Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Lasater

By: Libby Sanchez & Alex Richter

Mrs. Lasater, a name many of you have probably grown to know over the past few weeks, has been elected for this month’s student spotlight. Her charismatic personality has made many students immune to the hard subject of English, making them pick up on lessons easier than they ever have before. Though the year has just begun, it is easy to tell that her presence on our campus is nothing short of great. 

As the child of a golf pro, Mrs. Lasater moved around many times throughout her childhood before settling in Dumas, Texas, just north of Amarillo. Having lived there the longest, for 5 years, she considers this to be her hometown. In late high school, Mrs. Lasater was able to witness her mother teaching religious refugees from Burma, Thailand, and China. “They grew up in a jungle, like a literal jungle where elephants would eat their roof. So seeing my mom help them and seeing how they could flourish, that’s what encouraged me to become a teacher,” said Mrs. Lasater. After graduating from Dumas High School, Mrs. Lasater went on to attend Tarleton State University with a full academic ride.

Prior to Pleasanton, Mrs. Lasater taught in Houston for the past ten years, then before that, she taught in La Porte. Her career started off teaching 8th graders before she moved up to the high school, following her students that begged her to move up with them. After teaching high school for the first year, she knew it was where she belonged. With English being her strong suit, she wanted to help students understand a subject held so close to her. 

“The kids are really nice, the atmosphere is nice, it feels like you’re a part of a family,” stated Mrs. Lasater. PHS is very lucky to have such a passionate teacher working hard to make sure her students understand every lesson, whether that be in life, or in the subject of English.

Student Spotlight: Brooke Rankin

By: Ariana Johnson and May Smith

Brooke’s senior volleyball picture.

When carefully selecting this month’s student spotlight, we wanted to highlight someone who has a great work ethic and determination. Brooke Rankin, a senior at PHS, is someone who is included in many activities while also being a good student in the classroom. She also has many extracurricular activities outside of school.

Out of curiosity, we posed the question of what is your favorite class. She eagerly responded with “Ag structure design.” When asked about her favorite aspect of Ag, Brooke responded, “I like how they’re more hands-on than other classes.” Then, she mentioned some of the activities that she participates in in the class. These activities were: “building cornhole boards, birdhouses and other things like that.” She enjoys activities that require more physical work.

Brooke is involved in extracurricular activities such as volleyball, NHS, cheerleading, student council, she shows steers and pigs for stock shows. Not only does she participate in Mesquite 4h, but she is also currently the president of the Mesquite 4h. Additionally, her most impactful thing in high school is sports. In fact, Brooke is on the varsity cheerleading team and plays varsity volleyball as a right-back or setter. Curious, we asked her how these two sports have affected her. She stated, “I really enjoy being with my friends as we crack a lot of jokes and have fun.” Many of Brooke’s friends describe her as friendly, compassionate, and sunshine on a cloudy day.

Brooke has booked her schedule with a lot of classes, always pushing to challenge herself. She made a connection with many teachers as she got to know them throughout the school year. Some of her teachers and their teaching style has taught Brooke many lessons that can be used in the classroom and in life. One of the teachers who had a positive impact is Mrs. Cook, as Brooke stated, “I really enjoy the way she teaches.”

In the end, we found that she is someone that is well-liked by everyone, pushes herself in all of her classes, and involves herself in many different activities. Recognizing her as the student spotlight was a no-brainer!

Staff Spotlight: Mr. Portillo

By: Noah Ramos & Savannah Valdez 

 

 

As many students were eager to meet our new principal, Mr. Portillo, the Quill Staff wished to welcome him as our first Staff Spotlight for the year. Mr. Portillo was happy to have been chosen for this momentous article. To start off, we wanted to know the main reason why Mr. Portillo wanted to work in this district, specifically here at PHS. He claimed to have been in the area before and had lived in West Texas when he happened to see an administrative position open here near the San Antonio area. Since Mr. Portillo wanted to go back to a traditional high school, he felt it was the perfect opportunity and applied here to our school PHS. He previously had already been to Devine and Cotulla but never close enough to travel into Pleasanton which encouraged him to check this town out even more. After the interview process with the school district, Mr. Portillo was hired to be the principal here at PHS.

What motivates Mr. Portillo is when people doubt him or he doubts himself. He knows that we are all human and should stand back up when we fall. Even if at the moment it may hurt, it is for the best. “Remaining positive ensures that you can overcome any obstacles you face. If those around you don’t always have the confidence, they might be too afraid to show it, and that’s okay.” This is Mr. Portillo’s mindset and he won’t stop for any obstacle that blocks his path as long as he stays positive to himself then nothing will keep him from his goal. 

