Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Llamas

By: Alex Richter

This month, Journalism staff chose to highlight Mr. Llamas- who formerly taught at PJHS- I talked with the new teacher about many different topics. Journalism did this as a gesture of appreciation, and an act to properly introduce him to the staff and students of PHS!

Mr. Llamas had always had a passion for science. It was his favorite subject in school and college; he excelled in it, thanks to some great teachers. Admittedly, he struggled with chemistry, but that was due to a lack of a good teacher in high school. His college journey started with business, but after a grueling accounting assignment, he switched to teaching, and then to psychology. Eventually, Mr. Llamas became a certified secondary teacher with a biology emphasis. His love for science led him to become a science teacher, hoping to inspire the next generation of scientists and contribute to their success. He hopes to play a small part in their remarkable achievements. Especially since he is teaching the same students again, and it has its pros and cons. It helps to become familiar with different personalities, academic abilities, and behavior. However, some students may take advantage of familiarity, and some who struggled in the past might not make an effort this year. It is important to note that Mr. Llamas’ parents inspire him the most in his daily life. “They’ve supported me wholeheartedly and encouraged me to excel.” Their high expectations have motivated him to achieve them. Mr. Llamas is grateful for their unwavering love and support. “Thank you, Mom and Dad, for always being there for me; I hope I’ve made you proud.” 

PHS is very lucky to have a passionate science enthusiast like Mr. Llamas, it improves the school’s emotional value on core subjects. We hope that this will go on to inspire future scientists, and have them remember the little people that helped them get there.

Student Spotlight: Sydney Sorola

By: Leighlah Silva 

 

Welcome back PHS we are coming to you with more articles this month! Our student spotlight for October is Sydney Sorola. Sydney is a highly accomplished junior that is involved in many extracurricular activities within the school . This junior is involved in NHS (National Honor Society), HOSA (Health Occupations Students Of America), student council, and dance. “My main goal is to leave an impact” stated Sydney, which she has! 

Sydney has been a dancer since she was five years old and continues dancing on the dance/drill team here at PHS. Sydney has the magnificent duty of being the pacesetting major and only wants what’s best for the team, “I want to accomplish things within the team that haven’t been accomplished before”. Her peers on the dance team have made a huge impact on Sydney, “These girls motivate me so much, they really inspire me to be better”.

      Dance has always been her main extracurricular activity ever since she was home schooled, being in HOSA,NHS, and student council has brought her so many amazing opportunities and friends! Being in all of these extracurricular activities has also taught Sydney self discipline, respect towards others, and has helped her prepare herself for life after high school. Within the talk about life after high school ,Sydney has stated that she plans on attending (TJH)  Tyler Junior College to be an almighty apache belle on their dance team. She plans doing her basics at Tyler Junior College, but her “end goal” for her adult years is to study neuroscience and become a neurologist.

The PHS quill staff members are delighted and very thankful to have this opportunity to put the amazing spotlight on Sydney Sorola and get to know her better. We wish you the best and hope you have a great junior year, keep pursuing your dreams!

Staff Spotlight: Ms. Connally

By:Brittney Rodriguez

 

To start this school year’s staff spotlight we had the opportunity to interview and ask the amazing Ms. Connally about her journey before and during her time here at PHS. Ms. Connally has been an educator for 20 years and wanted to stay in education but in a different capacity so she pursued her master’s degree in administration and became one of PHS’s assistant principals.

How did it all start? Ms. Connally’s family came from Floresville but she grew up in San Antonio. She attended Judson High School, a big 6A school in San Antonio. After spending a large amount of her time in that setting she knew she wanted to work in a smaller community of tight-knit people. Ms. Connally said “I felt really good about all the people I met when I interviewed too. So it was an easy decision” when asked about her transition to PHS.

One thing Ms. Connally loves most about her job here at PHS is getting to know the students and teachers. Her favorite thing though has been going to all extracurricular events, and watching students do what they love. However, with change there will come challenges. The toughest challenge Ms.Connally has faced here at PHS is trying to meet and learn about all the students. She tries to make positive connections with them while also having to assess poor behavior choices.

Ms. Connolly is certainly an asset to PHS and we wish nothing but the best for her on her journey here at PHS!!

 

Athlete Spotlight: Jacob Barrow

By: Shyanne Sexton 

In the realm of sports, some athletes shine for their exceptional skills on the field or for their drive and passion for the game, and every now and then you find an athlete who has both. Jacob Barrow a sophomore at PHS, is an outstanding athlete who has left his mark on the football field, showcasing a remarkable combination of talent, mental toughness, and a dream that drives him forward.

There is certainly something to say about a Friday night football game in small towns across South Texas. The allure of cheering crowds, high school fame, the taste of victory, the sound of bands playing at every touchdown, and a community uniting for a team of passionate players is hard to resist. For Jacob, though football isn’t just about the thrill of victory or adulation of the fans: it’s about competition and his own personal fulfillment. He thrives in the face of a challenge, outplaying opponents, pushing his limits, and having a great time while doing so. All athletes aspire to have this immense LOVE of their sport and Jacob has it in spades.

However, as any football player knows, this sport does not come without its bumps and bruises. Jacob has certainly faced his fair share of injuries. Physical setbacks led to moments of self-doubt, moments in which he questioned his ability to play the game he’s always loved. Yet, Jacob’s positive outlook is what carries him through those times. Rather than letting setbacks deter him, he uses them as motivation to push back harder and come back stronger than before. As Jacob continues through his football career he aspires to be a collegiate player, representing his school, community, and family. His dream serves as another thing that fuels his passion for the game.

When asked who his biggest motivators were Jacob didn’t hesitate “My Parents” he said. His mother and father have been a constant source of inspiration and support throughout his journey. They have cheered him on from the sidelines, attended countless long late-night games, and offered unwavering encouragement, whether he celebrating a great game or navigating the tough challenges of injuries. 

It is rare to find such an amazing young talented driven athlete and Jacob is just that. PHS is certainly lucky to have Jacob as a student and athlete. As the football season comes to a close all of us here at PHS Journalism wish Jacob and his team the best of luck!!

Monthly Cause

By: Kendall Zuniga

 

This month the journalism staff has chosen to shed light on the people of Latin and Hispanic heritage for Hispanic heritage month! This month honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

In 1968, Hispanic Heritage month was originally for only a week but was later decided to last a whole month in 1988 celebrating through festivals, art shows, community gatherings, and much more. This month is utilized to celebrate the many independence days in Latin countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. 

There are more than 60 million Hispanic/ Latino people in America making them the largest minority group in the United States today and their contribution to this country is beyond words of explanation. Hispanic and Latino Americans especially made an impact in our government. As of 2017, a total of 178,215 members of our government are of Hispanic and Latin descent and the number is only getting bigger. Catherine Cortez Masto was the first elected Latina to serve as a U.S. Senator from Nevada and Ted Cruz became the first Latino to serve as a U.S Senator from the state of Texas as well as a running candidate in the 2016 presidential election. These influential figures put a much deserved spotlight on all Hispanic and Latino Americans in the united states. 

