In The Spotlight…Or Not
By Noah Segura
Pueblo County High School is home to a gaggle of clubs and programs available to our students. However, the average student likely isn’t aware of just how many the school offers. This feature series will reach out to each of these clubs and delve into what makes them tick.
Are you a drama student who has always wondered about what goes on in Future Business Leaders of America? Are you a band student who has always pondered what choir is all about? Are you not involved in any clubs, but wonder what you’re missing? Fear not, for your burning questions will at last come to an end. Check back in the Features page for new posts.
If you are involved in a club or activity and would like to reach out to us to present us with information you feel should be included in the features, feel free to contact us via the contact form.
Fall 2016 Academic Awards Ceremony
By Noah Segura
Pueblo County High School is honoring its high achieving students with its biannual Academic Awards ceremony on Thursday, November 17. This ceremony is honoring students who achieved high GPAs and perfect attendance during last year’s spring semester.
Students receiving awards will be permitted to leave school after the ceremony, leading into Thanksgiving break. Awards include Gold Honor Roll (4.0 and above), Silver Honor Roll (3.50 – 3.99), Bronze Honor Roll (3.0 – 3.49), and Perfect Attendance.
Below is the full list of students receiving awards. You can also check the list by the counselor’s office to see who will be receiving an award.
2016 Veteran's Day Assembly
Photo credit: Caitlyn Avila
By Noah Segura
November marks another celebration of our nation’s veterans. Pueblo County High School hosted a ceremony in the gymnasium sponsored by our JROTC department. After students were seated at 10:20 AM, the introduction and Presentation of Command took place, leading into our tradition of honoring the nation with the National Anthem. Representatives gave the Narrative Read, and the Honor Guard fired their salute, leading to PCHS staff members initiating the playing of taps. Our Choir team performed “God Bless America”, and the event concluded at 11:00 AM.
The ceremony is meant to “honor our nation’s veterans, to teach our classmates the importance of this holiday, and to honor graduates of Pueblo County High School who were killed in the Vietnam conflict,” as signed by Cadet Colonel, Army JROTC Commanding Erin Young.
Ivan Segura, a veteran father of one of our students, said, “I think about [my experience] everyday and thank God.” About his years in the force, he stated
that “You fight for the guy next to you.”
Trunk or Treat 2016
By Noah Segura
This year, Pueblo County High School participated in Trunk or Treat, a program where groups decorate their car trunks and hand out candy to children. There was a great turnout of groups volunteering for the program, each with their own creative themes.
The winning group was the DECA Officers with their "Pokémon" themed stand.
Program organizer and DECA Instructor, Mrs. Lewin gave her thoughts on the event, saying, "I thought it was more successful than we had anticipated. Community feedback was great, and I hope to see it continue to grow to be a bigger and bigger event."
The event attracted many people--trick or treaters and volunteers alike--and proved to be a success.
Also, you can vote on who your personal favorite stand was on our poll.
Wonderful News, Hornets!
PCHS. Congratulations! Principal, Brian Dilka, sent out an email message to his staff the evening of Oct. 18. He wrote, “Pueblo County High School was one of 15 D70 schools recognized for its PERFORMANCE rating by CDE at the school board meeting tonight! Congratulations! Your hard work and dedication is evident in our students' performance! Thank you for all you do! Please drop by the office to see our certificate and candy bouquet! Help yourself to a mint!” Dilka’s appreciation and excitement was shared by the entire staff.
Aspen Chacon Medical Drive
By Mariah Gomez
Aspen Chacon is a name that may ring a bell to many here at Pueblo County High. She was a 2016 graduate from here and you probably remember her for her smile and positive attitude. While attending college in Kansas, she was rushed to the ICU and had to be hooked to a ventilator. Since then she has been removed from the ventilator, but during her visit, they discovered a tumor on her pituitary gland.
This is a terrifying thing to happen to anyone, but on top of that, the medical and other expenses such as travel, are piling up. County as a whole would like to support Aspen and her family and help with all of her expenses. By doing so, we are hosting a miracle minute this Wednesday, October 5th, in hopes of everyone bringing any money or change to their homeroom.
We are making this a challenge to get more people involved and the class that raises the most money wins donuts. Even if your homeroom doesn’t win, helping out a former hornet is the least we can do. Once you’re a hornet, you’re always a hornet!
A New Beginning
By Noah Segura and Logan Wills
The first week of school is always a hectic, yet interesting one. It sets the mood for the environment you will spend the next 10 months of your life in, so you better hope you get something good.
