• Seniors taking reigns in politics

     

     

    Mrs. Sloan teaching one of her classes.
    Mrs. Sloan teaching one of her classes.

    Teenagers and young adults are used to hearing, “you can’t, you won’t, and you shouldn’t do that because you’re too young.” It can be unnerving, maybe a little frightening, to give reigns and freedom to a teenager. Sometimes, though, the results of such can be surprising, and even amusing if you give them enough reigns to steer their way.

    Recently local students proved this by engaging in grass roots politics. Many seniors from Pueblo West High School participated in a caucus and a few of them were picked to be delegates.

    Carter Ortiz, Republican delegate, caucused at Pueblo West High School. He was influenced to take part in the caucus by one of his teachers, Mrs. Sloan, who teaches Advanced Modern World History.

    Mrs. Sloan recommended visiting the caucus.

    Ortiz, like many who caucused, thinks it is valuable to be informed about politics.

    “I’ve always been interested in staying up to date with what’s going on in the country… if I’m going to put a vote in, I should know what my vote counts for,” he says.

    His political influence stemmed from his parents in early childhood, but as he became more educated about politics, he developed his own opinions through research. However, he says that Mrs. Sloan was his biggest political influence.

    “I went [to the caucus] with the idea of just listening and trying to figure out how it goes, but I got involved in conversation and by doing that, I got selected to be a delegate,” he says.

    Ryan Boitz, a Republican delegate also influenced by Mrs. Sloan’s class and an inner want for political information, admires his caucus experience.

    “The young voter is so important ‘cause we’re the future, and we need to become informed and speak our word,” Boitz advises.

    “I like to know what is going on at all times to make sure I do what I can to make sure that our future will be secure,” he says.

    Remembering his experience, he says, “It was cool to see all the diverse people. There was a construction worker, a teacher, a business owner, so we got to see all of the different opinions… I think it was interesting to see the diverse people,” Boitz recalls.

    Although Boitz caucused and delegated as a Republican, he claims to be “on the fence” with his political views.

    “I like to know what is going on at all times to make sure I do what I can to make sure that our future will be secure,” he says.

    Mrs. Sloan’s class also influenced Travis Bever to caucus.

    Bever developed a unique opinion about caucusing.

    He thinks that Colorado should have a primary election instead of caucus “because all [the caucus] was, was people fighting with each other.”

    Bever recalls the experience as “people taking shots at each other.”

    Although he caucused as a Democrat, Bever plans to switch to Independent because he believes in the importance of being informed.

     

    Mrs. Sloan claims more than half of her students caucused.

    “More than fifty percent of the students went to the caucus… and the idea that several actually became delegates was very exciting,” she says.

    Sloan’s Advanced Modern World History class focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century global issues, but also learn about governmental structures worldwide.

    “Most of the students are eighteen and older… so they’re very motivated to participate in the system, and I was very pleased to see that motivation,” says Sloan.

    Caroline Cavender, a chosen Democrat delegate who is not in Mrs. Sloan’s class, caucused at Skyview Middle School.

    Cavender agrees that it is very important for young people to be politically involved and to vote.

    “Our generation has a lot of social change, and we’re going to new ideas and ways, so I feel like we’re the ones who need to go out and vote because we’re the ones to go about that change,” Cavender says.

     

    On March 19, Republican delegates met at East High School and Democrat delegates met at County High School.

    Alan Borcic and Madison Pritts both say they learned a lot about how the political process works, after being delegates.

    Pritts, Republican, reflects, “I was able to see how people in my own neighborhood felt about politics and the Republican candidates.”

    She says, “I think it is essential for every United States citizen, even young people, to learn about the two party system.”

    Pritts believes it is important for people to be educated before they vote and she plans to be politically active through adulthood.

     

    Borcic’s decision to be a delegate was “definitely a learning experience.”

    He says, “When it comes to politics, there are some people who really get into it, and I saw that… It got heavy in there.”

    Borcic remembers a particular situation of a woman spoke without “knowing her stuff,” which consequently led to name-calling.

    “I thought it was crazy at some times,” he recalls.

    His delegate experience wasn’t what he expected.

    “I was expecting it to be nice with all these older people – simple, no fighting. I figured the Republicans might do that a lot from seeing their debates,” he says.

    Despite the surprise experience, Borcic is “glad [he] went,” and he “actually met some nice people.”

    About being a young voter, Borcic advises, “We are the future, so we have to know what is going on… Know what you want because if you don’t vote, then you can’t complain about what happens next.”

     


  • Commit and Conquer program at Pueblo West High School

    The weight training facility in Pueblo West, Commit and Conquer, has recently announced a program for Pueblo West High School in which students can train. Admission fees per student for this program have not yet been determined. It is considered a school club, such as Chess Club or the fishing club, etc, but if capable, students will compete nationally.
    To qualify, one does not have to necessarily be athletic or strong, but must be willing to try and improve. Joe Leal, former owner of Commit and Conquer, spoke, “It is for any lifters or any non-lifters – just whoever would like to join.” Each individual will be given the same workout, however, and the weight will vary depending on the individual. Supervision will be available to assure safety. Equipment is also provided at the facility, so there is no need to bring extra supplies from home.