Hispanic and Latino heritage has also impacted our pop culture. Movies such as Encanto, Coco, The Book Of Life, and Elena Of Avalor became some of the first movies to represent Latinos everywhere. Elena Of Avalor was actually the very first Hispanic princess to ever be showcased on the Disney channel, bringing joy to children everywhere because they finally had seen a Disney princess who looked like them, they no longer felt like an outsider.

With new generations to come, it’s important to inform those of how important their heritage really is and to be proud of who they are. ¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana!

A Teenager’s Guide to Halloween

by Alex Richter

Halloween, the spookiest time of the year, isn’t just for kids. Most teens wonder how they’ll enjoy upcoming Halloweens now that they’ve gotten older, but there are still many ways to enjoy the haunted holiday! Whether you’re donning a creative costume, exploring haunted houses, or simply savoring the thrill of the season, there’s a lot to savor in this holiday. 

This time of year is the perfect occasion to unleash your creative spirit. While classic costume choices like vampires and witches are always in style, you can also put a unique twist on a popular character or concept. For a memorable Halloween experience, consider coordinating group costumes with your friends. You might think you’ve outgrown trick-or-treating, but the truth is, it can still be a delightful experience. If you decide to partake, make sure to be aware of younger children, and stay respectful of neighbors and adults who may celebrate the holiday. Hosting or attending a Halloween party is a classic way for teenagers to celebrate the spooky holiday. Engage your guests with exciting games and contests, such as costume competitions or pumpkin carving contests. For an adrenaline-pumping adventure, seek out local haunted houses or haunted attractions. If there’s a reputedly haunted location in your vicinity, consider embarking on a ghost tour or paying it a visit with your friends. Navigating through spooky places can provide a thrilling experience that you and your friends are sure to remember! Hosting a scary movie marathon with your friends is another popular Halloween pastime. Another suggestion is to gather your friends around a campfire or huddle in a dimly lit room to share spine-chilling stories. You may also decide to indulge in pumpkin carving, a traditional and creative Halloween activity that never goes out of style. You can proudly display your carved masterpieces on your doorstep or use them as eye-catching decorations for your Halloween gathering. Also, although it is less celebrated, it may be a good idea to give back to your community by volunteering at local Halloween events or haunted houses. Transform your home or your room into a Halloween wonderland with spooky decorations like spider webs, skeletons, and other eerie embellishments. Get into the spirit of Halloween by experimenting in the kitchen. Not only are festive treats delicious, but they also add to the eerie atmosphere of the holiday. If you’re on a budget or looking to be eco-friendly, consider swapping costumes with your friends or exploring thrift stores for costume ideas. Explore the local Halloween scene by attending events such as haunted hayrides, corn mazes, or fall festivals. Halloween is a versatile holiday where you can let your imagination run wild. 

Get ready for a “spooktacular” time and make the most of this ghoulish holiday!

 

True Crime Vol. XLVIII: The Vampire Of Sacramento

By: Kendall Zuniga 

 

Welcome Back to the 48th edition of The Quills true crime article, this month is the start of the spooky season so, why not write about vampires? Only this vampire wasn’t really a vampire, he was a human by the name of Richard Trenton Chase.

Richard Trenton Chase was born on May 23rd, 1950 in Santa Clara county, California. His childhood was very troubled, it’s said that Trenton would set fires and torture animals. As he got older he began to drink and do drugs like LSD, spending lots of time in and out of mental institutions and eventually developed Hypochondira due to his fierce drug and alcohol abuse. By the time Trenton was 21, he had no social life and no girlfriend so he turned back to killing animals but taking it farther by consuming the raw or blended carcasses. It was suspected that Trenton would actually drink their blood gaining the nickname “The Vampire Of Sacramento” 

He was even Hospitalized in 1976 for blood poisoning from trying to inject the blood of a rabbit into himself, bringing plenty of fear into those around him. Trenton would often be found covered in blood coming from different animals he had killed but this was just the start of his spree of killing. 

Ambrose Griffin was the first victim of Richard Trenton, her death was the result of a drive-by but police never suspected Trenton of being the murderer. His next victim was pregnant 22-year-old Terry Wallin, her husband had returned home from work to find his wife’s body disemboweled and drained of all blood. Yet again, Trenton was not suspected of the crime. Investigations had begun once other incidents had become uncovered, all crimes followed the same pattern. 

Richard Trenton’s last killings were a massacre. In the home of Evelyn Miroth, not only had she been murdered but her 6-year old son, 22-month old nephew, and a family friend were murdered as well. 22-month old Micheal Ferreira was missing from the home, his playpen was  found covered in blood and there was a pillow that had a bullet hole through it. Police suspected the murderer had taken the victim after fleeing the scene. 

Trenton’s streak of fatalities came to an end when police were notified by an unknown young woman. She would go on to explain that when driving down the road, a man approached her vehicle and recognized him as a former classmate from high school. The woman noticed that his eyes were dark and sunken, his figure was extremely thin, and he wore a blood stained sweatshirt. This man was identified as Richard Trenton Chase. Police discovered that Trenton actually resided within a mile of most of his murder sites and decided to stake out his apartment; he was then taken into custody. When being detained, police found on Richard a gun that traced back to all the murders. Further searching his apartment, police found a 12-inch butcher knife, rubber boots, animal collars, three blenders containing blood, and several body parts in his refrigerator. A mummified corpse of a baby had also been found later in a box outside of a vacant lot; it was determined that the corpse was the missing nephew of Evelyn Miroth.

Richard Trenton Chase pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but was deemed legally sane at the time of the events and found guilty of all six counts of murder. Trenton was later found in his jail cell dead after commiting suicide by an overdose of medication he had been prescribed, he was pronounced dead on December 26, 1980.

Horoscopes – October 2023

By: May Smith

 

Aries – Watch out for power plays on the 8th; don’t get involved. Past activities could pay current dividends on the 13th. If you buy it on the 28th, you are likely to pay too much. Your friends may look to you for emotional guidance throughout the day. They’re potentially going through a crisis in some part of their life or grappling with a problem that they’ve been unable to figure out, and you could have the insight that will allow them to work through their struggles. Working together throughout any issues can strengthen the bond between you since they’ll see that you are there for them. Just avoid appearing to be preachy — they might tune that right out!

 

Taurus – Friends and family may be at odds on the 10th. A lot of fun can be had and you are tremendously lucky on the 22nd. An unexpected opportunity could come your way on the 31st. You’re able to be honest about the feelings that are in your heart. Even if you’ve recently stumbled when releasing your emotions, it’s okay. Prepare yourself for someone to ask you a question, providing an opportunity to open up and free yourself from any silent weights that have been dragging you down. Don’t forget to check and ensure they have space to hold your emotions with you for a little while! Once they give the green light, sharing is an amazing way to feel lighter.

