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two seperate leagues for the yearlong season

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Cheering Through New Improvements

›› The cheerleaders are planning to

continue their success by working to achieve new goals

page 4

Homecoming Preparation Unites Students

Photo by Nora Boe

›› The ice hockey team diverges into

Photo by Emily Guerra

Photo by Jamie Shimamoto

Ice Hockey Team Divides Into Two

››Leadership organized homecoming week with hopes of creating memories that will last page 5

THE PONY EXPRESS Volume 59, Issue 2

Nguyen the News

Pioneer High School's Student Newspaper

November 7, 2018

Serving up a Win to Clinche League

Girls’ varsity volleyball team takes home the victory at 2018 BVALs

Emily Nguyen

News Editor Fire is one of the most terrifying elements on this planet. According to the California Department of Forestry, it has consumed 1,518,918 acres of forests just this year. These dangers have been an increasing toll on the 14,000 firefighters battling wildfires daily in California. Out of all the occupations in San Jose, firefighters are among the lowest paid. The average base salary of a firefighter is $55,989, whereas the average salary in San Jose in general is $84,203. That is a $28,214 difference, where one occupation has their life on the line. As inflation has gone up and housing prices doubled, these heroes have been struggling to stay in the city. San José’s fire department is the 10th lowest paid of 12 comparables. With the recent wildfires consuming the area, the sight of red trucks have become typical. Thousands of men and women risking their lives daily for the sake of the millions of citizens must be rewarded for all of their work. These people truly are the heroes that don’t wear capes. They do not get the recognition they deserve by the community, much less our school. San Jose Fire Department Station 17 is 0.2 miles away, a short five minute walk away, but we do not think twice to say thank you, even though they are always there for us. At every emergency drill and every injury that happens on campus, they are always there for us at a beck and call without a single complaint. I think this increase in their pay should have happened long ago, but I am joyous that it is happening now. For all the work they have done for our community, our school specifically, I would like to thank all of the men and women of Station 17 who dedicate their lives for us daily and deserve the pay they work so hard for.

On Saturday Oct. 27, the varsity girls’ volleyball team celebrated their first CCS win against the Willow Glen Rams. The Mustangs took the game by a close two points during the third set, led by the team captain Carissa MacDonald, 12. Photo by Natalie Sarsfield

By Natsumi Hirano Features/Sports Editor The girls’ volleyball team came back with a will to conquer. By defeating their rival, Leland High School, the girls won BVALs and made their way into CCS. Since moving up to Mt. Hamilton league last year, the girls were faced with countless obstacles to keep up with the new pace. However they had a 17-11 record overall and took a 3-1 win against Leland in their winning BVAL match which had lasted four sets, considerably longer than the regular three set game. Francesca Padilla, 11, has been on the team for two years and experienced playing

with both teams. She feels that the team work has gotten considerably better and that all the training and practice has payed off. “It’s super exciting especially since we’ve put so much work to get here and we’ve all been super supportive of each other on and off the court,” Padilla said. Head coach Tony Lien believes their ability to adapt and move forward is major factor of the team doing so well this season. He looks forward to more seasons with the same kind of mindset and dynamic as this year. “I am very proud of the work this team has done to achieve what they have this year. This team has worked so hard and sacrificed different things both individually and as a team to get where they have,” Lien

said. “They responded to the challenge and took each game one at time. Their focus, execution and team play is something I will remember fondly for years to come.” Sydney Solis, 12, credits some of the success at BVALs to the crowd the energy that they provided the team. “The BVAL win was one of the best things that have happened for playing for Pioneer. It was such a crucial win since it was Leland and we had to win.” said Solis. “It was a really fun because the crowd was into it to bring the energy to a higher level and push ourselves even harder.” Ending their season with BVALs under their belt, as well as making it to round two of CCS, the girls volleyball team had one of their best seasons to date.

Charged Emotions Over Teacher Housing Debate

The community weighs in on the new district proposal to replace schools with rentals for staff By Darius Parakh Staff Writer In the packed auditorium at Leland High School, district representatives pleaded before a hostile crowd. Coalitions of enraged parents expressed their opinions about a recently released district document, detailing nine campuses that could be relocated for lowincome staff housing. To local homeowners, the issue lied in Leland and Bret Harte Middle School’s inclusion on that list. For the past decade, San José Unified School District has focused on the rise in home prices in Silicon Valley, and its effect on their staff. For many, the extreme costs require them to leave the area in search of more affordable housing. In an effort to retain teachers, SJUSD compiled a briefing on the schools they could potentially replace with teacher housing.

Greg Braley, a nearby neighbor, was irritated by the proposition. Worried about the legal and financial ramifications of new housing, he formed an online petition in protest. “This will not help any teachers,” said Braley. “The houses will be 100 percent rentals because if the district sells them, they will lose their property tax exemption status. The question then becomes, do we really want our district in the business of being landlords?” The petition gained over 2,000 signatures in under a week as it tapped into the community’s anger, forcing the district to call a town hall meeting on Oct. 3. District 5’s Trustee Member, Kimberly Meek, was quick to remind the audience that the plan was a part of a larger issue, although it had not yet been finalized. “Fundamentally, we don’t have the money to pay our teachers the higher salary they need

to buy houses here,” said Meek. “The district has been forced to find a way to attract more staff, while still retaining our best teachers.” Although the meeting was primarily attended by those associated with Leland, the issues were felt across the SJUSD community. Former Pioneer history teacher Chelsea Jones was just one of the many educators pushed out of the Bay Area by the drastic home prices. Even so, she expressed doubt on whether she would have stayed had SJUSD offered teacher’s housing. “I think that the relationship between districts and employees is a delicate balance that requires mutual respect, and adding an additional element like housing would strain that relationship. The rentals would not be a productive part of the professionalism associated with teachers and their employers and would cross the boundaries between a teacher’s personal and professional life,”

said Jones. “I would rather be appropriately compensated for my work so that I could afford a home in the market I live in.” English teacher Laura Cozzella echoed Jones’ complaints, arguing for funding dedicated towards raising teachers’ salaries. “Rent is expensive, and while I can make do, the issue is I’m not making as much money as I would like,” said Cozzella. “Younger teachers are the ones who are typically paid less on the pay scale, and to be honest, this salary alone is not enough to support me, especially if you factor financial commitments that prevent me from being able to save as much as I would like to as a young adult.” Meek said that with no clear solution in sight, SJUSD is hesitant to completely strike the proposal from the table. As of right now, the online petition “Save Leland and Bret Harte” on sits at 6,300 signatures.

