good, but I think they could’ve done way better with what they learned and had.” Her favorite part of going to UIL was, “Probably just hanging out with my friends, making them laugh and them making me laugh.” She said that [the band] need to improve on, “Marching… horn angles, and making sure everyone is in step and things like that. Shyanne added, “I love the band and I’m happy to be their drum major.”

This year’s Area competition will be held at Calallen, Corpus Christi on December 5th. The band will be working extremely hard to do their very best. Wish them luck!

The Pleasanton Mighty Eagle Band getting prepared to perform.

Grand Prairie Shootout

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.

Education Foundation Follow-Up

By: Adelena Vera

The Pleasanton Education Foundation hosted a fundraiser last month. The Education Foundation supports students through scholarship opportunities, encourages and supports the future of education, providing funds to improve innovative practices around the school district.

During this fundraiser, about 150 students participated and helped raise about $600. On the Saturday of the fundraiser, the community also helped out and donated $1510, making a total of $2120, just sort of meeting the goal of $3,000.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the fundraiser and helped raise the money! And a very special thank you to the Education Foundation for all you do to support our staff and students. 

College Fair

By: Dillon Myers

Held from November 2nd to 6th, the College Fair was a virtual opportunity where students could visit around 300 colleges and universities.

Through the College Fair, colleges were able to submit videos, slideshows, and more explaining about various topics ranging from admissions, campus life to sports and more.

English and Journalism teacher Ms. Schmidt, said, “It is a good idea to attend a college fair in order to collect information such as areas of study, tuition and cost of living, and campus life about potential colleges one might attend in order to narrow down choices when deciding between where to attend.”

The online College Fair was free and attendees needed only to register and sign up. It was easy to access, easy to sign up, and most of all, it was easy to navigate. Once registered, students will have access to information about each and every college on the College Fair. This lasts all the way through December.

Student Spotlight

By: Eileen Jaksik 

Foreign exchange student Paul Vallez.

Paul Vallez is a foreign exchange student at Pleasanton High School. He has come to Pleasanton, Texas all the way from Centre-Val de Loire (Center West France). Paul is a 17 year-old junior here at PHS. When asked why he chose to come to America, Paul stated, “[I came]To improve my English and spend one year in high school, because in France i’m grade [school] so I have to choose something to do and I don’t know.”

Paul wants to participate in extracurricular’s at school. He explains, “I want to do sports. I do baseball, but it’s in the day and it’s in December. I think it starts after spring.” In France, students don’t get to experience sports, so he wants to see what it’s like to play sports in America. He hopes to make the team and meet new people while doing so. 

Coming to a new school was very hard for Paul. he said “… it was hard coming to a new school… I knew the other foreign exchange students but it was still hard.” Over time Paul met new people and started making new friends. 

In France they do not partake in very many of our traditions, Paul said “We don’t do the homecoming.. Uh, the burning of the P, we don’t have this.” They do have some similarities though- they celebrate Christmas and Halloween like we do in America. Although Paul has never gotten to go trick-or-treating in America, he said “I’m very excited to do Halloween here.” 

Paul is very thrilled to be attending Pleasanton High School, and cannot wait to learn and try new things. We hope you enjoy living here in the states, and have fun learning new things the American way!

Teacher Spotlight

By: Hayden Schmidt

Mrs. Bast planning her lessons for her classes

When walking down the 400 Hallway in between classes, you most certainly have seen a bright and smiling teacher standing outside her classroom. To those who don’t have her class, she may appear to be like any other teacher, but to her students she is one of the most caring and serious teachers they’ve had. Mrs. Bast is the Precalculus and AP Calculus teacher here at PHS, and she takes that job with an incredible level of respect. 

Mrs. Bast was born in Kansas, but moved to Pleasanton when she was seven years old. She attended and graduated from our very own Pleasanton High School, and decided to attend UTSA to receive her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Mrs. Bast never planned on being a teacher, but the role seemed to fall right into her lap. Once she completed her bachelor’s degree, NASA offered to fund her master’s degree, with the criteria that she continued research for them and taught a class for them as a Measurements and Instrumentation instructor. She said she was “… lucky enough to, as an undergrad, work on a NASA grant.” During this time, she realized that she truly enjoyed teaching. “I’m teaching college students who were working towards their bachelor’s, and I received really good reviews from them, which made me feel really good. It hadn’t been too long since I was in their shoes, and I remember things not being explained well enough, so I made sure I did the job I would have wanted my professor to do.”

