Lobo Class of 2017 First American Bank Scholarship Winners

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A Year of Lobos Sports History

Chaparral High School (CHS) coaches have challenged our future athletes to have a better winning season and set new heights.

This year CHS Lobos soccer team brought home the District Title (District Champions) and automatically qualified to go to state. The soccer team’s hard work, dedication and team effort brought the District Title home to the Lobos.

Another fall sport that faced their biggest challenge yet was CHS Lobos volleyball team. They set a record of 12 wins and 8 losses that made history. The volleyball team was selected to go to state because of their record setting performance for the 2016 season.

Cross-country, traveled to Albuquerque to represent the school. Cross-country coach Pedro Ruiz had five girls and seven boys qualify: Marisol Cordova, Adriana Hernandez, Marlene Olivas, Karen Gonzalez, Kiara Gonzalez, Jesse Vazquez, Danny Vazquez, Jesus Yanez, Mathew Ortiz, Miguel Escobedo, Jesus Cordova and Pedro Medrano. They performed very well, even though 90 percent were first year runners.

Coach Ruiz also coaches tennis at CHS, he has been the coach ever since the sport was introduced to the school. “Commitment to the sport, to their team and to the practices,” said Coach Ruiz about his expectations of his players when they become involved with the sport. His opinion about what makes a good player is, “Athleticism, a lot of dedication to learn about the sport and a lot of investment in practice.”

Throughout the years Coach Ruiz has seen a lot of improvement from his athletes, but also faced challenges along the way. Some difficulties that coach Ruiz had this season was players missing a lot of practices due to scheduling conflict.

“They started pretty strong,” said Ruiz, “As the season went, they just improved. We were ready for the first tournament and we had a great off-season.” As the season went, the athletes started improving their skills. They improved their serving, hitting and better ball placing. The tennis team had the opportunity to travel to Albuquerque. This is the first out of four seasons that Coach Ruiz faced the challenge of taking his players to state. His players were two boys and two girls: Danny Vasquez, Luis Maldonado, Blanca Ramirez and Ana Flores.

Team Captain, Luis Maldonado, is a senior at CHS. For him, playing his last tennis match at state was an unforgettable experience. “It was memorable, every senior doing their last moments, you just hit with your all,” said Maldonado. After returning back home, Maldonado felt happy and sad at the same time, realizing that he finished his senior year playing tennis and giving his all on the court.

Maldonado gives an advice to the future tennis players at CHS, “Always believe you can do better and push coach a little more every day, encourage your teammates… Even in the game you lose, think how fun it was but have good losses to have better wins.”

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New gym eases scheduling crunch

Chaparral High School recently confirmed the construction for a new gymnasium. Even though the new gymnasium is only going to be an auxiliary gym, it will be very helpful for sports.

Having a new gymnasium means sports like basketball will not have to fight for practice times every year. They will both be able to practice after school and won’t have to worry about who will practice in the mornings. The new gymnasium will also contain a wrestling room, so wrestling will not have to worry about practicing in other rooms.

As of today, if everything goes as planned the new gymnasium’s final inspection will be from February 15 through 21, 2018. The auxiliary gym will be fully functional for the 2018-2019 school year. This gymnasium had been in the process of being built since 2015. It has not been built yet because of all the other adjusting that had to be built first like an additional elementary (Yucca Heights Elementary), an expansion to Chaparral Elementary, etc.

This new gymnasium will also mean Chaparral High School will now be able to host more tournaments for boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, volleyball, and wrestling. Chaparral High School will not have to borrow the gym from Chaparral Middle School nor Sunrise Elementary on occasions where the main gym is not available for use or being used for something else.

The auxiliary gymnasium will hold 454 seats, which is less than half of the amount of seats in the main gym. It will only have bleachers on the west side of the court. The new gym will contain two men’s restrooms, two women’s restrooms, and a restroom in both of the locker rooms. The gym will have two stories. The first floor will have the main lobby, the locker rooms, the training room, and the court. The second floor will only have another lobby, and the mezzanine, which will be used as the wrestling room.

Picture Credits: AKS Architecture
Picture Credits: AKS Architecture
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New coach, “who dis?”

As this year comes to an end, and next year begins, Chaparral High School (CHS) is expecting a winning football season.

For a new beginning and a new football season, there will be the new defense coach, Gilbert Rojas. A Physical Education (P.E.) coach, Rojas has been working for Gadsden Independent School District (GISD) for 22 years. Not only is he a P.E. coach for CHS, he is also the head coach for Lobo Baseball for the last three years.

In his high school years, Rojas became used to winning in baseball and basketball at Riverside High School, and he hopes to improve the attitude to winning more. His goals for the next season are to, bring in his football knowledge to the Lobo athletes and help produce a winning season, “that’s what every coach wants,” said Rojas.

