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Maria Balandran awarded Gates Millennium Scholarship

Allen and Gonzalez named All Austin girl and boy

Meningitis vaccines required for college

the pioneer austin high school

may 2013 • 3500 memphis • el paso tx 79930 • volume 82 issue 5 • established 1930


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Celebrated at Senior Night Rally


austin pioneer • may • 2013 • 2

Maria Balandran awarded Gates Millennium Scholarship

Maria Balandran crystal rodriguez reporter

Seniors Omar Ibarra, Maria Balandran, and Daphne Maese, were three out of nine EPISD seniors named Gates Millennium Scholarship finalists. Maria Balandran was awarded the Gates Millennium scholarship. “I think it’s absolutely fantastic,

it’s great that our students are being recognized for their gifts, talents, and hard work,” principal Dr. John Tanner said. The GMS Program selects 1,000 students each year to receive a “good-through graduation scholarship” to use at any college or university of their choice. As of last year, more than 16,000 students have received GMS scholarships, attending more than 1,500 schools, including Ivy League colleges. “The scholarship helps a lot of people who need assistance with financial needs, they’re [GMS program] trying to make the next leaders of the world,” Ibarra said. Because the scholarship required a total of eight essays, applicants had until January 16, 2013 to submit their final applications.

Omar Ibarra Some applicants received help from Dr. Tanner and English teachers, especially English teacher Ms. Debra Call. “Ms. Call helped me check the essays and get them in on time. Dr. Tanner also helped because he encouraged me to do the application. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to get through the application process

and be a finalist,” Maese said. In the week of May 13-17, GMS finalists were notified whether they received the award money or not. Balandran was the only recipient from Austin High School. “I was nervous, so once I got out of work I went straight to the mail. When I saw the package I just cried and I hugged my dad,” Balandran said. “He was happy and proud of me, I think that’s what made me cry.” The GMS award provides support for the cost of education by covering unmet needs and self-help aid, renewability, if scholars maintain satisfactory academic progress, and graduate school funding for a limited amount of career fields. In fact, 29% of Gates Millennium

Scholars go to graduate school. “I feel accomplished because I knew my parents expected a lot from me, and with this scholarship I will be able to accomplish my goals and to pay back their hard work. Also it’s a relief because my parents don’t have to worry about the expenses for my education,” Balandran said. photos by: A& A Photography

Daphne Maese

Ivan Baker declared first African American male valedictiorian katrina villalobos reporter

After more than 80 years of history, senior Ivan Baker has been named the school’s first African American male valedictorian. “I hope to become a civil engineer and one day fund or make a foundation that helps other students get scholarships,” Baker said. Baker also mentioned his family and how his parents felt about him becoming valedictorian. “My parents are really proud that I’m even valedictorian and especially that I’m the first black valedictorian,” Baker said. Baker was recognized by many colleges for his class rank

achievement. “It was difficult. I had to choose between the University of Texas at Austin and Emory University,” Baker said. Baker wasn’t fully aware of his becoming of the class of 2013’s valedictorian until black history month. “I first found out in February,” Baker said. On February 28, KFOX and other media came to interview Baker for his accomplishment. “I didn’t think they would put it on KFOX, I just didn’t think it was a big deal. We don’t really get recognized for much. I was nervous but it was normal, it at least let me know that I was doing

something positive. I told them it was great being recognized for being the first black male valedictorian at the school. Anyone has the potential to do anything so long as they have the will to do it,” Baker said. Senior year wasn’t Ivan’s only year of being at the top of his class academically. “I was number one my freshman and junior year also. My sophomore year I was second,” Baker said. Baker is not the first of his family to attend college. “My mom went to college for a bit, I believe she has a two year degree. My dad is finishing up his time at the Sergeant Major Academy and my brother is a

junior in college. It kind of puts a little pressure on me to go to college since I know that I had it a little easier than them growing up,” Baker said. Baker also participated on the school’s basketball team. “I’m in basketball, I did track my freshman and junior year. It can be hard keeping up with both grades and sports, but as long as you keep your priorities straight, it just comes sort of natural. I just need to make sure all my grades don’t fall and that all of my college applications are processed so I’ll be ready for school in the fall,” Baker said. The athletic department voted Ivan the All-Austin Athlete.

“My favorite class is calculus but my favorite teacher is Ms. Rojo. She puts a lot of time and dedication into teaching. I don’t really have a mentor or a special inspiration but the closest would be Batman. I just try to do the best to my abilities and being valedictorian is just part of it,” Baker said.