Mr. Portillo didn’t plan to become a campus administrator until 10 years ago. He was a Teacher/Coach and was approached by the principal of the current school he was employed at. They suggested that Mr. Portillo would be a great administrator. They then asked if he had ever thought of becoming one himself but Mr. Portillo at the time enjoyed being a coach and declined the offer. He was then asked to think about it. Later, Mr. Portillo decided to go back to school in order to be available to become a principal and ended up getting hired as an assistant principal in Midland. After another 2-3 years the principal at Midland asked if he had thought about working on his superintendence. Like before, Mr. Portillo felt fine where he was and declined the offer once again. They wanted him to think about getting it done himself and eventually, he got his superintendence done after thinking hard about it. He had planned to get into college coaching, but after trying out being an administrator, he loved it too much to give it up. Even though he took on a new position, he still made an effort to attend games for the kids. He still pondered becoming a superintendent himself but knew he wouldn’t get to work with kids as often but liked to interact with his students and get to know them better. 

One of his goals for PHS is to improve student outcomes and feels it should be everyone on the campus who works in education. As well as improving academics and helping students who struggle in school rather than leaving them to figure it out for themselves. Mr. Portillo wants to make sure when students leave high school they will be ready for the outside world. Even though not every person may be able to do college there are still other options available to those who take the opportunity to inquire about it. So hopefully after reading this article you got to learn more about our new principal Mr. Portillo.

 

PHS Dress Code Advice

By: Aaliyah Herrera

PHS has a new dress code this year and we are very excited about the new changes to our dress code. Here is some advice! 

Clothing – Clothing shall be sized to fit students. Students are expected to come to school looking clean, neat, and modest in appearance. All students are required to wear undergarments that cannot be seen through outer clothing. The physical development of the student should be a consideration in determining the appropriate time for certain undergarments.

 

  • Pants – Pants should be fitted at the waist as well as the crotch. Pant legs should not drag on the ground. Oversized, sagging, and/or baggy pants will not be allowed. Bagginess will be determined by the campus administration. Shreds or holes in any clothing that show skin or undergarments above mid-thigh are not allowed. Shreds or holes in jeans are allowed as long as they are below mid-thigh. Leggings/yoga pants may be worn provided the overgarment/top is longer than mid-thigh. Pajama pants/bottoms are prohibited.
  • Skirts/shorts/dresses – skirts, dresses, shorts, and split skirts will be permitted provided they are no longer than 2 ½ (the narrowest part of a dollar bill) above the kneecap, front, and back. Shorts are allowed provided they are appropriately fitted, no shorter than mid-thigh when standing. Bicycle shorts, from fitting shorts worn alone, are prohibited. 
  • Shirts/tops – tank tops, halter tops, exposed-midriff blouses, muscle shirts, blouses/dresses with spaghetti straps, strapless and/or low cut tops, exposed backs, see-through clothing, and tanks with oversized armholes are not permitted. Undershirts cannot be worn alone. A single shirt cannot be less than two inches wide on a shoulder strap. Necklines on blouses may not be lower than an individual’s underarm. No jackets or coats longer than mid-thigh length will be allowed. 
  • Footwear – appropriate footwear should be worn at all times. Because of daily PE, tennis shoes are encouraged. House shoes/slippers, cleats, steel-toed shoes, and roller / wheeled shoes are not permitted. 
  • Accessories/tattoos – only the following body-piercing ornaments will be allowed on school property or at school sponsored events: up to two earrings per ear; and, up to one clear flush mounted nose piercing. No body ornaments can be covered with a bandage or any other device through the hole considered a body-piercing ornament, including gauges. Ear gauges, facial, skin, or body piercing rings or ornaments are prohibited. Tattoos will be covered at all times (the school will not provide bandages or any other coverings. It is the responsibility of the students to have their tattoos covered before arriving on campus.)
  • Grooming – hair should be neat, clean, and not touch the eyebrows in front or interfere with vision. Maintained / neatly trimmed beards and mustaches are allowed. Facial hair shall be clean, groomed, and natural in color. Hair that is dyed an unnatural color, such as bright red, blue, pink, green, orange, or a similar color is not permitted. Students may not cut designs or patterns in their hair or eyebrows. 
  • IDS –  students are required to wear their ID badges visibly at all times while they are on campus during the school day. Although they may be required for admissions to school events, students are not required to wear but must carry their ID badges at school events. ID badges may not be defaced, front or back, for any reason. Students should treat an ID badge like any official document. ID badges that are defaced may be confiscated and the student will be required to purchase a new badge prior to the start of school on the next school day. Replacements for lost or confiscated ID badges can be purchased in the library at specified times. 