Pony Express - Volume 59, Issue 2



Preparing for Success With a New Diagnostic Test A change in the school provided course aims to positively impact the student’s SAT scores and test education

On Thursday, Oct. 18, Nick Hoffmans teaches the Laws of Exponents to studens during Math SAT Prep during FLEX to further prepare them. Photo by Darius Parakh

By Anvi Damani Staff Writer For nearly 100 years, the SAT has been a factor in the college aspirations of American high school students.

Pioneer provides a free SAT prep class conducted by staff members, aimed at raising test scores. While there is no major change in the test itself, the test-prep classes are focusing on the fundamental test-taking skills.

According to the School Site Council, there were 130 SAT prep sign ups this year. Along with adjusting the class scheduling, there was a change in the prep company from Future Path to College Spring. The new course provides individual diagnostic results from the custom test to help each participant improve their score for the SAT. Principal Herbert Espiritu is the head of the SAT prep program and found the need to change the company to College Spring, for the well-being of students. He feels that feedback from the diagnostic test is a beneficial tool that would help improve SAT test scores. “The company that we’re working with has the capability to be able to give individual scores and be very specific,” Espiritu said. “Anytime you can give students or teachers that information of what specific things to work on, that’s a powerful tool.” Precalculus and Algebra II teacher Jeneé Dampier is one of those instructors who has taken the responsibility to conduct SAT classes during FLEX.

“I’ve always told students that they are very privileged to have this. This is free, you don’t even have to stay after school or go anywhere,” Dampier said. “I also like to give students options to do things. Like giving them the tools, instead of the answers.” Nina Isaka, 11, started studying for the test in the middle of her sophomore year. Since the SAT is a test that colleges heavily rely on, it requires tremendous amount of dedication. “Well mainly it’s serving to remind me to study for the SAT,” Isaka said. “I’m hoping to see improvement because some of the teachers have special advice to give us, and that might help me.” Espiritu encourages students to attend the prep class as it’s the ticket to a higher education. “It’s a good indicator of how well we are educating students here at Pioneer,” Espiritu said. “We want everybody to go to college, or at least think about going to college. And that’s a very important message that some of the kids don’t receive from their parents.”

Parcel Tax Brings Money for Pioneer’s Provisions

Measure Y is being implemented this year to help retain staff and provide supplemental materials By Riley Fink Staff Writer As the academic standards for core high school classes change and evolve, the materials students use for their educational success must as well. On Nov. 8, 2016, the San José Unified School District Board of Education proposed Measure Y, an eight-year measure which introduced a $72 parcel tax to benefit every school in the district. This year, the measure will be implemented, providing the funds needed for projects within departments such as math, science, and English. SJUSD Director of Finance Arthur Cuffy said that the funds are broken up into many segments, but the major segment goes toward attracting new staff. “The bulk share of Measure Y funds is currently going to our retention strategy in the form of retention bonuses,” Cuffy said. “We struggle to compete with other districts that can pay much higher salaries than we can, so the retention bonus were a

way for us to invest in our most important resource, staff.” Principal Herbert Espiritu approves all requests for school supplies, including those

and an expanded book selection, alongside other future projects that may arise. “It’s all about supplemental instructional materials, specifically in math, science,

“Our student stress levels require support both academically, and emotionally. Helping our students be ready for the future is important, as their success translates to a better community for all of us.” -Laura Raimondi, San José Unified Council of PTAs President of which are purchased using Measure Y funds. He hopes that the money will be used for things such as graphing calculators

English, and electives like drawing, sculpture, and woodshop. These funds are for additional materials, so that they can

enhance their programs and the experience for their students,” Espiritu said. “We’re still providing all the basic stuff, but this is for extra things that teachers like to do with their students.” San José Unified Council of PTAs President Laura Raimondi hopes the additional money will be put towards instructional materials that will improve student success and preparation for college. “I welcome the opportunity to improve academic programs, and help with teacher salaries. I hope that Measure Y is able to put funds into preparing our students for college and career success,” Raimondi said. “Education is so multi-faceted. I know core academic programs have evolved over the years, but helping our students be ready for the future is important. I hope that this or some other funding source might help with access to emotional counselors. Our student stress levels require support both academically, and emotionally. Helping our students be ready for the future is important, as their success translates to a better community for all of us.”

Concerns from Students After Pittsburgh Shooting

An increase in violence has led to a disturbance among minorities and students regarding safety By Annika Dalhberg and Isabella Osborne Editors The violence against minorities is running as high as ever. This crime has been committed from shopping malls to schools, but now the hate had spread into a place of worship, a synagogue. A recent shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania left 11 people dead and several others injured. On Oct. 29, the shooting took place inside the Square Hill Synagogue and was deemed as a hate crime for anti-Semitic epithets and opening fire on the public. Robert Bowers, the suspected shooter, continues to stand by his motives and pleads his innocence. Esther Kolchinsky, 11, was alarmed by the recent attack on her culture. With several casualties and even more broken souls, she found herself in a state of shock and confusion. “At first when I heard about it I was devastated, I was like ‘why would this happen?’” Kolchinsky said, “Living in constant fear should not be something that we’re dealing with.” U.S. History teacher Peter Glasser, who


identifies as “nominally Jewish,” believes that the way to fix this problem is by opening up conversation regarding differences. “In order to guarantee and help foster a

Even if these discriminatory acts are not as relevant to the general public, Kolchinsky believes that the student body should continue to be talking about these recent attacks.

At first when I heard about it I was devastated, I was like ‘why would this happen? Living in constant fear should not be something that we’re dealing with. Esther Kolchinsky, 11

sense of safety and to be proactive towards these things,” Glasser said. “I think that all sides of the political spectrum really need to tone down their rhetoric.”

Pony Express - Volume 59, Issue 2

“I haven’t heard a lot of people who are not Jewish talk about it, I don’t know why. Maybe because they haven’t heard about it or it’s not as important to them because Jews are a minority,”

Kolchinsky said. Joelle Gendzel, 10, feels as though the world should have moved passed it’s hold on discrimination. She feels that there is really no reason to discriminate towards them, she doesn’t see the reason behind the hate towards her people. “You would think that those things wouldn’t really happen anymore, but that’s not the case and it just makes you feel kind of frustrated that someone still feels that way about Jewish people,” Gendzel said. “I don’t really understand why, there’s nothing wrong with us.” Glasser truly wishes to change the attitude that we as a country have taken on despite the disagreements seen in the world. “There will, and always be, people who are unstable and angry and afraid,” Glasser said. “We need sort of a revolution of kindness in a lot of ways.”