Mrs. Shelley Hiett named teacher of the year 2013 ijhanea bunting reporter

 After 35 years of being an instructor, Shelley Hiett, the instructional coach for special education, was presented with the Teacher of the Year award.   “I felt honored and proud to represent Austin after working here for 27 years. Even though I am not from here, I have always felt Austin was my home,” Hiett said.   Mrs. Hiett teaches a class of sign language and works with Mr. Todar in an inclusion World

History class. She is responsible for making sure curriculum modifications are in place and TAKS placement for Special Ed students is correct. She ensures students are successful by assisting them in any grade problems in any of their classes.  “I didn’t strive to win teacher of the year because I usually don’t like to bring recognition upon myself. I don’t see it as a duty, but I do it out of the love for my students. I have been able to do what I do because of the love and support from my husband and

three children,” Hiett said.  Over her 27 years at Austin, she has been more than a teacher. She has helped children who have been hospitalized, homeless, pregnant, and ones enduring family problems.  “My grandmother, who taught for 42 years, instilled in me the love of learning. Secondly, I had one of the best teachers a student could have, my 6th grade teacher. He made learning so much fun and I wanted to do the same. My father, who was a doctor, helped others and I wanted to follow in

award.  “I want to continue to help students. After I retire, I want to volunteer for various organizations or in a hospital setting, working with sick children,” Hiett said.   Looking back on all the obstacles she has conquered in her educational career, she wouldn’t change a thing. She continues to fulfill her duties as an instructor, mother, and wife. photo by: crystal rodrigquez his footsteps,” Hiett said.   Her job doesn’t just stop at winning the teacher of the year

Mrs. Allison Jones named support personnel of the year chelsie miller reporter

“Austin has my heart,” Austin High military liaison Allison Jones said.“I’ve been working at Austin for five years and have been loving it ever since.” Students and staff members are very connected with Mrs. Jones, also known as “Mama Jones”. “When Dr. Tanner told me, I was just totally shocked that I actually won. When my peers recognized my effort I put throughout the campus, it meant a lot to me,” Jones said. “I’m very close with the military students, but other kids have learned that I’m here for all the kids at Austin High School. I’m a mother figure

to everyone.” Before working at Austin High School, Mrs. Jones was a mother raising her three children. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Jones grew up with two older brothers with an age gap of ten and eight years older than herself. “It was mainly me and my mom because of the age difference in our family. I am the baby in the family,” Jones said. She graduated class of ’86 from Northeast High School and soon went to Kutztown University to receive her bachelor’s degree in science education. A military spouse herself, she porvides support for military students,

many of whom had parents serving for long periods overseas. “I met my husband in college at the end,” Jones said. While dating, her husband was commissioned into the military in 1990, and they were married

photo by: crystal rodriguez

by 1991. “My husband and I have been married for 21 years now.” Jones said Mrs. Jones and her family were stationed in El Paso in September of 2005. After moving to El Paso, one of Mrs. Jones’ friends told her about a job at Austin High School. “My job is to be the kids’ mom when they’re away from home.” Jones said. “I’m here for the kids to make their lives easier and whatever I can do I will do it for them.” Ever since Mrs. Jones started working at Austin High School, she has helped Austin in so many ways from working with

the military students to supporting JROTC. “I do not have family here in El Paso, and so my job is my family. We do a lot of things, we hang out after work and things like that because this is my family, this is all I have here in town,” Jones said. Jones values her panther family and wishes to remain here at Austin until she retires.

editorial/news cont.

austin pioneer • may• 2013 • 3

Saying it Like it is

by: Omar Ibarra

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar used pressure cookers to set off bombs and injuring hundreds of civilians at the end of the Boston Marathon. Three were killed also during what is being called an act of extreme terrorism on U.S. soil. What followed was one of the greatest moments in recent history, Boston strong. A whole country, fueled by the media, backed up the city of Boston and ended one of the biggest manhunts in history in a remarkably short time. For the first time in a long time this nation was indivisible. The glue that kept us all in the loop was the constant media coverage. From Tuesday to Friday, and the days following those, the only thing that was visible on CNN was the bombing. Even regular citizens were helping the cause, uploading videos of shootouts, reporting the

location of Dzhokhar in a boat, and reporting just what happened. An entire town shut down, The Hub at that, upon hearing of the chase. Regular people giving up their own liberties for the betterment of their country, that is the picture of nationality right there. It wasn’t easy, but WE did it. After the capture there were mobs of people partying and getting drunk. Think about that again, getting drunk because the feds caught a criminal, when has that ever happened before? In a time where national identity was sorely lacking , this bombing brought it. With President Obama’s speeches we came together as one nation. Though the Tsarnaev’s may have hurt us greatly, they have only helped to make this country stronger, Boston strong.

the pioneer staff 2012-2013 copy editor ijhanea bunting chief reporter lisa rosell design editor rene delgadillo the pioneer staff ryan allan aaron betancourt cristian gonzalez omar ibarra chelsie miller arlene morales ashley nava jennelle villa katrina villalobos

Freedom of the Press

adviser jessi almanzar

Student publications guard freedom of the press as the right of all people in a free society. It carries with it freedom and responsibility to discuss, question and challenge action and statements of the student body, administration and other public figures. Student journalists reserve the right to speak unpopular opinions and the privilege to agree with the majority.