 

Gemini – Make sure to be careful so you don’t get into trouble on the 2nd; if you do, you can fix it on the 3rd. Just make sure not to overdo it on the 28th or the 29th. The wise words of a mentor can be more meaningful than ever. Whether they’ve achieved career goals you’d like to emulate or have earned your admiration for personal reasons, you’re likely looking to them to inspire your grand ambitions. Wanting to model your own life after someone else’s is flattering, but it might also not be quite right for you, since everyone has their own journey. Be open and listen to what they have to say, but it’s okay if it doesn’t resonate with you.

 

Cancer – The 9th is particularly pleasant during the day but expect the unexpected in the evening. A good time can be had with your friends on the 20th. Travel beckons on the 24th. You may gain a reputation for intensity today! Someone may want to be your friend or get to know you more, but they’re possibly intimidated by your popularity, your mystery, or your carefree attitude. You’re probably easy to have fun with, but you might also have a free spirit that doesn’t want to be bogged down with the opinions of others. Peers may enjoy themselves while worrying that you won’t stick around. Keep being yourself! There will be people who appreciate YOU.

 

Leo – Communication is powerful for you on the 20th. Don’t let others manipulate you on the 21st. Money could come to you from past deeds on the 24th. Yes, Leo, honesty IS the best policy at present — especially with family members. If you’ve been avoiding telling them something for some time, take this moment to let them in on the secret. Whether these are your biological relatives, someone who is paternal or maternal to you, or your roommates, you may feel a deep burning desire to come clean to them and tell them what you’ve been keeping inside. Don’t let this keep weighing you down! Take a breath and set it free.

 

Virgo – Avoid a misunderstanding with your significant other on the 2nd by doing something solo. Creativity is yours on the 3rd. Be careful with your words on the 28th & 29th as some anger could be brewing. You’re able to take on the current work of others. It may be that someone isn’t fulfilling their end of the bargain and you’re having to pick up their slack, or you could have to do double the work that you were expecting due to receiving an unfair hand. Having to do much more than you should be doing is frustrating, and ultimately, you shouldn’t have to do so. Consider starting a conversation with someone who can change the situation.

 

Libra – Friends may not be honest with you on the 10th. A dream brings a positive money idea to you on the 22nd. An unexpected opportunity is yours on the 31st. Past wounds can be healed in the present. Someone who meant a lot to you may have hurt you, and whether the wound is fresh or ancient history, they could be returning to your life or showing up again in your mind. This is a sign of some reflection on healing and absolution. The person may apologize directly, you might seek an apology, or you may choose to forgive without acknowledgment from the other person. Do what would be soothing for you.

 

Scorpio – You could receive important communication from a friend on the 2nd. Things are not all that they seem to be on the 20th. Don’t let others manipulate you on the 21st. You’re glittering gold, Scorpio! The Sun’s spotlight is shifting onto you — you might not be used to all the extra attention, but don’t worry. As your energy becomes more magnetic, you can use this cosmic power-up to your advantage, especially if you’ve failed to get positive attention from others in the recent past. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! At least consider using this time on center stage to network and make positive impressions on those that matter to you.

 

Sagittarius – Things go your way on the 18th. Ideas about furthering your career are yours on the 22nd. On the 28th, you may have a tendency to say too much, so you need to be careful! Routines may seem exceedingly complex at the moment. With surprising events and opportunities likely coming your way throughout the day, you might get so distracted by all the new information and tasks entering your life that you completely forget about the habits that you already had established. It can feel like you’re doing something good for yourself, but it might just be that you’re doing something different — remember, something new is not always better than something consistent. Weigh the pros and cons.

 

Capricorn – Be careful not to be too critical with your words on the 10th. Great discussions can be had with your friends on the 22nd. Friends are interested in a good time with you on the 24th. Your friends might be seeking your honest opinion. They trust you to tell them the truth and not just what they want to hear, but even though they’re seeking your sincerity, this doesn’t mean that you have to deliver harsh critiques word for word. If you have negative feedback to give, try to make sure that it’s coming from a constructive place and not from an insulting place, because you don’t want to jab at your pals for no reason. Take it seriously.

 

Aquarius – An idea to improve your workspace is yours on the 7th. The 22nd would be a fabulous day to do something with your significant other. An intuition about money is yours on the 31st. You’re now ready to be more empathetic and compassionate with people who may not have extended the same courtesy to you. They potentially don’t understand your dreams or your energy, and because of this, they could accidentally or purposefully alienate you and those who stand beside you. Whether they understand who you are or not isn’t an excuse to exclude you, but at least they’re showing you who they truly are. Refrain from retaliation — simply stand with the people who stand with you.

 

Pisces – Don’t believe everything that you hear on the 2nd. Conversations with friends should be enlightening on the 21st. Travel beckons and could be quite fun on the 24th. It’s easier to be objective about the past. Where you once made over-emotional decisions and arrived at misled conclusions, you can see with clarity at last. Make an effort to find a few minutes to contemplate the reasons behind events in your life that brought you here. Not every opportunity looks positive at the beginning, and many blessings are in disguise when we receive them, so keep your eyes open for what you can perceive differently going forward. Remember, hindsight is 20/20.

 

Chasing Horizons

By: Shyanne Sexton 

As the 2023 Cross Country season comes to a close the months of hard work, dedication, and sweat have led to a bittersweet ending, with triumphs and near misses. The spotlight shines brightly on Pleasanton’s Varsity Girls team, which secured their spot at Reginols finishing 3 overall at district. These girls gave a stellar performance. Shalyn Gutierrez, the lady Eagles top runner came in 3rd place with a time of 13:02 followed by senior Kassidy Vickers with a time of 13:26 placing 7th place. Following Kassidy and Shaylyn would be Aryana Partida (14:18 in 14th place), and Evalynn Garza (14:41 in 18th place). Jauslynn Ramirez (14:43 in 20th place), Aleza Robledo (14:46 in 21st place), and Shanna Hime (14:48 in 23rd place), and would be the final members of the team to cross the finish line for the Varsity girl’s team. These girls have pushed their limits and braved the many rigors of cross country, enduring early morning runs and grueling workouts. Above all for the Varsity girls, it is their teamwork that left an indelible mark on the season. 

While the varsity girls have clinched their spot at Regionals, the varsity boys’ team, unfortunately, narrowly missed out on securing a place. Finishing fifth overall, they showcased their immense talent and determination but fell just short of advancing any further. Leading the Varsity boys across the finish line in 12th place was Ian Rodriguez with a time of 18:43. Following only two seconds behind Ian for 13th place was Mich Klien with a time of 18:45. Following runners were Joe Martinez (19:45, 23rd place), Jayden Fox (20:02, 25th place), Dominic Leal (20:09, 26th place), Jordan Cuellar (20:19, 27th place) and lastly Zeke Garcia (20:37, 33rd place).