After working with NASA and teaching at UTSA over a twelve year span, she was offered a job at Pleasanton Junior High as a math teacher and decided to take it. She explained, “I didn’t want to miss out on my kids growing up. I realized how much time had already passed and how much time being at UTSA was taking up, and so I wanted to be able to be with them their last few years.”

Mrs. Bast loves teaching here for many reasons. The biggest is that she remembers struggling at first when she went into the engineering program. “I just really enjoy giving the local kids a chance to learn math at the level they’re going to need, and hopefully having an easier time than I did.” When asked what advice she would give students, she said, “Follow your heart, follow your passion, and be true to yourself.”

Mrs. Bast is an incredible teacher and a wonderful person, and her efforts to better her students will leave a lasting impression on them for the rest of their lives.

Staff Spotlight

By: Jaelyn Morales

Mrs. Pippen

 

Mrs. Pippen has a very important role here at Pleasanton High School. For those who might not know, Mrs. Pippen is the registrar here at PHS, which means she is in charge of everything from report cards, progress reports, and grades to the records, enrolling and withdrawing students, and assisting parents when they need help. 

She started her job here at PHS in 2005 working in the Library, but 5 years later in 2010, she got a position working in the counselor’s office as the registrar. Since then she has been very busy helping every student in 9th-12th grade with things such as making their schedule for the school year, taking care of all the grades and GPAs, which are very important, and up keeping folders also known as PRC’s (every student has one) in a records room, which has records all the way back from the 1930’s and has to find them when a college or business is faxing them. After helping the students here at PHS, she now has to help the students who are either enrolling or withdrawing. She does this by contacting the other schools to get information, or for those withdrawing, she contacts the new school to make sure they’re going to school there and not being considered a dropout. 

This year has been a little more hectic for the staff at PHS because of Covid-19, but that did not stop them from working their hardest to give us students everything we need for this school year. “ I get a lot of help from the counseling department, we’re a great team and we enjoy working together,” Mrs. Pippen said, “We all get along and we get the job done.” Mrs. Pippen has done an outstanding job this year, as well as the other staff, and together they have exceeded in trying to make sure this school year goes great for everyone. Although this school year has been different from others, she’s still striving to help students, teachers, parents, and other staff members out, and that is why she deserves this month’s Staff Spotlight.

JROTC 5K Run

By: Victoria Chavez

Students and family supporting the cause

  This month the JROTC program will participate in a 5K run to help fight against Alzheimers. Alzheimers is a brain disease that slowly shows its symptoms around age 60. The disease progressively gets worse and worse as the years go by, first affecting your memory, thinking skills, and then ultimately your abilities to lead a simple life. Sadly this disease is very common among elders and affects over three million people. The Eagle Battalion thought this was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for this medical condition. They have donated five hundred dollars to the cause and the battalion is running a 5K (3.1 miles). Due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, the run is a virtual one,  meaning they can submit videos or pictures of their participation. Each cadet will be allowed to run alone or with a group of 8 people. “It was a really good experience for us to be active while helping the community…” said by Christan Gutierrez. “My family has been affected by this disease… I’m glad that I can help make a difference…” said by an anonymous source. The run was a great turn out and the battalion was eager to see so many cadets participate in the event to help find a cure for Alzheimers.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

By: Courtney Henson

Earlier this month, the Pleasanton Education Foundation began hosting a fundraiser to help support the students and staff of Pleasanton Independent School District. The Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports both the staff and the students of Pleasanton ISD. The foundation supports many different programs, including providing funds to encourage & improve innovative practices at all campuses and supporting students through scholarship opportunities to encourage & and support furthering education.