Senior Omar Ibarra advances to state ryan allan reporter

Captain Senior Omar Ibarra qualified for state in each of the following competitions, taking 1st place in math and 2nd place in calculator and number sense in Abilene, Texas this past month. “Going into regionals, I was studying a lot. There were days when I studied 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th period and even after school. I decided to take it easy on the trip over and pretty much just made fun of Arthur the entire time,” Ibarra said. Ibarra will be competing in the mathematics event. He will also be competing in the number sense and calculator applications events. This will be the first year Austin will have a competitor at state for calculator and number sense. “I can’t say there was a lot of doubts in my mind about making it to state this year. It’s still pretty exciting to be going. It would have been nice to have my team there with me. Hawks tend to be loners, but when they find a pack they stick with that pack.” After dominating at district,

the math team took second place at regionals. They fell two questions short of taking first place. All the training that Ibarra did with the team paid off, particularly for Arthur Ramirez. “Arthur really stepped it up. His goal was to hit triple digits and his score was actually our third best score. That has been his highest score at competition,” math Coach Jamie Martinez said. At Arthur Ramirez’s first math meet he made a score of a 50. That score was a three-way tie with Ibarra and Ivan Baker.

“I was finally able to score over a hundred. The other guys would always talk trash to me because I could never score that high. I am really pushing for Omar at state. He knows he’s got it,” Ramirez said. Although his team won’t be there with him at state, Ibarra’s expectations have been left unchanged. “I expect to get there, eat some Joe’s Crab Shack, and then go place in the top six for number sense and calculator and win math,” Ibarra said.

From L to R: Oscar Camarillo, Arthur Ramierez, Jose Rodarte, Omar Ibarra. photo courtesy by the math team.

Allen & Gonzalez named All Austin girl and boy rene delgadillo reporter

Breanna Allen was selected as all Austin Girl for the class of 2013. “Being nominated in this category made me feel happy, but being selected as all Austin girl has become one of the biggest accomplishments of my whole life. I had fought for this since my freshmen year,” Allen said. Allen was nominated along with a competeive group of girls, which made the decision Cristian Gonzalez was announced all Austin boy after a senior meeting in March. “I didn’t know what was going on, no one told me about this. I thought Dr. Tanner was going to scream about credits or something. Then when I saw awards like perfect attendance and I thought what am I doing here. And when the other students were called down to announce the winner I was surprised,” Gonzalez said. The winner was announced and tears came down from Cristian’s face, as he saw his family walk to him. “I was shocked because there was fierce competition, I was nominated along with the smartest kid at Austin. My heart went to my stomach and I didn’t know how to react. Breanna and I hugged each other, then my family appeared from no where. It made the moment more special. I felt the support of my family and peers. I was crying too because my dedication of four years paid off,” Gonzalez said.

a hard one. “Honestly, I thought I wasn’t going to get it because there was a lot of competition for the girls, when I heard my name I started to cry because this is what I wanted,” Allen said. Breanna’s family knew what was coming up and came to give her a congragulations for her four years of effort. “They totally surprised me! When I saw my mom, I started to cry because this was important for me and with that I could feel the support towards me. And

finally the years of work paid off,” Allen said. Since freshmen year, Breanna was involved in various school activities. “Austin is my second home. I’m always here, and I can’t even remember all the things I have done, I’m going to miss everything, the jokes from Dr. Tanner, and the staff that always helped me. Students just stay focused in school and to do as much activities as you can and enjoy high school,” Allen said.

Students were nominated based on how they represented Austin. “I felt a step closer to becoming a l l Aust i n Boy by bei ng involved in my community and helping my peers. I am in student council, and I tried golf. I am on the dance team, class president, my junior year I became co-captain of the dance team, and publicity manager for student council. This year I became dance captain, and vice president for the Assistance League, and I

competed in UIL,” Gonzalez said. After high school, Gonzalez plans to attend The University of Texas at El Paso. “It’s been hard because I had to apply to college and still manage my AP courses and my extracurricular activities, but I’m satisfied with my high school career. I know I have left my mark in this school. I’m excited to be on the UTEP dance team, and I will again start from the bottom and get to the top,” Gonzalez said.

photo by: j. almanzar

Class of 2013 celebrated at senior night Senior Marisol Lerma stares anxiously at the loud crowd as they await for the dance team to perform. “It was fun seeing all the seniors come together everyone was really psyched about it, and dancing for my class was obviously fun as well,” Lerma said. The dance team was the third presenation of the night.