 

Our dress code has a couple new changes this year. Including rips/holes in the jean below mid-thigh, one pierced stud on the outer nose area, facial hair, and a single earring in both ears is now allowed for boys.

Holes/rips in the jean below mid-thigh are allowed this year. Everybody is very excited to not have to wear leggings/tights underneath their jeans unless there are rips/holes above mid-thigh. It’s a very positive change because during the hot days we have in Texas it is very refreshing, covering them up sometimes can get uncomfortable. 

There has been a new change to our grooming section of the dress code. This year boys are allowed to have facial hair as long as it looks neat and is taken care of. A lot of the boys this year are very excited about not having to worry about shaving or wearing a mask to hide their facial hair. 

Piercings have had an update this year students are allowed to have one piercing, one stud on the outer nose area students are yet again appreciated for the new change no more having to hide behind a mask. Boys are also allowed to have one earring in each ear now. It wasn’t really fair that girls were only able to have earrings so very much appreciated for the boys with piercings and are allowed to wear their earrings to school. 

For how much we love the new changes to this year’s dress code, let’s make sure we all follow the rules and keep these new changes from now on. Make sure to check that you are in the school’s dress code before arriving on campus.

Valedictorian: Montgomery Cain

By: Libby Sanchez & Shyanne Sexton

Montgomery Cain, a student who lives by his motto of “never doing anything halfway,” and, “ if he is gonna do it, he’s gonna do it right.” Montgomery, who goes by “Monty,” is known around campus for his hard work and determination. Over the last 4 years, Monty has worked incredibly hard in all of his classes to keep his grades up and earn the title of Valedictorian of the graduating class of 2022. 

Montgomery is planning on attending Texas Tech University to study finance with a concentration in real estate. “Both my parents are Red Raiders, so I’ve kinda been raised as a Red Raider,” stated Montgomery. He looks forward to learning how to properly run a business and manage money, which is not only important in business but in life as well. “I love Lubbock, it’s a big town with everything you need in it, but it still feels like a small town. I’ve got a lot of friends up there, good connections, and it’s gonna give me a quality degree that I’m gonna be able to use and be able to make a living off of,” he says. 

One of the most prosperous things Montgomery lives by is the quote, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The ability to network among people and talk comfortably among others is one of the hardest traits to have. For Monty, it all comes naturally. “Being able to communicate with people is a huge part of not only just business but everything in life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to. If you’re diverse in a lot of fields, you’re able to relate with all kinds of different people and learn from them,” he says. 

Montgomery has a drive in him that keeps him going till he’s satisfied, and even then it’s not enough as he sets even higher goals for himself. Outside of his education, Montgomery is in the process of earning his private pilot license. He is hoping to get all the way up to airline transport pilot, which means getting his instrument rating, multi-engine rating, and access to flying helicopters. With these licenses, Montgomery is expanding his future options. He could go into the military and fly fighter jets, he could go with commercial airlines, or he could open a private helicopter business with a focus on ag aviation and wildlife surveys. Recently, he’s invested his time into his newly founded business “T47, LLC.” Named after his grandfathers, the company focuses on custom welding and fabrication. A lot of people think welding is just putting two pieces of metal together, you run a bead to connect them, and you call it good. But when you’re running it as a business, creating it as a product with your name on it, that represents you and what you believe in. For me, its quality,” stated Montgomery. Along with running a business, Monty competes in competitive shooting sports. In 2021, Montgomery earned himself the title of a 4-H Shotgun National Champion alongside his three other teammates. It’s admirable that he’s been able to find the balance between his education and work outside of school. 

Montgomery is a very persistent individual who will grow up and accomplish everything he wants in life, but not without giving credit to those who have helped him along the way. Teachers like Mrs. Bast, Ms. Kelley, and Mr. Townsend have helped pave the way for this phenomenal leader. Mrs. Bast, who has impacted students throughout her years here at PISD, is one of Montgomery’s biggest influencers. “It’s amazing to be in the presence of someone who’s had so much experience of something really unique, like working at NASA. She teaches a hard subject too, not everyone is meant to understand calculus. At some points, I didn’t even understand it. Mrs. Bast made it always feel like it was possible, she always took something that seems really difficult to most people, and it is, and made it doable,” he states. When asked about Montgomery’s character and performance during her class, Mrs. Bast’s response was: “Amazing. Gifted. Willing. I think his thirst for knowledge and understanding is inspiring to teachers and classmates alike.” As someone who is looked up to by not just Montgomery, but the entire graduating class of 2022, Mrs. Bast leaves them with this advice for their future: “Don’t let the climate of the world steal your faith or your hope, or your dreams.”