Swinging for Top Four in a New League

Nat’s Movement into a higher division brought new challenges to girls’ tennis Stats

By Katherine Rowe Staff Writer

Ending their first season in the Mt. Hamilton division, girls’ tennis finished with a 4-10 record. Girls’ tennis began their season in August, competing in a higher league after placing first in the Santa Teresa division last year. Setting their hopes high, the team’s goal was to be one of the top four teams to make it to playoffs. “Our chances are slim, but we’re doing our best with what we’ve got,” Hein said. “We’re working on serving, so we don’t double fault and also working on footwork to move better.” In her first year on the team, Brianna Wagener, 10, felt that hard work allowed the team to face the challenge of playing against teams stronger than Pioneer. “The teams are definitely a lot better, but we’ve all really focused our practice and devoted a lot of time to tennis, and hopefully that all pays off in the end,” Wagener said. Team captain, Sonja Ryser, 12, believes that the team’s close bond and tight dynamic allowed them to remain optimistic while playing tougher opponents. “Although the competition is harder, the stress is not more,” Ryser said. “We

Natsumi Hirano

Sports Editor

On Thursday Sept. 20, Sonja Ryser, 12, hits the ball towards her opponent during her match at the game against Leigh High School at Pioneer. Photo by Jessica Zhu would rather win, we are a mini family who honestly care more about spending time with each other than overly stressing about winning.” With hard work during practice, the team stepped up their play to be a contender against tougher opponents. “Throughout the season we have been getting better and better as we play against harder and harder opponents. We continue

to improve as a team, and each individually as we get used to playing better players and adapting to their playing styles,” Ryser said. As the season for girls’ tennis wrapped up, they were unable to advance to playoffs since they were not one of the top four teams in the league. However, girls’ tennis worked hard to be a competitor in a higher league this year, and hope to continue that growth next year.

Treading To a Historic Win in BVALs

The boys’ water polo team wins the tournament for the first time in three decades By Dani Chang and Jamie Shimamoto Staff Writers

everything as a team.” Tristan Felberg, 12, was overjoyed after winning the close game in overtime. He feels that this win was not only for himself, but also for the people around him that helped him achieve this goal. “It felt extremely good to win BVAL finals because we have been working hard all season to achieve our goal of winning league. We did it. It was cool to make history,” Felberg said. “Winning that game was a team effort. We played the best defense we had all season and shut down most of their shots, along with scoring the goals that we needed to win the game.” The boys’ water polo team hopes to utilize this win as encouragement to win next year’s BVALs.

Expanding the Ice for a New JV Team The ice hockey team diverges into two separate leagues for their second year

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Ben Neverve, 11, warms up and practices shooting the hockey puck into the net before the game versus Los Gatos begins. Photo by Jamie Shimamoto

By Jamie Shimamoto Staff Writer New skates are entering the rink as the ice hockey team initiated a new junior varsity team, opening up a welcoming platform for students with beginning level experience in the sport. The ice hockey team started off small in its inaugural year, yet now has seen them almost double in players, extending the presence of

the program on campus as well as bringing more excitement to the team. With players and coaches exposed to this change, many look forward to the new experiences. Assistant coach Jeff Shiverdaker is eager about the expansion of interest in the ice hockey program, as well as having players broaden their experience on the ice. “It’s hard for somebody to come in who hasn’t had a lot of hockey experience to join varsity play, since you have kids who played

since they were little,” said Shiverdaker. “This year will be great because we can have kids that haven’t quite played ice hockey to be able to join and be on a more appropriate level to play.” Hence, with more students joining with little ice hockey experience, head coach Steve Neverve trusts that the skilled, experienced players will help guide them throughout the season. “I’m expecting anyone that has more experience to mentor kids that are newer to the game, and that’s through encouragement, advice, and showing them how things are done,” said Neverve. “We really push working together as a team, and whether you’re the most or least skilled, you’re equal on our team.” Vincent Mowad, 12, finds benefits of the new junior varsity ice hockey team, because he is able to play for junior varsity or varsity, depending on the need of positions for games. “When you play at a level that you aren’t quite at, it forces you to take a step up,” said Mowad. The ice hockey team is eager to have the new junior varsity, and hopes to keep expanding as a program in the future. Their next game will be against Bellarmine at 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 20, at Solar4America at San Jose.

Athlete of the Month Photo by Natalie Sasfield

Overcoming every challenge that they faced, the boys water polo team advanced through BVAL finals to win the Mt. Hamilton league. With smooth passes and a strong defense, the boys had dominated the league with a record of 5-1. These skills helped to their biggest win at BVALs in over 31 years, defeating their long time rival, Leland High School, 6-5 in overtime. They attribute their win to their teamwork and the skill that they have gradually developed over the past few years.

Brendon Kurihara, 11, believed that this win signifies their bond as a team and their overall determination as individual players to rise to the top. “This win feels unreal. For the past two years, we’ve had decent teams. Now that we have a good team, we clicked and it’s flowing together like a machine,” Kurihara said. “The guys are leaders, there’s no egos. We are a family.” Coach John Foote found that the camaraderie between the players existed because of their long standing involvement in the sport as a team. “We have got a large group of guys, nine seniors and eight juniors,” said Foote. “They have all been playing together for a lot of years. They work in play, they do

CCS has always been a dream for many high school athletes. Just this year, three fall sports have achieved that dream. For me, that match is one that I train my hardest for, one that I have spent countless hours laboring over. Many sports this season have made it to that final game. This season, we have three teams going to the tournament: cross country, boys water polo, and girls volleyball. These teams have worked endlessly to be where they are, and qualifying for this tournament is a feat in itself. All teams have showed us what teamwork is, whether it be through collaborating for a shot, or the perfect rally, they have shown us what it means to really be a team and how to rely on not only yourself but the team as well. I have been an individual athlete, a swimmer, and never felt the kind of camaraderie, where your success relies on another’s success. I look up to these athletes who have shown the immense physicality required for these sports. The people who tread water for over 50 minutes, the people who run several miles through hills, the people who sacrifice their body to keep the ball in play. To start off the year with three teams making it to CCS, it inspires me to look forward to my goals and prepare for the hard work ahead.

By Dani Chang Staff Writer The boys’ water polo team excelled in both leadership and skill to have their best season yet in a long time. Tristan Felberg, 12, rises to the occasion as a leader to guide his team. As a clutch player acclaimed for his incredible saves, he has helped his team place 12th in the nation this year for Junior Olympics, winning the first league championships for Pioneer in three decades. Felberg appreciates the difficulty of the sport and understands how vital his role is in winning each game. “The game is different from other sports since it is in the water and not many people can do it. As a goalie it is my job to lead the team on defense,” Felberg said. As someone who has seen Felberg’s improvement over the years, Coach John Foote appreciates his leadership qualities. “He’s not one of the guys messing around at practice or duping jokes,” Foote said. “He’s the guy listening, the guy teaching. To have the maturity level to take charge and do that on his own is incredible.” The friendships and experiences that Felberg has gained are what make water polo an influential part of his high school life. He hopes to end the season strong by grabbing hold of the victory title in CCS.