Senior Cristian Gonzalez enthusiastically hugs senior Crystal Rodriguez in accomplishment of another year finished together. “This was a nice experience,it was a unique way to celebrate all the seniors,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez plans to attend UTEP in the fall.

With mixed emotions, groups of seniors posed to take pictures for the last events of their high school career. “It opened my eyes, that we are going to graduate and will not see each other anymore,” Salvador Martinez said. Caitlin Chidlress has been inducted to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Faculty and staff showed their support by being part of this celebration. “I thought it was great. We had never had something like that during the spring time. It was a nice way to honor the kids and for their parents,” Tegmeyer said. Parents also showed up for the event.

Clubs and teams honor seniors with glow in the dark senior night ceremony

Senior Christina Gomez walks down the PAC floor with her softball teamates. “The feeling of knowing that you’re done with the people you met freshmen year was pretty emotional,” Gomez said. There was a total of six seniors on the softball team.

In support of the seniors, Mrs. Allison Jones arrived decked out in neon attire. “It was one of the most amazing and fun filled events. So many parents even complemented the event.” Mrs. Jones said. Jones was awarded support personnel of the year.

The cheerleading and dance team performed some of their routines for the seniors. “I thought the pep-rally was fun, it was a different way to appreciate seniors,” sophomore Amanda Ezpinoza said. Ezpinoza has been named cheer captain for the 2013-14 school year.

A folklclorico group peformed during the rally. “One of the our former students is in the group, and he gave us the idea,” Robles said. The group is from St. Pius church.

ijhanea bunting reporter

After the award ceremony seniors came down to the center of the gym to dance. A wave of nostalgia sweeps over senior Gabriel Rodriguez as is was recognized for being on the baseball team. “Seeing everybody again, after we went our own way after freshman year, coming together was cool,” Rodriguez said.

Seniors walk to receive a certificate and panther claw. “I got the idea to do a Glow in the Dark theme from other schools. I had been promising the kids one and the other ideas I came up with on my own,” Robles said. It took about two weeks for student council to plan senior night. Varsity soccer players flash big grins for the camera. “I liked that my fellow peers were all there to support one another even though we are not from the same organization,” Arielle Marquez said. Boys varsity soccer were awarded title of District Champs.

Senior Brandon Nanguata demostrates his happiness as this is his last highschool pep rally. “It was like a wake-up call that we have almost finished school” Nanguata said. Nanguata has been a part of the JROTC program for three years.

photos by: ashley nava

As the lights dimmed bursts of neon lights were visible from both sides of the PAC as family members, faculty, and students came to support the seniors at “Meet the Panthers: Senior Night” on May 1st. “It is a bitter sweet feeling. I am happy I’m exploring the world. I’m an adult now. It hurts to know I’m leaving four years of sweat and tears behind on the theatre stage, as well as my teachers, classmates, and beloved principal. I’ll be leaving them physically, but the memories will be there,” senior Viridiana Martinez said. The theme was “Glow in the Dark” and students arrived in their neon attire. The assembly was put together to recognize the seniors that had joined different organizations, especially academic organizations such High Q and Mathletes that don’t typically have a senior night. “Tonight means I set out to accomplish what I wanted, and that I am ready to move on and go to college,” senior Lorena Moreno said. Dr. Tanner, Mr. Tegmeyer, and the principal’s secretary Danna Sadler gave out certificates and pixie sticks. All Austin Boy and Girl, dance captain Cristian Gonzalez, and cheer captain Breanna Allen, performed a duet. “As I stand here, I still remember my freshman year. It went by so quick, but I will always have the images of the band playing the fight song and everyone getting together for one of the very last times to dance,” Martinez said. The rally closed with seniors being invited to dance on the gym floor to the Wobble.