There have been many new changes to the school over the past few years, making it new to even our oldest Hornets. For instance, Pueblo County High has a new principal this year—Mr. Brian Dilka—after the retirement of Ms. Terrie Tafoya; some are still adjusting to less recent changes, like the office being moved from the front of the school to near the senior parking lot.
While these changes are intimidating to even some older Hornets, things are looking up to make for a great year. There’s a lot of positivity in the air, a great environment for success.
Freshman Donovan Wallace says, “Yes, I think I will have a good year because I will try harder this year and because I have friends that I have not seen in a while.”
Senior Kevin Mooney says his year so far has been “fun”, thanks in part to “friends,” presumably not referring to the hit television show.
With all of this, the 2016-2017 school year is bound to be an exuberant and memorable one. A great entry year for freshman, a great final year for seniors, and a great year for everyone in general—sophomores and juniors included.
If you are reading this tell us your favorite fruit
Senior Video 2016
By: Travis Martin
Congratulations to the SENIOR CLASS OF 2016 on finally making it out of high school! We wish you all luck in the future, and to have a little bit of last second fun, your fellow classmates Hailey Alber and Travis Martin directed and put together your senior video! We hope you all enjoy it and again best of luck to you all.
By Nohelly Cornejo
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program graduated fifth graders from schools across the city of Pueblo last Thursday, May 5, 2016. Some of the schools that participated include: South Mesa, North Mesa, Avondale, Sierra Vista, Beulah, Rye, and many more. This year, instead of individually celebrating D.A.R.E Graduation, The Pueblo County Sherriff’s Office decided to merge all of the schools for a giant celebration. This adventurous ceremony was held on the Pueblo County High Football Field.
Many different organizations volunteered to help run the big day. Students from the athletic department at Pueblo County, the CSU-P Football Team, and staff from the Police Department all worked together to put on a successful day against drug abuse. Alex Cullen and Mariah Cain sang the national anthem for the ceremony.
The Graduation was filled with different activities for the students to participate in. The graduates had a variety of choices including: jump rope, tug of war, musical chairs, football, soccer, relay races, water races, frisbee, drunk vision goggles, and shoe kicking. Boredom was not an option. Flight for Life made an appearance, showing off their helicopter. The U.S Army had an aircraft as well giving students tours. The sheriffs brought a K-9 to display to the students. Gifts and prizes were also awarded. For example, the winner of the essay competition, Clayton Johnson, from Swallows Charter Academy, was awarded with a flat screen TV.
D.A.R.E has been around for many years teaching students about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. It has also shaped young children’s beliefs and prevented many incidents and abuse. Sherriff Blackwell believes D.A.R.E is a necessity in every day life. Students are able to use decision-making strategies taught to them in the program whenever they need to. The program not only helps keep children off of drugs and alcohol, but it helps them deal with bullying issues as well. D.A.R.E teaches the students about health risks so they know what they could possibly get themselves into. Overall, the D.A.R.E graduation was a fun
Bow Ties & Pearls
By: Destiny Ortega
Today’s annual prom assembly was a beautiful and exciting preview for this Friday’s prom. This year’s junior prom court consisted of the following ladies and gentlemen: Krista Gallegos/ Jonathan Robles, Sydney Houghton/ Donovan Rincon, Abbey Raper/ Orlando Gonzales, Faith Anaya/ Hunter Willits, Nohelly Cornejo/ Grant Willits, and Becca Egan/ Terren Chavez. The senior court was made up of the following: Travis Martin/ Kalie Allenback, Marco Montoya/ Callie Bacich, Derek Risoli/ Jazzy Bustos, Trever Gilmore/ Danyka Fetty, Colby Stapleton/ Sarah Brown, and Patrick Shields/ Sydney Carter.
Each court candidate was escorted down the black carpet by their loved ones and close friends. Kellie and Natasha Cowger performed an amazing mash-up show of current and older popular hits, while incorporating some beat boxing and beautiful vocal notes. A big thank you to Mr. Koshak and Mrs. Ortiz, as well as the junior class for putting on such a beautiful assembly. Good luck to our Hornet prom court on Friday- you all look like kings and queens already!
Safe Driving Assembly
By Destiny Ortega
“Always keep your eyes on the road!” These are the words that were echoed over and over at Pueblo County High this week at the ThinkFast presentation, sponsored by CDOT, to get kids to recognize the seriousness of distracted driving.