In the realm of junior varsity (JV) cross country, we would like to congratulate both the girls’ and boys’ teams as they celebrated the victory of the title of District Champions. These talented young athletes showcased their skills and dedication with standout performances that left spectators and fellow competitors in awe.

Overall cross country had a stellar season. When talking with senior Kassidy Vickers she expressed her immense gratitude towards all her years in this sport saying It’s a bitter-sweet ending, I’m definitely going to miss my team and the memories but I’m also ready to start my next chapter.” 

And lastly, a special congratulations from the PHS Journalism team to cross country, Let’s Go Eagles!! PRIDE! PRIDE!

Horoscopes: August-September 2023

Horoscopes

By: May Smith  8-16-23

Aries – The Universe wants you to be drunk on love and ecstatic with joy. So, let go. Let go of the resistance, inner and outer, as you allow yourself to flow. Oh, the portals that will open up for you once you lay your trust back in the divine plan, beautiful! When it comes to your career, examine the discontentment and understand where it stems from. Chances are, you’re so focused on ‘making it to the top’, that you have silenced the voice of your soul. Of course, this is not a sign for you to make impulsive decisions or make radical changes. It is, however, a reminder to make more time for pleasure and play; to balance that which you do for money with that which you create for love. When it comes to your interpersonal relationships, practice patience. Understand where the other is coming from and what could have triggered them. You may or may not find a resolution immediately, and that’s okay. The important thing is that you’re willing to show up for who and what you love, every single day.

 

Taurus – Reflect upon these wise words by philosopher Osho as you begin the month, “The mind: a beautiful master, a dangerous servant.” Consider this as your reminder to step into the role of the observer. Become aware of the stories that your mind is telling you and how not all of these stories are necessarily true. With the help of meditation and mindfulness, you will be able to break the old patterns, beautifully. What’s more, transformation is also going to be a major theme for you. But, the journey towards self-realization isn’t always going to be love and light. You will have to examine your shadows along the way and transmute the wounds that have resurfaced into wisdom. Overheard at the cosmic conference: It’s time to awaken your inner alchemist. When it comes to interpersonal relationships, resolution is indicated. By holding space for the people in your life to come as they are, you will activate the portal of healing.

 

Gemini – the disappointment and disillusionment are serving a purpose. They are bringing to your awareness that which has served its purpose in the story of your life. So, sit down with the discomfort, be beautiful, offer it a cup of tea, and listen to what it has to say. You are now ready to rewrite the old story. You are now ready to dance your way into the portal of abundance and bliss with the inner knowing that you deserve to create a life that looks as lush on the outside as it feels on the inside. Know that you’re supported by the divine forces at every step along the way. Forgiveness is also showing up as a big theme for you in the coming weeks. So, say “thank you” often and say “thank you” every time somebody lets you down. They’re merely revealing to you, through their actions and words, whether or not they deserve a spot in your sacred circle. When it comes to matters of the heart, take more chances. A wild, passionate encounter is on the cards for you this month, one that will offer you a chance to break free from your own limitations.

 

Cancer – What if we said the Universe wants you to be happy? So, be ecstatic with joy and drunk on love, wild one. By getting out of your own way, you will discover that euphoria is your natural state of being. When it comes to romantic affairs, listen to what your gut is telling you. If you feel like something or somebody has served their purpose in the story of your life, you’re probably right. Letting your attachments get the better of you will only prolong your suffering. So, cut the cords wherever necessary. Cancerians who are single or in the process of ending things with a beloved may find themselves attracted to somebody in their inner circle. Pro: You already know them inside-out. Con: You may feel a sense of trepidation when it comes to reimagining your relationship. Mercury retrograde later this month could bring into your experience members of your soul tribe you have lost touch with. Spend quality time with those who uplift your spirit and awaken the song of your soul.

 

Leo – This is the month to love and be loved! Emerge as the star of every show and charm your way through both the boardroom and the ballroom. Your social life is going to be on fire, Leo, and nobody’s complaining! In addition to reuniting with members of your soul family, you will have the chance to expand your network. The key to making lasting connections? Showing up as your most authentic self in every situation. Lions who’ve been in a committed relationship for a while will find a way to reignite the spark; to experience a sense of melting and merging with the other through this divine union we call love. Those in the early stages of a relationship may feel inspired to hit the accelerator button and experience the joy of cohabitation. Just make sure you talk about the practical aspects of the big move before you get carried away by the stirrings of your heart. In the realm of your career, a new, fruitful opportunity is likely to come knocking at your door. In order to make space for the incoming blessings, you may have to give something up. Something that has been providing you with a safety net up until now. Overheard at the cosmic conference: some risks are worth taking, beautiful.

 

Virgo – Patterns, patterns everywhere, Virgo! The month ahead is about examining the inner workings of your mind, bringing to light that which has been hidden in the darkness, and replacing the old programs. Here’s the thing about change, though: it does not take place overnight. So, allow nature to take its course as you let go of violence in favor of gentleness. Things have a way of falling into place unexpectedly. What’s more, health and wellness are also likely to take center stage in the coming weeks. August 2023 sees you watching your consumption habits and actively cutting the toxins out of your diet. If you’re feeling inspired to experiment with new forms of movement, consider joining a Zumba class or RSVPing to an ecstatic dance gathering. What you don’t want to do: let the past weigh you down. Things transpired the way they transpired because they were meant to. You were meant to learn certain soul lessons through the given interactions. It’s now time to open yourself to the alchemy of love and to feel magic coursing through your veins.

 

Libra – What is yours cannot and will not be taken away from you. Understanding this is growth; it’s maturity. So, if you feel like something or someone is slipping through your fingers like sand, let them. By walking the path of least resistance, you will create space in your life for a partner who’s willing to go all in. Besides, it’s not your job to convince other people of your worth and value, beautiful. Committed Venusians, this is a time of radical growth and transformation. August sees you and your beloved dancing the dance of life alongside each other. It sees you holding space for the other to show up in the big, bad world with a brave and open heart. You don’t necessarily know where life is taking you, and that’s okay. What matters is that, in this moment, you are infinite. When it comes to your professional pursuits, you are stepping into a leadership role. You are reclaiming your power and sharing your spiritual and creative gifts in a way that you feel called to. On the downside, your finances could be suffering at the moment. Just make sure that the starving artist mindset isn’t coming in the way of creating the wealth and abundance you desire and deserve.

 

Scorpio – Who are you, if not who you’ve been told to be? Your journey this month is to observe the internal barriers that keep you from showing up in the big, bad world as the most authentic version of yourself. Just a reminder: You were not sent here to dim your light in order to make other people feel comfortable. For those who want to love and be loved, August 2023 is the perfect month to experiment with new ways of relating. Expanding your definition of what family means and taking a step towards communal living may also be on the cards for some. When it comes to career and creativity, you’re being encouraged to follow your heart. The guidance that’s being revealed to you may only make sense to you, and that’s okay. Your inner compass will always lead you in the direction of growth and expansion.