Pony Express - Volume 59, Issue 2



Absence in Forming Connections Among Students Letters between upper and under classmen create many lasting friendships the Office

The sudden departure of a long time staff member opens doors By Annika Dahlberg Editor-in-Chief From ticket sales to tardy slips, one member of the staff has announced an absence of her own. Due to personal reasons, attendance clerk Toni Matos elected to leave Pioneer after more than two decades in the Mustang family. Between her own children attending the school and her job, Matos has spent over 20 years at Pioneer. Throughout her time, the connections Matos has formed with students are something she will miss the most, especially with those she works with regularly. “I have a lot of connections with kids that have illnesses,” Matos said. “Their parents come directly to me. It makes me sad because those kids rely on me.” Due to Matos’ sudden departure, the district and Principal Herbert Espiritu have recently hired someone to fill the position. During the two week background check process, Lisa Callahan and Jade Dihn have been dividing her workload. “The operations at Pioneer rely heavily on the classified staff in the office,” Espiritu said. “We’ve been really lucky with filling those spots.” Fortunately, she was able to find a new job in Stockton to be closer to her daughters and granddaughters. “I don’t have any choice,” Matos said. “I just hope to be as happy at that job as I am here.”

The Big Sis Little Sis boxes, located in the Student Services, invites students to keep communicating with their pen pals throughout the year.. .Photo by Natalie Sarsfield

By Sara Stamos Staff Writer Making connections with seniors is a very important part of making the school more inclusive and inviting towards the freshmen. Big Sibling, Little Sibling pairs “little siblings,” underclassmen, with “big siblings,” upperclassmen, and establishes a pen pal relationship so underclassmen feel like they have a trusted friend they can go to for advice. The club’s presidents, Emily Keller,

12, and Samantha Stoopenkoff, 12, have the responsibility of pairing up the upperclassmen with underclassmen. They choose the pairings by using a survey that they have all club members fill out when they sign up. The survey includes details about the individual such as fun facts, likes and dislikes, and hobbies. “Based on their interests we would match them up so then they have something in common that they can talk about,” said Stoopenkoff. The presidents make sure that both under and upperclassmen feel comfortable

with their partner so that they form a friendship. “You actually gain a friend, and you get to know them, you get to know part of their life, what they’re like, a little insight and everything. I know they actually gain a friend and remain friends,” Stoopenkoff said. Ka’Ja Joyce, 9, recently joined the club and is really looking forward to the bond she hopes to make with her big sibling. Joyce is comforted knowing that she has her big sibling to help and guide her through freshman year. “I thought it would be fun to make a connection with an upperclassman,” Joyce said.“Being a freshman, I’m just navigating my way through high school and could use some advice along the way.” Another new member, Delaney Paez, 9, is also excited to get to know her big sibling more and hopes that they’ll form a friendship. “I definitely see myself creating a new friendship with my bigger sister because we have a lot in common and I think she’s is going to be able to help me out a lot,” Paez said. Paez and Joyce are both excited to see what the club holds for them as the year goes on. “I think the club is a great opportunity to make new friends and I am enjoying it so far,” said Joyce. Keller and Stoopenkoff are proud to be presidents of such an inclusive club. They feel that they are really making a difference and helping create meaningful relationships.

Combating the Ignorance Surrounding Seizures Two friends take on the chance to bring change to the school and to the community with new club

By Renee Boissier Staff Writer Many people are not aware just how prevalent epilepsy is, neither do they know how to handle a person having a seizure. This is exactly why the Seizure and Epilepsy Club was created, as a means to expand the awareness of the community. The co-president of the club, Katelyn Kidder, 12, was personally motivated to create the club because of her epilepsy. Kidder wants the club to help both people with epilepsy and educate people without. “Our number one priority is how to notice

a seizure, what to do when you first see it happen and to know it’s a common condition,” said Kidder. “You can get a seizure from just not drinking water all day, it’s a common thing, nothing’s wrong with you. You’re not insane, because that’s the struggle I really had with it, I thought something was really wrong with me.” However, Kidder wants the club to be more than just a weekly lecture, but also allow for a platform for people with epilepsy. “Since I have dealt with a lot of personal issues with epilepsy I really want to find people who aren’t just epileptic, but have had a seizure and just talk about it with them, because it

really does a lot for your mental state,” Kidder said. The club’s adviser, Kyle Murdock, wants the club to be able to have a positive effect on the student body. “I would hope that they would be able to engage the student body,” said Murdock. “In a way that would allow people on campus to be aware of what epilepsy is and how prevalent it might be, and to know what the actions are in order to help be a little more sympathetic to those who have those disorders.” The club’s other co-founder Millen Memary, 12, hopes the club can bring change not only in, but outside of the school as well.

She thinks that volunteering and supporting the National Epilepsy Foudnation would be a good way to help strengthen the community. “One of our priorities is to fundraise for the national organization and we are going to be doing some fundraisers throughout the year, visiting hospitals and things like that and just help in and outside of our community,” said Memary. By volunteering for hospitals, creating platforms for people with epilepsy and educating people about epilepsy and seizures, the club hopes to bring a positive change to Pioneer’s campus and to the local community.

Varsity Cheer Team Sets New Goals for 2018 Season Pioneer’s cheerleaders are planning to continue their success by working to achieve new goals By Emily Guerra Staff Writer The cheer team’s dedication and skill has carried them through their season so far, and their new goals will propel them forward in skill and dedication. Both the JV squad of 14 and the varsity squad of 40 have continued to work towards their various 2018 goals. Every cheerleader has goals they plan to accomplish throughout the next few months. Math teacher and cheer coach Jeneé Dampier’s goal revolves around reforming the social aspect of the sport. “My goals for this year are to have the cheerleaders be respected on campus and to change the stereotype around cheerleaders not being the best academically. I have heard a lot of great feedback from my other colleagues, that girls on the cheer team they’ve seen in the past have really turned around, and that is something that I take a lot of pride in,” Dampier said. Liberty Andrews, 11, wants her varsity


team to improve on connecting with one another in order to better them in terms of skill building. “For stunt groups, you have to have that connection with each other to work on your set. So if we connected with everyone on the team, it would be helpful for performances we do,” Andrews said. Between cheering on the football team and entertaining crowds during halftime, team captain Athena Miranda, 11, helps to keep her team’s spirits high when they are feeling down. “My team is very fun, we have a lot of jokes with each other, and we’re very lighthearted, so we can always just make each other laugh,” Miranda said. This year, Miranda wants to expand on teamwork and conversing with one another. Because the stunts cheerleaders perform require synchronized moves, being on the same wavelength is key in order to prevent injury. “When going to cheer we all have to have the same mindset, we have to have that communication with each other. If

Pony Express - Volume 59, Issue 2

On Friday, Oct. 25, Skylar Rollins,12, and Christina Bohorquez,12, perform at their home game halftime alongside the PHS dance team. Photo by Natalie Sarsfield one person just seems very down and has the attitude that she can’t do something, then the entire thing is just not going to work, so the most important thing is just to believe you can do it,” Miranda said.