Alongside the teachers and faculty here at PHS, there are two more very important people who have had a tremendous impact on Montgomery’s life. “Everyone probably says this, but I truly could not have done any of this without my parents’ constant support and guidance,” he states. His parents, who have made it their mission to teach Montgomery every definition of the word “humility” could not be prouder of their son in all that he does. “We are proud of him and grateful for the teachers and others who have inspired him and been part of his journey. Every parent wants happiness for their children. Montgomery has boundless energy and career and life goals. We hope he strives for excellence, pushes through fear, and has fun while realizing his vision for the future. We love him and can’t wait to see what’s next for him,” his mother says. It’s clear to see what a positive impact Montgomery has had growing up, and it’s even better to see him succeeding with that built character. 

Montgomery has a bright future ahead of him and judging by his character, he will be determined to keep reaching for higher goals. He leaves his fellow classmates with the advice, “If you reach a goal, don’t stop there and just be complacent with that, keep going. Never limit yourself.” Remember all the hard work you did to get to this point, and keep pushing the limits. To Montgomery, and the rest of the class of 2022, we wish you all the absolute best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Salutatorian: Kenley Everett

By: River Reyes

The 2022 Salutatorian: Kenley Everett

At the top of the class lies those who worked the most throughout their high school career, the two who have dedicated their time and efforts to their family, school, and future. Vying for the highest honor are the valedictorian and the salutatorian, both achieving and being recognized as some of the brightest and capable individuals. The salutatorian for the Pleasanton High School Class of 2022 is Kenley Everett, a intelligent and driven individual who has by every means earned the honor of her position. 

Kenley will be attending Baylor University in the fall as an Business Entrepreneurship major with the hopes and dreams of owning her a multi chain level real estate company. When asked why she chose Baylor, she said, “I want to go to Baylor because all their standards align with mine, from academic standards, to religious beliefs, to just the essential way of living.” Kenley is very well known for her work ethic and academic capabilities and it’s very clear that her standard reflects in her school of choice and that she will continue to strive for excellence. In order to get to Baylor, the road was rough and Kenley endured many obstacles that would set her back. When asked what motivated her to work for the top of the class, Kenley said, “It was never honestly about me saying that I want to be salutatorian. It was the fact that I know that no matter what I do, I’m going to give my best effort. So just the fact that I made salutatorian made it all worth it in the end because all I know is that everything I do is going to be the best of my ability.” Her motivation exceeds that of her peers greatly and she’s earned her spot. Everything she has accomplished brings her one step closer to her dreams. The future will be very bright and as long as she holds her determination, there will be nothing to stop her.

The teacher that impacted Kenley the most was Mrs. Leonheardt. Mrs. Leonheardt was Kenley’s AP English Literature and Composition teacher and takes pride in having taught Kenley, who she regards as a very talented writer. When asked about Kenley’s greatest trait, Mrs. Leonheardt says, “She brings up a level of conversation because she makes insights and when she shares her insights, other people understand it better too so she brings an overall understanding of literature just because of the connections that she makes.” Kenley is clearly a role model for students in and out of the classroom, using her knowledge to achieve great results while helping the people around her.

As the salutatorian for the graduating class of 2022, Kenley Everett has achieved great results and set an example for many students around her. With an excellent work ethic and incredible intelligence, there is no doubt that Kenley will continue to succeed in her future. We congratulate Kenley for all that she has done and hope for the best in her future.

Teacher of the Year

By: Alexandra Garcia & Aaliyah Herrera


Dr Conner Ayers, who is known as one of our Spanish teachers at PHS was selected as teacher of the year 2021-2022. With his positive attitude toward his students he uplifts the student’s mood with a bright smile as he welcomes everyone at his classroom door. 

When asked how he felt about being teacher of the year he had said he was very surprised because it was his first year here at PHS. There is no surprise that he had received this award, Dr Conner Ayers is very outgoing and always wants to do what’s best for his students to help them succeed. He enjoys being in the classroom doing fun activities and is just an overall great teacher and person here at PHS. Although Dr Conner Ayers has his own challenges he still finds a way to be a positive role model to his fellow students and coworkers. 

