All posts by Julie Ferrell

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.

Lobo Awareness

Students at Chaparral High School (CHS) are much more aware of their present and future education then you would think they are.

When the CHS did a survey on student motivation, how closely students pay attention to their current and future education became obvious. The surveys questions that had something to do with the student’s awareness of their education included; Do you plan to continue your education after High School, do you pay close attention to your grades, do you know how many credits you have, do you know how many credits you need to graduate, do you know what your attendance looks like and do you know if you are at risk of losing credits due to your attendance.

The first educational question was, “Do you plan to continue your education after High School,” and five percent (10.45 students out of the 209 who responded) of the students replied no while 95 percent (198.55 students out of the 209 who responded) of them replied yes.

The next question, “Do you pay close attention to your grades,” had results of 17 percent (35.53 students out of the 209 who responded) for no and 83 percent (173.47 students out of the 209 who responded) for yes.

23 percent (48.07 students out of 209 who responded) said no but 77 percent (160.93 students out of 209 who responded) said yes to the, “Do you know how many credits you have?”

“Do you know how many credits you need to graduate,” was the fourth educational question on the CHS survey, the question had 19 percent (39.71 students out of the 209 who responded) said no and 81 (169.29 students out of the 209 who responded) said yes.

For the question, “Do you know what your attendance looks like,” 13 percent (27.17 students out of the 209 who responded) said no and 87 percent (181.83 students out of the 209 who responded) said yes.

Finally the last educational question, “Do you know if you are at risk of losing credits due to your attendance,” had 27 percent (56.43 students out of the 209 who responded,) say no and 73 percent (152.57 students out of the 209 who responded,) say yes.

By Katharina Ronquillo and Julie Ferrell

Student Motivation at Chaparral High School

There are various factors that motivate and influence Lobo education, and these factors were a major focus of this Howler survey.

We asked 209 Lobos (about 21% of the Lobo population) who influenced their views on education and 60 percent of those surveyed responded that their families are their main influences, yet 58 percent of those surveyed said that they believe their teachers should be their main influence. Other major factors that influence Lobo views on education are grades, sports, and social media.

It is no doubt that teachers at Chaparral High School (CHS) have an influence on student motivation and views. Aside from Lobo views on teachers’ influence, 86 percent of the surveyed Lobos told us that they felt their teacher wanted them to succeed, and 64 percent of the respondents said that they would be more willing to come to school if there was more one-on-one time with teachers.

We also asked students about their motivators and what the school could do to make them feel more motivated. Out of all respondents, 92 percent, of the Lobos we asked told us that they got their motivation from home. On top of this information, 27 percent of the students said that they want to come to school for the sake of academic advancement, but 34 percent of the surveyed Lobos, told us that their classes made them not want to attend school. With that said, it is no surprise that 45 percent of the Lobos surveyed said that the school could help them feel more motivated by changing their class schedules.

While Lobo motivators appear to vary for the most part, aspects such as family and teachers appear to be primary values among our Lobo community.

By Katharina Ronquillo and Julie Ferrell

How Can the School Improve Academics?

In a recent survey conducted by the Chaparral High School (CHS) Howler, there were several things that Lobos seemed to agree CHS could change in order to give them a better educational experience.

One of the questions in the survey directly asked Lobos if there was anything that the school could change to help them feel more motivated. The majority of the Lobos seemed to believe that changing the class schedules, such as the order of classes, and the lunch menu would help them become more willing to attend school.

The next question in the survey, “What makes you want to attend school?” provided several multiple choice answers for the Lobos to choose from. Out of six choices they preferred friends and academic advancement. This shows that students want to learn, but there are, in fact, things that keep them from wanting to come to school. This was also shown when it came to the question that asked Lobos what makes them not want to come to school, and most them chose teachers and classes.

All of these responses present aspects of the school that could change to keep students motivated. This shows that the majority of students surveyed have problems with their classes more than there teachers that keep them from wanting to come to school.

By Katharina Ronquillo and Julie Ferrell

Howler Motivation Survey

In a survey recently conducted by the Chaparral High School (CHS) Howler, 209 Lobos (approximately 21 percent of the Lobo community) of varying grade levels responded to questions about their motivation for school and how they feel about school. While some of the answers remained similar throughout all of the Lobos surveyed, a few questions presented study- worthy statistics.

One of the main focuses of this survey was on the educational motivators of CHS Lobos. In a section focused on figuring out why Lobos come to school and what pushes them to excel, the surveyed Lobos were asked questions such as, “When did you get your motivation for school?”, and, “What makes you want to attend school?”

Another topic addressed was where students learned their views on their education. This section focused on how students view their education and where they feel their views stem from. This section asked questions such as, “Who taught you your views on education?”, and, “Do you believe that your grades define you”

The final focus of this Howler survey was on student awareness. Lobos were asked questions about their school credits and attendance. These questions included questions such as “Do you know how many credits you need to graduate?”, and, “Do you know if you are at risk of losing credit due to your attendance?”