As this fundraiser begins across the school district, the student council club here at the high school organized the goals for the high school students to reach and the rewards that would come as a result. On Monday October 5, as the fundraiser began, the goal to meet was set at $3,000, with a reward of everyone getting to dress up on the day before Halloween. It was encouraged that every face to face learner donate $5, which would allow us to meet our goal. On October 13, the fundraiser was changed so that anyone who donated $3 got to dress up on the day before Halloween, and in the event that we reached the $3,000 goal, everyone would get to dress up. By walking around at lunch, encouraging each other, and the reward of dressing up in sight, the student council was able to collect a good amount of money from the student body. On Monday, October 13, the minimum donation required to be able to dress up was changed to $5 in hopes of reaching our $3,000 goal. 

As the fundraiser continues until the deadline on Thursday, October 29, we encourage you to donate so you can not only dress up on the day before Halloween but also support our school and the students all around you. Pride! Pride!

Making the Best of Our Home

By: Hayden Schmidt

Despite the changes and protocols in place due to COVID-19, PHS did not fail to make Homecoming Week as fun and special as it has always been. Throughout the week, students and staff alike dressed up to match this year’s theme, “Lettuce Celebrate”. Though everyone who participated showed incredible spirit, these people went above and beyond to become the spirit winners for their respective days.

Monday’s theme was a tropical “Thousand Island”, with the winners being McAda Rutherford, Luke Raney, and Toby Bird.

Tuesday was “Chopped” in two, and the twinning winners were Fe Vielma and Lindsey Klein, Adriano and Mariano Gutierrez, & Brooke Rankin and Sadie McAda.

Wednesday brought along a country “Ranch” theme, with Shyla Williamson taking the cake.

Thursday followed the annual “Tossed” Generation Day theme, and Diya Chandra, Jussiah Lopez, and Linda Rodriquez won.

Friday rounded off the week with a “House” spirit themed day, the winners being Ariel Mejia, Este’van Jackson, and Preston Pilgrim.

Sadly, this year, classes could not participate in decorating the halls. Student Council President April Findley and teacher Mr. Garcia gave their respective inputs on the reasons behind this and other troubles that came along with organizing Homecoming this year.

We’re very limited in what we’re allowed to do. Like this year, we aren’t allowed to decorate halls, due to COVID. Also, we have to be more cautious about the activities we plan and ensure that everyone can safely participate.” – April Findley

“Normally we have what we call a walk of honor. Graduates ending in a specific year, this year all the classes of ‘0, are honored at the football game by gathering and walking down the middle of the field. Due to COVID, we can’t gather them in groups. It’s too difficult in getting everyone separated. So, we made the decision to cancel that walk of honor. Another thing that we used to do was decorate the hallways, and we would spend the week and weekend before with students and sponsors, and you’d walk in on Monday and see all these wonderful decorations, but due to COVID, we can’t have the students here after 6, so the janitors can do their magic. The kids’ participation so far has been very good. It’s incredibly important to pick a good theme, and our student council did a wonderful job.” – Mr. Garcia

Kaitlyn Garcia & April Findley dress as two “Chopped” tomatoes.

Renata Osorio & Sofia Rivera starting off with tropical wear.

Shyla Williamson rocking some country attire.

Seniors participate in Generation Day.

Homecoming Royalty

By: Dillon Myers

Homecoming is an important event here at PHS and so are the people involved. There are four representatives for the three lower classes: freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. However, there are eight for the seniors, who are running for king and queen. Here is what each senior class rep replied as to why they decided to run for Homecoming king and queen and what they’re most excited about being a representative for their class:

Claudia Acuff– “I decided to run for hoco rep because I ran last year and had a good time. It’s nice being able to spend time with my other friends who are also running. It’s also pretty cool being able to walk the field during halftime.”

Kimberly Arguijo– “The reason I decided to run for homecoming rep this year was because my first three years of high school weren’t the best, so I wanted to make the best of my senior year so therefore I decided to run for homecoming queen.”

Heaven Marquez– “I just thought it’d be fun. I’ve been a homecoming rep before, and it’s fun, like going on the field and getting your name announced.”

Aurianna Rich– “I wanted to put myself out there senior year. With all the restrictions of COVID, I wanted to use every opportunity to participate in school activities.”

Gabriel Bosquez– “Because I wanted to be a representative and since it is going to be my last year in high school, I thought it would be a great idea and to make memories with my classmates.”

Blake Moos– “I’ve been a rep the past three years of high school so I decided I wanted to keep that streak going to run for rep again. I had even more motivation this year though because I also had the opportunity to run for Homecoming King.”