Paraprofessional of the Year

By: Farah Stanley & Allison Collins

Mrs. Blanco has been honored as the paraprofessional of the year. She is a very important asset to Pleasanton High School, and is very deserving of this achievement. We sat down and had a nice conversation with Mrs. Blanco. When asked how she feels about achieving the award, Mrs. Blanco said “I feel very honored to receive this award. It makes me feel good, it makes me feel appreciated; That everyone here at school and my colleagues see the hard work that I do, so I can accomplish student success.” Mrs. Blanco shared her favorite thing about being a paraprofessional: “I enjoy being here at school. I enjoy working with the students. I like to see them progress through the year, and when I meet y’all the very first day of school, y’all are a little shy. By the time we leave, I can see how much y’all have grown academically and as a human being.” She also shared that her favorite thing about the students is that, “Every student is different…Obviously, truly, I enjoy every single student in their own ways. I’ve learned from you all, and y’all learn from me.” She has been told, because of her nurturing ways and life lessons, that she is like a “school mom” for some students. Mrs. Blanco went on in the conversation to share exactly what she loves about her work: “I like giving academic support, but at the same time if I’m able to guide you on the right path in life, that’s what I love.” Mrs. Blanco has been working in Pleasanton for 4 years, and spoke on how amazed she was watching some kids from freshman year to single year. Speaking of, Mrs. Blanco graduated from Del Rio high school in 1993, and went on to attend college at Sul Ross State University. Mrs. Blanco wasn’t always a paraprofessional here, she served as a long term sub here at Pleasanton. We should all take a moment to appreciate Mrs. Blanco and all that she does.

Graduation

By: Courtney Henson

As the 2021-2022 school year comes to a close, the senior class is preparing themselves to graduate. On May 27, 2022, at 8pm, the senior class will gather for one more goodbye. The graduating class will hear speeches from class president River Reyes, Valedictorian Mongomery Cain, Salutatorian Kenley Everett, along with NHS Secretary Ashlyn Vera. 

For the class of 22 favorites, the senior class voted in favor of green and white with black accents as the class colors, the red rose as the class flower, You’re Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins as the class song, and the class motto is “Our lives are before us, our pasts behind us, and our memories are forever within us.” 

For the past 4 years, the class of ‘22 has faced many ups and downs but they made it. Three seniors from the Journalism class and staff editors on the Quill graduating are as follows: Editor in Chief- Courtney Henson, Copy Editor- Kristina Mertz, Layout Editor- River Reyes. From the Quill staff, congratulations to every senior graduating, we are so proud of each and every one of you. Pride! Pride!

Student Spotlight: Evelynn Caraway

By: Jaelyn Morales

Our Student Spotlight this month is sophomore, Evelynn Caraway, who is involved in many activities at PHS, while also being a top student in the classroom. She is involved in tennis, band, and raising/showing livestock. 

Evelynn is a straight A student who’s favorite subjects are her math and agricultural classes. When asked what her favorite part about school is, Evelynn responded, “I like getting to see people everyday that I enjoy being around.” Her friends are a big reason why she likes school and also has fun while learning. 

Evelynn is also in extracurricular activities like tennis and band. She plays and practices tennis all year round and when asked what her favorite part about tennis is, she said, “ I like that we don’t just have one season like all the other sports, we have fall and spring.”

Aside from tennis, Evelynn is also a part of the PHS band where she plays the French horn. The PHS band recently competed in the UIL Solo and ensemble competition where Evelynn earned a 1st Division in her Horn Trio, qualifying for state. 

When she’s not playing tennis or playing for the band, Evelynn is raising and showing livestock. “I learn so many things when showing livestock while also having fun with the animals and the people around me,” Evelynn said. Evelynn has been showing lambs since she was in 4th grade and throughout the years she has learned many things about her animals. Evelynn is a smart, hard working, and kind  person who will go on to do great things in life. Congratulations Evelynn on being this month’s student spotlight!

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Breiten

By: Myame Lara and Darla Rodriguez

Mrs. Breiten is PHS’ very own ray of sunshine, and interpersonal studies teacher of course! Many of her students describe her as a second mother, while always being in a great mood. Located at the end of the 500 hallway, Mrs. Breiten’s classroom is known as a comfort spot for many students. Along with teaching Interpersonal Studies, she also offers comfort and support when any students of PHS  need it. This month, the journalism staff made an excellent choice of selecting Mrs. Emily Breiten as our teacher spotlight! We got the opportunity to find out a little more about Mrs. Breiten and some of her interests!