The connection cheerleaders are making instills a bond that forms not just a team, but a family as well. Support the team when they perform at Pioneer’s first CCS. playoff game on Friday, Nov. 9.


Homecoming Preparation Helps Unite Students Leadership organized homecoming week with hopes of creating memories that will last a lifetime By Cody Yick Staff Writer From a week of dressing up, to a night of dancing, homecoming has been a high school tradition for generations. On Oct. 13, over 600 students attended the dance. For a month leading up to the event, in hopes of creating a night to remember, the leadership class organized the spirit week, rally, and dance. Leadership teacher Amy Hernandez oversaw the plans leading up to the event and kept hopes for an entertaining outcome in mind as the class prepared for homecoming week. “Groups work to plan and execute their portion of the homecoming week,” Hernandez said. “We talk about our goals for the week, what we hope for the week and then work to make it happen.” Activities Director Macy Valdez, 12, helped create this year’s homecoming events. The class split into four groups, dance, royalty, parade and rally in order to organize those aspects of the week.

“All of our groups were constantly working. There wasn’t a single moment that anyone was relaxing or taking a break. Everything is go, go, go for the whole week,” Valdez said. ”At times it’s stressful, but it’s worth it in the end because what we’re working for is going to have a great result in the end. It’s risk over reward.” Seeing as some students do not enjoy dancing, the leadership class provided alternate activities to appeal to the interests of more students. “We know dancing isn’t for everyone, and some people aren’t very comfortable with going to dances. We wanted to have an alternate option for people who aren’t really as into dances as others,” Valdez said. “The most important part of homecoming is unifying all of our classes. This is a time where all of our classes can get together and plan a class dance, plan a float, and do all this stuff. It is not just leadership, it’s all the kids.” Ryan Valenzuela, 10, is a transfer student who experienced his first dance at Pioneer, noticing the unity of the students as they

On Friday Oct. 12, Liberty Andrews,11, and Serena Samhouri, 11, cheer loudly alongside their claasmates as they watch the events of the rally unfold. Picture by Robin Dewis enjoyed themselves at homecoming. “Everyone was able to have a good time, dress up, get that school spirit going, and being able to connect with people you wouldn’t

normally talk to in the halls,” Valenzuela said. “Everyone was having a good time. Everyone was dancing. Everyone was going crazy and nobody was really singled out.”

Creativity and Business Come Together Into One FIDM Club offers oppurtunities to students who are interested in pursuing future careers in the Arts By Emily Dao Design Editor Students interested in fashion, design, business and merchandising now have a place to meet other individuals that are passionate about the same topics as them. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Club provides information and scholarships for club members that are interested in attending any of the four campus locations that FIDM has in California. Deanna Dewree, 12, is the founder and

president of the FIDM Club and has always had a passion for fashion. Ever since she was a child, she realized that she liked to design her own clothes to fit her taste. “I have unique style in a sense where I like to be comfortable but I also love to be super stylish,” Dewree said. “At the time, there weren’t enough clothes that gave me that option so I made it myself.” Dewree created the club in order to bring a more college focused experience to students who are interested on entering into the design and creative business in the future.

“FIDM is also an art school that also happens to work in the entertainment business,” Dewree said. “I want to spread that out to everyone. That way, people that do consider maybe going there or even having that option, can.” Elyza Luna, 12, is the co-vice president of the club and plans on majoring in graphic design at FIDM. She wants to attend FIDM in the future because of the environment that it had compared to other colleges that she had toured. “Everybody was so passionate about what they were doing,” Luna said. “That’s what motivates me.”

Club member Zoe Crowe, 12, joined due to her interest in fashion, makeup and design. She likes how the club covers a broad range of topics and allows her to share her passion with likeminded people. “I haven’t been able to go in depth about a lot of the complexities of the field before,” Crowe said. “I think this club can act as a missing puzzle piece in my knowledge” The FIDM club is currently looking for more members to participate in their activities. If anyone is interested, club meetings are during lunch every Friday in room 307.

Pony Express - Volume 59, Issue 2


Entertainment Starring Sars

Band Comes Back From the Trenches

Twenty One Pilots comes back after a year break with their brand-new album

Natalie Sarsfield

Entertainment Editor Music today has seen quite drastic changes from the classic, or old school, stylings of a simpler time, where the all of greats have been preserved in. I can vividly remember the good old days of being five years old in my mom’s minivan on road trips with Aretha Franklin and Journey being sung at the top of my lungs the entire time. Songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” shaped my childhood and my sense of belonging in a world that I am so distant from. Not to be bashing on modern music or anything, I still am a normal functioning teenager who listens to music that my parents tend to hate, but I find myself to be so immersed in these classics. The first time I heard “Dream” by the Everly Brothers, I was instantly infatuated with their talent and how sweet, pure, and innocent the intentions behind this kind of music used to be. It feels like all that plays on the radio now are the same six popular songs at the moment that all sound the same and are all written about the same things. Music is intended to be a form of art, not just a collection of repetitive noise. There is no doubt in my mind of the absolute brilliance that lies in creating true music, music that isn’t just the same chord progression over and over again and actually has some depth and character to it. Music from back in the day should be appreciated and remembered as iconic. Classic rock and roll as well as doowop throughout the mid-19th century are works of pure genius that have undoubtedly shaped the foundation of the ever-changing world of music to this day and continuing forward.

