Contributed by the PUHS Journalism Class

Senior Spotlights

This month, the journalism class at PUHS continues a series of profiles of the class of 2018. Look for more profiles of these talented and interesting young people in upcoming issues of the PRT.

Elizabeth McKay — An Artist’s Eye
By Alicia Valenzuela

Elizabeth McKay sees the world’s beauty. After high school graduation, McKay plans to go to community college at Cochise College in Sierra Vista and then a trade school to learn
about photography. “If I could work with anyone I would work with the photographer Jake Chamseddine. He is my favorite and I love him because he captures feelings and emotions in his photographs and is also a really good concert photographer. I would really like to learn more about that and how to do it,” McKay said.

McKay has been an art student for four years at PUHS and a member of the San Rafael 4-H Club art project for seven years. McKay has won Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, and Honorable Mention awards for multiple years at the Santa Cruz County Fair for her paintings and photography. In December 2017, McKay’s art was featured at The Gathering Grounds Restaurant in Patagonia. “It was my first show and it was pretty successful. I arranged for the show and put up all the artwork with the help of friends,” McKay said.

Throughout high school McKay worked for Harris Heritage Growers in Sonoita doing farm work and last summer worked for Borderlands Nursery where they grow all the plants for forest restoration projects. “I love working at the nursery because it has shown me that restoration projects are really important to Southern Arizona because of the water erosion problems we have in the desert. We grow plants that keep soil intact.”

“If I had a month off, I would have a road trip and travel to really beautiful places in Arizona that are really good photo opportunities. Places that I feel like are close to me. The “Wave” is a rock formation near the Grand Canyon. I’d like to hike there and take pictures,”
McKay said.

McKay knows for sure there is good in the world and if she could do anything she would make the world a happier place and end war. “I feel like there is a lot of sadness in the world, so I want to be a photographer who captures emotions and changes someone else’s point of view. I want to bring light to certain situations because I think America is kind of sheltered. People don’t really know what’s going on in other countries, like their wars and their problems. My dream job is to work for National Geographic. I want to photograph the aftermath of wars and impact people with my photography,” McKay said.

PUHS English teacher “Journee Hayes inspires me because she is an amazing, sympathetic person, and I would like to be more like her. My parents have been a big influence
because they expect a lot from me and push me to follow my dreams. They support me no matter what. I push myself to do well in school and I’m hard on myself when I don’t do well,” McKay said.

“My favorite app is either Instagram, where you can share great photos and keep tabs on other photographers and learn from them, or Twitter because it is ‘just funny,’” she said. In
her free time, she enjoys painting, YouTube, hiking, hanging out with friends and watching Netflix.

“I think life lessons should be learned throughout your life and I haven’t learned much so far. If I could talk to my 13-year-old self I would tell her to just do her homework,” McKay said.

Christina Novack – Awaiting Adventure
By Fabian Monge

Christina Novack, senior at Patagonia Union High School, remembers the time she was cared for so well by nurses after being involved in a serious accident. With this experience in mind, she wants to join the U.S. military and go into nursing because, “I want to help others,” says Novack. “When I was in the hospital I was treated very well, and I would like to do the same for others.”

Residents in Patagonia might remember Novack as an outstanding athlete, playing varsity basketball and volleyball all four years of high school and tennis for two years. “Christina is a very talented, athletic person with a kind heart, definitely an asset to our team. She will be missed!! Horchata!! (an inside joke to tell her to calm down after a game),” says coach Ralph Padilla. Novack dreams of continuing her athletic career; “I think it would be cool to be an assistant coach if I had the opportunity.”

Reflecting on her high school experience, Novack is thankful for the influence of her coaches. Being around them all the time, “taught me a lot of leadership and life skills,” says Novack.

Christina loves food and taking adventures. One of the places she’d love to explore someday is Italy for its beautiful environment and great tasting food. On a more immediate note, her senior class has planned their end-of-school trip to L. A. and San Diego, where
Novack says she wants to “do fun things, make memories, and enjoy our last moments together.”

Like most teens these days, Novack’s favorite app to use is Snapchat because, “Snapchat filters are fun. It is a fun way to talk while showing your facial expressions, whereas, with only texting, people might take your message out of context when they can’t see your
face,” says Novack.

Novack has worked at The Steak Out Restaurant in Sonoita, but spends her summers working at the Patagonia High School pool as a lifeguard. “I really enjoy the sun and swimming, but mostly the people I work with,” says Novack.

After completing 12 years of schooling in Patagonia Schools Novack knows for sure that, “I will make the most out of my life, travel, take adventures, and see as much as I can. I also know whatever I choose to do I’ll be happy and successful.”