Rojas believes that by getting together with the other football coaches and coming up with different ideas he will be prepared to coach a winning team. Another one of his plans for the next football season is to make adjustments with his athletes to learn each one of them. “I will be strict and rough with the players, but only to a point. Everybody learns with a different style,” said Rojas, “I hope to be good help to the team and stay as long as they want me.”

 

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You can’t Grow a Lawn Without Water

Superintendent, Efren Yturralde needs to tend to his lawn and he is going to have to cut his grass a lot shorter than usual. New Mexico took a big hit because of the budget deficit and now Yturralde is left with lawn clippings.

Education is a big part of the state’s budget. It is actually a little more than half of the state’s budget. Since it is such a big part of the lawn, it got cut the shortest. Yturralde had to make cuts where it was possible. One of the first cuts that made a big impact was when Yturralde cut funding for transportation to many non-athletic competitions. Initially they were going to cut all funding for it but ended up paying half of the cost. “When I was told we couldn’t go, I was in the mix of anger and disappointment.—BPA works year round fundraising and I feel that when they took the funding, they took a part of me.” Said BPA competitor Evelyn Loya. BPA is program that prepares students for a specific field of work and them losing that program cuts means Lobos will miss out on so much valuable experience.

It has been rumored that in some parts of New Mexico, the K-3 plus program will be weed-wacked. K-3 plus is a program that encourages learning in students kinder through third grade. It is a 5 week program that prepares students for their upcoming year. Joanne Munoz is the head administrative assistant at Sunrise Elementary. As of right now the program is still expected run for the 2017-2018 school year but when she heard about the rumor, “If the program is eliminated, it can have a negative effect on parents who use the program as an alternate to daycare.” Isaac Contreras is currently a third grader and went through four years of K-3 plus and he feels that “They can’t take it away because it’s fun and we get to learn a lot.”

Another way the state is trying to save money is attrition. At Chaparral High School alone, three science teachers are retiring and one English language teacher will be surplused.

Cuts are being made all over. Yturralde had to not only cut his grass shorter but he had to stop watering some of his trees. In the sports department, “A couple of sports will be losing some coaching positions. In some cases it has been hard to fill some of those positions,” said principal at Chaparral High School, Mark Rupcich. So some sports programs will be losing their freshman teams. Rupcich is also unsure as to whether or not per diems will be cut but he said, “I hope not, that’s a matter of feeding a student or not.”

Yturralde is desperately trying to save his yard but it is quickly becoming drier and drier. Thankfully no weeds have shown up to make it worse.

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Passing Once Is Not Good Enough?

 

Senior Danny Vasquez testing in the Chaparral High School career lab

The overwhelming pressure that testing creates for students at Chaparral High School every April is powerful enough to crush even the strongest Lobo’s confidence.

I, along with other Lobos, have recently been subjected to New Mexico’s standardized testing, being forced to stare at a computer screen for hours at a time. During this time, it was quiet enough to hear clocks ticking and the sound of a pin drop, a factor that only helps to worsen an already overwhelming situation.

In the middle of an assignment in my fifth period world history class, the front office called me out of class without warning. Anxiety immediately built up, constricting my lungs and making my breaths choppy as I got up and walked haltingly to the office with a thousand thoughts racing through my mind and no idea of what was about to happen. I arrived in the office only to be redirected to the lab in F-hall, which meant that I would be testing, and this realization only made the situation more intense as I had not had time to properly prepare to take a test.

As a transfer from Alta Vista Early College High School, I had already taken and passed the PARCC tests for Algebra 2 and English 3. Upon arriving at Chaparral High School I was told that I would not have to retake the PARCC test, so I had not been studying or preparing in any way for those particular tests. Having this testing sprung on me was unfair and cruel, and I can empathize with other students who have been forced to retake the test.

I arrived in the testing room late, and it seemed as though I was walking in as a new student while everyone stared at me and the test administrators set me up to take the test. Because I started later than the other people in the room, I had a lingering fear that I would not have enough time to complete my test. I had to spend two long and tiring days completing these tests, time which could have been spent in class learning new material instead of repeating material that I had already completed and would have no positive impact on me. The only purpose of this was to show the school if I had improved in order to make the school look better in the eyes of the district and the state.

Is the torment of stress and test preparation really necessary for students that have already completed the tests required for their grade level? I truly do not think so.

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In the End, It Was Fun.

I would have never thought that four years of high school would go by so quickly. I am sitting here realizing that it will all be over in less than three weeks. I say that I’m ready now but who knows how I’ll feel walking across the stage.