Devyn Garza– “I thought I would just run for fun, you know? Like it’s senior year and it would be an enlightening experience to run again this year.”

Orlando Oltivero– “Well, I originally had no intention of running, but with COVID happening and my mom wanting us to stay home, I thought it would just be fun to go out and represent the class, especially since I wouldn’t be attending school in person.”

As with every year, all students were asked to choose amongst the senior reps and vote for a Homecoming King and Queen. The winners this year were Blake Moos and Heaven Marquez. Congratulations to every representative, and thank you for keeping the spirit of Homecoming alive!

Freshmen Adrian and Ciarah Garcia

Homecoming King Blake Moos and Queen Heaven Marquez

Seniors Claudia Acuff and Blake Moos

Sophomores Brylee Miller Ayden Parker

Juniors Oscar Leal and Natalie Muniz

Student Spotlight

By: Kristina Mertz

A person who is outgoing, full of confidence, and who does not allow mistakes to keep him from going forward,” is, according to Mr. Roberson, how some would describe Justin Veale. We students at PHS often gossip and talk about the negative things going on in our campus, instead of focusing on the positive things, or in this case people. 

If you have ever had the pleasure of going to a PHS football game this year, you would most certainly see an exuberant boy yelling on the sideline, telling everybody to keep up the good work. Walking in the hallways, you might often see Justin with a big smile on his face as he fist-bumps all of his friends. To others this might seem strange, however it just goes to show how much of a difference one individual can make. Mr. Roberson says, “Justin is the type of person that holds people accountable to expectations and at the same time does it with a positive and energetic personality….I have known Justin for a little over a year… even though I did not have any personal interactions with him until the beginning of this school year. He was a student that I first noticed on the football field last year… and even though he was injured, he was limping up and down the field, hyping people up, encouraging people to get better, and just being a great team member. So before we had any interaction, he had made a positive impression on me, because of how he handled himself around his peers.” He explains,“Justin exhibits the characteristics that I would hope to see in any young man. He might make some “not so smart” decisions at times, but for the most part, he is respectful and pushes people to be better.”

Justin Veale being a proud student at PHS with a thumbs up.

Justin Veale was born in Seguin, Texas and he moved to Pleasanton when he was in first grade. His favorite part about being a student at PHS is, “…everyone being together and talking and knowing everyone around town.” He is an active member in Student Council, the Pleasanton Track Team, and the Pleasanton Varsity Football Team. Justin says he likes to make people laugh, “cause it’s funny… I like seeing other people smile and I like being the center of attention and knowing that I can impact someone’s day.” Justin’s favorite teacher is Mr. Roberson, “he’s like really involved with the class and everything.” He says his hobbies include, “playing football and I’m not gonna lie, I still like playing with LEGOS.” When asked what he plans to do after graduating, he said, “honestly, I’ve got no clue. If I go to college then I’ll go to college, but if not then I’ll get a job.” If anyone at PHS needs advice, he recommends, “Keep your head up cause it can always get better.”

Kelly Mertz, a junior this year says, “I’ve grown up with Justin, and he is very good with welcoming new people. He’s very good at creating a comfortable environment and he’s a very kind guy.” She added, “I’ve known Justin since third grade, I can still recall walking into a scary daycare and not being able to know where to go… Justin was the first guy to come up to me… he was my first friend here in Pleasanton.” Kelly said the best thing about Justin is, “he just… he makes people feel special and he can always make somebody’s day better than it was.”

Justin is an influential and very significant person here at PHS, who will always be remembered for bringing the most positivity we could ever ask for.

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!

Staff Spotlight

By: Libby Sanchez

Mrs. Evans is one of the three hardest working counselors at Pleasanton High School. She not only has a positive impact on the students and adults, but our education system as well. Mrs. Evans takes her job very seriously and makes sure every student explores career options and stays motivated on their paths throughout high school. 