Prior to teaching Interpersonal Studies at PHS, Mrs. Breiten attended Texas State which she graduated from with a bachelor’s degree, and is currently attending Texas A&M working towards her masters degree! A big part of being a teacher is figuring out how to connect with students, and Mrs. Breiten’s got that skill down to the bone. Mrs. Breiten says, “It’s important to have a relationship with your students, build relationships with them and everything will fall into place after that.” While working at PHS, Mrs. Breiten has learned to be a lot more empathetic and have more patience with her students. She’s found that putting herself in others shoes’ and seeing things from their perspective has impacted her greatly, and helped her connect with her students emotionally. Elly Hernandez and Jayden Palacios stated that Mrs. Breiten will always take the time out of her day to make sure everyone’s okay, and to say “good morning”, or “hi” to everyone in the halls!

You might be surprised to hear that Mrs. Breiten doesn’t actually live here at PHS! I know we found it shocking with how involved she is within our PISD community. Outside of teaching Mrs. Breiten enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities with her family including going to a park, a lake, and even the zoo! While in high school she participated in FFA, which could explain her love for the outdoors. 

All of PHS’ students are beyond grateful to have Mrs. Breiten as a part of the amazing staff, and look forward to what positive impact she’ll have on us next. Don’t forget to stop and thank your amazing teachers and staff at PHS anytime you have a chance! Pride Pride!

Daytona Drill Nationals

By: River Reyes and Alexandra Garcia

Cadets on Daytona Beach

The Pleasanton JROTC Eagle Battalion was invited to the Army JROTC Nationals Drill competition in Daytona Beach, Florida. The drill competition was on Thursday, April 14th at the Ocean Center with a total of 40 schools from across the nation. The teams from Pleasanton included the armed and unarmed drill teams performing in inspection, regulation, and exhibition. Our male and female color guard teams performed for the color guard phase. 

Leading up to the competition, the drill and color guard teams spent 3 months practicing and refining their routines to have a competitive performance the day of nationals. There were many afternoon practices and the day before the trip to Florida, April 12th, there was a whole day spent practicing from the first school bell to the last. 

Cadets competing for Armed Regulation

The trip to Daytona Beach was four days long from Wednesday April 13th till Saturday April 16th. For many cadets, this was their first experience flying, adding to the intensity that came with the pressure from Nationals. The first day was spent traveling and getting settled in the hotel at Fairfield in and Suites next to the Daytona International Speedway. The day of the competition, all cadets were ordered to be up and ready to leave by 06:30 as the unarmed exhibition was slated to perform early that morning. Following the unarmed exhibition, the unarmed regulation and inspection phases were carried out in the first half of the day, whereas the armed drill team would be split across three different time periods throughout the day, beginning in the morning, going after lunch, and finishing in the evening. The color guard was swift in their performances finishing before lunchtime. 

Friday of the trip was the cadets free day, having them go down to the beachside at noon and spending time at a local mall on the beachside. The cadets enjoyed the beach as their reward for their hard work culminating in the performances at nationals. To wrap up the day, the cadets enjoyed a nice dinner on the beachside and would prepare for the flight back to Texas.

Army JROTC Nationals for Drill is a very intense and competitive competition. The Eagle Battalion was honored to have been invited and looks forward to competing again in the coming years, refining their performances so that we can earn top placings on the national level. It was a great experience for all the cadets in attendance and they will continue to be prepared for success as they learn and experience more in the JROTC program.

Play to the Music

By: Ariana Johnson

Thursday, March 3rd Pleasanton Mighty Eagle Band preformed for UIL and the Symphonic band got all ones in Sight-reading and a two, one, two in Concert. While Wind Ensemble got all ones in Sight-reading and all ones in Concert. Mr. Solis expressed his fears for UIL “My biggest fear was that we would be out of school for bad weather and that would affect our UIL Contest. This happened last year, and we had to work hard to get everything to a 1st division level in time for the contest.” And his goal for UIL this year was to “improve on the quality of our recordings,” as he chose harder music than normal and “were able to refine everything to the level that we wanted this year,” and he was very happy with the recording of the music. Mr. Solis told what his favorite part of UIL is the contest “It’s great to finally get to this point in our preparation and to hear the other groups on this day.” And also ask Mr. Solis how it feels to know that the Seniors you thought are leaving soon “It is hard to see the Seniors leave every year. We got to know these students in 6th grade, and mature through the years. Although it is great to see them become adults and leave high school, it is always bittersweet time for us.” Good job Mighty Eagle Band.