When I first checked in to Chaparral high school, I honestly fell in love. The environment was so different from that of the middle schools. That year our freshman team placed second in district and a winning season, but it wasn’t free and definitely not easy. We won so many games together because we always pushed each other to do better. Our freshman year we were a huge group of guys, and we thought we would be the same group all four years, but we’re maybe half of what we were. Although we are all still great friends it isn’t the same anymore. Juan, Mario, Andrei and I were the worst kids imaginable in geometry, but the best at the same time. We were freshman in a sophomore class filled with upperclassmen. We were gods to them, us four made teased them as a group damn near every day and Mr. Gomez loved it.

The summer after my sophomore year I took golf very seriously. That whole summer was pretty lonely because I focused so much on golf. Even though I didn’t get the results I expected, I had the time of my life playing golf. Five years with Coach Y, and all he ever really wanted from me was to find a good Christian girl. I never found one but I had my share of fiascos. My last few tournaments of the golf season were the saddest rounds of golf I took part in. I made plenty of friends to golf with on the weekend, but the thought of never competing again for a school truly brought down my spirits.

Senior year has been the greatest year of all my thirteen years of schooling. It was honestly a lot of fun. I did join basketball and it was fun while it lasted because I had to quit towards the end due to the fact that the golfing season was coming up.

In my AP history classes, Mr. Velarde was a great teacher. He really was. I had never learned so much but the work was a pain-in-the-ass. The work load was ridiculous. There wasn’t a single day we didn’t have homework. I think about it now and I really liked the learning so much about other civilizations and how the world has changed.

Overall, my senior year was the best. I slaved away a majority of the week at work in the afternoons so that on the days I had off I could have a great time with the best friends possible. I’m going to miss high school. It all ended too soon.

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13 Years Down, The Rest Of My Life To Go…

This is an interview with the Editor and Chief at The Howler of Chaparral High School.

What is your name?

Abraham Isaiah Hernandez.

What school do you attend?

Chaparral High School.

What year are you completing this year in Chaparral High School?

Senior Year.

What was High School summed up in one word?

Four years have passed by and it seems like yesterday was just the start of my freshman year here at Chaparral High School. Unlike many experiences I have had, high school will always be one of my favorites because of all the good and bad times I have had here. High school can be explained as many things but I’ll sum it up with one word. High school was “fun.”

Who inspired you and who has motivated you?

I obviously can’t take all the credit for all the work I’ve done during my high school years. I had help coming from all directions in my life but there were only a few who have actually have pushed me to become who I am today. My mother would sit in the chair next to me at the kitchen table to help me understand issues, work and life itself.  Every one of my teachers that I have had throughout my four years of high school taught me so much and have helped me progress to a better me each day.

What were your goals? Did you meet your goals?

As the years went by, I come to meet with what the real definition of a goal is and whether I have met my own. Goals aren’t meant to be achieved in one day. Goals are set to help you achieve something for yourself. Going through high school I have tried to set goals for myself everyday but I didn’t realize till these remaining days that I have at Chaparral High School that my only goal through high school is to graduate and prepare myself for the world that is coming towards me after graduation day. I do believe I have prepared myself but I know I still have more to learn later in life.

Love or Hate?

Of course, going to school continuously for four years, you can develop a love and hate relationship towards it. High school was filled with many ups and downs but it never stopped being the one place I liked going to. Call me “different,” but I actually liked coming to school to experience new friendships and what life lesson was waiting for me the next day. I could be honest and say I did not like the fact that we had to wake up so early but I got over that problem.

Regrets? Anything you would do different?

I do live with a sense of regret and disappointment in these last days because I do wish I focused more on being a top student rather than just a student who is fine with A’s and B’s. If I would have put more effort on my grades and school then I know I could have been more proud of myself right at this moment.

Something you would tell your freshman self?

Have a positive mind and be happy. I’ve seen so many people that were depressed during the years and I’ve had the chance to see where it gets them. Being depressed does not get you anywhere so the best thing you can do for yourself is to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. I was one of those kids during high school but I learned that none of that matters, all you have to do is just be happy.

Things you got to experience that you will always remember.

Experiences come and go but I get to say I lived the most memorable ones yet. This list of experiences is just part of my four years in high school.

 Experiences:

  • Was a member of the Art Club for four years and eventually promoted the position of President of the Art Club.
  • Was a member of the Journalism team for three years and eventually promoted to the Editor and Chief.
  • Won the 2015-2016 Editorial Cartoon State Competition.
  • Went on road trips with clubs at my school.
  • Won the election of the senior class Vice President election.

Even though I have had the opportunity to live these amazing experiences through my high school years, I feel a sense of sorrow for the time I have left. High school itself was an amazing experience. High school is just like I said before, “Fun.”