She attended PHS herself and after graduating from here in 1991, Mrs. Evans attended Texas State for three and a half years before graduating in 1994. She then came back to her hometown and started working in the family business once known as “Dowdy’s Store”, where she worked for 11 years after college. When word got around that the store may no longer be in business, Mrs. Evans had to start looking for more options here in Pleasanton. She wasn’t left with many, but the one that called out to her the most was indeed helping children at our local schools. She started as a math teacher at our Jr. High in 2006 and taught math for 4 years. A few years after teaching math, she became a counselor in both Pleasanton, Jourdanton, and Poteet before she settled here at the high school. 

Although counseling wasn’t always the goal for Mrs. Evans, she’s grown to love the job and the joy of helping students. “The counselor’s role is basically to be the students’ advocate, anything a student needs help with, I´m there”. Mrs. Evans has gone above and beyond to make sure this school year could be where it is now. From managing student schedules online instead of face-to-face, to college career plans for our seniors, Mrs. Evans does it all. This is her sixth year as a counselor at PHS and although she’s had to make major changes to how she does things this year, she’s come out the other side and made things work.

 

 

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!

Can’t Stop Dancin’

By: Eileen Jaksik

The Pleasanton Pacesetters with Albert Ruiz.

On Thursday, July 30th the Pleasanton High School Pacesetters started their summer dance camp at home in our Pleasanton PAC gym. The Pacesetter camp was a sum of two days, each day the practice lasted a whopping 7-8 hours. The Pleasanton Pacesetters learned a total of three dances, they relearned a competition pom, which is a jazz style of dance with pom poms, the dance is from the previous year to the song “light it up”, a hip hop pep rally dance, and they learned a competition novelty dance to “Just Can’t Wait to be King.” The Pleasanton Pacesetters had help learning these routines from the amazing Albert Ruiz. They learned an original routine, but decided to correct much of the choreography in the span of two whole days.

This year the Pleasanton Pacesetters have 5 new officers leading and helping their team, Colonel Kaylie Stratton, Lieutenant Colonel Alexandra Luna, Major Milagros Garcia, Lieutenant Briana Aguirre, and Sergeant Kaitlyn Allen. The new Pacesetter Officers had to not only take care of and worry about themselves, but they also had to learn how to worry and take care of the other Pacesetters at the same time. The officers had to help the new team members coordinate their team outfits and they set up sisterly events to help make the team more comfortable around each other. The new officers did very well according to Mrs. DeWaal, “They did exceptionally well, especially for the majority being first time officers.” 

The Pleasanton Pacesetters attended camp during the Covid-19 virus. They wore face masks and stayed six-feet apart while dancing. According to some of the Pleasanton Pacesetters adjusting to the masks was not a very hard thing to do. Before camp even started the Pacesetters were already use to wearing the masks due to multiple practices prior to camp. 

Mrs. DeWaal is very proud of how the Pacesetters did at their private camp. They can’t wait to compete these wonderful dances they worked so hard on to learn. A huge congrats and good luck for the 2020-2021 Pleasanton Pacesetters!

Epidemic Effects on Education

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.

Freshman Advice

By: Hayli Woodson

91,759 Inspirational Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Inspirational quote for freshman.

High school is a great place to embark on a new journey, and this school is a great location to start planning, or even start, your trip through young adulthood. Everything from here on out is going to be a challenge, but don’t shy away from it. Embrace the troubles and responsibilities of being a teenager and use them to make your future years at PHS great. There are going to be plenty of good times and some bad, but no matter the current circumstances, you will look back on your years here and smile. Just remember that no matter how difficult your freshman year is, there are others that have survived past 9th grade. Here is some advice from the survivors, AKA your upperclassmen.

“Try to make new friends in higher grades so they can help you get used to the school better.” -Christian Salazar

“Enjoy your first year because it’ll be your last first year.” -Gabriella Chapa

“Enjoy your freshman year and make it last because you’ll miss it and 9th grade is the easiest it gets. Have fun.” -Robert Medrano

“Don’t be scared of upperclassmen, but also respect them.” -Anonymous

“Don’t judge people and look on the inside, not the outside.” -Dwayn Wilbanks

“No matter how hard it gets, just keep going.” -Mrs. Harris

This is going to be a great year freshman, enjoy yourself. Although PHS has had some changes this year due to Covid- 19, it is still a great place and has a great staff here for you. PHS may not be what it’s like in movies,  but living out your teenage years is going to be a wild ride, so buckle up and enjoy your time here.