A survey conducted by the editorial board shows the overwhelming popularity of “Blurryface” compared to Twenty One Pilot’s other albums, including “Trench”. However, only 45.2% of those surveyed have listened to “Trench”. Graphic by Natalie Sarsfield

By Natalie Sarsfield Entertainment Editor On Oct. 5, the highly anticipated new album “Trench” was released by the popular alternative band Twenty One Pilots after the long awaited break from a yearlong hiatus. I have been following them since their last major release of “Blurryface” in 2015. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure what to expect from “Trench” and my feelings towards it before it came out were leaning to a negative outlook, maybe due to early snippets of the album that I wasn’t the biggest fan of. A yearlong hiatus leaves a lot of room for expectations to be formed and possibly crushed. However, to my pleasant surprise, I was thoroughly impressed by the whole album. Twenty One Pilots introduced newer

techno and electronic stylings while still remaining true to their standard urban approach to the modern music scene. For example, “Neon Gravestones” was quite reminiscent of their hit “Car Radio” from the album “Vessel,” which was released in 2013. Numerous songs were nostalgic of their previous albums, further cementing how their individual style has been developing over a multitude of years. Bode Scott, 11, genuinely enjoyed the variety he found in the album after listening to the band for several years. “They’re usually good at creating new sounds and beats and connecting with people’s lives. I think they are talking about death a lot and to make the most of life before it’s over,” Scott said. “There’s songs talking about love, relationships, and others just about life.” Many of the songs were produced by

lead singer Tyler Joseph, accompanied by drummer Joshua Dun. While at times some of the songs were painfully repetitive, most followed a trend of strong build ups to the choruses as well as unique and fused with breathtaking background tracks. A majority of the songs also seem to have speculated hidden meanings and powerful messages incorporated into them. True fans have become almost obsessed with decoding these innuendos. Chiara Donnelly, 12, has been a fan since the summer before her freshman year and felt beyond excited about the album. “I feel like ‘Trench’ goes more in depth of a storyline,” Donnelly said. “They’re not what you typically hear, it’s their own style. It’s so surreal to have them back after that hiatus but a good surreal.”

“Bohemian Rhapsody:” Unique Man, Mediocre Film

Hollywood’s attempt at trying to capture the magic of Queen falls short due to uninspired direction

On Friday Nov. 2, the new “Bohemiam Rhapsody” movie premiered in the U.S.. The movie encapsulates singer Freddie Mercury’s life before his historic Wembly Stadium performance with his band, Queen, in 1985. Photo courtesy by

By Colin Smith Staff Writer There is a scene in “Bohemian Rhapsody” where Queen tells their manager that they don’t want to be formulaic like other rock bands. They don’t want to repeat hits, they want to be original, they want to be iconic. Sadly, the


film that depicts the legendary rock band is anything but original. Plagued with repetitive montages and indigent pacing issues, the movie doesn’t live up to the title it presents us. Instead, we’re stuck watching an average two and a half hour flick on an attempt to capture how spectacular Freddie Mercury was. Directed by Bryan Singer, whose

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filmography includes the “X-Men” movies and the praiseworthy “The Usual Suspects,” was fired mid-production due to having differences with Rami Malek (who plays Mercury) and 20th Century Fox. Although the film credits him as being the director of the movie, another director by the name of Dexter Fletcher replaced him to finish the rest of the film. Fletcher did a fine job

of keeping the presentation consistent. I couldn’t differentiate where one’s direction ended, and the other started, but maybe that’s because every single scene in this movie was shot, lit, and presented in the most boring way imaginable. Do something with the camera. Move it with intensity or angle it in an intriguing direction, anything better than just face, cut, face, cut, face, cut to next scene. By the hour and a half mark, I felt like my interest was deteriorating rapidly. And my god does the film feel long. Rami Malek was the only redeemable quality of the movie, and if it weren’t for him creating some personality to Freddie Mercury, the film would be a candidate for the most useless picture of the year. Of course, the music was spectacular, and Queen’s music still holds up to this very day. But does having something amazing play over something that’s terrible make it any better? It upsets me to think that people will enjoy this movie for its final minutes where they show Queen perform at The Live Aid concert. They play some of the band’s best hits, and just like that it ends. The credits roll, and we think “Hey, that was pretty cool.” Oh, but don’t be so easily manipulated my friends. Unfortunately, you just witnessed another rock star biopic, nothing more, nothing less, and we all know that Mercury was more than this. One day, someone will make the biopic Freddie Mercury deserves. Today is not that day.


Mega Man’s Eleventh Adventure is Switching Gears

The “Mega Man” video game series has returned for it’s latest installment after an eight-year hiatus By Will Majors Staff Writer In the year 1987, a game company named Capcom released a video game about a peacekeeping blue robot named Mega Man that jumps and shoots at other antagonistic robots on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Later in 1988, Capcom released the sequel on NES, which went on to become one of the best selling games in the entire franchise. “Mega Man 3” was later released followed by seven more entries in the series as well as the spin offs like “Mega Man X” and Mega Man Battle Network” Series. Following the release of “Mega Man 10” in 2010, future projects like “Mega Man Online” or the well known “Mega

Man Legends 3” were canceled for the next eight years until this year. After all of cancellations and a drought of anything “Mega Man”, Capcom announced “Mega Man 11” at the 30th anniversary stream for the series, slated for release on Oct. 2 of this year, and the fans went ballistic. Ethan Percival, 9, is very excited for the prospect of a new official “Mega Man” game and was quite impressed with the design. “It’s a really good game, I think the developers put a lot of time into it,” Percival said. “They made sure that every fan would try to have what they’d be waiting for, that anticipation would fulfill their wait.” “Mega Man 11” brings back the standard jumping and shooting found in all of the games. However, it adds a new

gameplay mechanic to Mega Man dubbed the Double Gear System, operated by the L and R buttons. Pressing the L button activates the Speed Gear which slows down time around a player, allowing them to get past obstacles. On the other hand the R button activates the Power Gear which supercharges the Mega Buster, allowing players to fire two charge shots at once to deal more damage to strong enemies. However, overusing the Power or Speed Gear can cause them to overheat Mega Man, meaning they become unusable for a short amount of time. At one point or another, health will get dangerously low. There is a chance for savior however by pressing both buttons at the same time to activate the double gear which allows to charge up a devastating

charge shot that does a ludicrous amount of damage. Albeit the character still overheats, except even more than usual rendering only the use use of the Mega Buster. “I think it’s actually pretty cool,” Percival said. “It’s gonna make the game easier and it looks awesome.” “Mega Man 11” marks the return for the series with this installment and may even pave the way for more “Mega Man” installments like “Mega Man X9” or “Mega Man 12”. Freshman Nicholas White is also enthusiastic about future installments in the “Mega Man” franchise. “They might work on a new game. I recall hearing something like that. If “Mega Man 11” does well, we may consider a new X game. We can only hope,” White said.

New Aliens, Ships Enrich “Star Wars: Resistance.”