austin pioneer • may • 2013 • 6

The 2012-2013 Male All Austin athlete: Ivan Baker he would still insist that I’m a key component for the team. He’s a great person and young at heart,” Baker said. Although Baker enjoys playing basketball, it isn’t his life. “I really don’t think of basketball as a passion, it’s something I enjoy to do as a plus of going to school and getting a good education,” Baker said. Baker will be the valedictorian for the class of 2013. “I try hard at both school and sports. I have to prioritize things, and basketball is fourth in my life. I’m

jennelle villa reporter

Towards the end of every year, Austin High School’s athletic coaches come together to determine who will get the All Austin Athlete award. This year, senior Ivan Baker received the honor of being the male All Austin Athlete. “When I found out I was like ‘That’s cool!’ I was surprised though, since I only focused on one sport. It was a nice honor to receive,” Baker said, Baker has been a varsity basketball player for four years. He also did track his freshman and junior year. “I really appreciate that coach Spencer found something in me that was worth being on varsity my freshman year. If I ever felt that I wasn’t playing at my best,

photos by: daniell dewitt

also in the mathletes and a part of the National Honor Society,” Baker said. Most of Baker ’s athletic achievements came outside of high school in his league team. “I was able to play with some of

the greatest players in the city, and against some of the best players in the nation. Playing for the team helped me improve my game,” Baker said, After his four years of playing high school basketball, Baker will miss one thing from his experience. “I’m going to miss playing with my senior class the most. They are easier to play with than the others on the team,” Baker said. Baker plans to carry on one thing from his high school basketball career. “I like how the game is very dynamic. Although I think it’s insignificant compared to life, I will carry on my character development,” Baker said.

Baker goes in for a slam dunk.

Martinez honored as 2012-2013 female All Austin athlete

Martinez pins her oppoenent in the final match. photo by: ashley nava arlene morales reporter

This year, the female All Austin Athlete award was given to senior Stephanie Martinez. Martinez won the state championship for wrestling in the 95 lbs weight class for the 2012-2013 season. “It was shocking when I received

the news, but I was proud of the outcome of my senior year, so I understood why I got it,” Martinez said. Martinez is not only a state champion wrestler, but she is also a national champion cheerleader. She has been doing both sports for

four years, and has been a varsity wrestler for four years as well. “My brother-in-law used to wrestle for Jefferson. He introduced me to the sport, and I fell in love with it. I chose it over cheerleading. I use him as my motivation,” Martinez said. It’s not all fun and games though. Martinez works hard at the sport she loves to do. “It’s an individual sport and it teaches you a lot. We all train insanely hard, we’re constantly moving. It all starts with a threemile run and stadiums for a warm up, then we condition, do some drills, and practice wrestling,” Martinez said. When Martinez leaves El Paso to compete at the collegiate level at Oklahoma City University, she will miss coach Hamidan very much. “He’s a good coach. He knows

your full potential. He’s not just there as a coach, he’s there as a person. He helps me with my math work, and he babies me the most,” Martinez said. Martinez is a hard working student athlete. She always tries to put school work before wrestling.

photo by: aaron betancourt

“I try to finish my work in class so I can get it done and go straight to wrestling practice,” Martinez said. With Martinez’s high school season coming to an end, she is proudly leaving it feeling completely accomplished along with carrying many memories and lessons with her. “I learned a great amount of discipline, how to work for what I want, and especially how to push myself to the max in life as I did every single match on the mat.” Marinez said. Martinez’s overall high school record was 120-33. She made the all-city team twice, was district champion three times, was a four time regional qualifier, got 2 nd place at regionals, placed 6th at state last year, and became state champion this year.

Gonzalez and Sosa make the UTEP Gold Diggers

chelsie miller reporter

Seniors Cristian Gonzalez and Tabbitha Sosa, also known as the Pink Panthers’ dance captains, are now a part of the UTEP Gold Diggers’ dance team. “It’s a privilege to be a part of the Gold Diggers because you’re in college, there’s a lot of competition, and you have to be dedicated to dance when you’re a part of the team. I’m very excited to know that my journey of dancing is continuing in college,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez was unable to attend tryouts in person because he was

in Arlington, Texas for a student council state convention. Instead he did a video tryout, which was recorded by junior Ryan Allan. “Since I wasn’t able to learn the routines, I just used my previous routines that I choreographed myself,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez performed a hip-hop dance to Let’s Go by Lil Jon and a jazz burlesque dance to Girl Gone Wild by Madonna. “The dance I choreographed for Girl Gone Wild was from a competition piece earlier this year for my solo. I received an outstanding gold medal,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez’s journey started freshman year at a pep rally. “I was sitting at a pep rally my

photo by j. almanzar freshman year and saw the dancers dancing and I said to myself ‘I want to dance.’ It was my calling,”