Using games, trivia, and competition students tested their knowledge about driving safety for teens, and the importance of not texting and driving. ThinkFast uses fun challenges like role-playing, to allow students to practice real life situations where someone they know may want to drive under the influence. Did you know one-fourth of all teens will be in a car accident related to distracted driving every year? This haunting fact may be implanted in many students after the presentation.
Students were also introduced with the “#RedThumb” campaign sponsored by Nissan, to get people to remind themselves not to text while driving. Everyone was given free Red Thumb bands to help them remember the importance of safe driving. Remember hornets, buckle up and always keep your eyes on the…. Road!
2016 4A Wrestling Champions
By Nohelly Cornejo and Dominique Contreras
This year's state wrestling competition was filled with joy as the Pueblo County High Boys Wrestling Team took first place at the 4A State Championships in Denver, Co. at the Pepsi Center. To celebrate this historic victory, Pueblo County High held an assembly to recognize this huge accomplishment. PCH had never won a Boys Team State Title before.
Representatives from other Pueblo County, and Pueblo City Schools were on hand to help celebrate and congratulate PCH. Central, East, South, and Pueblo West all made appearances and came bearing gifts for the boys.
The District 70 Board of Education including Superintendent, Ed Smith, also made an appearance, as well as the new Principal, Bryan Dilka, for the 2016-2017 school year. As each coach, assistant coach, player and manger were introduced by Ms. Toussaint, activities director, the band played a drum roll as they entered the gym through the ceremonial ROTC formation. Coach Eddie Soto thanked everyone who supported this success, including parents, administrators, financial supporters, community members, student body and his mighty team for the dedication and perseverance.
The entire school was rewarded for the wrestling team's historical achievement with the rest of the day off following the assembly. None of the boys placed lower than sixth place. In first: Hunter Willits, Grant Willits, Justin Davis, and Dante Garcia. In second: Josiah Nava and Chris Sandoval. In third: Nathan Bonham and Donavan Rincon. Devon Mraovich and Jayson Davis placed sixth. Congratulations to our boys, we are proud to be hornets!
Colorado State DECA Conference 2016
By Nohelly Cornejo
The Colorado State DECA Conference took place Feb. 21- Feb. 23. Pueblo County High School DECA state qualifiers earned the opportunity to stay at the only five star hotel located in the state of Colorado, The Broadmoor. The Broadmoor had a lot to offer including the beautiful view of the mountains and the entire city of Colorado Springs, delicious food, and many other amenities. Pianos were placed throughout the hotel, where various Colo. students could sit and share their talent with the rest of the competitors. Eustice Zacher, junior, sat at the pianos for hours attracting the attention of many different students from other schools around the state. The Pueblo County DECA Chapter took 54 students to this year’s conference, which was more than any of the other schools competing in District 9. The competition was tough, and only six people qualified for finals, and four were given honorable mentions. In the singles Automotive Event, Triston Whitaker, junior, and Riley Segura, sophomore, qualified. For Fashion Merchandising Promotions, the team of Abbey Raper, junior, and Samantha Colletti, junior, qualified for finals, and for Finance Operations the team of Eustice Zacher and Nohelly Cornejo, junior, qualified.
A Night to Shine
By: Michaella Pisciotta
On Feb. 12, 2016 The Tim Tebow Foundation held a prom night at the Family Worship Center, for special needs participants. Multiple Pueblo County students showed their gratitude and support by showing up to be “buddies”. Being a “buddy” consisted of helping a special needs young boy, girl, man, or woman. Whether that may be dancing with them, or sitting and eating with them. These one-of-a-kind people were given the royal treatment on this magical night. They could get their shoes shined, hair done, make up done, and even ride in a limo. Pueblo County was well represented at this event, and we thank everybody who participated.
Basketball, Cheer, & Dance Senior Night
By: Travis Martin & Nohelly Cornejo
On Dec. 4, 2015 the Pueblo County High boys basketball team played their first game of the season and began their mission to win an S-CL championship and make it into the playoffs. Twenty-two games and three and a half months later, an S-CL title is just out of reach, but playoff hopes are still alive. Feb. 16, 2016 the team faced off against league leader South High at the Hornets’ Nest in a key matchup. If the Hornets pulled off the upset, they would have been a shoe-in for a playoff spot, but unfortunately the Colts scratched out a 68-59 victory. Although disappointed that they couldn’t win on senior night in a clutch game, the tough Hornet boys still have hope that if they win Fri. night against the East Eagles they could be dancing in the postseason. The seniors from the Dance, Cheer, and Basketball teams were also recognized. During half-time, our cheer and dance team performed their last performances as seniors. Every senior was called up afterwards, and escorted by their parents. It was a really special night for the seniors.