Supporting characters outshine the leads and the plot in the latest Lucasfilm animated offering

The latest animated offering from Disney and Lucasfilm, “Star Wars: Resistance,” introduces a rag-tag group of stunt pilots and soldiers on a backwater outpost, set just a few months before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Photo Courtesy of Lucasfilm

By Jason Goldman-Hall Adviser Now that the future of the “Star Wars” spinoff films is as uncertain as Rey’s parentage, fans of the saga have a long wait until December of 2019, but that wait won’t be an entire drought. The latest cartoon series in the “Star

Editor’s Picks By Annika Dalhberg, Emily Nguyen, and Natalie Sarsfield Editors High schoolers often base their selfesteem off of the validation of their peers and the presence of significant others. We are all, to some extent, guilty of this misalignment categorized by letting other people define our self-worth. We wanted to come up with a playlist that started off with slower and sadder music, transitioning into more positive and optimistic, representing personal growth out of pain. Music has the ability to shift emotion. In making this playlist, we hope that we can help lift the moods of those struck by heartbreak. From here on out, we’d like to create a monthly playlist with unique, lesser known bands with relevant themes to broaden our reader’s musical palette. Contact us if you have songs that you think we should hear.

Wars” canon, “Star Wars: Resistance” debuted on Oct. 7, after a premiere event a week earlier at Lucasfilm’s headquarters in San Francisco. The series, set just before the events of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” takes place on the backwater planet of Castilon, home to a fueling station known as “the Colossus.” There, new lead character Kazuda Xiono is tasked with spying on the

First Order by Poe Dameron. “Kaz” is a protagonist cast from the same bumbling mold as Ezra Bridger in “Star Wars: Rebels,” which is above and beyond the weakness of the series. Once again a well-acted, diverse (even more so than before) cast is relegated to support for a lead character that does more harm than good in his adventures. The support cast however, a group of spacers, engineers and traders, is excellent. The publicized voice appearances of Oscar Isaac (Dameron) and Gwendolyn Christie (Captain Phasma) are a nice touch, but the real strength comes from folks like Bobby Moynihan and Jim Rash as the traders Orka and Flix. But they’re outdone by fellow “Ducktales” alum Josh Brener’s “Neeku,” an innocent Nikto engineer who made my daughter laugh out loud several times. One improvement in this series, over its predecessors, is its willingness to break from the familiar in favor of new storytelling. Both “The Clone Wars,” and “Rebels” were conceived as breaks from the established characters and stories, but ended up staying close to established content. But “Resistance,” perhaps because it plumbs the less-explored interim between trilogies, has its own world and its own ships. They’re not fan-service shoehorning

A-Wings or B-Wings in, but creating new vessels and technology. This gives the universe a larger feel, and increases the scope, something all the new “Star Wars” material greatly needs. This is helped by my single favorite aspect of the show, the inclusion of aliens and technology from all over the “Star Wars” universe. The sequel trilogy movies have focused too much on new technology and new aliens, but “Resistance” includes Neeku’s green Nikto, along with Snivvians (the species of “Snaggletooth” in “A New Hope”), Nautolans (like Kit Fisto in the prequels) and others. A close second in terms of favorite elements is the First Order’s “Red Baron,” Major Elrik Vonreg, a red-clad TIE pilot with a distinct helmet design. His red TIE Interceptor is reminiscent of designs from old video games, and his helmet has a T-visor similar to Republic commandos from the old “Star Wars” canon. I don’t feel like this show will have the lasting fan-love of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” but I certainly enjoyed the first few episodes more than I liked “Rebels.” By shrinking the scope of the show, it’s already made more room for character development, and it will be interesting to see where the show goes as time goes on and it approached the timelines of the newest films.

Sad and Single 1. Catch You On My Way Out 9. There She Goes The La’s Finish Ticket

17. Two Ghosts Harry Styles

2. Drive Oh Wonder

10. Amy Green Day

18. Jealous Labrinth

3. Bruises Lewis Capaldi

11. Angels Khalid

19. Beam Me Up P!nk

4. Waves Dean Lewis

12. The Background Third Eye Blind

20. Goodbye Baby The Walters

5. Arizona Common Souls

13. Drops of Jupiter Train

21. Uncomfortable Wallows


14. Broken Roots Michl

22. Sad Song Parson James

7. Million Reasons Lady Gaga

15. 11 Blocks Wrabel

23. Human dodie, Tom Walker

8. Hearts on Fire Gavin James

16. Streetcar Daniel Caesar

24. The Scientist Coldplay

Pony Express - Volume 59, Issue 2



279 Mass Shootings and Zero Change The Pony Express Editorial Board The past few years have been stained with the blood of the innocent, torn apart and mutilated by hate and by the injustice of ignorance. On Oct. 29 steps of worship became a place of condemnation in an act of anti-semitism. A gunman opened fire within the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the desire to kill. With the shooting in Pittsburgh adding to a total of 297 mass shootings in the US in 2018 alone, the image of what American represents has been blurred. For a country that prides itself on diversity, we continue to use violence to suppress those different from us. We live in an era where neo-Nazis are free to walk the streets unpunished but legal immigrants must live in constant fear of being deported for minor infractions. We accept only the opinions that parallel our own. We leave no room for differing perspectives and different stories. Clearly, the government isn’t doing anything to address this ongoing issue. Our

own president, on the day of the shooting, prioritized America’s favorite pasttime rather than addressing the shooting, the victims or the survivors of yet another hateful attack. When will we say enough is enough? Who has to die for us to finally wake up to our problem? We have gone numb. Violence has become such a normality in this country that we hardly react to it, unless we are immediately involved. People are dying, but we don’t take the time to care. It is disgusting that the government refuses to prioritize the lives of its people, and instead puts its emphasis on fake news and their own image. If the government won’t do anything about this problem, society as a whole needs to take action. Sure, it is easy to say “I didn’t do it,” but that doesn’t mean we are helpless in this situation. We need to expect more of each other and society. We need to expect more of ourselves, and pass on the morals of acceptance and inclusiveness to the future generations. It is terrifying that one can no longer expressing their beliefs without fearing for their lives.

We need to create a community of tolerance. We can no longer divide ourselves by our differences, creating teams and pinning ourselves against each other. We remain unbothered by the fact that the Pittsburgh shooter outwardly divided himself into an enemy of innocent people, claiming that the innocent Jewish people who lost their lives were “invaders that kill our people.” and that he can no longer “ sit and watch (his) people get slaughtered.” Rather than fighting against the perpetrators of hate, like Robert Bowers, we continue to fight over who is right and who is wrong. We are unable to accept that we have different points of view, different beliefs, and different backgrounds. That in itself is what America is built on: uniqueness. We are the future generation of America, and it is our responsibility to be the solution. We can no longer stand by and watch as those who run this country continue to enable these intolerant acts to occur. We can no longer allow hate to fester in our hearts and our country. We can no longer divide ourselves by our differences. We need to be better.