 

Sagittarius – Clarity is your greatest gift this month. You know who you are and you know what you’re here to do. You’re confident in your ability to manifest opportunities that will help you move in the direction of growth. Speaking of movement, make sure you have a suitcase packed at all times. You never know when the chance to hop onto a magic bus or take the next flight out may present itself. Geographical expansion is also indicated in the coming months, especially in career and creativity. On the downside, your finances may or may not see exponential growth in the near future. If this is a cause of concern for you, make sure you have a chat with your clients/superiors and put your expectations on the table. When it comes to your interpersonal relationships, practice forgiveness. Things transpired in the way they did because they were meant to awaken you and teach you specific soul lessons. By accepting your past, you will eventually be able to make peace with where you are and open yourself to the infinite possibility of what you can co-create.

 

Capricorn – ‘Two” is your magic number this month. In case you’re thinking about partnering up with somebody and/or expanding your business, consider this as a confirmation from the divine forces above. Thinking big and making bold moves will pay off in more ways than you can imagine and in more ways than you can count. Some of you may be considering going the teaching or mentoring route. Trust that you have the wisdom and humility required to guide those who are walking the same path as you. When it comes to love and relationships, expand your heart and your mind. Practice forgiveness often as you make a conscious effort to understand where the other is coming from and what could have possibly triggered them. You have the power to create a safe haven for the both of you, Capricorn. You have the power to rewrite the story of your togetherness with the gift of loving awareness.

 

Aquarius – If there’s something your time on earth has taught you, it’s that the Universe is benevolent and that it never puts anything in your path that you’re unequipped to handle. In other words, you have the strength, courage, and resilience required to flip the script, to make things work *for* you instead. Overheard at the cosmic conference: it’s time to tap into that wild, warrior spirit! When it comes to romantic affairs, you’re being encouraged to show up with a brave and open heart. To trust in the magic of the moment and to give yourself the permission to explore the possibility of all that you can co-create with that special someone in your life. Here’s a popular quote from the rom-com Dreams of An Insomniac to remember as you make your way into August: “Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.”

 

Pisces – Yours is not a story of defeat and failure, Pisces. So, look your demons in the eye as you offer them a listening ear. The Universe is providing you with the opportunity to turn your breakdowns into breakthroughs and to permanently flip the script in a manner that supports your growth and evolution. When in doubt, remember the magic that’s coursing through your veins and the infinite possibility of what you can co-create. When it comes to love and relationships, stability is indicated. The inner knowing that they are both your safe space and your greatest adventure never fails to bring a smile to your face. Neptunians who are in the early stages of romance may feel inspired to hit the accelerator button, exchange keys, or take that first step toward cohabitation. Only you know what’s right for you and what isn’t. Just make sure you discuss the practical details of the move and how you would like to be supported by each other as you take that next step.

 

Advice Column: How to survive your first month of high school

By: Kendall Zuniga and Brittney Rodriguez 

Are you terrified of what your freshman year is going to be like? Worried you weren’t going to have the same classes as some of your friends? How hard are your classes going to be? The seniors were in the exact same position as you were once. It’s okay to be scared of new places though, that’s all part of the journey to get to your destination. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, but how did the seniors even make it through their last year? “What did they even do to get to where they are?” and the answer to that is simple. You keep going. 

You keep going even when you want to give up, just keep swimming. Life isn’t meant to be easy, life throws boulders at you and sometimes you can’t dodge them. Sometimes you have to take the hits and endure the pain of it. Yes, this is all easier said than done but, we face the most gut-wrenching challenges in life in order to prepare us for the future. It’s all part of the process, you’re human. Try not to let the small things get you down, take your mistakes and learn from them. 

People like Stephen King have failed many times before succeeding, Stephen King’s first book “Carrie” was rejected over 30 times because publishers weren’t interested in selling negative utopia-science fiction. He decided to give up and threw his novel into the trash, King’s wife noticed the book retrieved it, and encouraged him to resubmit his novel to publishers. Today, Stephen King has written 65 novels and has sold more than 400 million copies of “The Shining”, “IT”, and “Carrie” worldwide. 

It is up to you whether or not you fail or succeed, you pave the path you walk upon. You will have people who love and support you every step of the way as you figure out and travel down the winding paths of not only high school but of life. 

Meet Our Foreign Exchange Students: Heloísa Torres & Akihiro Shi

By: Allison Collins

 

Left to right: Heloísa Torres, Akihrio Shi & Mrs. Williams posing for a selfie

Do you want to know more about the foreign exchange students here at PHS? Well, you found the place. The first two we have had the pleasure of interviewing are Heloisa and Akihiro, who are hosted by Mrs. Williams for their stay. 

Heloisa is a junior and from Sao Paulo, Brazil. For her, the biggest difference between schools in America versus Brazil is the fact that, here, we have the opportunity to change classrooms & choose what classes we can take. As she explained, “In Brazil, we have 16 subjects and it’s the same for everyone in the same year, so we don’t need to change classrooms”. Heloisa is a part of the jazz band & plays the keyboard. She also does UIL academics. She chose to be a foreign exchange student because,  “My country is my love, but I always wanted to meet the world to understand cultures and traditions.” Heloisa also spoke about how her geography teacher, in Brazil, is who motivated her to apply for the program.

Akihiro is also a junior, and from Kobe, Japan. He says the biggest difference between Pleasanton and Japan is, “this school is much freer, in japan we have uniforms and we are not allowed to go to the bathroom during class”. He’s interested in playing sports, already being in tennis. He decided to become an exchange student because “if I can speak English in Japan, it would be very advantageous to get a job”. 

If you see our new students around campus, be sure to give them a friendly welcome!

Monthly Cause: Don’t Be A Bully Month

By: Allison Collins 

 

“Back to School” season can be exciting for some. It brings the opportunity of meeting new friends, trying new classes, ect. For others, it can be the start of another year of bullying. Bullying affects many students, in fact, 1 in 5 students aged 12-18 are/ have been bullied in the past school year. 

Bullying comes in many different forms. One of the more common forms of bullying comes from verbal bullying. Verbal bullying can range from gossiping about the person, talking badly about them to their peers, to making up rumors. Actions like those cause students to feel uncomfortable in their school environment and can lead to them not wanting to come to school.

Not only can it affect the student’s education & school performance it can affect their mental health. People who experience bullying have a higher chance of experiencing things like depression & anxiety. Some of these symptoms can last up to 40 years after the original bullying took place.