This Howler survey showed us that while the majority of our CHS Lobos have similar views on their education and similar reasons for getting an education, there are a few things that set each Lobo apart from the others.

Pie charts 2

By Katharina Ronquillo and Julie Ferrell

New Automotive Teacher…Again

Chaparral high school (CHS) has had three Automotive teachers over the past four years, but Daniel Taran is determined to stay, “As long as they’ll have me.”


Taran taught for nine years at Eldorado high school in Albuquerque before coming to CHS. He changed schools because he wanted to move back home to Las Cruces.

Taran began teaching for one reason, “Because a principal from a high school thought I would be good at teaching kids.”

Before teaching, Taran has had the following jobs: Automotive Tech, Service Manager, Parts Manager and Fleet Supervisor.

“Lazy and loud” is how Taran describes his students. But even with the way they act, Taran still likes to make the class fun for his students. Taran does like most of his students.

Liking them does not excuse them from doing the reading assignments, questions, power points and the usual book-work that he gives them. So they can learn about all the equipment an Auto Tech need to use.

The Automotive class has a lift, a brake lathe, a one-tire machine, one bouncer, four floor jacks, two safety stands, a welder, a computer scanner, and various hand tools. But Taran still wants to add two more lifts, an alignment rack, a new brake lathe, an on-the-car brake lathe, updated scanner, and fuel injection tester.

Taran teaches Auto Tech Computer Basics, Auto Tech two and Auto Tech three. Currently inAuto three students are learning electrical and electronics, and in Auto two students are learning brakes. All the Auto Tech students are using the lift, tire machine, scanner, floor jacks, safety stands, and miscellaneous tools.

“By being able to give them more on-hands, by getting more tools and equipment” says Taran concerning how he will make the class better for his students in the future.

Lobo Bistro kitchen is Hunnicut’s kingdom now

There is a new Lobo in charge of the Café, and her name is Veronica Hunnicut.


hunnicutt                                           Veronica Hunnicut behind her desk in the kitchen.



Hunnicut was surprised to find out last spring that she had a new role in the kitchen, but she is very excited for it had been a goal of hers. These are her words “I was very excited. It was an ambition of mine, but I didn’t expect it although I am grateful and blessed to have a great mentor like Ms. Davis.”

If you are a staff member or a teacher you can begin eating at the Café the first week of September. Teachers and staff will be able to stop by the Café for breakfast and lunch so they can purchase something from the build your oatmeal bar, egg sandwiches and coffee. For their lunch the teachers and staff will have a choice of salads in a jar, sandwiches and wraps to start off with. During breakfast the Café will be called The Howlers Café and during lunch it will be called the Lobo Bistro.

Hunnicut will be teaching Nutrition, Culinary Arts and Pro-star classes. Culinary Arts, Pro-star 1 and 2 will work in the Café and they will work together in shifts. In the classroom her students will learn theories, standards and the fundamental knowledge of the kitchen. When they are in the kitchen they will do hands-on labs, practice their new knowledge, learn from their mistakes and use critical thinking to fix the problems they face while working.

Her students will consider Hunnicut their District Manager, meaning she will train and set expectations and standards for the students. While she does that, she will have student leaders play roles such as Kitchen Manager, General Manager and Head Cook.

Projects in the kitchen consist of baking birthday cakes for staff monthly, district caterings, and

holiday meals.

“As a new teacher in this program I feel some students may not realize what type of work I expect of them, but I am hopeful that they are just as excited as I am to be cooking in the kitchen,” said Hunnicut.

The material and groceries her classes will use in the kitchen are purchased with lab fees, Fundraiser proceeds and sales from the Café. Fundraisers held by Hunnicut will be the monthly cake pops and holiday events.

Hunnicut will change the Café by putting new decorations and adding a Spirit Wall with athlete and class pictures. But they will keep the same furniture. Advanced Art is working on a mural project for the Café.

Meals in the Café will be planned, budgeted, tested, prepped and prepared by the students, which will in turn provide the students with useful skills and practice. Plus, their meals are fresh and healthy. They are open to suggestions and they will deliver on campus and free of charge.

Ms. Davis, as you all might know, was the teacher before Hunnicut ruling over the kitchen. For those of you who were wondering where Davis went, Hunnicut has switched roles with her, so now Hunnicut will be teaching in the kitchen for as long as she stays at CHS. “The reason Mrs. Hunnicut and I switched roles was because I needed a change,” explained Davis. “The classes I am teaching now are Nutrition, Life Skills and I monitor Edgenuity E2020.” Davis believes that Hunnicut will be successful during her time reigning over the kitchen.