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What Goes on in the Health Center Stays in the Health Center, Until Now

Students say the nurse’s assistant does not help at all, and upon hearing this, Sandra Valadez, the nurse’s assistant said, “I’d like to know who said that!”

Valadez is aiming to become a school nurse, or work in a clinic. She came to work as a nurse assistant at Chaparral High School (CHS) about a year and a half ago for the experience she needs to reach her goal. Valadez said, “At first I did not want to become a nurse because of all the blood, but deCastro (Carole deCastro, R.N.) and my family motivated me.”

Valadez is 27 years old and graduated from El Paso Community College. Valadez said her favorite thing about being a nurse is, “Meeting the students and talking or learning from them.”

The students are respectful to nurse deCastro and Valadez. Valadez says there has never been a rude student who came to her and deCastro. She treats the students with the same respect they give her and always gives students the option to call their parents and ask to be picked up or stay in the Health Center.

Valadez says that she treats the students with respect, but some Lobos may have a different idea in their heads. Cruz Chaparro, sophomore at CHS said, “Yes, she helps a little then nothing.” Chaparro believes that the nurse assistant does not do her job and said, “Most of the time she either just tells you to go home or gives you an ice pack.” Chaparro went to the nurse with a fractured finger and she gave him two sticks to keep it in place. Chaparro said, “A visit to the school nurse and doctor differ because a doctor has more equipment than the nurse does.”

CHS senior Priscilla Miranda has gone to Nurse deCastro for a physical and has met Valadez. Miranda and Chaparro think very differently, where Chaparro says Valadez does not help, Miranda knows that Valadez is not allowed to do much for the students at CHS, but does all that she can for them. Miranda knows that a visit to the doctor and Nurse deCastro differ because a doctor is allowed to give treatments and medication to their patients whereas a school nurse assistant and school nurse cannot. Instead of believing that Valadez does not do her job, Miranda believes she does and thinks that her job is to check the students to see if they are healthy, and provide them with care.

Valadez and deCastro are not allowed to do any surgery or treatment when a student comes in with an injury. They can’t give students any medication unless the student has a prescription from their doctor. All they can really do is tend to the injury if it is not that serious, but if the injury is serious or fatal they have to call 911, administration (to inform them that they called 911), and security to help.

One of the more serious injury’s that Valadez and deCastro have recently dealt with is shortness of breath. Once, a student came in short of breath, Valadez and deCastro had to call 911, because they could not by law give the student treatment. They tried to calm the student but they are not permitted to do anything else.

Nurse deCastro and Valadez are limited in what they can do when helping students, but even when limited, they still do a lot for the students at CHS. They talk to the students, care for them and help them in any way possible. Nurse deCastro and Valadez do more than the some students at CHS think they do.

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Chaparral High School Teacher of the Year

CHS Teacher of the Year Maria Cristina Gonzalez instructing her sixth period chemistry class.
Chaparral High School 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Maria Cristina Gonzalez

 

Chaparral High School (CHS) is full of hardworking and dedicated teachers, but perhaps the most outstanding of them all is Maria Cristina Gonzalez, who was recognized as 2016-2017 CHS Teacher of the Year. Gonzalez gets along well with students and co-workers alike, which is why it is no surprise that she was chosen by her co-workers as Teacher of the Year.

“We have an awesome science department and I love my coworkers,” Gonzalez says, “The Spanish department is top notch, plus technology, math english, everyone in SPED (Special Education Department), OMG all of them are INCREDIBLE at this school.” Aside from her dedication to improving her students’ learning, she carries with her a cheerful demeanor and a kind attitude. The moment you walk up to greet her, you will be met with a warm smile.
Gonzalez first became a teacher 31 years ago, and has been teaching at CHS for three years, which she has described as “beautiful”. She currently works in the CHS science department as a chemistry teacher. Gonzalez became an educator because, as she explained, “We are a family of educators.” Her mother, father, brothers and sister have all spent time teaching or currently are teachers.
Aside from traditional methods of teaching, Gonzalez enjoys adding a bit of humor and perspective into her teaching. She considers not only her student’s educational advancement, but also their emotions. Gonzalez says, “I try to be super patient and remember I don’t know my kiddos problems, so I have to talk, talk, talk.”
Being chosen as Teacher of the Year has inspired Gonzalez to motivate more of her students to become educators. “It makes me realize how noble teaching is,” Gonzalez says, “I want to tell more of my students to be teachers.”
Though this is her last year of teaching, Gonzalez says that she enjoys teaching at Chaparral high school, saying that her favorite aspect is the one-on-one time with students. Pushing students to be motivated is what she feels she is most passionate about, and she hopes that she makes an impact on the lives of her students every moment that they are with her.

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