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The Journey

We live in a world where we fear a long list of dangers. Every day we see evidence of dangers that are outside our control. There is one fear, however, that we can all work to eliminate. This past month, the guidance office visited every grade and every section to talk about something many high school students around the world fear: bullying. A recent report from the American Medical Association on a study of over 15,000 6th-10th graders estimates that approximately 3.7 million youths engage in, and more than 3.2 million are victims of, moderate or serious bullying each year. Though this study was conducted in the United States, these trends are evident worldwide. Bullying, though often subtle, is a strategy many students employ to

ALP Guidance Office Next to the main office


intentionally harm their peers. Our goal in visiting classrooms was not to accuse, but to inform for the purpose of accountability. We cannot hold you to a standard that we have not clearly defined. We want our school to be a safe place for everyone, no exceptions. As this quarter begins, you might think of where you’ve made exceptions. Think about all the times you’ve intentionally made someone feel left out. In general, we like to consider ourselves good people, nice people, friendly people. But, if you are honest right now, have you made exceptions to that general rule? I know this sounds incredibly like “High School Musical,” but what are some ways you make sure everyone in your class feels included? Now, I didn’t say make everyone your best

friend, but that doesn’t let you off the hook either. As Christians at a Christian school, the environment is still ultimately decided by your actions. Being “Christian” by name means nothing if students wake up afraid to come to school and face bullying. We can all agree to help each other with the dangers we cannot control. We know God will provide the strength we need in every moment. What we can control is making sure bullying is not added to the list of dangers we fear. The looks, whispered words, shoves, and insults add up to a fear we can prevent.

look what’s inside________ Student Spotlight: Hadizabel, José León

Teacher Interview: Mr. Yarbrough Post-its, Comic, Revue SENIOR information

2 3 4 5

The guidance office at ALP exists to support you in your academic endeavors and to promote a healthy lifestyle. In our role as guidance counselors, we make decisions informed by Christian values and in the best interest of you, the student. We encourage you to use the Guidance Office as a resource for college preparation, course planning, emotional stress, relational issues, organization skills and study habits.


For the student who stands out...

Students who show up in this section have made a choice to be a positive part of the ALP community and we think what they are doing is marvelous! Read about your fellow classmates’ creativity and unique spirit and then see if you can land yourself in the spotlight!

THIS MONTH: Hadizabel Izaguirre, an 11th grader, can always be seen gracing the hallways with her beautiful smile. She has made quite an impression on many people, but here’s what Mrs. McNiel has to say about her, “Hadizabel is always cheerful. She encourages other students in class. Her attitude is always positive and she goes beyond what is required.”

José León is a 10th grader who is not afraid to make a big impression. This is what Mr. Garrison has to say about him, “José works hard and strives for excellence. He is creative and self-motivated, which is a rarity these days. He always makes me laugh, even when he’s not trying to. José is as gentle as a butterfly but has the heart of a “lion.” Others teachers and I agree that these qualities will take him far. He will probably even rule the world someday. Congratulations, José. “The Lion” does it again!

TRIVIA laughable laws In Cleveland, Ohio, it is unlawful to ride a bicycle with "no hands."

who done it? You may THINK you know teachers here at Pinares, but see if you can guess who did this: This staff person’s Brooklyn accent adds something interesting to every conversation. To hear him/ her compare NY drivers to Honduran drivers is always a treat!

If you want to appear here in the STUDENT SPOTLIGHT, do something extraordinary that sets you apart from everyone else. Even sometimes the smallest words of encouragement can absolutely change someone’s day. Don’t miss your chance today!

Did You Know? With every little bit of knowledge, I realize how much I still have to learn. 1. Bullying is the most common form of violence in our society; between 15% and 30% of students are bullies or victims. 2.A recent report from the American Medical Association on a study of over 15,000 6th-10th graders estimates that approximately 3.7 million youths engage in, and more than 3.2 million are victims of, moderate or serious bullying each year. 3.Membership in either bully or victim groups is associated with school drop out, poor psychosocial adjustment, criminal activity and other negative longterm consequences. 4.Direct, physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school. Verbal abuse, on the other hand, remains constant.  The U.S. Department of Justice reports that younger students are more likely to be bullied than older students. 5.25% of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying or putdowns and consequently intervene in only 4% of bullying incidents. source: resources/factsheets/bullying_fs.aspx

We HEAR you!

We aren’t just the guidance for you when things go wrong... we want to guide you in the positive decisions you make as well! So, tell us! Write an email to with questions, concerns, or suggestions. OR you can just stop by our office.