SC-L Regional Wrestling Champions
By Nohelly Cornejo & Travis Martin
On Feb. 13, 2016, the SC-L Regional Wrestling Championships took place at Pueblo County High. The Pueblo County Wrestling team qualified 12 wrestlers for state and are currently ranked number 1. Within the city of Pueblo, 49 wrestlers qualified. In the 106 lb. weight division, Nathan Bonham (Gr. 9) placed first. In the 113 lb. weight division, previous State Champion, Josiah Nava (Gr. 10) took first. In the 126 lb. weight division, Grant Willits (Gr. 11) placed first. In the 132 lb. weight division, Justin Davis (Gr. 11) placed first. Chris Sandoval (Gr. 11) placed first in the 138 lb. weight division. Colton Graham (Gr. 11) placed second in the 145 lb. weight division. Hunter Willits (Gr. 11) in the 152 lb. weight division took first. In the 170 lb. weight division, Jayson Davis (Gr. 9) took second. Dante Garcia (Gr. 10) in the 182 lb. weight division, took first. Donavon Rincon (Gr. 11) took first in the 195 lb. weight division. Ty Sigler (Gr. 11) took fourth in the 220 lb. weight division. In the 285 lb. weight division, Devon Mraovich took second. The overall score taking first at regionals for the Pueblo County Hornets came to a total of 314.0. Congratulations to our state qualifiers and to a great regional victory.
By: Nohelly Cornejo & Travis Martin
The annual Snoball Assembly and Dance kicks off with a senior class vote to determine the six nominees for the opportunity to be the Snoball King. The nominees were presented on Feb. 3, 2016 during the Snoball Assembly, when John DeSote, Justin Ritterling, Elijah Martinez, Jerrett Hildebrand, Reece Weatherford, and Zach Vigil were escorted down Old Chicago, which is the theme for this year's dance. After being introduced, musicians Lucy Sullivan and Holly Lakin sang "I Won't Say I'm in Love" from the Disney movie Hercules. Voting will take place tomorrow during homeroom and the Snoball King will be announced Feb. 5 during halftime of the boys basketball game. The dance will be held in the commons area Feb. 6 from 8-11 P.M.
Fort Carson Military Band
By Travis Martin & Nohelly Cornejo
On Jan. 21, 2016, the 4th Infantry Division Military Band from Fort Carson, called “Brass Authority”, came to Pueblo County High School to play their New Orleans southern style of jazz music. The performance started slow, but as the hour went by the music picked up, and the students of PCHS put their boogie shoes on dancing to classic tunes such as Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”, and the Ghostbusters' theme song. A Conga line was even formed as several students jumped out of their seats to parade around the gym. Principal Terrie Tafoya pulled Michael Esquilin from the crowd to bust some moves throughout the assembly. "Brass Authority" concluded their performance with a real bang when they played Jessie J’s hit tune “Bang Bang.”
Photos By Michael Pachta
By: Nohelly Cornejo & Travis Martin
On Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, Mrs. Vialpando and Pueblo County High School hosted a dance clinic for girls in preschool through fifth grade. Thirty-six girls came out to experience what life would be like as a PCHS Dancer, and they even got to perform in front of a crowd before the day was over. Mrs. Vialpondo commented saying, "We love doing the clinic. It's one of our favorite fundraisers because we love seeing the little kids improve into our future Hornets."
A Moment of Silence
By: Travis Martin & Nohelly Cornejo
Pueblo County High School ROTC honored veterans of war on Nov. 11 in the gymnasium. The event will began at 10:20 A.M and ended at approximately 10:50.
The ceremony was provided to honor veterans and acknowledge their service as well as offer continued service, in some cases, to our country. Here at Pueblo County we too honor our heroes with a Veterans’ Day Assembly.
According to Lieutenant Colonel (retired) James Mosser, it is to honor our nation’s and community’s veterans and teach the student body about the significance of Veterans’ Day. This assembly specifically honored six PCHS graduates who made the supreme sacrifice by giving their lives in service in the Vietnam War. They are Reuban Aragon (1965), Mike Hanratty (1963), David Heller (1966), Danny Ruybal (1965), Sam Solano (1965), and Pete Valdez (1967). The assembly is held as close to 11:00 A.M possible because the armistice signing held on 11-11-11 ended World War I. This assembly is filled with a lot of silence and respect, and consists of events such as the Honor Guard fire salute/playing of the taps. The assembly will kick off with the National Anthem.
