This month the PRT continues a series of autobiographical profiles of the PUHS senior class of 2019.

Christian Woodard

My name is Christian Woodard and I am a senior at Patagonia Union High School. Patagonia has been my home for the past 18 years of my life. I have attended Patagonia Union Schools ever since preschool and I have seen my class and my school change over time. I will cherish the memories made at this school and in Patagonia for all time.

My favorite teacher is Mrs. Hayes. She supports us and teaches us important life lessons through literature that we can take with us for the rest of our lives. My favorite subject has to be economics because you can always apply it to real life situations. My most challenging class is math just because I haven’t fully grasped it. 

After high school I will be attending Northern Arizona University for four years and I plan to start with all the prerequisite classes. I am looking into a career that involves computers. One thing about high school that surprised me was how fast time flies. You need to cherish every moment because one day you joke about graduation being so far away and then all of a sudden, it’s there. Outside of school, I like spending time with my friends and family making memories. If I could change one thing about the world it would be for people to be kinder and more neighborly to each other.

My biggest influence has been my parents and the prominent adults in my life. They have taught me that good things don’t come easy and that hard work is the key to success. Looking back on my younger self, a good piece of advice I would give myself would be take the road less traveled and to manage my time wisely. My friends describe me as sincere, funny and a kind person.

Aspen Miller

Drama has been my greatest passion in high school. This year I have taken on the difficult task of heading the PUHS Drama Club. My favorite core subject is science. One of my favorite teachers is Rebecca Brune, my freshman and sophomore drama teacher. She was like a mother hen to all of her students and sincerely gave us advice and help when we asked for it. To me she was more than just a teacher. Her class was the one I looked forward to every day. 

I have been in three different high schools in the past four years. Each new school brought its own new surprises. I discovered how many different kinds of teachers there are. They all have their own way of teaching and handling students. The hardest lesson that I had to learn was that no matter what bad things happen to you, you will make it out. You’ll be a little different from when you went in, but I believe most of these changes are for the better. 

There are two events that have hit me hard. Second quarter of my sophomore year my great-grandfather, whom I had been living with, passed away. Not even a year later, the beginning of junior year, my mother passed away as well. However, both these events ultimately pushed me to return to Patagonia, which has been one of the best choices I have made. The best thing that has happened to me has, by far, been getting the chance to go see “Hamilton” live.

My plans after high school are to go to college and start my path to being a computer software engineer. Many college fine arts electives are on this path as well. 

The biggest influence in my life has been two amazing women: my mother, and my aunt. My mother taught me, through her less than desirable decisions, what not to do to be successful in life. My aunt has given me every tool and opportunity I could possibly need to succeed in whatever my future may bring. Without her, I have no idea where I would be. 

One of my best qualities is that I have the tenacity and strong will to achieve whatever task needs to be done. My friends would describe me as devotedly kind, almost to a fault, and loyal. I am always there for them, even if it is to tell them the hard things they may not want to hear.

Jesus Lopez Berreda

During high school I was the boys basketball manager and I was named Rotary Student of the Month for English during my senior year.

I have noticed that the subject I am the best in is English. I enjoy learning new words and reading about different people. It has been a struggle for me since I came to Patagonia my sophomore year speaking little to no English. I have worked really hard to improve my talking and writing skills in English. I greatly appreciate my English teacher, Mrs. Hayes. She has been helping me all along. She is also my favorite teacher because she is kind and has helped me from the beginning.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with the animals, taking care of them and feeding them. I also like to spend time helping others.

My plans after high school are to join one of the branches of the military and start my college law credits. While I am in the military, I want to start saving money and save for a house. I also want to bring my little brother with me so he can start high school and learn English.

The biggest surprise I got about high school is the people and the many opportunities to get close to every single teacher. This is a small town and the community helps a lot. It seems to me that they work together for a better future for their little ones. The biggest influence on my life has been Mrs. Hayes and my friend Jesus Vasquez.

The biggest challenge I’ve found during high school was the language. I came from Mexico with only the basics of English. The first months of my sophomore year, I had problems having conversations with other people and it was a challenge to understand my assignments. But as time passed, my English improved. 

My friends would describe me as is a good and kind friend who will be there for you whenever you need him and that I can be very funny sometimes.

Cosette Whitcoe

I have experienced so many amazing things during my years in high school, and I am excited for what the world has to offer in the future. I am so honored to have grown up in Patagonia. During my time at Patagonia Union High school, I have played basketball, volleyball and chess. I also took drama and participated in FFA and Student Council. After high school, I plan to attend the University of Arizona to study law. I want to study law to help better people’s lives and to contribute to a positive change in the world. 

My favorite memory was being able to go on exchange for a year in Denmark. Studying abroad was a year full of adventure and discovery. It completely reshaped my philosophies about education and will forever hold a huge place in my heart. Although it was an amazing experience, my greatest struggle was transitioning back into my senior year after spending junior year in what felt like a fairytale. It was hard to return to old friendships when, in just a year, a person can change so much. 

I have received wisdom from all my teachers. Mr. Melanson, my math teacher, has been one of my favorites because of the memories shared, the jokes told, and the knowledge provided. He is truly here because he wants to help people learn. My favorite subject is English, and that is because of Mrs. Hayes. The way she teaches English makes you want to show up every day and learn as much as possible. Mrs. Hayes has shared so much of her experience and wisdom and has been a great role model for me. 

One of the hardest lessons that I learned has been that as people get older, change becomes inevitable and we must accept that change in one another to better ourselves. As I move forward in life, I plan to travel more, experience new cultures, and impact the world in a positive way