You may know him for his math and science skills, but there are many things you probably don’t know about this University of Texas graduate. NICHOLS: How did you end up here at Pinares? Yarbrough: My wife’s sister’s boyfriend’s uncle works at a school in Tegucigalpa whose chaplain is a Pinares alum. NICHOLS: What was your favorite thing to do in the summer growing up? Yarbrough: I played football (North American style of course). I grew up in tiny towns in West Texas. There wasn’t really much else to do. NICHOLS: What do you most like about teaching? Yarbrough: Seeing students grow and mature in ways they didn’t think possible. At the beginning of the year many of my students were overwhelmed with the work facing them. The work hasn’t gotten any easier, and it’s no less daunting, but their abilities have skyrocketed. They’ve tackled some high-level material and they’re still standing. I like that almost as much as they do. NICHOLS: What is your favorite traveling experience? Yarbrough: As part of our honeymoon, my wife and I took a road trip from Texas to Chicago and, being young college students with zero dinero, we decided to camp at state parks. One night, we pulled into a park in Arkansas at about 9 pm. All 99 camp sites were completely deserted save one, inhabited by an old-school shaggin wagon. Needless to say, it was a little creepy. After getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, I managed to get a small fire started with the scarce quantity of wet wood available. We cooked and ate our dinner while fending off raccoons, then showered and climbed into our tent for the night. About 5 minutes later we heard something REALLY big step out of the woods and massacre a few of the coons still milling around. Being in my PJs, without contacts, and having nothing but a 3 inch knife, I didn’t feel up to taking on whatever was lurking outside. So, we spent the night in the car. Actually, we spent most of the night suffocating from the heat, unable to open the windows due to the army of hungry mosquitoes. Sometime later I remembered my mom had packed mosquito netting in our trunk. I spread it over the car, climbed in and rolled down the windows to welcome the refreshing breeze…just as the sun came up. NICHOLS: What is one piece of advice you would share with students right now? Yarbrough: You will never have more free time than you do right now. As life progresses, responsibilities increase, and that’s a good thing. But don’t waste the opportunity to be a great friend or get really good at playing the piano for trivial things that won’t matter 5 years from now. Steward your time well.


(where we post important info for you)

ALL: Get yourself recognized in the Student Spotlight this year and we’ll treat YOU! Come ask us for more information (or read on page 2). Please check out the Guidance bulletin board outside the teachers’ lounge. It has helpful information about planning for your future!

Guidance Office Resources We are excited to announce more resources available through the Pinares website. Just go to and click on Secondary and then on the Counseling page. You will find resources for studying, college preparation, and also suggestions to maintain a healthy balance in your life.


4,5 Knowledge Bowl

11,12,13 High School Retreat

24 Progress Reports

25,28 No classes

laughter is the best medicine

the review: A Mother’s Hope

Congratulations for those of you who appeared on the Honors list this quarter and special recognition to those students who appeared for both first and second quarter!

Dates for your memory in FEBRUARY

I’m swinging this review section back in the direction of fiction this month, because I don’t want you to miss the book I finished in three short days. Don’t be confused, Francine Rivers doesn’t normally write short novels and this book is no exception. But it seemed that a well-written escape was just what I needed on the return from Christmas vacation (which we all know can be just as tiresome as work or school). To be honest, it had been a while since I had read a good, long book clear through in several days. This is one of my guilty pleasures, I guess you could say. I am glad I opened the first page near a weekend so I could stay up late to finish it. Without spoiling too much, one of the most attractive elements in this book was the way I found myself fighting with the protagonist. I came to know and love her calloused way of looking at the and herOffice determination to accomplish herofdreams. Maybe what I loved most about Marta, the Stop by world the Guidance to plan for the next steps your education! main character, is that she is far from perfect. Her abusive father broke something in her at a very young age that she was never really able to mend. So, we trudge through the Swiss Alps and then France, England, Canada, and California as she carries her burdens and joys. Even by the last page I hadn’t quite sorted out if I was mad, sad, or just simply touched by her struggles.


You are over halfway done. Keep running the race!

TEST DATES Date: March 12 SAT test date register online by Feb. 11 Date: April 9 ACT test date register online by March 4 Date: Feb. 5, 26 TOEFL test dates Make sure to visit our webpage on to see updates, dates, and links for college preparation resources!

REMINDERS Please remember that you need to be checking test dates and deadlines regularly! Also, please make a point to attend all the college visits. Even if you don’t plan to go there, these representatives can answer many questions that you have.

Keep pressing on!

Never give up!

by Mr. McNiel

Can you believe that you are over half way done with your senior year? Oh my, how time flies. I’m sure you can remember marching into school on the first day of your senior year back in August as if it were just a week or two ago. So, here we are at the beginning of second semester with the clock ticking down towards graduation. I received an email from UNAH recently that some of you may be interested in. They are offering an admissions test between January 31st and February 9th for those considering UNAH in the future. If you would like more information, I posted a flier on the counseling bulletin board in the hallway or visit their website at Another email I received may be of interest to some of you as well. If you recall, an admissions representative from the University of New Haven (Connecticut) came and presented here a couple of months ago. He emailed this past week and notified me that the admissions department of UNH is considering offering a half-tuition grant to a top student from Academia Los Pinares. If you would like to investigate this option further, see me sometime soon for more details. One last reminder I have for you is that the applications for Ficohsa’s “Juan Atala Matar” Scholarship are due on April 15, 2011. If you have any interest in applying for this scholarship, please see me for more information and the application forms. Remember, this is a fantastic opportunity that provides $10,000 per year for four years to students who are selected. I encourage you to consider applying for this very generous scholarship opportunity.

The Journey - February 2011  

The Journey Newsletter for February 2011

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