One might pose the question: what causes someone to turn into a bully? Most of the time, the bully themselves is experiencing some type of negativity. Internally, they may struggle with issues like lack of self-esteem, wanting to have control of others, or they themselves feel outcasted. Externally, the bully is getting either bullied at home or someplace else. In fact, bullies are nearly twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety themselves. 

So, how do you stop the cycle? How can you help? Encourage healthy social skills. Teach kids to be nice to one another. Even if someone isn’t being nice to you, you never know what that person can be going through privately. This school year, the student council partnered with the “Dude. Be Nice” project. This project’s mission is to get people to treat themselves and others. You can stop by the PHS Library and order your own “Dude. Be Nice” t-shirt to support the cause!

Athlete Spotlight: Kiley Wiechring


By: Carol

In the world of student-athletes, there are those who stand out not only for their exceptional skills on the court but also for their dedication to academics and their ability to balance the demands of both worlds. One such outstanding individual is Kiley Wiechering, a name that has become synonymous with excellence in both sports and academics at Pleasanton High School. 

Kiley’s journey as an athlete began at a young age when she discovered her passion for sports, especially volleyball. Growing up in a family that valued athletics and education, Kiley was encouraged to explore her interests. She tried her hand at various sports, from softball to track and basketball, but ultimately found her main calling in the world of volleyball. Since the young age of about five Kiley could be found on a volleyball court. “ It’s my calm space” siad Kiley. 

As Kiley progressed through her volleyball career, her talent continued to shine. She joined our high school’s varsity team and quickly became a standout player. Her incredible work ethic, determination, and leadership skills earned her the respect of her coaches and teammates. 

Her performances on the court were nothing short of spectacular. She consistently led her team in scoring and demonstrated her versatility and ability to impact the game in multiple ways. Her dedication to the sport was unwavering, as she often spent extra hours practicing and refining her skills.

While Kiley’s love for volleyball was undeniable, she understood the importance of a well-rounded education. From an early age, she excelled in the classroom, consistently earning top grades and demonstrating a thirst for knowledge. Kiley’s dedication to academics never wavered, even as her volleyball career began to take off. She managed to strike a balance between her sports commitments and her studies, a feat that many find incredibly challenging. 

Kiley is undoubtedly a standout athlete at Pleasanton High School. Kiley’s athletic career serves as a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and dedication in achieving one’s goals. As she continues to shine both on and off the court, there is no doubt that Kiley’s dedication, work ethic, and ability to persevere in the face of challenges make her a role model for upcoming athletes.

PHS is beyond lucky to have a Student athlete like Kiley. All of us here in the PHS journalism staff would like to wish Kiley and the rest of her team good luck for the rest of their 2023 volleyball season.

 

Student Spotlight: Stephen West

By: Leighlah Silva and Kendall Zuniga 

 

 

Welcome back to PHS! A new school year means new students in our monthly student spotlight. This month, the Quill staff have chosen senior Stephen West to shed some green and white light upon. Though quiet to the school’s eye, Stephen makes noise with the varsity football team every Friday night whether it’s being in the game or on the sidelines cheering for his fellow teammates on getting a touchdown. In his free time, Stephen continues to play football from 4 to 7 p.m. after school. Participating in sports has brought many friends and opportunities into Stephen’s life over the last 4 years of his high school career, and continues to be an experience he admires greatly. He has shown a lot of “Eagle Pride” within his fellow peers over the years and he is excited to finish off his football career with the Pleasanton Eagle Varsity Football team.  

After high school, Stephen plans on attending A&M Kingsville University. He is uncertain what subject he wants to major in. Nonetheless, we know that no matter what he will be successful and the timing will come when he decides what he wants to major in. Stephen is highly talented both in and out of the classroom. He has an amazing future ahead of him. The Journalism staff are filled with gratitude for the golden opportunity to become acquainted with more knowledge about Stephen West. We wish him the best of luck for the amazing future he has ahead of him! Pride, Pride!

 

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Garcia

By: Alex Richter

To begin our round of Teacher Spotlights for the 23-24 school year, I recently had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Garcia, a new teacher at PHS. She currently teaches English III with juniors and AP English III LANG.

In addition to her teaching, she also coaches high school girl’s basketball and track. She has always been accomplished in studying English since her school days, and her fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, played a significant role in inspiring her. Mrs. Smith was not only a fantastic teacher but also an excellent supporter who attended Mrs. Garcia’s games, which made her look up to her even more. In high school, Mrs. Garcia enjoyed her English II class, where she read many great books. Initially, she wanted to become a coach, but her advisor suggested teaching as a more marketable career option. This is her fifth year of teaching, but she hasn’t taught at this level before. At first, teaching at a higher level was a bit challenging, but after collaborating with her colleagues, she feels confident about the upcoming year. Although she was confident in her math skills, Mrs. Garcia chose to teach English as it was her natural strength and her favorite subject. She also shared that Mr. Roberson, her math teacher, helped her develop a love for math. 

As a Pleasanton High School alumn, Mrs.Garcia is a great addition to our teaching staff. Make sure to give her a friendly welcome when walking down the 400 hallway this year!

Cross Country


By: Carol

For the high school cross country team, the start of the season marks the beginning of a journey filled with sweat, tears, and unrelenting determination. Theirs is a sport that celebrates the human spirit’s capacity for endurance and resilience. Whether they’re racing against the clock or supporting their teammates, these young athletes are bound by a common love for cross country running and a shared goal of personal and collective growth. As they lace up their running shoes and set off on this season’s adventure, they are a shining example of the power of passion, teamwork, and the indomitable spirit of high school sports.

Cross country is often referred to as a “team sport disguised as an individual sport,” and the camaraderie among the athletes is unparalleled. The bond formed through countless hours of training and shared experiences is one of the team’s greatest strengths. Whether it’s motivating each other during grueling hill sprints or cheering on their teammates during races, this unity is what sets them apart. The athletes on the Pleasanton high school team understand that the journey to success is paved with hard work and dedication. They’ve spent the off-season building their strength, improving their speed, and fine-tuning their running techniques in preparation for the upcoming races. 

Kassidy Vickers is a current senior on the team and gave the journalism staff an inside scoop of the team this year saying “ Our first meet was tougher than expected but we all made it through and were there for each other and I’m excited to see how our team progresses.”

All cross country stats can be found on the cross country instagram and/or facebook page. We are so proud of our cross country team and wish them nothing but success for the rest of their season.

 

Tennis


By: Carol

With the cool breeze of fall gently ushering in a new beginning, the excitement is palpable as the high school tennis team readies itself for a brand-new season. As the tennis courts come to life with the sound of rackets and the thud of tennis balls, the team embarks on a journey filled with dedication, camaraderie and victory. 

For the athletes on the high school tennis team, tennis is more than just a sport—it’s a tight-knit community of individuals bound by a common passion. As the season begins, the players are not merely teammates; they’re family. The camaraderie built through countless hours of practice and shared victories and defeats is what sets this team apart. Senior Evelynn Caraway said, “ When we play matches two times a week and have practice almost every day the team is more like family and even though we lost many seniors last year our team bond is stronger than ever.”