 

Student Spotlight: Finley Hilburn

By: Libby Sanchez 

For this month’s student spotlight, the Quill staff wanted to bring recognition to one of Pleasanton High School’s most outstanding freshman, Finley Hilburn. Finley is the oldest out of four siblings and does her best to be a great role model to them. As a freshman, Finley wanted to try all her options and took on many sports including basketball, softball, and cross country. Her skill and ability to see the court led her to being the only freshman to make the Varsity basketball team. Upperclassmen quickly took her in on the team, going as far as giving her the nickname “Fin Fin.” This year, the girls’ basketball team made it into the playoffs, and Finley was honored to be a part of something so important. “Making it to playoffs was really special because as a freshman I didn’t think I’d experience that so soon, but it was great to show what we worked hard for and I loved playing with those girls,” stated Hilburn. 

Outside of school, Finley loves helping her dad coach little league teams and helping younger generations improve on their sport. In the future, Finley wants to coach basketball and she loves that she can practice her coaching skills now. “My favorite subject right now is world history, I could see myself either teaching that or science in my future too,” says Hilburn. Pleasanton High School is happy to have such a dedicated student to set an example for future classes. Keep up the great work Finley! 

Teacher spotlight

By: Alexandra Garcia 

     As well as many other great teachers and staff here at PHS, Mrs. Leonhardt is a very hard working and great teacher overall. She is very encourageable and motivational, pushing through rough days to better the students here at PHS. Mrs.Leonhardt is very welcoming and inspiring to many students who wanna get through high school and move on to better paths and create an amazing future with further education and help, she strives to get them where they deserve to be and stays as positive and humbled. 

    When asking Mrs.Leonhardt as a teacher what superhero would you wanna be and why she replied by changing the question a little bit but stated “If I could change the question a little bit I would be one of the nine muses who inspire people, writers and artists. I would rather be a muse who’s a goddess helping others and encouraging anyone they can.” Mrs. Leonhardt is a driving force to her students and many others.

     As a teacher here at PHS, Mrs. Leonhardt is very successful and we thank her for striving and trying her hardest to help all students accomplish their goals to become successful for their far amazing careers. 

     We are very privileged to have a kind and supportive individual as a teacher here at PHS. We thank Mrs. Leonhardt for making known what students are capable of. 

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Lozano

By: Shyanne Sexton

Each month, the Quill publishes a “Staff Spotlight” article to highlight and celebrate some of the talented and dedicated staff here at PHS. During February and March, The journalism staff decided to highlight Staff member Mrs. Lozano. 

Mrs. Lozano is currently the Digital media and graphic specialist at Pleasanton High School. After graduating from Pleasanton High School in the year 2009, she attended Coastal Bend College to further her education. Mrs. Lozano values her personal development and chooses to surround herself with other people who are successful, such as Mrs. Moos. She and Mrs. Moos are very compatible in the work environment. They tend to collaborate which permits both of them to grow and see things from a different perspective. When asked what one good thing your boss would say about you,he responded with “I’m dependable”. She says ”The administration, staff and students at PHS have really made me feel appreciated!”This alone gives her the motivation to come to work every day and take on whatever tasks she is given. Outside of school life Mrs. Lozano loves spending time with her two beautiful daughters, Kyndall and Kaylie. As well as owning a small photography business where she gets to spend time working at sessions or editing photos.

Mrs. Lozano is a one in a million staff member. She has shown to be successful both inside and outside of school. And all of us here at Pleasanton High School are very grateful to have someone as wonderful as her working on our campus.

Giving Purpose to Potential

By: Courtney Henson

On March 3, the Pleasanton BPA organization made their way to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the State Leadership Convention. On day one of the competition, at the special recognition awards ceremony, Brandi Barnett, Addy Brymer, Courtney Henson, and Ashlyn Vera earned their Statesman Torch Award. At this same ceremony Brandi Barnett was chosen as one of the pin design winners. Her pin will be traded at the National Leadership Convention in May.

Day two of the convention was filled with competition, individuals who competed on Thursday March 4, were Delanie, Lilee Ramirez, Courtney Henson, Jazmin Bernal, Thang, Elynore Hernandez, Conner George.

Day three of the convention was team competition and individual finalist. Teams included the Presentation Management team, Brandi Barnett, Addy Brymer, and Ashlyn Vera. Small Business Management team, Paige Read, Maddie Brymer, and Sadie Hartmann. Podcast Production team, Gage Pawelek and Shayne Cazier. Individualist Courtney Henson advanced to finals and competed this day as well.

