National Bullying Prevention Month

By: Libby Sanchez

Every October, communities and schools across the world join and work together in hopes of putting an end to all forms of bullying. During this month, many campaigns, protests, and new resources are aimed at raising awareness towards bullying. This aggressive and constant behavior should not go unrecognized. 

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, or attacking someone physically or verbally. One of the most effective forms of bullying today is done online and is known as cyber-bullying. About 20% of students ages 12-18 have experienced bullying nationwide, and 15% reported to have been getting bullied online and harassed. Research indicates that consistent bullying can lead victims to suicidal behavior. All states have anti-bully legislation, but bullying is not illegal and continues to be a common occurrence.

Every week of October, the National Bullying Prevention committee releases new challenges around the world to help prevent bullying from occurring. Some of which include: making friends with someone you don’t know at school, standing up for others, and spreading kindness to those around you. This year they also ask that school’s and local businesses wear orange in hopes of sending a message to “stomp out bullying,”

This October, try your best to join in on these challenges and show your support to prevent bullying. If you or anyone else you know is going through bullying, reach out to a trusted adult and confide in them. Wear your orange and help create a world without bullying!

Halloween Safety

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.

Childhood Cancer Awareness

By: Adriana Clark

Childhood Cancer Awareness gold ribbon

September is the month that brings awareness to those who are facing or have faced childhood cancer, a time for people to focus on the importance of finding the cause, making a prevention plan, seeking possible treatments, and cures. Families often come together during this month to tell inspirational stories of the children who are facing or have faced cancer. Each year, 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and 175,000 are children under the age of 14. Cancer does not always mean that it is just one disease. Instead, it can often be found in different places in the body; the most common type of cancer found in children is leukemia (a blood cancer). Cancer is less likely caused by a child’s environment and lifestyle, but instead can be caused by genetic changes or better known as mutations. A strong family history of cancer may increase a child’s risk. Thanks to therapies, over 80% of the childhood cancer patients have become long-term survivors. Organizations the help bring awareness is the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) who help by shaping policy, supporting research, and providing free education to kids with cancer, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California help by creating a home away from home so they are able to stay close to their hospitalized child without causing any financial toll on the family, and the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation help elevate the mental, social, and emotional wellbeing of families that undergoing cancer treatment volunteers prepare packages filled with board games, books, and toys for different age groups which are then shipped out to hospitals and oncology centers across the world.

Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Sims

By: Nohemi Vallejo

Mrs. Sims is an amazing geography teacher with a strong passion for helping her students succeed. During these difficult times, Mrs. Sims is trying to perfect her art of teaching online like any other of our incredible teachers here at PHS. Mrs. Sims states, “I don’t think I have found the perfect way yet, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying different methods such as calling, texting, encouraging students through Google Classroom messages, and Zooming. Mr. Hurley and I stick with the lessons that have had the most engagement while still trying to break the monotony.”

Mrs. Sims has been in various positions inside and outside of the classroom for over 28 years in education. She loves working in education, but the highlight of her career was working at PHS. On the topic of PHS, her favorite thing is seeing and interacting with the students. Mrs. Sims was very surprised to learn she had been selected as Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Sims humbly states, “PHS has so many great teachers that it was an honor to be voted for this award by my peers.”

From an early age, Mrs. Sims knew she wanted to be a teacher. Someone who influenced her to become a teacher was her mom, Margaret Coleman. She was an educator at PISD. She got to see how rewarding it was for her mom, and she knew she also wanted to be a part of it.

Mrs. Sims will be retiring by the end of this year. She states, “I’m a proud PHS graduate and besides missing the students and my coworkers, I’ll also miss being in the buildings and classrooms where I attended high school. Most of all though, I’ll miss the opportunity to have a proper goodbye with my current and past students.” Mrs. Sims mentions, “My husband and I will be moving to eastern Tennessee at the end of June to see if we like it there. We also have travel plans which include going to Iceland. As a geographer, I hope to travel more and just enjoy life. I also plan to volunteer at the local library system wherever I end up living. Who knows? It could be right back in Pleasanton where it all started.”