Behind every successful team is a coach with a well-thought-out strategy. Coach Everett, with years of experience and a deep love for the game, has devised a practice that focuses on refining each player’s skills. From perfecting their serves to working on their volleys, the team is prepared to face any challenge that comes their way. As Coach Evertt puts it, “Success is not just about winning matches, but about growing as individuals and as a team. My goal is to develop both as players and as people.”

The high school tennis team eagerly anticipates the fierce competition that awaits them. As the schedule unfolds, they will face rival schools and neighboring districts, putting their skills to the test. The thrill of competition is what drives these athletes to push their limits and strive for victory. 

Diggin’ Deep!

                                                                                                               By: Layla Rodriguez                                                                                             
Our lady eagles definitely started out their season by “diggin’ deep”, and fighting for every win! At our Edgewood tournament the eagles managed to place third overall. The next game quickly arose and the eagles dominated against South Side, capturing that win in just three sets. The following weekend they had another opportunity to dominate, and the first day of the tournament they made it to the winners bracket, the eagles had some long hard fights, and ended up in fourth place. Way to start off the season ladies!

 Some words from Head Coach Alyssa Bunch- “ I am very proud of our girls so far this season, we got off to a great start, and with lots of work and team building we will continue to grow as the season progresses.” Words from Addi Crowther- “ Our season is going pretty good so far, we had a little bit of a rocky start but we are now starting to progress. With lots of hard work and practice we will continue to grow together.” Both of these ladies are heading in the right direction and are definitely building our team! Our program is going to strive to get better and better as the season goes on; these ladies will work together at building a strong team!

Shout out to our JV and Freshman teams for starting off a great season and winning both South Side games, as well as our YWLA games! We would love it if you would come and support our ladies throughout this season! Pride, pride!

 

Valedictorian: Maria Huezo

By: Libby Sanchez & Jaelyn Morales

Maria Huezo, a student who gives nothing short of her best. Through the years, she has never turned in an assignment until she was 100% sure it was her best work, and all the hard work has definitely paid off. Her grades have exceeded the average students, and she has maintained her position as the number one ranked student in Pleasanton High School’s Class of 2023. The most humble classmate has earned her title as the Valedictorian, and her peers are beyond honored to celebrate it with her. 

Maria is planning on attending Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas beginning this fall. “My family didn’t want me to go far, and I didn’t want to go too far either. It’s close to home, and I look forward to being there with my friends in a new environment,” Maria said. She plans on majoring in biology, and eventually going into medical school to obtain her license in order to become a general surgeon in her future. “I’m signing myself up for 12 more years of school, but I think I have a good chance at this goal,” she states. Someone as hardworking as Maria, there is no doubt in the world she will eventually get her goal. In high school, Maria has excelled at helping her classmates in their studies, in band, and just been an amazing friend to her peers. It should come as no surprise that she will one day be saving lives the way she wants, caring for others is one of Maria’s best traits. Not only doing the best for herself, but making sure those around her are doing their best as well, and if she can help, she will.

A leader like Maria is inspired by those around her, and those inspirations are none other than her older brother, Juan Huezo, a Class of 2022 graduate, and our very own world history teacher, Ms. Infante. Juan, who just graduated last year, has always been a constant presence throughout Maria’s life, and as soon as she entered high school, the two were inseparable, even combining friend groups. It’s no surprise that Maria has chosen her brother as one of her inspirations, he’s always motivated her to do her best and give nothing less. “He’s one of the most hardworking people I know, I guess it just made me want to work harder, to match him in a way. He always does his best, and that’s all I ever try to do. I don’t know if I would have been as motivated to fight for my rank if it weren’t for him,” said the Valedictorian. Maria is lucky to have him, even as she closes this chapter of her life! “I hope she continues to strive, she’s smart and genuine, she can get anywhere in life,” stated Juan. Along with her brother, a fellow PHS teacher has also played a very important factor in Maria’s succeeding title as Valedictorian. “Ms. Infante was my teacher sophomore year, but it feels like she’s been my teacher every year. Even after sophomore year, she still found time to stop and talk, ask me how I am, how my education is going, just showing that she still cares. It really made a difference and it pushed me to do better, so I am really grateful for her presence these last few years,” Maria says. Pleasanton High School is lucky to have teachers like Mrs. Infante pushing students to be better, and even more lucky to have students like Maria who follow in the footsteps of such amazing role models. “There’s a quote by Malcolm X that fits Maria perfectly, and it says “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” It is a clear precedent that shows she can accomplish anything the future has in store for her. Maria, you are truly a gifted person, it has been a privilege and an honor to see you flourish and grow into the person you have become,” stated Ms. Infante. 

Maria has a bright future ahead of her, one in which the graduating Class of 2023 will hear about and think “Wow. I went to high school with her.” To Maria, and the rest of the Class of 2023, we wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors, never stop striving for better!

Salutatorian: Connor Lopez

By: Shyanne Sexton & Kassidy Vickers

Pleasanton High School has announced that Connor Lopez is the salutatorian for the class of 2023. As our school and community prepare to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of its seniors, Connor’s achievement serves as a beaming example of the hard work and dedication that Pleasanton High School students strive for. 

Connor is truly an amazing student. According to his teachers and peers he is a joy to be around, always making his peers and teachers laugh. He is incredibly intelligent, always up to date on his current events, getting outstanding grades, and bettering those around him. Connor is someone who does not let anything bring him down and strives for perfection. He manages to find an equal balance between his academics, his extracurriculars, his family, and his friends. Since the first rankings were given freshman year, Connor worked hard and remained determined to maintain his top two ranking.

Connor will be furthering his education at Texas State, majoring in Political Science and pre law and aspires to be a lawyer.  For him, law is an excellent match that fits his personality and skill set. Connor has not only the intelligence for this field but also excellent argumentation skills that will allow him to succeed. And whilst working towards his degree, Connor hopes to attain an internship at TXST. 

Connor is a tremendous musician who has developed into a fantastic trumpet player throughout his high school career. He is an outstanding leader and has been an excellent example for all band students. Throughout the years Connor has received many awards in band, ranging from most improved musician to one of our outstanding musicians and marchers. He has a unique personality that has contributed to a huge change in the PHS program. And out of all his outstanding accomplishments Connor says that, “Going to state ensemble in band with Kevin Tucker, Cecar Garcia, Monque, Michael Lister was definitely one of the greatest.”