Alexis Martinez narrated the ceremony. “Our American way of life does not come without sacrifice,” she stated during the assembly. That has huge importance to our daily lives, and should always be acknowledged. After five minutes of silence, “Ready. Aim. Fire.” Sergeant Major Louis shouted during the firing of the arms. To close up the assembly
An added honor was presented to William Gonzales, a veteran of the Vietnam War and Korean Conflict, by Ms. Tafoya, principal. It was announced that the District was awarding Gonzalez a high school diploma because he had left high school to fight for our nation. Tafoya announced, “The diploma is dated June 1, 1951, when Mr. Gonzales would have originally graduated.”
Mr. Timmins Car Repair Fund
By Nohelly Cornejo
The Hornet Family has shown its compassion once again. Recently, Mr. Timmins’ car caught on fire, and the repair cost is quite high for a teacher salary. The students at PCHS, created a gofundme page in honor of Mr. Timmins hoping to help raise the money to repair his car. Some students have even volunteered their time to raise money during lunch. They will be in the commons on Wed. Oct. 28 just in case people missed the opportunity to donate. If others would like to donate online, https://www.gofundme.com/6t67emv4 will accept the kind offerings.
By Kayla Baughman
New York is so overrated. Although the DECA kids traveled to New York in 2014, Mrs. Lewin wanted to go above and beyond for the seniors of 2017 and travel out of the Country! Florence, Paris, London and Rome is everyone's dream vacation. This adventure isn't just for our DECA students! Anyone at Pueblo County High School is welcome to join Mrs. Lewin on this once in a lifetime experience. The cost is $2,952 for 10 days plus you get your own tour guide and the trip includes your breakfast and dinner every day! You can split up the payments and only pay $164 a month until spring break of 2017. This is one of the best deals you could get to go out of the country to see 4 beautiful venues. Shelby Shiflett, a student at PCHS says, " I'm excited to go to Europe because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm excited to see their culture!" Come join us on this gorgeous 10 day scenery adventure and explore what Europe has to offer!
1954- A Glimpse into the Past
By Nohelly Cornejo & Travis Martin
The year is 1954. Pueblo County High has its first senior graduating class. A member of that class was student, athlete, and bus driver Sam Geanetta. We were given the honor to interview this established man on Sept. 30, and learn more about how he was a part of Pueblo County’s history.
Geanetta participated in quite a few extra-curricular activities during his senior year at County. He was a fullback on the football team, center on the basketball team, and a pitcher and left fielder on the baseball team. Sports were a big part of his high school career. There was still plenty of competition throughout the city for the new Hornets. However, the only other high schools that existed then were Central, Centennial, and Catholic High. In the sports arena Catholic High was the big competitor. The school colors actually originated from there, because they were green and white.
Before County existed, there were three high schools in the Mesa area, Pleasant View, Vineland, and Avondale. Geanetta explained that when the three schools consolidated, the boys wanted to keep the mascot a lion. However, there were more girls, specifically cheerleaders that overruled their vote and chose the mighty Hornet.
“Big Sam” had the opportunity to drive the school bus for elementary through high school students in the county area. “I was one of the lucky ones to drive the bus, so I got out of a lot of classes,” Geanetta said with a laugh. When asked how he came to be a school bus driver, he responded, “Well, they came to ask me if I wanted to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) to drive the bus, and I said sure I was old enough to drive, and I was fine with everything.” He made routes everyday from the middle school to grade school all through Avondale and the Mesa.
We wonder what school life was like before 2015, and “Big Sam” had a vivid description of it. He told a story of an underclassman, that brought his horse and trailer to school one day and rode it through the halls. “ He got in trouble afterwards,” chuckled Geanetta.
They (students from the class of 1954) also were not allowed to wear their letters on their letterman’s jackets at school, because they had Vineland, Avondale, or Pleasant View letters. The first graduating students of the Class of 1954 were new to Pueblo County High’s building and had previously attended their freshman, sophomore, and half of their junior year at Vineland, Avondale or Pleasant View. Geanetta said, “We consolidated at the beginning of the year, we started school in September, but we were going to Lakeside Vineland High School because the building was not finished.” They were the first class to walk these halls and graduate from them.
Homecoming Dances? As opposed to now, there wasn’t much to them. They only danced to slow music and it was not a formal event. “We didn’t do a heck of a lot. It was a lot of slow dancing, you know? At that time, I didn’t think anybody knew what a fast dance was,” Geanetta explained.