Gonzalez said. Gonzalez started dancing at the end of his freshman year for the Pink Panthers. “I tried out for the dance team the end of my freshman year and made varsity,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez’s first performance was at an eighth grade orientation for the new freshmen coming into Austin High. “For my first performance I was so nervous. I thought I forgot the dance routine, but when I heard the music it all came back to me,” Gonzalez said. Since then he worked his way up to the first male co-captain his junior year and captain his senior year. “I love performing. I love entertaining people. I love seeing people’s reaction when I’m dancing.When dancing in front of a crowd, I am no longer ‘Cristian’. I turn into someone else when I’m performing. It’s like my alter ego,” said Gonzalez. Around 60 people, including

Gold Digger veterans, tried out at the Don Haskins Center. Only 24 would be placed on the team, including senior Tabbitha Sosa. “ I was nervous about the results but I had confidence because my aunt was a Gold Digger so I got to learn a lot from her,” Sosa said. Dance is Sosa’s passion symply because dance is a family tradition. “My mom was a dancer for Austin High’s Orchesis, what later became the Pink Panthers, and my other aunt was a cheerleader,” Sosa said. Sosa followed in her family’s footsteps by dancing in social events “I started dancing when my mom put me in beauty pageants when I was younger. She would choreograph my dances and I would perform them at the pageants,” said Sosa. Sosa started taking dance classes as she got older to continue her dancing career. “Before I started dance classes, my mom would teach me somo techniques I would need to know for dance,” Sosa said. Sosa has been on the dance team since trying out in her sophomore year.


austin pioneer • may • 2013 • 7

After school club plans to hike to Franklin Mountains

ashley nava reporter

A new after school club that advocates a healthier, more active lifestyle for students has emerged on campus: Active Austin. “Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. The life expectancy for this generation is less than that of their parents. There are many health issues that are present such as diabetes. This club provides an opportunity for students to be more active,” club sponsor Mr. Michael Strange said. Through this program, students

will be able to explore the city as they become more active in their daily lives. Active Austin members recently climbed up to the “A” on the mountain after school. “I had to stop three times on my way up there, I was exhausted. Mr. Strange told us stories on our way up there about his adventures as a teenager. When we finally made it up to the top, it was a relief. It was awesome,” freshman Jonathan Persona said. Students will also be able to go out of town to nearby locations for camping, skiing, and hiking trips

over the upcoming fall and winter. “There are a lot of kids that never leave El Paso due to lack of means. This would give students an opportunity for them to see more than El Paso,” Mr. Strange said. This coming Saturday, May 18th, Active Austin will be taking a hiking trip to the Franklin Mountains State Park. “Anybody who is a student at Austin can join. The meetings are on Tuesday after school in room 271, or you can also talk to the co-sponsor, Ms. Marrero,” Mr. Strange said.

Juan Sandoval, Johnnatan Mendoza,Jonathan Persona,Irvin Rodriguez,Marissa Lopez,Ibrahim Sidransky, Crystofer Rosales, Daniel Palacios,Mercedes Talamantes,Albert Llames,Isai Alvarez, Chris Medina,Robert Avalos,Aidan Merritt. photo courtesy by: Mr. Strange

Meningitis vaccine required for all college students

cristian gonzalez reporter

On January 1, 2012 senate Bill 1107 became effective. It requires all college students, transfer students and returning students to provide proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination. “I got the shot two years ago, but I’ll have to get it again my senior year in college,” senior Rebeca Martinez said. Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective

membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The severity of illness and the treatment for meningitis differ depending on the cause. “The symptoms of meningitis are common such as sudden high fever, headaches, stiff neck, stomach aches, vomiting, discomfort when looking at bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness,” nurse Margaret Schuyler said. Bacterial meningitis is usually

more severe than viral, fungal, or parasitic meningitis. Although it can be very serious, bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics that can prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of infection from person to person. About 1,000 cases of meningitis are reported annually in the United States, but more than 10 percent of these cases have resulted in the patient’s death. The last reported case in El Paso was in 2009. “Meningitis is a disease that can kill people, or if caught on time can lead to severe amputation. It can kill

within 12 to 24 hours, especially in people between the ages of 14 and 20,” Schulyer said. If any students want to attend an educational institute in the state of Texas, it is state law that they get the mengitis vaccine and present proof at registration. Most Texas colleges and universities are warning that students without evidence of the vaccination cannot attend classes on campus. The meningitis shot is available at Immunize El Paso for ten

dollars before the age of 18. The age of 19 and above the shot cost is $130. The vaccine is good for five years and most insurance plans cover it.