Connor’s achievements here at PHS are nothing short of remarkable, but not without giving credit to the teachers who have impacted him. Every student has that one teacher that made a difference and stood out to them among the rest, and for Connor Mrs. Solis was just that. It was an easy choice for him when being asked who had the greatest impact, “Mrs. Solis understands me more than most.”  According to Mrs. Solis, Connor has been nothing short of astounding, “ With Connor, I have been lucky to have the opportunity to work with him one-on-one when preparing for auditions and with a small group of individuals. I’m going to miss him, but he’s off to bigger and better things. Connor is someone who strives for perfection and always gives 150%. He has worked extremely hard to get to where he is and I’m so proud of him. He truly is an outstanding individual who is going to do great things!” As graduation grows closer and closer Mrs. Solis hopes for him to know that, “Texas State is receiving someone with lots of energy, an infectious laugh, incredible talent, dramatic burps, strong opinions, outstanding leadership, and amazing dance skills. Texas State is not ready for your energy but go make a change. You have worked so hard to get to where you are. Go achieve your goals and reach your dreams Connor, you know where to find me if you need anything. I’m sooooooo proud of you! Good luck!”

Throughout Connors high school years, Connor’s parents have been there to encourage him and believed in him every step of the way. Connor has achieved so much and his parents are more than proud, “We are so, so proud of him for being salutatorian. It feels like it’s an acknowledgement of how dedicated he has always been to excelling at academics. It’s hard to find the right words to describe how proud we are of him!” There is an amazing future prepared for Connor and his parents are just as excited as everyone else to see him find the path that fulfills him. Going into this new chapter of his life, Connor’s family wanted to leave him with a reminder, “…no matter where he goes or what he does, we will ALWAYS love and support him. And we want him to know that we are so proud and feel so blessed that we get to be his parents.” 

Connor has an amazing future ahead of him and left a great legacy behind him. PHS has been lucky to have such an amazing student. So to Connor and the rest of the class of 2023, yall have been the best role models and most influential class. We wish yall the best of luck for everything that comes after your time here at PHS!!

Baseball

By: Farah Standley and Letizia Perrino


You know what time it is… with the JV baseball team’s season coming to a hard-fought close, the Varsity team pushes onto Regional Quarterfinals, the second round in the playoffs. Your Eagles went completely undefeated in District with a record of 12-0, including huge wins such as,  a 22-0 win against Carrizo Springs, and a 11-0 win against Uvalde. The team swept Orange Grove in Bi-District 5-2 and 13-9 to advance to Area, and won 2 games to 1 against Zapata to advance to Regional Quarterfinals against Sinton. We are excited to see what the future holds for this very talented group of athletes.

Diego Luna and Ryan Benevides, two of our Senior starters on the team, both feel Pleasanton baseball has so far been an amazing experience in their lives. Both of their favorite things about their high school baseball career is playing with friends they grew up with and just enjoying every moment as team bonding, especially on trips. They also both agree that their biggest accomplishment in high school baseball is being able to make plays and cool diving catches in the outfield for their team. Diego’s goal for the season is to have his best batting average so far, and Ryan’s is to continue to contribute to the team the best he can. 

The team plans to not let off the gas and beat everyone that stands in the way, and we all sure hope that is exactly what happens. Every single player on the team is extremely pumped and ready to take on the Pirates. Really big things could be ahead, so be ready…because the team is!

ROTC-May Edition

By: Brian Avery and Dev Patel

Welcome to the last ROTC article of the year! This month, the ROTC participated in many different activities, so let’s not waste any time and get right to it!
The first thing we will be covering is the ROTC Drill team! They went to nationals last month. Nationals were held in Daytona Beach, Florida! Cadet Major Courtney Cearly was recognized as the best overall driller at the event, so congratulations Courtney! The Eagle Battalion was a part of the Battle of the Flowers Parade for Fiesta in San Antonio on April 28th. They marched with other battalions from different ROTC programs, and Valdemar “Val” Herrera marched at the front, carrying the U.S. flag. The Battalion had a blast participating in the parade, and it was great to spend time with other ROTC members!

  We asked several ROTC members about their thoughts on the ROTC program as the year draws to a close. Val Herrera, a Command Sergeant Major who graduates this year, praised the development of the ROTC program, “My first year is nothing like what we have today. A lot of competitions we didn’t place at, but compared to now, we have trophies in the lunchroom, lobby. These last two years we have really excelled.” Cadet Staff Sergeant also praised the growth the ROTC program has experienced, “It makes a difference on our performance, and how well we do. For being a small town, we really are excelling.” Val agreed, stating that he believed they were being held to a higher standard, which contributed heavily to their success. Colonel Wynder believes that the ROTC program has only improved since he joined 4 years ago, the program better than it was the year before. “When Cadets want to be here, they get involved, and it becomes a family atmosphere.” When asked about the performance of the Cadets, he said “I know that no matter what a cadet comes with when they come here, I know they are going to reach their max potential because we challenge them and encourage them, and they meet their goals.” 

Val is heading out for active military duty whenever he graduates high school. Good luck to Val, and the rest of the ROTC program in all their future endeavors!!

Teacher Spotlight: Coach Salinas

By: Alexandra Garcia 

This May of 2023 the PHS journalism staff would like to recognize Coach Salinas as our Teacher Spotlight. We had the opportunity to interview him and get great feedback about his teaching and coaching life here at PHS.

Coach Salinas first graduated from just down the road at Jourdanton High School, and when it came time for college,… he says, “After bouncing around to a few different colleges and taking some time away to just work, I finally decided to return to UTSA and finish my degree in Kinesiology.”

 

Coach Salinas has now been teaching here at PHS for 10 years. When he first started he only taught geometry, but after 3 years he started teaching Algebra 1 along with geometry to the freshman class.

Coach Salinas was also known for coaching football and basketball for the first 7 years here at PHS but eventually decided to take a step away from coaching to be there for his wife and kids.

He was first inspired to teach because he wanted to impact students and our Atascosa County. 

He says “I grew up in this community and feel that I can relate to many students on this campus.”

 

Originally he wanted to become a coach before he wanted to become a teacher because of the impact his coaches had on his life. But not long after he says he believed he had fallen in love with teaching as the side job of coaching, and feels that he still can make a difference with every student he teaches along with students he coached. 

Coach Salinas says “When things are tough, I like to look at this Dr. Seuss quote which hangs in my room. It reads, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.” My goal here is to ensure that students feel like I care about who they are, besides being a student in my class.”

 

“I also really enjoy Algebra and working with Freshman students because I feel that I can make a stronger impact on their high school experience and understand expectations on our campus.”

He states that one of his favorite parts of teaching here is “seeing the growth of my students every year. Every student has something special about themselves, and I enjoy having a year to watch my students grow and find their way here at PHS.”

Even with teaching, Coach Salinas stays busy outside school as well. He says “Since I have kids, most of my weekends consist of kid activities, like the Zoo or Sea World. But when I have free time to myself, I enjoy playing golf with some friends/coworkers. I’m also in grad school to one day become an Assistant Principal/Principal, so that takes up most of my time outside of here.”

PHS is so fortunate to have Coach Salinas here and wish to thank him for all that he does!