All posts by Sebastian Galaviz

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

2017 Baseball Season Looking Up

Gilbert Rojas has been coaching the Chaparral High School Baseball program for the past three years. Rojas sees the past seasons as a learning experience, because the Baseball program is, “Still trying to catch up.”

As of today, the Baseball program had 25 players in the off-season, which was only enough for a varsity squad and a junior varsity squad. Rojas is trying to help these 25 players understand the game, as he said, “It doesn’t come easy to a lot of people.” This year’s off season’s goal was to get prepared mentally.

Last year’s baseball record was 1-23. “The overall knowledge of the game was our weakness last year,” said Rojas. This season Rojas expects the overall knowledge to improve, and expects players to know how to prepare to win games. Having the mentality of a win is a big part of success.

Rojas doesn’t have any captains for the team, but he is expecting more from the experienced players: Robert Esquivel, Nick Castro, Jose Luis Esquivel, and Raymond Sanchez. In order to be prepared, Rojas expects these players to lead and to take care of their roles. The baseball program will have 26 games in total, 13 of them are home games.

The team’s strongest asset is how they work hard at every practice. The team loves to practice. “Other teams have been playing since little league,” said Rojas. Most of the Chaparral Baseball players didn’t have that experience.

The Cure

Assistant Sandra Valadez seated and Lobo Nurse Carole deCastro in their den.
Assistant Sandra Valadez seated and Lobo Nurse Carole deCastro in their den.

For the past four years, Carole deCastro (Chaparral High School’s Nurse) has been the cure to our viruses.

deCastro’s day starts early. She gets to school at 8:30 a.m., unlocks all the doors and turns all the computers on. By the time she sets everything up, there is a student at the door waiting to be attended. She attends from 35 to 55 students every day.

The most common reasons students go to the nurse are headaches and stomach aches. All deCastro can do for headaches or stomach aches is lay the students down on beds with a pack of ice for their head. deCastro is not allowed to give students any sort of medications.

Students also seem to come to school very sleepy and for that reason if you are very tired and did not get enough sleep, the nurse offers the “Energy pod”. The Energy Pod is a sleeping pod with southing tones which are proved to be relaxing. “It is a quiet-dark place to calm down” said deCastro. The nurse gives you 20 minutes to sleep or relax in the energy pod.

deCastro is a very caring person. “I love taking care of people, I love people,” said deCastro. deCastro believes she developed such personality because of her mother who was also a very caring person. When deCastro was about 45, she had to take care of her grandmother, 94, who had gotten sick. deCastro liked taking care of her grandmother, and from there she had the idea of becoming a nurse.

deCastro attended University of Central Florida for another two years for her Bachelor’s in Education, she also went to Texas Tech University for two years to get her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. In order to be a nurse, you need to be registered as a nurse. The first requirement in becoming a registered nurse is to obtain the proper education. There are several different paths that can lead to licensure as an RN. Aspiring RNs may earn a diploma, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

In the Chaparral High School Health Center, there are two employees, Carole deCastro (Nurse) and Sandra Valadez (Health Assistant). Valadez’s job is to help deCastro with anything she needs, the only thing Valadez can’t do is inspections. The most deCastro can do before calling an ambulance is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and give oxygen.

New Coach, More Wins?

New Basketball Coach

This year’s basketball players are looking forward to the new season at Chaparral High School because they recently hired a head coach.

Nicolas Gerardo Uribe is the new head coach at Chaparral High School (CHS); during the day he works next door, at Sunrise Elementary, as a Physical Education coach. Uribe drives from El Paso to Chaparral every week-day at seven in the morning, and drives back home around three or four in the afternoon.

Uribe himself played basketball in high school. Uribe attended Austin High School from 1999-2003. He graduated from UTEP in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Science I Kinesiology and a minor in Education. Uribe would like to turn his Bachelor’s into a Master’s, but he is focused in coaching at the moment.

Uribe came to CHS to fulfill his high school dream of being a head basketball coach because “I have always wanted to be a high school head coach since I was a senior in high school, it has always been my goal” as Uribe said. Uribe was a Junior Varsity (JV) coach for Cathedral High School’s basketball team for five years, before coming to Chaparral.

Although Uribe is new, he is confident with what he is able to do with the team. “I believe that my strength as a coach is my ability to communicate well with my players and build a strong relationship with them. I know my weakness as a coach is that this will be the first time that I am a head coach, so I know there will be situations that I will have to learn from and improve upon everyday” said Uribe.

As of today, CHS has 35 players in the entire program and about 12 of these players are in Varsity. This year’s Varsity team is a younger team, six of them are sophomores. Not only is the basketball team short in numbers, but in height as well. Their average height is about 5’10”. Although CHS has a short team, Uribe feels “Confident that the team will work hard and continue to improve with every workout.”

Guadalupe Gonzalez Dominguez adds it up at CHS

Ms. G. Gonzalez-Dominguez
   Ms. G. Gonzalez-Dominguez

Chaparral High School 2015-2016 year welcomes Guadalupe Gonzalez Dominguez to her new position. Gonzalez is 33 years old and is teaching for the first time as a math teacher. She loves her job and doesn’t really mind having to wake up early every day for school.

Gonzalez is married and is the mother of three children. She lives in Canutillo, Texas, and drives every day to school taking 20-30 minutes. “Having to wake up at 5:00 a.m. and arriving at 6:00 a.m. doesn’t bother me,” said Gonzalez, “I am used to it.”

Before Gonzalez was a teacher, she was a tutor at El Paso Community College. Gonzalez always wanted to be a math teacher and she accomplished her main goal by succeeding with patience and dedication. “I hope all my students have the same dedication and patience to math as I do,” said Gonzalez. She wants her students to be successful with math. Teaching was always her main focus when growing up.

Gonzalez graduated from UTEP after two years following another three years at EPCC. If she could teach wherever she would like to, she would be a community college professor. Gonzalez said, “I love my job,” even though it is not very easy. Teaching at Chaparral High School is her only job. Gonzalez wanted to teach math because it is her favorite subject and she also feels comfortable with it.

Gonzalez feels that she wouldn’t have changed anything in her past, as she said, “Everything has gone according to plan.” The only thing she would like to change about herself is to be healthier. In other words, to be more fit.