10 easy steps for staying healthy during the summer lisa rosell reporter

As summer approaches, many feel pressured to be lean and lose weight. “I think a lot of people feel pressured, especially for us since cheerleading season is starting and I like staying healthy and fit. A couple weeks ago we got fitted for our uniforms for next year. They measured our waist, bust and hips. Plus we pay around $900 for the three uniforms and camp wear. If we don’t exercise and eat healthy the uniforms will look bad and feel too tight and uncomfortable,” sophomore Amanda Espinoza said. According to a recent study, the editors of Runner’s WorldHealthy Living developed a list of 10 eating habits that will get people fit for summer. Amongst these 10 habits are eating fruits, exercising, and staying away from fatty, sugary foods and drinks. “Coach always tells us to eat a lot of fruit and we run a lot during the summer. Keeping a healthy weight is a big part of what we do because of stunts and tumbling. We tend to cheat a little during the summer because we have a hour for lunch and we often go to the House of Pizza or McDonalds, but

lisa rosell reporter

the good thing is that when we are with coach we aren’t allowed to drink sodas,” Espinoza said. Another habit they call ‘Keep it Away’ involves keeping junk food away from home. “My mom buys the groceries and she will avoid buying junk food because she also feels strongly about eating healthy. She buys a lot of fruits and vegetables. I love pears, those are my favorite fruit so she always gets me pears,” Espinoza said. According to a study out of Tufts University in Boston, those who experienced a higher risk of obesity are those who drink sugary beverages, like soda. They recommend staying away from these drinks, “When it comes to sodas my

chance to process the fact that the body is full. “I usually only eat what I am served. That is enough for me and I don’t like to eat fast because it gives me a stomachache. Eating slow also does prevent you from over eating,” Espinoza said. Here are the 10 eating habits dietitians suggest can help the body be fit for the summer time: 1.Don’t drink sugar – Avoid drinking sugary beverages. They cause a higher risk of obesity and lower the body’s intake of fiber. 2.Go off the sauce – Sauces hide hidden calories. Use alternatives such as, tomato sauce instead of alfredo sauce on pasta, or mustard on sandwiches instead of mayo. Make your own salad dressings such as a

mom was always pretty strict with that. When I was little, I was never allowed to have more than one can, even to this day and I am 15. She buys a lot of milk so at home I pretty much just drink milk or water,” Espinoza said. Dietitians and health experts found that eating slow gives the body a

dash of olive oil with vinegar. 3.Make fiber your friend – Fiber passes through the body undigested, which makes your body work harder to break it down. Aim to eat 25 grams of fiber a day. Foods with fiber include: beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. 4.Go all DIY (do it yourself) – Keeping pantries and freezers stocked is a must. Soups, frozen vegetables, microwavable rice, and canned food are always better than take out. Make extra food for dinner to have left over for lunch the next day. 5.Avoid the top three roadblocks – 1.Celebrate moderately, eat a small piece of cake, and always eat normal meals and snacks. 2.Losing weight is good, but keeping it low, is almost impossible. Remember; with exercise come a few gained pounds of muscle. 6.Keep it away – keep junk foods outside and away from your home. It’s easier to resist temptation at the store than at home. 7.Follow these rules for daily eats- For breakfast rotate among three meals. Choose cereal with high fiber, oatmeal, low fat yogurt, or eggs. Always include

fruits. For lunch rotate among five meals. Choose from salads, whole grain sandwiches, eggs, or broth-based soups. Include fruit or a side of vegetables. For dinner rotate from five meals. Healthy meals for dinner include chicken, fish, and whole grains with a side or either fruit or vegetables. 8.Repeat yourself – after losing 30 pounds or more, resisting temptation is a must. Repeating healthy eating habits are necessary for maintaining the weight lost from re-entering the body. 9.Pay attention – Before eating a snack, double check you are truly hungry. Most people who crave a snack really need sleep, play, or downtime. 10.Practice long, slow eating – those who eat fast, see a 2.8 body mass increase. Eating slowly gives the mind a chance to process that your body is full also, eat with no distractions. That way, the body becomes aware of every bite taken.

IUDs deemed safe form of contraception for teens

According to recent studies, the Intrauterine Device, or IUD, has become a safer and more reliable form of contraception for teens. Studies show that IUDs contain hormone-releasing Mirena that can prevent pregnancy for five years. There is also a copper version which can prevent pregnancy for ten years. The device costs a few hundred dollars, plus the doctors’ charge

for insertion. “Although the device itself is a bit pricey, plus the consultation price, I believe it is worth it. Paying a couple hundred dollars once, can be cheaper than paying for a baby’s necessities,” junior Jessica Castaneda said. According to specialists, recent forms of the IUDs have lowered the risk of infections or diseases, but may cause some side effects. Recent studies show that IUDs can cause serious infections, or

even death. The risks of getting infected are less than one percent. It is advised to consult with a doctor when considering the Mirena to learn the possible side effects. Dr. Abbey Brenson, from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, has studied women from ages 15 to 44 who have had an IUD inserted. According to Brenson, the IUD presents fewer complications as opposed to the copper version. She suggests that the insertions are highly

suitable for teens. Although the Mirena IUD does prevent pregnancy, it does not protect from a sexually transmitted disease. “If you really think about it, getting a IUD doesn’t mean you can be careless. You should still use a condom, not necessarily against an unwanted pregnancy, but against an STD. You can be using the best and most effective contraceptive, but there’s still a possibility of getting an infection

that can cause infertility and maybe even death,” Castaneda said.