New Teacher of the Year: Miss Netherton

By: Adriana Clark

Miss Netherton is a science teacher at PHS, known for being one of the nicest and sweetest teachers on the campus. She has a loving personality, she’s uplifting, and she’s funny. Miss Netherton has been working at PHS for 3 years, which is her entire teaching career. Miss Netherton had attended Mississippi State University, where she majored in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Engineering concentration. She has also majored in English.

Before Miss Netherton joined us at PHS as a high school teacher, she was a Civil Engineer In Training which was also known as an EIT. “I really enjoyed all my civil engineering classes in college, but working as a Civil Engineer just wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t get to be super creative, I either had a lot of work or almost no work, and I didn’t get to help others…” Miss Netherton had worked on computers and got to go to sites and design drainage layouts, water mains, and work with the EPA to ensure their jobs followed conservation laws. “…it was an interesting job, but not a good fit for me. I enjoy teaching a lot more because I get to help people learn and grow and I can be very creative with my lessons.”

When Miss Netherton heard the news that she won New Teacher of the year, she was excited and stated, “she doesn’t do the job for recognition, but it does feel very validating to get this award.” This also helps ensure that she is doing a great job and encourages her to keep it up! “PHS has been an amazing place to work and I really feel really lucked out starting my teaching career here. The environment is very positive and everyone has the opportunity for major growth here. You can also tell that all the employees really care about the students in everything that they do. I am very grateful to have such a supportive network here who all focus on the good of the students.”

Paraprofessional of the Year: Mrs. Lozano

By: Dillon Myers

Mrs. Lozano works in the library as a paraprofessional. One thing she loves about being in the library is that she gets the opportunity to form relationships with everyone in the PHS family. Mrs. Lozano believes “the library is the heart of our campus” and feels that “PHS has such a great environment that makes me want to come to work every day.”

She wasn’t always a paraprofessional though.  Years ago, she was employed as a 911 dispatcher, working twelve-hour shifts for Atascosa County. Here at PHS, we admire her bravery and thank Mrs. Lozano for her service. However, she sought a job that would better suit her family, a job with ‘normal’ hours. She soon found herself at the junior high and sees working for the high school as a blessing.

Mrs. Lozano also leads an interesting life outside of her job. What she mostly does is spend time with her daughters, though her photography business comes in a close second! She enjoys taking photos with her camera while not working.

She also has some tips for students at PHS, though they can apply to teachers too! “Take in every moment! This year has taught us how precious time really is. The 4 years at PHS may not seem to go by quickly but they really do! Soak it in and make the very best of it!” ☺️

It was a pleasure to interview Mrs. Lozano, even if through email. The journalism family wishes her, along with everyone else, a great summer!

Ready for Anything

By: Victoria Chavez 

As the school year of 2019-2020 comes to an end, the seniors of 2020 will begin to ready themselves to enter the world right through their bedroom doors. Most have plans for college, some hope to enter the workforce with their dream jobs swirling in their minds, but what about the seniors that wish to enlist and serve the country? Is the military taking numbers on the high school students across the nation and telling them to have a seat? Has the outbreak stopped them from starting their lives? 

The recent pandemic has caused a lot of hysteria for not only the people across the world but it has deeply impacted the military as well. For those that did not know all MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) was shut down due to COVID-19. This meant that many people graduating high school and the people enlisted could not be shipped off to BMT (Basic Military Training) at the initial date given. The thought of never being able to start their journey scared many seniors. “ I haven’t even been to MEP in and I’ll have to 2-4 weeks before I can go in…” said Hannah Van Auken. Most recruiters are doing the best they can to help anyone who wishes to join by keeping them updated on the situation. “As far as I know MEPS opened again and I’ll be [shipped] off some time next month” stated an anonymous source. Hope still shines through for the 2020 seniors as they continue to reach their objectives.

Many students here at PHS are determined to pursue a career in the armed forces. “The military can provide a great foundation for my career and education”, said AJ Paez. AJ is among the countless seniors throughout the states that are dependent on the military’s advantages to help them achieve their set goals. “I want to go to college and afterward have a family on my own, the Air Force seemed like the best option for me…” stated by Hannah Van Auken. Hannah’s hope for a normal nuclear family after serving is shared commonly in not only the military lifestyle but for others as well. “ [I want] to set myself up [up] for the future….to get my independent,” a comment made by Caryna Ochoa. 