    The coaches of the weightlifting program are Dustin Hollman and Cory Sullivan.
    Committing to this program will guarantee hard work and likely pain such as soreness and mental battling. Clay Johnson, a member of this program, states, “The workouts are extremely strenuous and we workout almost everyday.”

    Paige Hollman, another participant , says her workouts consist of, “squats, lower body workouts, and technique exercises.”

    The gym is located at 141 Purcell Blvd in Pueblo West. The goal of this program, as stated by Leal, is to “get more people into lifting, and to show that lifting isn’t just to get big and strong.”

    For more information, visit the address stated above.  

    Pueblo West High School weight room. Photo by Cavan Sheehan
    Pueblo West High School weight room. Photo by Cavan Sheehan

  • Pueblo West name change

    Some residents want a name change of the metro district, Pueblo West, Colorado.

    This name change offer has caused mixed reactions. Pueblo West has always been compared with Pueblo due to the similarity in name and the proximity of the two cities.

    There is a stigma against Pueblo because of the high crime rate and the gang activity there, so Pueblo West is often associated with these opinions. Pueblo is #7 in the top 10 most dangerous place in America.

    Pueblo City Council President, Steve Nawrocki, said in an interview with KRDO, “My feelings were hurt a little bit. We have always looked at them as part of our community and certainly good neighbors.”

    Realtors have responded positively to the prospective name change. Jerry Burns, a local realtor, said in an interview with KRDO, “Pueblo itself does get a little bit of bad publicity as far as crime and everything when Pueblo West is so much better. I think it’s time we have our own identity.”

    More interviews done by KRDO include Tori Taylor who says, “It’s always been Pueblo West, so I’m just use to it.” Whereas Jeannine Van Eperen said ,“It would make people realize it’s its own city.”

    There are no current plans for the name change of Pueblo West.


  • Soaring drama department

    With the addition of the new auditorium, the drama department is having an amazing year.

    Interviews with Mr. Mac, the drama teacher, Jimmy Dale, Madison Holmquist, and Rebekah Derdoski, drama students, displayed that the most recent productions have been very successful. Derdoski and Dale were the two lead roles in the recent production “Our Town.” Derdoski played Emily Webbs, the love interest of Dales’s character, George Gibbs.

    Last year, the drama department had a very small room to work with, along with no actual stage or proper lighting. The auditorium has been such a beneficial addition. Mac quoted “I got 12-foot ladders, I couldn’t do upstairs with 8-foot ceilings. So I have more room, I can do bigger shows; we can do shows better. Lighting is much more substantial. Much larger variety of shows we can do now.”

    The drama department would like to see more people involved. “More people, more people for tryouts. People who aren’t in drama for like the after school stuff. You don’t have to be in drama to do those, you kinda just have to come to auditions.” Dale quoted.

    Things you can expect out of the department this year is better theatre. More productions that are upcoming include a steam-punk version of “Frankenstein,” and “The Sound of Music.”

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  • 2015 Youth in Government

    Throughout three days during Thanksgiving Break, 13 Pueblo West High School students went to the Capitol in Denver. The students wrote legislature, debated many controversial ideas in not only our State, but also our Country, and worked with both conservative and liberal groups of students across the State for Youth in Government. The 2015 Youth in Government session was composed of 160 students. All students came from a wide range of Colorado Schools; very large public schools, tiny schools on the Eastern Plains, and even private Christian Schools. Also,  this year one of New Mexico’s delegations flew in to partake in Colorado’s Youth in Government session.

    For the duration of  these three days PWHS students worked hard on arguing over bills, acting as Senators, Representatives, Lobbyists, Pages, and Press members, and trying to get them passed through the Senate and the House up to the Youth Governor. On Wednesday, the last day, there were elections held for the 2016 officer positions. Even though Pueblo West had a considerably small delegation, we swept the elections compared to much larger delegations from Fairview, Gateway, and Arapahoe High Schools. PWHS received many officer positions; including Governor and Lieutenant Governor won by the pair of Ian Miles and Aaron Lombardi, Speaker of the House won by Isaac Sloan, and Attorney General won by Cassie Daly. One of Pueblo West High School’s students, Saxon Bryant, was also lucky enough to receive the award: Best Representative for Colorado for the House of Representatives. Students worked hard in campaigning for their elected positions and giving speeches to large groups of students.

    Pueblo West High School staff shares their pride for the students representing our State and Nation’s future. All those who spent three days of their Thanksgiving Break to debate and speak at the Capitol Building showed true determination and the spirit of Pueblo West High School.

    2015 Pueblo West Youth in Government delegation
    2015 Pueblo West Youth in Government delegation