austin pioneer • may • 2013 • 8

Art students win most awards at annual art show

lisa rosell reporter

For the second year in a row, Austin High School received the most awards at the annual art show. Austin took first place with 22 awards. “The art show was held at Crockett Elementary School, and was judged by ‘secret’ judges, they never tell us their names or anything. This has been the second year in a row we get more awards than any other school in the district. Chapin and Coronado came in second place with only eight awards,” art teacher Robert Wiggs said. Mr. Wiggs entered 44 students in the art show. “For some of my classes I made it a requirement, but for most it was optional. It was the most number of students I have ever entered, with their work ranging from photography to paintings and

prints,” Wiggs said. For some students this was their first time competing. “I’ve been doing photography for about six months now, so it’s still kind of fresh. This is the first time I ever competed in photography. I entered five pieces, and three of them won something. One won best in show. It was titled “Into the Light”, which was a picture I took from the quad facing the junior gym. The picture that won second place was named “X on the Border”. I took that picture while driving on the border highway, I saw it and the lighting and sun were perfect for the picture. The last picture, which took third place, was originally a flower, but I didn’t like how it came out. I used the distort button on the computer and turned it into something completely different. I titled it “Swirls of Color,” junior Rodrigo

Casas said. For others, this art show was nothing new. “I started doing photography my sophomore year, but every year I feel honored to be able to compete against all the talented people in the district. In the future, I plan to travel around the world and take lots of pictures, or maybe even open up my own photography studio,” senior Edward Ovalle said. According to Ovalle, his photography style is nothing in particular. “If I see something that catches my eye, I capture it. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular. You just have to be at the right place, at the right time,” Ovalle said. According to Casas, winning was a complete shocker. “I went to the art show and once I saw everyone else’s art work, I felt a bit pressured. Everyone was so good; I really didn’t expect to

win. When I found out I had won, I was in complete shock. Winning has encouraged me to continue photography and seek other opportunities like photography for menus and advertisements, just a professional career,” Casas said.

Austin Art Show Thursday,May 23 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Panther

Back Row: Angel Ayon, Elizabeth Pacheco, Julian Cano, Steven Espinoza, Edward Ovalle, David Cervantes. Middle Row: Vianey Grajeda, Doris Lillian, Cynthia Rodriguez, Josue Marinelarena. Front Row: Mr. Robert Wiggs, Elsa Espino, Susan Gonzalez

Seniors get decked out for prom night 2








1. Heather Valenzuela was wearing a ruffled mermaid gown purchased at a boutique in downtown El Paso. 2.Jesus Garcia went old school with some white and black oxfords, & Arthur Ramirez looked sharp in his rented tuxedo, Maria Sosa wore a stunning dress purchased at YES!, Caitlin Childress & Kimberly Rubio bought their colorful dresses in downtown El Paso. 3.Breanna Allen wore a royal blue halter top dress from Khol’s & Victor Garcia wore his choir suit and added a splash of turquoise. 4. Amanda Avelar was wearing a Sherri Hiill ball gown & Cassandra Hernandez wore a Jiovanni blingged out dress both purchased at Ella Blu. 5. Viridiana Martinez wore a modern gown with a slit purchased in downton El Paso. 6. Mryissa Quichocho wore a gold champagne mermaid gown. 7. Samantha Vasquez wore a mint green dress by La Femme & Stevie Estrada wore a nude cut-out number from Dilllards 8. Jacob Sanchez purchased his look at Macy’s, Keegan Rankin wore Men’s Wear House & Cristian Gonzalez wore a custome made tuxedo with rhinestones. 9. Lexus Seals wore a vintage dress & Jose Barragan wore a white on white suit. 10. Arielle Marquez was wearing a goddess inspired gown purchased in downtown El Paso & Victor Gates went with a classic look. 11. Crystal Rodriguez wore a gold sequin cape dress from Dilllards.



photos by: ashley nava

Marriot Grand Ballroom


May 4, 2013


2013 The Pioneer Issue #5  

Austin High School El Paso, TX