PUHS Career Fair Offers Opportunities for Students

The Mountain Empire Rotary Club and the Patagonia Public Schools are partnering again this year to host a Career Fair for students at Patagonia Middle School and High School on Friday, March 16 from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Middle school students from Elgin have also been invited to attend. The event will take place in the Patagonia Union High School
Gymnasium and consist of individual booths for the participating organizations and professionals and a series of breakout discussions and presentations made by industry professionals.

Mountain Empire Rotarian Randy Heiss states, “The purpose of the event is to introduce students to area businesses and professionals as well as workforce specialists so they can learn about the opportunities that can happen for them after high school. We want students to think about what they will need in the future in terms of education and training in order to prepare for those careers. Most important, we want to emphasize that students need to work at keeping their options open for the future.”

This year, the fair has brought back several PUHS graduates to talk about their successes and their experiences with finding meaningful careers after high school. PUHS Counselor, Rosann Clark, states, “We want the students to hear the stories of success and the challenges encountered by former students that they know and can relate to. Ultimately, we hope the experiences of these graduates inspire our students to work hard and make the right choices.”

There is an impressive list of organizations participating from the health care community, local utilities, law enforcement, military and border protection, environmental restoration, community colleges and universities as well as a host of local entrepreneurs.
There will also be demonstrations by Lifeline and the Army Canine Unit.

The keynote speaker is Trevor Stokes, Workforce Program Manager from the Arizona Office of Economic Security. The list of post secondary institutions includes University of Arizona, Grand Canyon College, Prescott College, Cochise Community College, the Fashion
Institute of Design and Merchandising and Pima Community College (PCC). PCC will have local representation from the Santa Cruz Center, representatives from their main campus,
their archeology program and several workforce programs.

“We want the students to visit the booths where they can have a conversation and gain information on the various career opportunities,” Clark said. “We believe that there are education and employment options for students locally and we want to make sure the students are aware of them. At the same time, we want the students to know what job skills and training are going to be expected of them.”

Public Input Invited

A multi-jurisdictional planning team comprised of representatives from Santa Cruz County, Nogales and Patagonia, has been meeting regularly over the past several months
to participate in a hazard mitigation planning process. The purpose of this process is to update the current version of the Santa Cruz County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan according to The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA2K).

The DMA2K requires all local, county, tribal and state government to have a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible for certain federal disaster mitigation funds.

The draft of the newly updated 2018 Santa Cruz County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan has been completed and is ready for public viewing and comment.
The updated draft of the plan can be downloaded by visiting patagonia-az.gov/santa-cruz-county-multi-jurisdictional-hazard-mitigation-plan/ or you can contact Dave
Teel, Town Manager @patagoniagov@qwestoffice.net 520-394-2229, or Ray Sayre
Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Management (520) 375-8000

Quilts for Veterans

Family Health Care Amigos volunteers display quilts and afghans they donated to Boulder Crest Retreat. From left: Suzanne Bott, Linda Huffstetler-Dearing, Joan Bennett and Barbara Turner.

Seeing handmade quilts flying in their booth during the Art Walk, staff from the newly created Boulder Crest Retreat in Sonoita approached board members from Family Health Care Amigos to ask if they could provide quilts or afghans for wounded warriors. It was explained that quilters in Virginia supply quilts or afghans for wounded combat soldiers participating in retreats in Virginia. These handmade covers are for the warriors to take home with them and are given to them as a part of gift baskets. Boulder Crest staff wanted to know if Family Health Care could provide covers for the soldiers’ gift boxes in Sonoita. They advised that men and women warriors are served in these therapy-themed retreats.

The board decided this was a worthy community project and on January 29, Linda Huffstetler-Dearing along with quilter Barbara Turner and crochet artist Joan Bennett from
Family Health Care Amigos met with Public Relations Director Suzanne Bott of Boulder Crest Retreat to provide three quilts and four afghans as part of their commitment to give 30 covers during the next year.

If other local quilters or knitters want to become involved in this project, please contact Linda Huffstetler-Dearing at 56-7213. If residents have cotton fabric or yarn they can donate, assistance is greatly appreciated.

Patagonia Student Wins Statewide Photo Contest

Thomas Montanez’s winning photo of a spider web has earned him the opportunity to attend a photography workshop with the photo editor of Arizona Highways.

14-year-old Thomas Montanez of Patagonia has been named the winner of the Arizona School Boards Association Annual Photography Contest. Montanez, who is an 8th
grade student at the Patagonia Middle School, is the son of Bill and Amanda Montanez. The theme of the statewide student photography contest was “Arizona Outdoors.” Winners of this contest receive certificates of achievement and are invited to attend a special photography workshop led by Jeff Kida, the photography editor of Arizona Highways Magazine.

This is Montanez’s second time winning this award. In 2015, his photo of a Sonoita windmill won first place as well. Locally, he was a winner in the recent photography contest held by High Spirits Flutes. That entry will be featured in the 2018 High Spirits Flutes calendar.

Marine Biology Fundraiser Held at Elgin School

Photo by Annette Koweek

The eighth-grade marine biology club at the Elgin School hosted the 12th annual spaghetti dinner to raise money for their trip to the Catalina Island Marine Institute. Students served dinner, which was held at the school on February 16, to approximately 125 guests. The meal was prepared by Valerie Etchart and Sheila Oliver, and the food was donated by parents and supporters. The students raised $2,100 through ticket sales and donations.

The students have been raising money for the trip since sixth grade. All students have the opportunity to go but must meet certain academic and behavior criteria. At the Institute, they participate in marine biology labs, study oceanography, snorkel, paddle board and hike, according to Annette Koweek, who, with co-advisor Terrell Harper, accompanies the students on the week-long trip at the end of the school year. She feels that this trip is of great value to the students. “I passionately believe that you can’t really understand the significance of the oceans to the health of this earth with experiencing the ocean first hand,” she said.