The final day of the competition consisted of team finals and awards. The Small Business Management team advanced to finals and competed this morning. Results are as follows: Courtney Henson placed 5th in Administrative Support Research Project, Small Business Management team placed 8th. Brandi Barnett was the recipient of a scholarship.

Congratulation to the BPA competitors and good luck as you attend nationals. Pride! Pride!

U.I.L.

By: River Reyes

On Saturday February 12th, the Pleasanton Highschool U.I.L. academic teams participated in the meet at Reagan Highschool. 10 students participating in Social Studies, Current Events, Spelling, Science, Calculator, Math, and Number Sense. No teams placed in the competition, but have been working on preparing for the district U.I.L. meet at La Vernia high school on March 26th. The same teams will be participating in the hopes of qualifying for regionals, and possibly state.

Student Spotlight: Mayson Smith

By: Myame Lara

Every month, the Quill does a “Student Spotlight” article to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing students who attend PHS. To start off the new year with a bang, the journalism team decided to shine the spotlight on senior Mayson Smith. 

Mayson Smith is currently attending his fourth and final year at Pleasanton High School. In his four years of high school, he has impacted not only our school but also our community! Mayson is a proud member of PHS’ very own news show, the Big E News. He is a news anchor, a field reporter, and a proud co-host of his very own segment, “The Chocolate Milk Show.” Along with being on the Big E News, he is also a member of the Mighty Eagle Band where he plays the trumpet! Having been in band for four years, Mayson expressed that band director, Mr. Solis has impacted him the most here at PHS. Mayson says, “Band may be one group but learning new music and going to events is amazing.” 

Being a senior at PHS and second semester quickly taking action, graduation is soon approaching for Mayson. After graduation, he plans on going off to pursue film or psychology. During his junior year of high school, Mayson took AV which pushed him to find an interest in what he wanted to do and explore what he is passionate about. Mayson states, “If making movies doesn’t work out, I’d love to get a job that helps people instead.” This is where wanting to study psychology steps in!

Mayson is an amazing person who attends PHS and there is never a dull moment when he is around! Band director, Mr. Eduardo Solis, stated that Mayson goes “above and beyond” what he asks of other students. Mayson is always making sure others are enjoying their experiences and getting the most out of PHS. We at PHS are very grateful to have Mayson Smith attend our school and can’t wait to see the impact he has on this school! 

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. 

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Pippen

By: Brian Avery

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Kelly Pippen, and featuring her in this month’s staff feature.

Mrs. Kelly Pippen is a math teacher and co-head of the Special Education department here at Pleasanton High School. She has impacted many students’ lives, and continues to improve others’ lives to this day.

Mrs. Pippen graduated from Giddings High School, later attending Texas A&M in San Antonio, where she originally studied to become an accountant, however she[= switched her career path to become a teacher. She started as a math teacher, and would later become co-head of the Special Ed department. She came to Pleasanton High School 17 years ago, and is still going strong.

When asked to comment on her favorite aspect of teaching, she replied, “I love my students. I enjoy being with them, and seeing their growth from Freshman year to senior year. It’s always encouraging to know we’re[Teachers] making a difference.” She emphasized her love for the sense of family that PHS brings, from her coworkers to the students. The only thing she wished she could change at PHS is emphasizing the importance of some of the skills they teach that students don’t value. 

It was a pleasure interviewing Mrs. Pippen, and make sure you tell her hello when you see her in the halls! 

Mighty Eagle Band

By: Allison Collins

Towards the end of 2021, select members of Pleasanton High School’s Mighty Eagle Band auditioned at Lytle High School for region band. They spent many months working on their own free time practicing. Their hard work paid off, many of the band members competed and made the region band as members and alternates.

After more traveling and auditioning, Michaela Anguiano, a junior here at PHS made the ATSSB All-State Band on alto clarinet! On February 12, she will be traveling to San Antonio to perform with many students from all over Texas. “I’m really proud of myself and I think it’s a really big accomplishment.” Michaela states. She’s not the only one excited about her success though, Mr. Solis, the head band director states “I’m very happy for her, she works very hard in everything she does.”

With region band slowly finishing, UIL Solo & Ensemble is starting. “It’s a big contest for us because almost the entire band does it.” Mr Solis states. More people getting involved brings more possibilities! We’re excited to see what happens with Michaela and UIL, we wish you luck. Pride! Pride!