Post Malone and His Undeserved Loss Emily Guerra

Staff Writer Post Malone arrived at the AMAs in a turquoise suit adorned with rattlesnakes. He accessorized with a gaudy western belt and silver glitter boots. The man came dressed to win, and he did receive two of his six nominations, but that doesn’t satisfy me. Malone undoubtedly deserved Artist of the Year over Taylor Swift. Awarded since 1996 at the American Music Awards, it recognizes an artist that had the biggest influence throughout the year. When sifting through positive reviews of Swift’s newest album, “Reputation,” very little is written about the actual quality of her music. The record made

waves on social media not because of its musical content, but because of her accumulating controversies with Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. The album got as much attention as it did because of the idea that she was shedding her “good girl” brand. It seems as if the only way Swift can attract attention is controversy. Malone’s latest album, “beerbongs and bentleys”, tells a story of the artist’s fears and loves, and we are able to see him in a vulnerable state most rappers never show. In “Paranoid”, he raps about being terrified of death, and how this fear has affected him as a person. “Rich and Sad” breaks down a time in Malone’s life when his girlfriend had left him and, despite his immense wealth, was at his lowest point. Post Malone has lost numerous friends this year, but instead of feeling bad for himself, he’s been spending time reminiscing with his fans about the singers and helping people cope with losses that everyone felt. Furthermore, he established a huge movement in men’s fashion that encouraged self expression and to be true to themselves. Swift convinces preteens to believe that

their only purpose is finding boys to break their hearts. For a woman who tells her fans that they are their “own definition of beautiful and worthwhile, and no one else’s,” she sure is dependent on her exes for both her dignity and her lyrics. Contrastingly, Malone’s music can be enjoyed by anyone. From his new upbeat song “Sunflower” to his iconic low tempo “I Fall Apart,” Malone’s genreless music has a range of messages and moods that appeal to every feeling. Malone danced through 2018 not only with music but with love, kindness, and positivity. When faced with hardship he overcame it with happiness, instead of creating a smoke screen with tabloid drama. Maybe you don’t agree with Post Malone’s morals. Sure, he tattooed “always tired” under his eyes, and he called the American government a reality TV show, but Malone’s music is revolutionary. He inspires us not to be cookie cutter copies of himself, but who we truly are. Malone deserves the long sought-after Artist of the Year award in so many more ways than one.

New Doctor, New Season, New Focus Renee Boissier

Staff Writer If you’ve ever watched “Doctor Who,” you’ll know, the appeal of the show has never been in the scariness of the monsters. It’s not about the CGI or the costumes or the sets. It’s about all the amazingly vibrant characters and this new season does not fail us in the least. I’ve been watching “Doctor Who” since I was eight years old and watching the season 11 premiere made me feel just as drawn in as I was then. Every actor who plays the Doctor puts their own spin on the character, sometimes it’s a good spin, sometimes bad. This is why I must admit as excited as I was to see the female Doctor, I was at first a little apprehensive. Now however, I could easily see my heart being stolen by Jodie


Whittaker’s Doctor and her companions. I adore how Whittaker shows much more true insanity from the Doctor than I’ve seen before. It seems like with every regeneration each characteristic of the Doctor is accentuated more and more. The raw emotion and energy seen in David Tennant’s tenth Doctor was exchanged for the loneliness and childness of Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor and so on with the twelfth Doctor. Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor however exchanged all that for absolute and complete insanity and curiosity. She is a true madwoman with only a memory of sanity. Full of energy and crazed spunk she also has an unending supply of excitement which is extremely contagious to watch. I don’t really care whether or not Tsaw is an alien or a ball of chords, I care because the Doctor cares. Along with the addition of this new mad-woman, it seems “Doctor Who” is also taking a fresh stance on their political messages within the shows. Not only has it increased in ethnic diversity, but where there has always been a rather less than subtle message of compassion, empathy and peace, that message has become even more relevant. In the second episode of

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the new season, Ryan, a young man with dyspraxia, grabs a gun to go charge at the cyborgs trying and kill them. The Doctor warns him against this and very clearly says “Guns never solve anything” which in this day and age is a rather controversial statement, what with the recent increase in school shootings and all. The whole episode in fact is a warning to what happens when there’s a sole focus on creating weapons. Trying to find the “Ghost Monument” and win the prize, they happen across a carved letter from the scientists that talks about how they were forced to create weapons and by doing so they left the water poisoned, the plants dangerous and monsters everywhere. Not only that, I have never in my life been so emotional about the TARDIS. Like, every other time the Doctor has been reunited with his box I’ve been like, “Oh, yay. Cool, love that thing.” But before she even entered the box I was like “HOLY MOTHER OF DRAGONS YES! THE TARDIS! OHMYGOODNESS!” The TARDIS, the Doctor and the potential this season has has me more excited for “Doctor Who” than I’ve ever been before. Cue the fangirling.

WE HELP FUND THE PONY EXPRESS! We are the Pioneer High School Education Foundation and we raise funds for: • • • •

Student Service Learning NHS Banquet/Scholarships Classroom technology Academic programs

ATTENTION PARENTS: We meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month in the Media Center and we’d love to have you join us as we support PHS students in their academic endeavors. We are searching for parents to help raise funds in support of technology and educational needs of the school. Visit us online and make your donation today using your credit card. It’s fast and easy. Go to and select the Education Foundation link. Questions? Email us today at PHSEF is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization

The Pony Express wants to hear from you. Send us your thoughts, comments, criticism or praise, and we’ll potentially print it here. Letters should be exclusive to the Pioneer Pony Express and preferably 150-200 words. Contact the Pioneer Pony Express at Anonymous letters will not be considered for print.

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The Pony Express Newspaper Staff Editors-in-Chief Annika Dahlberg | Isabella Osborne Section Editors Natsumi Hirano | Emily Nguyen| Natalie Sarsfield Staff Writers and Photographers Renee Boissier | Dani Chang | Anvi Damani | Emily Dao | Riley Fink | Emily Guerra | Will Majors | Darius Parakh | Katherine Rowe| Jamie Shimamoto | Ben Shiverdaker | Colin Smith | Sara Stamos | Cody Yick Tech Team Emily Dao | Emily Nguyen | Natalie Sarsfield Adviser Jason Goldman-Hall

Pony Express | November 2018  
Pony Express | November 2018