Although the year of 2020 has not been the greatest, everyone is making their efforts to help bring the light back into society. This virus has not stopped the seniors from becoming future defenders for the frontlines of America. I, as well as many others, am proud to see what will become of these strong, courageous, and daring young adults. Congratulations to the class of 2020!

Keeping Up with the COVID-19

By: Heaven Marquez

After these exhausting and boring months in quarantine, Texas governor, Greg Abbott, announced the opening of businesses and activities in the Lone Star State. The announcement on April 27 informed the public of the first phase of the plan to “Open Texas” by explaining detailed “new protocols, guidance, and recommendations.” According to the Texas Department of State Health Services.com, the proposal also included statewide testing and contact tracing to identify Texans with COVID-19 and prevent the further spread of the virus. On May 13, the Texas Tribune announced that Texas organized 49,259 tests, the “highest one-day total reported since the pandemic began.” The Texas Department of State Health Services received most of the test results from laboratories and thus began identifying the illness. Overall, 1,355 new cases were reported on May 13, the “second-highest increase since the state began reporting coronavirus case counts”, with the last amount only being 1,441 cases in early April. The new total of known cases is now at 42,403 people, with over 85% of the 254 Texas counties reporting at least one case. Texas also reported 25 more deaths, bringing the full amount to 1,158, an increase of about 2% from Tuesday, May 12. As of May 21, the current amount of COVID cases has reached 49,912 victims and 1,369 deaths. However, 29,359 people have recovered from the deadly disease. There is hope, and Texas is reopening its doors slowly but surely! 

Something Special for the Seniors

By: Perri Alexander

Graduation

A celebration…

A time for looking back on lessons learned,

Adventures shared, bright moments filled with 

Special meaning.

A farewell…

A time for saying goodbye to old friends,

To good times you’ve known.. A time for

Packing away memories, treasures for tomorrow

A beginning…  

A time for looking forward, a time to set new goals,

To dream new dreams, to try your wings and see 

What lies beyond. 

 

Dearest seniors of 2020, the time has finally come; we are finally done. This year may have been rough, but our strong seniors have gotten through the worst of the worst. Now it’s time for a new chapter in our life, some of us may move on to college, others might get a job straight away, but I know that we’re going to go far. Most all of us used to look at the future as so far away, that our time would never come. However, our four years of high school flew by. We were once tiny helpless freshmen who had no idea what the world was really like.  Now we are fully grown adults who are about to start our lives. I believe in all of us and I hope the future gives us nothing but joy because if we can live through a pandemic and still graduate, then there’s nothing my class of 2020 can’t do!  So, for the last time, this is the poem perfectionist with the last poem. Pride! Pride! Eagle Pride! 

Raiders Ready

By Victoria Chavez

raidersOn February 22, 2020, the Zodiac and Eaglettes teams competed in yet another raiders meet. This was the first meet the Eaglettes participated in for the season. “I’m proud that our team competed that day and especially because we didn’t give up…it was a team effort,” said cadet Staff Sergeant Faith Bernie. The fear and anxiety were plenty to go around between the teams but thankfully everyone pulled through safely and soundly. “I was really proud of both the males and females… they put in a lot of work, and it paid off.”, said cadet Captain Edward Uhl.

That day each team had to complete a rope bridge construction/crossing, cross country rescue, an obstacle course, a 5k run, and another small obstacle course. “I was nervous at first, but everyone gave me the motivation that I can do it…” said cadet Staff Sergeant Christian Gutierrez. The following cadets competed: Brendon Esquival, Jared Griego, Jessie John Guel, Simon Karsky, AJ Paez, Zachary Salmeron, Lorenzo Samaniego, Braxton Springer, Aries Uhl, Edward Uhl, Zander Zamora. Faith Bernie, Victoria Chavez, Jeanie Gomez, Natalia Jones, Ashley Mahavier, Yolanda Miranda, Guadalupe Quintana, Ashley Steed, and finally Hailey Woodson. 

The results are as follows: the males came in 4 out of 10 in the 5k run, they also came in 2 out of 10 in the rope bridge, and in total the team placed 5th out of the 10 schools who competed. The females did their best for their first time experience coming in 4th out of 5 schools.