Lady Lobos Grab Final Season Win

By Chesed Chap

After a rigorous 18-game campaign, the Lady Lobos concluded their basketball season with a 53-11 win against Lourdes.

“It was nice to see the girls end their season with a convincing victory. It showed the potential they have for the future,” comments PUHS Athletic Director Kenny Hayes. “It was easy to see the improvement they made over the season, and they look to be very competitive in the years to come.”

Point guard Yasmin Quiroga agrees, and states that throughout the season, though improvements could be made, a strength the girls had was their teamwork. “We played
the best we could. Everyone really wanted the game so we played really hard,” Yasmin commented. “We worked together better than ever.”

The win against Lourdes was the last game for graduating seniors Mia Arochi and Christina Novack. Arochi played on the team for three years, and Novack played for four. “I learned that if you don’t give up, you achieve what you’re aiming for,” Arochi says.

Boys Basketball Protects Home Turf, Loses at State

By Kurt Whitcoe

The PUHS boys’ basketball team made their way back to state playoffs for the second year in a row after beating Lourdes Catholic School Warriors during the final game of the season, February 2nd, finishing their regular season with an 11-4 record.

Chris Miranda, starting point guard, returned to the action that night after an ankle injury at The Gregory School that caused him to miss four games. “I was pretty sad about what happened, but in the end, I was lucky enough to get back out on the court and play
with my team,” says Miranda.

The win over Lourdes of 54-29, was a team effort from the starting lineup of the Lobos, putting junior Victor Barajas at the top with 24 points, and seniors Alex Escoboza, Isaac Vasquez, Jhorsen Lopez, and Chris Miranda all working together to get the victory and
celebrate their last home game win on senior night.

On February 14 the team travelled to the state playoffs held in Prescott but lost 33-52 in their first game against Phoenix’s Valley Lutheran High School.

“Watching the seniors play in their last home game and second state playoff game was fun. It would have been nice to win a couple of state playoff games, but the experience is great
for both the older and younger kids,” Coach Hayes said.

FFA Teams Score Big at Regional Competition

By Arriana Ochoa, PUHS FFA Reporter

PUHS FFA members pose for a group shot at the Dean Merrill South Central District FFA Competition at Central Arizona College. Photo by Amanda Zamudio

Thursday, February 8 started with an early morning for the PUHS FFA Chapter. They left the school at 5 a.m. for the Dean Merrill South Central District FFA Competition at Central Arizona College in Casa Grande, returning home with four plaques, cash awards, and an overall feeling of accomplishment.

Our forestry team earned the title of district champions for the South Central District, with Karina Norton in 1st place, Johnny Quiroga claiming third, and Dylan Jacob placing fourth.
The forestry career development event includes identifying trees, bushes, and identifying equipment used in forestry tasks.

Our nursery and landscape management team were named district champions, with Arriana Ochoa in first place, Gianna Martin in second place, Reyna Ochoa placing third and Stefania Tejeda placing sixth. The top three individuals won cash awards for excelling in their category. The nursery career development event includes identifying Arizonan plants, landscaping equipment/tools, plant disease/disorder diagnosis and treatment, and
creating a landscape plan.

The livestock career development event includes evaluating different livestock animals, such as sheep, goats, cattle, and swine, and performing a set of oral reasons to a judge to defend their selection. Our livestock evaluation team also claimed the title as district champions for the South Central District, with John Hubbell claiming the top individual award. Juliana Quiroga finished in second place, Ralphie Quiroz was sixth, and Alex Pallanes placed tenth.

Our dairy evaluation team came in second place for the South Central District. Ila Barker placed third, Brianna Young placed eighth, Ember Hubbell placed eleventh, and Andres Burgess finished in fourteenth place. The dairy career development event includes
judging dairy cattle, solving a client’s issue and preparing an oral presentation to a panel of judges.

The ag mechanics career development event includes welding, surveying, soldering, and electric wiring tasks completed within a certain amount of time. The PUHS team placed sixth. Julian Vasquez placed fifteenth, and his brother Sebastian Vasquez placed

Our one job interview contestant Gilbert Osuna won sixth place. He had to create a resume and cover letter, complete a job application, and participate in a one-on-one interview.

Our horse evaluation team came in seventh place for the South Central District. Lauren Fletcher placed tenth and Alicia Valenzuela placed twenty-first. The horse career development event includes evaluating horses based on performance and confirmation and presenting a set of oral reasons.

Our veterinary science team also came in seventh place for the South Central District, with Carolina Quiroz placing in twenty-first place, Brayden Johnson in twenty-second place and
Hannah Young in twenty-fourth place. The vet career development event includes applying veterinary technician skills to faux animals.

The Patagonia FFA Chapter is extremely proud of all their members for a job well done and look forward to their state competition that takes place Friday, March 2 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.